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NY Jets at Carolina Panthers halftime report: A rough Week 1 start

Robby Anderson, Sheldrick Redwine
Robby Anderson, Sheldrick Redwine, NY Jets, Carolina Panthers, Getty Images

As bad as it can start for the 2021 New York Jets

Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson had their revenge in the first half in Sunday’s tilt between the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets.

The former bearers of green broke Sunday’s game open with a 57-yard scoring hookup before Darnold ran in another, helping Carolina build a 16-0 lead at Bank of America Stadium.

Jets Leaders

  • PASSING: Zach Wilson (6-of-16, 84 yards, 1 INT)
  • RUSHING: Tevin Coleman (6 carries, 12 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Corey Davis (1 reception, 35 yards)

Panthers Leaders

  • PASSING: Sam Darnold (17-of-22, 234 yards, 1 TD)
  • RUSHING: Christian McCaffrey (8 carries, 33 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Christian McCaffrey (8 receptions, 91 yards)

What’s happened so far?

In Their Defense

The stat ledgers aren’t pretty, but the Jets defense did a solid job for a majority of the first half. The pressure was low (as was probably expected after losing Carl Lawson for the year), but the secondary kept things mostly manageable.

The true killer has been Christian McCaffrey’s ability to add yardage after the catch: the rusher has torched the Jets for 124 total yards in his first game back from injury.

Zach Under Attack

The first half was a not-so-subtle reminder that the Jets’ offense is a work in progress.

Wilson was stagnant in the pocket during his preseason outings but showed an inspiring ability to scramble and throw on the run. He certainly had to figure out how to do so, as he was constantly harassed by Carolina’s pass rush.

Save for a 35-yard hook-up with Corey Davis (on a drive that ended on his first professional interception), Wilson had no big plays in the first half. The Jets also insisted on trying to develop a rushing attack but failed to the tune of 19 yards on 11 carries.

It’ll be interesting to see how Wilson responds to his first form of personal professional adversity after a nearly flawless preseason.


The Jets’ early MVP could well be Matt Ammendola, who was pressed into service after Braden Mann was injured on his first boot of the season. Having not kicked for long-distance since his high school soccer endeavors at North Penn High School,

Ammendola was very respectable, averaging over 51 yards on three opportunities, a ledger that included a jaw-dropping 65-yarder.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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