Reporters flew past wideout row to the back of the Jets' locker room late Saturday night, needing to talk with Bryce Petty, who threw three second-half touchdown passes, and Christian Hackenberg, who threw the fourth TD of the half to almost pull out a crazy victory over the Giants.
In doing so, they breezed right past Frankie Hammond, who was on the receiving end of Hackenberg's 17-yard TD toss.
"They called the play and it was nice and simple, like a go-ball," said Hammond, who would've been mobbed had the nifty catch come in the regular season and set up an OT victory. "So I just attacked the defender and Hack gave me a great ball and I just went up and got it."
Went up, indeed. To make his only catch of the game and his fourth of the preseason, he had to leave his feet, corral the ball, and land inbounds. Because his hand hit out of bounds a split-second after his knee came down inbounds, he and the Jets had to wait out a replay review before going for a go-ahead two-point play.
Hammond spent his first two NFL seasons with Kansas City so he's no neophyte. But he hadn't had any potentially big catches like this in a few years.
"It's been a while," said the one-time Florida WR. "Maybe in college. We played LSU, it was at the end of the game, maybe 2010."
In fact, Hammond had a two-point reception against the Bayou Bengals that year as a redshirt sophomore. It gave the Gators a 29-26 lead with 3:21 to play but they lost to LSU on a late TD. Hammond also had two long fourth-quarter receptions to ice victories in 2012. "But this one felt just as good," he said of the grab vs. the Giants.
Yes, we know it's only a preseason catch and didn't win anything, but just maybe it helped lift Hammond in his personal battle for a roster spot. But like other Jets wideouts we've spoken to this month, he says he's not overly concerned with that.
"Plays like that help," he said, "but at the end of the day we've got one more game to worry about and a lot more football to be played. So just take it a play at a time, a day at a time, and go from there."
Hackenberg-to-Hammond was the final connection of a second half full of connections that led the Jets to establish some eye-popping numbers. Some of those we went over in our Saturday stories. Here are some we didn't:
■ Before twisting his knee, Petty in less than a full half of work completed 15 of 18 passes for 250 yards. The last Jets QB to throw for more yardage in the preseason was Matt Simms, who went 33-of-44 for 285 yards vs. Philadelphia in 2013.
■ Petty's three TD passes were the most by a Jet in any preseason game since Ray Lucas three three vs. the Giants in 2000. And the Jets' four TD throws marked only the second time they'd done that since '66. The only other time was in 1980, also at Big Blue.
■ The Jets' 376 passing yards was their third-highest preseason total since 1966, and their 470 total yards was also the third-highest PS total since '66.
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Double-D on the Board
Lost in the whirlwind of Jets offensive activity in the fourth quarter was a small defensive achievement: Fifth-round rookie LB Dylan Donahue notched his first pro sack.
Specifically, Donahue and DL Devon Still split a sack of Geno Smith early in the fourth quarter. Coupled with Sheldon Richardson's sack of Josh Johnson in the second period, the Jets raised their preseason sack total to 13.