*Updated, 12:30 a.m. ET
*Preseason games aren't always pretty and such was the case with the Jets offense for the first 2½ quarters of the Green & White's visit to the Washington Redskins tonight.
Timely frontline defense and strong punting and coverage held the fort until the offense awoke on the strength of QB Bryce Petty's arm and WR Robby Anderson's hands and legs as the Green & White roared from behind for a late 18-14 lead over the 'Skins.
But Washington struck right back with Nate Sudfeld — Jets TE Zach Sudfeld's "little brother" — finding rookie WR Kendal Thompson for a one-handed TD grab against the coverage of Jets rookie Juston Burris with 29 seconds to play as the Redskins pulled out the 22-18 victory at FedEx Field.
Head coach Todd Bowles wasn't pushing any panic buttons but he also wasn't wearing any rose-colored glasses in his postgame remarks.
"I'm happy with certain people, happy with some of the young guys that performed some of the things they did in the second half, some of the guys in the first unit," Bowles said. "But overall, we've got to put it back-to-back and not a couple of plays here and there."
Petty, who played the entire second half, completed 16 of 26 for 242 yards and two touchdowns while Anderson's 131 receiving yards on six receptions marked the most productive summer receiving night by a Jet in the last eight years.
Here are eight observations on how the Jets' game unfolded:
1. Fast Start ... NotOne part of the Bowles plan that hasn't taken hold yet is the fast start concept. The Jets offense opened with a 3-and-out sandwiched between 15- and 10-play Washington drives. The first defense eventually had answers for both drives, with Darrelle Revis' end zone INT stopping the first and Leonard Williams' third-down sack forcing a punt. But early in the second quarter the Redskins held edges of 116-2 in yards and 15:34-1:02 in possession.
"We want to try to prevent that from happening," S Marcus Gilchrist said about another long defensive series to open the game. "But the end result was what we wanted. We were able to keep them from getting in the end zone and from getting a field goal. So that's a positive."
2. Fourth-Down StopThe Jets' first giveaway on the night was Kellen Davis' fumble after a reception that 13-year veteran CB DeAngelo Hall returned to the visitors' 17. The defense rose up again this time, with help from Washington coach Jay Gruden, who was determined to run the ball better this week than last week vs. Atlanta. Not this time, when rookie RB Rob Kelley, on fourth-and-1 from the 8, was hit low by S Rontez Miles and high by DT Deon Simon and stoned for no gain.
3. Safety DanceThe Jets' best offense continued to be their first and second defense, borne out by their only first-half points coming on a hands-to-the-face penalty by Washington G Spencer Long trying to block Simon in the Redskins end zone for a safety. It was the Jets' first preseason safety since, well, last Aug. 21 when then-rookie Leonard Williams took down Atlanta's T.J. Yates for the deuce. Despite the sloppy play, the Jets held that 2-0 lead for three minutes until the home team erupted for two TDs in a 1:56 span.
4. 'Skins' Ross is BossThe Jets have WR/KR Jeremy Ross but the 'Skins showcased second-year WR Rashad Ross for a pair of TDs catches from McCoy in the second quarter. The first was a 3-yard fade against Marcus Williams, the second a 39-yard leap-and-catch vs. Burris. Ross became the first Jets opponent with a two-TD preseason game since Matthew Tucker ran for two TDs for the Eagles in 2013. Tucker was a Jet this offseason until he was waived/injured.
5. QB TallyAnd the Green & White reserve pass defense had no answers for McCoy as he went 5-for-5 on those two quick scoring drives and 13-for-16 for 159 yards in the first half.
Geno Smith, meanwhile, replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick and completed six of 13 for 47 yards, an interception, and no scoring drives before giving way to Petty.
6. Petty to SuddyThe Jets finally got a big play and it went from third QB Petty to ever-positive TE Zach Sudfeld for the 19-yard score in the front of the end zone with 3:15 to play in the third quarter, cutting the 'Skins' lead to 14-9. For Sudfeld, who lost all of 2015 to a June knee injury and wasn't a frequent target before that, it was his first catch since the '14 season and his first TD since the '13 preseason with the New England Patriots.
Unfortunately, Zach fumbled the ball away after a fourth-quarter reception, so Nate's last-minute TD strike gave the family braggin' rights to the kid bro this time.
7. Petty to RobbyThen to start the final period, Petty loaded up on 1st-and-10 from his 20 and found Anderson singled up on and in fact beating rookie CB Kendall Fuller. Anderson caught it in stride at the Redskins 40 so the ball traveled 40 yards in the air, then he picked up 10 more after the catch. It was the longest catch of a productive night for Anderson, the 6'3", 190-pound rookie out of Temple, but a more important one was to come.
The Jets' tandem struck again on first-and-10, this time three series later from the 'Skins 42. Anderson got the step on CB Jeremy Harris for the score with 3:56 to play to put the Jets on top briefly. On the catch, Anderson became the first 100-yard preseason Jets receiver since Ryan Spadola vs. the Giants in '13 and recorded the most receiving yardage since David Clowney's 163 yards at Cleveland in the '08 summer opener.
8. Punting ReportLachlan Edwards did nice work in his second game as a pro and as the only punter on the Jets roster. His first three punts had very good hang times of 4.78, 4.76 and 4.70 seconds. The first was muffed, the second went backward 5 yards on a half-the-distance hold on Washington, and the third was a 5-yard loss on Rashad Ross' return. On six punts overall Edwards and his coverage averaged 48.2 yards gross and 46.2 net.