Tonight's Jets-Giants game didn't give fans of either side a lot of time to settle in and watch their starters do battle. Because the game was moved up from its usual third slot in the summer sked to the opener, the starters who did play were back on the sidelines after a series or two.
Still, the Jets' 31-22 loss to the Giants' in the teams' 51st preseason meeting had some memorable moments. Sam Darnold supplied some on his first and only drive to the Jets' 6-0 lead before the raindrops and lightning arrived with 1:23 to play in the first quarter, delaying the game nearly an hour.
Here are four observations on the Jets final three quarters after the weather delay.
Big Plays, No Josh
WR Josh Bellamy had a big series of pitch-and-catch with QB Trevor Siemian in the second quarter. Bellamy had a 16-yard reception on second-and-8, drew a 26-yard pass interference penalty on rookie CB DeAndre Baker on third down, then added a falling-forward 10-yard grab on third-and-8 to the Giants 16. Bellamy's hands helped set up Elijah McGuire's mitts as the third-year RB snagged Siemian's fourth-and-1 toss in the open and tumbled into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown and the Jets sliced the Giants' second-quarter lead to 14-12.
Prying the Ball Loose I
The Jets' backup defenders showed that Gregg Williams' scheme and coaching were making a big impression. One turnover play didn't count as Alex Tanney was ruled to have fumbled under pressure from DL Bronson Kaufusi, with Parry Nickerson picking up the ball and taking it to the end zone. The touchdown ruling was overturned after review, but the play was a great example of Williams coaching his players to pick up any ball that hits the ground and advance it just in case it's a turnover.
See Best Images of the Preseason Opener at MetLife Stadium
Prying the Ball Loose II
The real turnover came shortly after the reversed takeaway when LB Frankie Luvu dropped the hammer from behind on RB Paul Perkins, forcing a fumble that Neville Hewitt recovered at the Giants 15. Chandler Catanzaro, who had missed two extra points, succeeded on the ensuing 34-yard field goal with 1:41 left in the first half, putting the Jets back in the lead at 15-14. It was the Green & White's only TA on the night.
Getting Their Kicks
While Catanzaro struggled, punters Lachlan Edwards and Matt Darr soared. Edwards, the incumbent punter, drilled three punts for a gross average of 52.3 yards and a net of 50.3 and two inside-the-20s. Darr, who kicked for Miami in 2015-16 and for Buffalo for five games last year, had a 43.5-yard gross and net on two punts, both I-20s. And Greg Dortch showed some ability on punt returns, especially on a 32-yard return in the third quarter, as well as with four receptions, the final one a 2-yarder from Luke Falk for the Jets' final TD of the night with 14 seconds to play.