The Sam Darnold-Adam Gase flow, Kelechi Osemele’s beasty play, and awesome uniforms own New York Jets takeaways from preseason Week 1.
Kelechi Osemele is a beast
The Super Bowl champion and former first-team All-Pro looked like his peak self in the limited action he participated in against the Giants. Osemele was active, aggressive and forceful as the Jets marched down the field for an opening-drive touchdown.
He seemed very healthy, accessing his physical ability to his fullest as he got out to the second level. At the same time, he was aware and in-tune with his surroundings, showcasing the impact his experience and IQ can have for the entire offense. Ultimately, he provided the Jets with one fantastic drive of guard play.
Check out Osemele (left guard, No. 70) on the very first snap of the game. He assists Jonotthan Harrison in moving the defensive tackle away from the play side, then hits the second level and plows over two Giants.
A few snaps later, Osemele laid the hammer down on an unsuspecting Lorenzo Carter. Osemele first makes sure he can safely pass off the defensive tackle to Jonotthan Harrison. He then sprints over to help out Kelvin Beachum, blasting Carter out of the play.
If Osemele can keep this up, he is going to have a tremendously positive impact on the Jets offense.
Jamison Crowder and Sam Darnold might have something going
Darnold stayed cool under pressure and hit Crowder for a 28-yard gain early in the drive, as Crowder did a nice job finding a soft spot against the zone and making himself a target for Darnold. A few plays later, Crowder took advantage of a pick play and caught a three-yard pass for the touchdown.
These two could be a really good match. For a slot receiver, Crowder is excellent at getting open in the intermediate range, where Darnold thrived last year. With the Redskins, Crowder made some big plays on corner routes, which Darnold threw very well last year. Crowder was also adept at getting vertical up the seam, which could help Darnold improve his efficiency on deep vertical routes.
Additionally, we have already seen Crowder show a little bit of improvisational recognition, which is a perfect match for any receiver playing with Darnold.
Two targets, two successful plays. Hopefully, drive No. 1 was a sign of things to come for the Darnold-to-Crowder connection.
The Jets need to add another kicker
Chandler Catanzaro had been drawing ire from the fanbase for his reported struggles in training camp, and those issues persisted under the limelight. He missed two extra points, failing to alleviate any concerns about his offseason inconsistency.
There are a lot of places Joe Douglas can look to solve this problem, but it is definitely an issue he needs to work on quickly. Catanzaro has not done enough to stave off competition, and the Jets need to at least give themselves another option to consider.
The secondary depth is concerning
The Jets already have a lot of uncertainty surrounding their starting corners, but those issues barely compare to what was seen out of the backup secondary groups.
On Thursday night, the Giants picked up 374 yards through the air on 37 pass attempts, averaging 10.2 yards per attempt. Giants quarterbacks threw a trio of touchdown passes and did not toss a single interception. Altogether, the Giants amassed a team passer rating of 136.0.
Everyone shared a part of the blame. Second-year slot corner Parry Nickerson was a magnet for production. His most blatant mistake was allowing a 51-yard touchdown to Russell Shepard, but he was victimized on many other plays as well. Doug Middleton took a bad angle from the deep safety position that kept him from stopping the touchdown.
Derrick Jones was toasted badly on a poorly-executed attempt at press coverage. Other players such as Kyron Brown, Tevaughn Campbell and Santos Ramirez all had their share of brutal mishaps.
No team should expect their backups to be “good,” but they should hope to have reserves who bring something to the table. As of right now, the Jets can’t be sure that any of their reserve defensive backs can give them even a single game of decent performance.
It’s late in the process, but Douglas should look to inject at least a little bit of juice into this unit. Whether it be a late camp cut, a veteran free agent, low-value flier trade, or a high-price trade for a star, the Jets are in dire need of more security in the secondary.
The new uniforms are phenomenal
August 8 was not only the Jets debut of Kelechi Osemele, Jamison Crowder, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams (among others). It was also the debut of the team’s new uniforms, as the Jets elected to rock their all-white “Spotlight White” look for their first appearance on the grand stage in the new threads.
I thought the uniforms looked outstanding. The Jets did a tremendous job with the re-brand. The old uniforms were not bad, but they were very simple. There was potential for the Jets to sport a look that stood out much more.
With the overhaul, the Jets were able to hit three points that were key for me. They created a uniform that comes off as very sleek and clean while sporting a brighter and more vibrant green than the old set. The upgrade on the color was very important, as the Jets’ old green often came off as much too dull. The team did a great job updating the primary color, which now stands out on the uniforms and wherever else it’s used.
The jersey numbers, with updated font and black trim, pop out in a good way.
Additionally, the Jets avoided going overboard with unnecessary design elements, a mistake many recently re-branded teams have made. The look is modernized, cleaned-up, and brightened, but it retains aspects of the simple and classic feel that the Jets have been known for. Retaining the classic JETS font that the team has rocked for most of its history was a huge part of retaining the same “New York Jets” feel. I really like that font, and I’m glad the team decided to feature it on the front of the jersey and the side of the helmets.
Oh, and speaking of the helmets, they’re really good. I’m a big fan of shiny helmets, and the Jets took that to the max with their new ones. On the field, the helmets look fantastic. They also are painted in a unique way to where they’ll adapt to the light. The helmets will look brighter in day games, and darker in night games, to match the all-black uniforms the team will often wear on prime-time.
All-in-all, I love the new look. The uniforms looked great in their first game action. Now, all the Jets need to do is win some games in them.