The 2016 NFL preseason got underway last night and the New York Jets opened their season with a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They ended up winning the game by a final score of 17-13. As usual, it wasn’t a pretty game to open up preseason action, but no preseason game is ever supposed to be perfect.
New York projects to be a serious contender in the AFC East this season. Todd Bowles has his team heading in the right direction and there is nothing holding them back from winning the division. Tom Brady will miss the first four games of the season, which gives the Jets a bit of an edge to start the season.
All of that being said, what five takeaways can be seen for the Jets from their first preseason game?
Ryan Fitzpatrick Is Exactly the QB New York Needs
He didn’t play much, but Ryan Fitzpatrick looked exactly like the Jets were hoping he would. After holding out all offseason long, Fitzpatrick has made the right decision by signing with the New York. It was obvious that the chemistry was still there with his teammates and he should have another big year.
New York Desperately Needs Matt Forte
Matt Forte was signed by the Jets in free agency this past offseason. It was obvious last night that the Jets don’t have a legitimate starting running back behind Forte. Bilal Powell won’t get the job done, which leaves Forte as a major need for the Jets this season.
Bryce Petty Is Developing Nicely as a Future Starting QB
New York needs to figure out what their long-term quarterback situation will look like. Fitzpatrick could be the starter next season as well, but his holdout this year could happen again next offseason. Bryce Petty completed seven of his 14 pass attempts for 93 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions, but showed that he is developing into a potential starter.
Darron Lee Is Going to Be a Defensive Playmaker
One of the top rookies in the 2016 NFL Draft was linebacker Darron Lee, who the Jets were able to snag with the No. 20 overall pick. He ended up recording four tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack on the night. Lee is going to be a major key for the Jets’ defense this season and Bowles is the perfect coach to help develop the talented linebacker.
Jalin Marshall Is Going to Be Dangerous on Special Teams
Perhaps the most underrated aspect of football is the play of the special teams unit. Jalin Marshall showed that he is more than capable of being a dangerous return man with an 84-yard kick return. He didn’t score a touchdown, but New York has faith that Marshall can continue being a lethal threat moving forward.