The Snoopy Bowl has been removed from its traditional dress rehearsal slot, but the game maintains importance for many on the New York Jets.
–New York Jets @ New York Giants
-MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
-7:00 p.m. ET, WNBC/NFL Network
Another Jets Quarterback Controversy
For the second consecutive season, the New York Jets will be using the preseason to figure out their quarterback situation. No, no, Sam Darnold is fine … it’s the Jets’ backup situation that needs clarity.
Recent seasons have elevated backup quarterback to perhaps the most underrated position in sports. Disaster on top of the depth chart has been an unfortunate, common trope in the 2010s and how you respond to it can make or break your season. The right understudy can save your season. The wrong man … or wrong men … could derail a championship train. The heir to Josh McCown’s clipboard must be ready in case of an emergency.
In terms of an ideal backup, Trevor Siemian may have the inside track. He’s the one with the most starting experience and even displayed some flashes of brilliance at the helm of Denver’s offense. Luke Falk, however, is the one with experience in an Adam Gase offense, having served as a reserve in Miami. Of course, the ex-Giant draftee Davis Webb might be looking for some old-fashioned revenge in what will be his first snaps in a Jets uniform. Thursday begins the first part of what’s sure to be a hard-fought battle.
It’s good to see the Jets are addressing their offensive line woes. Joe Douglas has made the most of his early days on the job, adding All-Pro mainstay Ryan Kalil and giving up only a seventh-round pick for talented Ravens project Alex Lewis. These moves have put fans (and, presumably, Darnold and Bell) in a more comfortable setting. The same can’t be said about the blockers already on the Jets lineup.
These additions have perhaps turned the preseason into a four-week audition to keep the NFL dream alive for several veterans. Kalil tops the center lot for the time being, though his status for Thursday is uncertain. The former top man Jonotthan Harrison will get his chance to shine. Lewis did not appear on the initial depth chart, but several roster spots are undoubtedly not as safe. Lewis’ experience mostly comes at left guard, where Kelechi Osemele has a stranglehold on the top spot. The next man up is third-year vet Ben Braden.
Tight End of Days
Chris Herndon tops the first depth chart for obvious reasons, but it bears no asterisk to account for his scheduled four-game absence due to suspension. Curiously, Ryan Griffin is the current next man up, despite joining the team on July 22. He has the experience, but it will be interesting to see how much of the offense he has grasped.
Eric Tomlinson and fourth-round pick Trevon Wesco are crammed in the fourth-team slot (in other words, be prepared to see them a lot if you stick around for the fourth quarter). Griffin’s fellow veteran addition Daniel Brown is placed on the third team.
Marcus Maye’s Week 1 status remains up in the air. It’s become even murkier with the reveal of nerve issue as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Don’t expect to see many of the Jets’ starters, but an exception will likely be Rontez Miles. The special teams standout has enjoyed a strong training camp and has filled in for Maye while he recovers. If Miles can help put some doubt in the minds of Giants fans when it comes to the polarizing rookie Daniel Jones, he’ll have done his job.
Here’s the Kicker
Inexperienced offenses in preseason showdowns often lead to field goals. Chandler Catanzaro could use any opportunity he can get. He has yet to fill in the kicking cleats that Jason Myers left behind, and one false move on Thursday could end his second Jets tenure before it truly begins.