NY Jets take 3-0 lead over Giants into halftime
At halftime in the annual preseason battle at MetLife Stadium, the New York Jets lead the New York Giants by a 3-0 score.
- PASSING: Zach Wilson: 6-of-9, 63 yards
- RUSHING: Ty Johnson: 9 carries, 32 yards
- RECEIVING: Vyncint Smith: 3 receptions, 39 yards
- PASSING: Mike Glennon: 3-of-7, 20 yards
- RUSHING: Corey Clement: 5 carries, 32 yards, 1 lost fumble
- RECEIVING: Davis Sills: 3 receptions, 49 yards
— NFL (@NFL) August 15, 2021
Zach Wilson Nails First Flight
After the hullabaloo of the Green & White Practice, one of the Jets’ most important Saturday goals should’ve been for Wilson to settle into a groove of sorts. As promised by Robert Saleh, Wilson partook in two series completing 6-of-9 passes for 63 yards.
The Jets earned a Chris Naggar field goal (30 yards) on the first drive and turned the ball over on downs just past midfield on the second.
Wilson was stagnant in the pocket but looked cool and collected otherwise. He built early chemistry with Corey Davis on the first drive (two hook-ups for 18 yards) and converted two third downs, the latter conversion coming through a 16-yard pass to Keelan Cole.
Wilson’s outing isn’t going to change the minds of anyone who declared his career over after last weekend (especially with Justin Fields penning his Canton speech after a Saturday afternoon breakout in Chicago), but that’s probably exactly what the Jets needed.
It was a grounding performance, one that should rebuild some of any confidence lost in the intrasquad scrimmage and a solid introduction to NFL game action.
The most encouraging part of Wilson’s performance was the fact that the Jets kept and moved the ball during his time on the field: Gang Green held the ball for 12:14 over his first two possessions (compared to 3:51 for the Giants) and outgained Big Blue by a 100-25 margin.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 14, 2021
We Hit Turbulence
The Jets’ offseason dedication to a heightened pass rush paid off immediate dividends. John Franklin-Myers and Sheldon Rankins each forced Giants starter Mike Glennon into errant hurried throws, while Bryce Huff ended the Giants’ first possessions with a seven-yard sack.
C.J. Mosley also reintroduced himself to the NFL scene with a tackle and a pass breakup against Darius Slayton.
Elsewhere defensively, things weren’t easy for Brandin Echols who took a pass interference penalty that set the Giants up in the red zone, but other defensive rookies made their marks.
Hamsah Nasirildeen made a name for himself by forcing a Corey Clement fumble recovered by Michael Dwumfour. The undrafted Rutgers alum later united with sixth-round choice Jonathan Marshall for a sack of Clayton Thorson that afforded the Jets’ second offensive unit a one-minute excursion.
Dwumfour did leave the game with an injury, though he walked off on his own strength.
With Tevin Coleman undressed, Saturday’s game allowed Ty Johnson to make a statement when it came to the Jets’ rushing endeavors. Johnson had some powerful carries, tallying 30 yards on his first six carries.
The removal of the top of the Jets’ top blockers, as well as some questionable playcalling (such as an ill-fated rush up the middle on a short fourth down), lowered his final totals (32 on nine carries), but Johnson was nonetheless the Jets’ top rusher in the first half.
With Coleman and diamond in-the day-three-rough Michael Carter at the top of the depth chart, Johnson has gotten a little lost in the rushing mix (losing carries to Adam Gase’s Frank Gore obsession didn’t help).
Saturday’s first half was a solid reminder that he won’t go down without a fight.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags