Zach Wilson, Jets-Panthers
Zach Wilson, Jets-Panthers, Getty Images

The Jets’ defense pitched a shutout in the first half-hour in Charlotte

The New York Jets‘ defense put forth a scorching effort during a sweltering first half in Charlotte, pacing a 13-0 shutout against the Carolina Panthers in their second preseason game. Carolina did not put up a play of double-figure yardage until the very last snap of the first half-hour.

New York held a Carolina group playing most of its starters for an extended period to 32 yards of offense. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson played the entire first half and found Kenny Yeboah for a touchdown in the final minute, complimenting two Greg Zuerlien field goals to create the lead.

Jets (13) 

  • PASSING: Zach Wilson (14-of-20, 123 yards, 1 TD)
  • RUSHING: Israel Abanikanda (6 carries, 37 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Israel Abanikanda (3 rec., 31 yards)

Panthers (0)

  • PASSING: Bryce Young (4-of-6, 21 yards)
  • RUSHING: Spencer Brown (4 carries, 24 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Adam Thielen (1 rec., 8 yards)

Get Carter

Two years ago, Michael Carter appeared to be the future of the Jets’ rushing attack. That title now squarely belongs to Breece Hall, but things suddenly got a bit crowded with last week’s Canton scorer Israel Abanikanda arriving in last spring’s fifth round.

Undrafted freshman Travis Dye has also gained a bit of a cult following among fans, which ever so slightly raised the heat around Carter. But the third-year man showed why he’s the favorite to be Hall’s top spell option, impressed in the open field on a 25-yard grab that set the Jets up in Carolina territory for their first score of the game.

With running backs forced to adapt an aerial identity in an NFL world that not-so-silently favors the passing game, Carter is going to take every opportunity he can to prove he has a professional future.

He made some small headway in that goal with 53 total yards on the Jets’ first two drives. His timing couldn’t be better. Though he was denied a touchdown via replay review, Abanikanda put up 66 total yards of his own, most of it coming on the Jets’ final drive of the half that built the two-possession lead.

Young Gunned

Top overall pick Bryce Young was granted the start for Carolina but the Jets showed no interest in easing the freshman’s transition. Young took care of the ball, unlike some of his rookie cohorts (i.e. C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson), but a sense of tepidness was well on display after Solomon Thomas got a piece of him after his first throw.

This week’s “Hard Knocks” soundbites for Quinton Jefferson’s takedown of Young should be one of the more optimistic highlights after a tough week of practice. Jermaine Johnson also headlined a solid effort in coverage, as none of the four Carolina receivers put up more than eight yards on Young’s completions.

The attack continued when Young took his leave, as premier rookie Will McDonald also earned a sack in the Jets’ continued assault of the Carolina backfield (as did Bryce Huff)

Wilson Brisk

After what was, admittedly, a rough week for the Jets’ offense, it was easy to sweat watching the first drive begin with what was apparently a Zonovan Knight fumble. A quick replay proved this wasn’t the case the Jets mustered an early lead via Greg Zuerlein’s field goal.

Overseeing the 13-play, 51-yard endeavor that took advantage of the adjusted call was Zach Wilson, who once again looked more comfortable in the pocket. Wilson has shown a bit of hesitation to move around in his early summer showings (considering both the preseason quality of the line and last year’s medical incident, that’s understandable), but that poise allowed him to find four different receivers for four completions on the opening drive to get into Zuerlien’s range.

The fact he was able to cap things off with a touchdown should widen a watching Aaron Rodgers’ smile.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email:
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