Saturday night’s Metlife Bowl was the last chance the young quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty had to prove their cases to be the starter in the regular season.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
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Christian Hackenberg struggled mightily during his start. Throwing for only 60 yards and tossing two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns before being pulled. His stats were easily out shined by Bryce Petty.
Petty had a career night. After trailing 29-3 at halftime, Petty rallied the troops. With help from ArDarius Stewart and Bilal Powell, Petty closed the gap to only 32-25. However, Petty’s stellar night came to an end when one of his own lineman rolled onto his foot, taking the quarterback out for the night.
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) August 27, 2017
Hackenberg replaced Petty on the final drive of the game, where he threw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Frankie Hammond. The decision to go for two cost the Jets the game, but the comeback attempt did show flashes of what this offense is capable of.
Young offensive pieces in ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen showed their ability to get open and make plays against the Giants. Stewart’s two touchdown grabs from Petty were impressive, one of which resulting from a breakdown in defense on the Giants’ side of the football.
Jamal Adams showed the doubters that he was worthy of being a top pick in the draft after punching out a pass that would have been a touchdown. It could be safe to say that the Jets were lucky to have Adams fall to them in the draft this year.
The defense showed signs of life. After an abysmal year in 2016, the Jets appear to be on their way to redemption, at least on one side of the football. The defense is nowhere near championship caliber just yet, but they could be well on their way.
The offensive line can’t block to save their lives. Allowing vicious hits on any quarterback is going to throw them off of their grove, no matter if it’s Bryce Petty or Aaron Rodgers. And injuring your own quarterback after rolling onto them? That isn’t a good idea.
The No. 2 quarterback position is still up in the air. Hackenberg struggled early on, but almost tied the game with a late touchdown pass that could have perhaps boosted his status in the coaching staff’s eyes.
Bryce Petty would have almost certainly taken the cake if he did not get hurt.
Coach Todd Bowles announced that McCown would be the Week 1 starter on Monday.
How will they fare?
Josh McCown is the team’s best chance to win. No team truly enters a “tank” mode, so Bowles may start McCown for the first few games. Depending on record and performance, expect to see the starter change by early October. Or, since it is a fragile Josh McCown, even sooner due to injury.
The depth chart may run McCown, Petty, Hackenberg, as Petty is expected to be ready for the season opener.