Christian Hackenberg threw passes that reached the end zone three times Saturday night. Unfortunately for him and the Jets, the guys carrying the ball across the goal line on the first two of those wore Giants blue.
Hackenberg had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in another awful preseason outing, although one of the pick-sixes was not his fault. Hackenberg again looked unfit to start when the regular season begins in two weeks in Buffalo.
Jets coach Todd Bowles is expected to name his regular-season starting quarterback Monday, and it has to be Josh McCown, who did not play for the second straight week. After the game, Bowles continued to say no decision has been made.
“We’re going to watch the tape and we’re going to make the evaluation next week and we’ll come up with that answer,” Bowles said.
The answer is obvious. Hackenberg is not ready. It does not matter that McCown barely has touched a ball this preseason. Bryce Petty played well against the Giants, but injured his knee in the fourth quarter. He will undergo an MRI exam Sunday.
The Giants dominated the Jets in the first half, when the starters were in the game, taking a 29-3 lead. Petty led a second-half comeback with three touchdown passes. Hackenberg, after Petty was injured, then threw a touchdown to a Jet, a 17-yard pass to Frankie Hammond with 1:26 left to play that made the score 32-31. The Jets went for the two-point conversion, but failed.
Hackenberg got his second straight start with Bowles wanting to get a longer look at the younger quarterbacks. In the first half against the Giants’ starting defense, Hackenberg went 8-for-15 for 60 yards, was sacked three times and threw the two interceptions. He exited the game at halftime but had to return with two minutes left after Petty was injured. Hackenberg led his first touchdown drive since last year against the Giants in the preseason. He finished the game 12-for-21 for 126 yards. His quarterback rating was 51.0.
“I think there were a lot of positives,” Hackenberg said.
“Obviously, the two interceptions can’t happen. Those are things that I have to go back and look at on tape. I thought with the exception of the slow start and those two plays there were some good things, especially in the second quarter.”
Starting Hackenberg was an odd move by Bowles. Traditionally, the third preseason game is the time for the starters to build some continuity. Instead, Bowles chose to use it to further Hackenberg’s development by getting him extra playing time.
“I wanted to get them some reps,” Bowles said. “Josh is . He’s played in a lot of preseason games. I wanted to see Hack and Petty play against a good defense and they played tonight.”
If McCown is named the starter Monday, he would enter Week 1 against the Bills having played just one preseason series unless Bowles plays the starters against the Eagles in Thursday’s preseason finale.
“If he’s the Week 1 starter, I’m not concerned at all,” Bowles said.
McCown said he is ready to go if he is the starter.
“Regardless of the game reps in the preseason or whatever, the way the league works is you’ve got to be ready to go,” he said. “Having spent a number of years in my career in different situations, when you’re a backup you don’t get reps and you have to go in the game and you have to play. … I’ll feel ready to go if called upon.”
Hackenberg’s first pick-six came on a brutal throw intended for tight end Eric Tomlinson. Landon Collins was waiting for the pass, jumped in front of Tomlinson and raced 23 yards with the ball for a touchdown and a 12-0 lead.
The second one came with 1:23 left in the half when Robby Anderson let the ball go off his hands after a hit by cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The ball popped up and Giants corner Donte Deayon plucked it out of the air and raced 36 yards for the touchdown, giving the Giants a 29-3 halftime lead.
Petty went 15-of-18 for 250 yards and threw three touchdowns, getting the Jets back into the game. Rookie wide receiver ArDarius Stewart caught two of those touchdowns.
Christian Hackenberg is not ready to start. The second-year quarterback had another terrible night. He threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns (although the second one went off a receiver’s hands). He went 8-for-15 for 60 yards and a 23.6 quarterback rating in the first half. Hackenberg is not the starter. He might not be the No. 2 quarterback.
Sheldon Richardson looked like a man possessed. Richardson pressured Eli Manning into throwing an interception and constantly was in Manning’s face when he was in the game. The Jets have been trying to trade Richardson. His play might catch some teams’ eyes.
The Jets’ starting offensive line played extensive time and looked shaky. It gave up three sacks, and other than one 16-yard run by Matt Forte, it did not get much of a push in the run game. Todd Bowles has been searching for the right combination during training camp. That search may continue into the regular season.
This News Credit Goes To >> Source link