The Jets offense came to life in the second half Friday night in large part to two young guns: second-year quarterback Bryce Petty and undrafted free agent receiver Robby Anderson.
Petty has repeatedly said he feels more comfortable in Chan Gailey's system and he has played liked it in both preseason games to date. He led the Jets to three scoring drives in the second half of their 22-18 loss to the Redskins, resulting in two touchdowns and a field goal. His 19-yard red zone scoring pass to TE Zach Sudfeld was the start of a 16-point Jets' run as the visitors turned a 12-point deficit into a four-point lead.
"I thought Bryce played well," starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "I think the biggest difference from him last year is when the ball comes out of his hand. You can tell he's more confident in his reads and therefore the ball is coming out a lot better. I think he's done a great job all preseason."
The Baylor product was handed the keys to the offense for the entirety of the second half. He finished the game with 242 pass yards on 16 completions coupled with two touchdowns and a QB rating of 117.8.
"I'll look at the film and assess him," said head coach Todd Bowles of Petty. "He made some mistakes, he made some good throws, but the film will tell."
Petty's favorite target was Anderson, who led all receivers with six catches for 131 yards. Anderson's 42-yard touchdown gave the Jets an 18-14 lead and the Temple product also hauled in a 50-yard reception down the left sideline on the first offensive play of the fourth quarter.
"He has a very sneaky way of making hard catches look easy," Petty said of Anderson. "He went up and got that ball, that was all him. I was really pleased with that and he made a bunch of those catches in practice too, so it's nice to see that transition over into the game."
The 6'3", 190-pound Anderson, who has been coming on in practice of late, is one of a number of promising young receivers battling for a roster spot.
"He made plays, he made a play down the field. I have to see the rest of his body of work," Bowles said. "He showed up and made some catches, but again it's everything that he has to do, whether he runs the right route, depth and everything else is what we have to look at."