By Joselin Rosales
The Jets kicked off their 2017 preseason with a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium, showing some promise but also many of the issues that plagued the team last year.
New York ranked 26th in total offense last season, and Saturday night’s game was more of the same. The Jets scored a touchdown on their opening drive, but both teams struggled offensively.
After parting ways with quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith this offseason, the Jets are hoping the signing of veteran Josh McCown can spark the team’s offense in 2017. McCown, who was last with the Cleveland Browns, started for New York on Saturday, completing a 53-yard pass to Robby Andersen and tossing a four-yard touchdown to Charone Peake.
McCown completed three of four pass attempts for 72 yards, playing just one series before exiting the game. He was replaced by Christian Hackenberg, who the Jets hope can be their quarterback of the future. The second-year quarterback didn’t have the best game statistically, completing 18 of 25 attempts for 127 yards and averaging just 5.1 yards per attempt. Hackenberg played some with the first-team offense but was largely ineffective.
New Jersey native Bryce Petty finished the game for the Jets, playing one series in the third quarter and the entirety of the fourth quarter. Petty completed just two of six passes for 16 yards.
McCown is widely expected to be the team’s starter this season, but if the Jets struggle, a younger quarterback could see substantial playing time.
If Saturday’s game is any indication, the Jets may need to rely on their defense this season. New York kept Tennessee out of the end zone, racking up eight sacks and forcing two turnovers. The Jets held the Titans to only 87 yards passing, though Tennessee did tally 136 yards rushing, including a 40-yard run from Akeem Judd.
New York’s defensive starters, including 2017 first-round pick Jamal Adams, only played two series on Saturday. The rookie safety failed to register a tackle.
Third-year Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, who broke his fibula last December, completed two of three passes for 15 yards in his return to action. The former No. 2 pick looked comfortable scrambling out of the pocket but managed just six yards rushing on one attempt.
The Jets, who open the regular season on September 10 at Buffalo, will face the Lions in their second preseason game.