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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Jet Fans Are All In Groundhog Day Movie!

Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Ramis and Danny Rubin. It stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, a TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event, is caught in a time loop, repeatedly reliving the same day

The above is the Wikipedia description of the classic Bill Murray movie. Instead of Murray reliving the same day, we Jet fans are reliving another season and we seem to be caught in our own time loop with the season, game, and 4th quarter always the same. Change the coach, change the GM, even change the uniforms, get the supposed franchise quarterback but the Jets are still the Jets. And no one can blame Todd Bowles on this one. It was a horrid loss being up 16-0 only to lose 17-16. Our quarterback whisperer coach Adam Gase showed us that Sam Darnold took a step backwards. Besides one good drive where he showed his athleticism on a TD called back and the two-point conversion after his TD redo, Sam Darnold (28-41 175 yds. 4.3 yds. per pass, 1 TD) did everything in his power to make the Buffalo Bill defense all look like Boston Celtic legend Bill Russell knocking away his passes at the line of scrimmage. Please Jet fans don’t use the CJ Mosley injury as an excuse for the loss. The Jets lost it in all aspects of the game. Sam Darnold never looked comfortable and except for one drive never got into a rhythm. In fact I thought Sam was doing his best impersonation of Mark Sanchez. I don’t know if his unsettled situation caused it but Sam could not throw long. He had Robby Anderson open multiple times and could not make the pass. And don’t forget our kicker. It was obviously wrong letting Jason Meyers walk! Forget field goals! I want a kicker who can make extra points. Well, coach Gase, welcome to our world! 

                                         

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Jet Free Agents Shine
CJ Mosley was the defensive star for the Jets. Being in the right place at the right time he caught a tipped pass and returned it for a TD. Later in the game he recovered a fumble on a bad snap that at the time was a crucial 4th and 1. Mosley had a great game but unfortunately he went out with a groin/ankle injury. His replacement Blake Cashman who played well in the pre-season looked over matched.

Le'Veon Bell was also a stud today. I confess I didn’t want the Jets to sign him but this guy gives 100% on every play. He ran hard, caught passes and made a great shoestring TD catch followed by another athletic two point conversion pass reception. He constantly made the big play for the Jets all day.

Jamison Crowder showed his value. With Sam Darnold consistently under pressure, Crowder was his short safety valve and today caught 14 passes for 99 yards. If the Jets can get the offensive line in sync, Crowder will become even more valuable and will have some great receptions with a lot of yards after the catch.

Jet Weak Links Can’t Hide
Get used to it! Every team knows the Jets have inferior defensive backs and QBs will attack them as soon as the game starts. Josh Allen (24-37 254 yds. 1 TD, 2 INT) was picking on both Darryl Roberts and Trumaine Johnson all day. In all fairness Johnson did put in a good streak from the second quarter through most of the third quarter looking real good making tackles at the line of scrimmage. The truth of the matter is both cornerbacks are less than average players and the Jets do not provide a superior pass rush to offset the play of the secondary.

Rookies, May(e) Day and Oh Henry!
Quinnen Williams played but did not record a tackle or an assist. Blake Cashman played in a emergency situation and did not look good. Marcus Maye had one interception called back and dropped another that might have sealed the game. He has got to make that catch. What in the world is Henry Anderson doing on that 3rd down roughing the passer play? He did the same thing against the Pats last year. It was a huge play that helped keep a drive going. Oh Henry! You have to do better!

Second Guessing Gase
Last year Sam Darnold had success when a designed moving pocket was implemented. I did not see one moving pocket play today with that pass rush the Bills had. Gase has got to know by reviewing films and seeing what worked for Sam and what didn’t. This was a major faux pas today. And to offset the Bills' over aggressiveness, why not run a screen pass, a reverse or a little scissors play. There were plays where it seemed the Bills defense knew which play was coming and where. Adam Gase knows today was the first time the offensive line played together in a game and I don’t think he did enough to put Sam Darnold in a position to succeed. Bad coaching!

Green Tidbits
…..Quincy Enunwa, 1 reception, -4 yards. Can’t make it up….. Jordan Jenkins had some good quicks getting pressure on Josh Allen…..Back in 2013 Detroit turned the ball over 4 times and beat the Cowboys with zero turnovers. Last time that happened till today…..Browns lose 43-13. Coming into Met Life next Monday night, a must win for both teams…..If I’m kicker Kaare Vedvik I don’t unpack my bags…..Bills' Ed Oliver had a good game. He is the guy I wanted the Jets to draft instead of Quinnen Williams…..Memo to DC Gregg Williams, don’t wait, bring up DB Kyron Brown this week from the practice squad….If Jets had 11 Jamal Adams on defense and 11 Le'Veon Bells on offense, we’d have a team!…..Offensive line will get better under coach Frank Pollack but it may be too little too late…..Tackle Chuma Edoga will start by the 5th game…..Under the radar was the play of tight end Ryan Griffin (#84) who had a bunch of nice pulling blocks on some of Bell’s runs. He also caught 3 passes….LB Harvey Langi (#44) great play tipping pass Neville Hewitt picked off….Sam Darnold actually averaged 4.3 yards per pass completion. I did not think that was possible.....The accounting firm of Chuma Edoga, Quincy Enunwa, Folorunso Fatukasi and Mike Tannenbaum will be known as: Edoga, Enunwa, Fatukasi and Tannenbaum…..

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What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
The New York Jets have a new coach, a new general manager and pretty much a new everything, but their collapse Sunday was straight out of 2018, when they blew four fourth-quarter leads. Despite a plus-four turnover margin, they lost a game that was almost impossible to lose, falling to the Buffalo Bills, 17-16, after leading 16-0 in the third quarter. They fell apart in all phases. Couldn't get a stop on defense. Couldn't make a kick. Couldn't throw downfield. It was a brutal way to open the season. Choke job. They lacked a killer instinct, especially on offense. There was no aggressiveness and no imagination…..The Jets have a kicking crisis. Kaare Vedvik, their third kicker since the start of training camp, missed an extra point and a 45-yard field goal, basically costing the Jets the game. Blame the front offices (past and present) for this debacle. It has been a kicking carousel since the start of training camp, and they settled for the slumping Vedvik on waivers last week. Former GM Mike Maccagnan should've re-signed Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers in March, but the Jets low-balled him and he signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Think they'd be willing to take a mulligan on that decision? You bet…..It was a disappointing debut for Sam Darnold, who was under pressure a lot and couldn't establish a downfield passing attack. He missed a wide-open Robby Anderson in the fourth quarter for what would've been a go-ahead touchdown. He struggled to get the ball to Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. It was all Bell and Jamison Crowder.

Brian Costello, NY Post
The offense had no flow after a summer of talking about how creative and explosive it could be and Gase had no solutions. The defense played well for three quarters, but Gregg Williams’ group fell apart in crunch time. The Jets now have seven days to fix things before the Browns come to town…..The defense handed the offense the ball three times in the first half off turnovers and the Jets failed to score each time. They had 11 possessions in the game and only one ended with a score. Adam Gase’s debut was a dud. QB Sam Darnold (28 of 41, 175 yards, 1 TD) was under constant pressure, getting sacked four times. The offensive line had no answers for Buffalo’s blitzes. WR Jamison Crowder (14 catches, 99 yards) and RB Le’Veon Bell (17 rushes, 60 yards, 6 catches, 32 yards, 1 TD) were the only bright spots.

                                           

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Jets Need A 10-6 Season!

We made it through another god awful pre-season with four games that were almost unwatchable. I’m always excited to watch the first game but after that the summer drags leading up to tomorrow. Kudos go out to the Jet beat writers: Rich Cimini, Manish Mehta and Brian Costello who had to sit through each game till the bitter end. I know I couldn’t do it. With that said there some players who stood out:

Sam Darnold
With very limited play (thanks) all he did when he was in was keep the Jets moving forward. I’ve said it before and I can only hope that with Sam's ability to extend plays, he knows when to cut his losses and avoid injury.

Jamal Adams
If you focus on Adams, you’ll see that he takes every play, every game like it is the Super Bowl. He played with that intensity all summer. Make no mistake Jamal Adams is a star who sometimes looks like he will play out of control but he always seems to keep his poise.

Ty Montgomery
The only blip was a fumble early in the first game. But after that when the Jets wanted him to run the ball, he looked good out of the backfield. And when they wanted him to catch the ball, he looked good as a wide receiver. His versatility works well in Adam Gase’s offense.

Blake Cashman
This fifth-round pick was flying around the ball early and often against the Eagles with five tackles, a forced fumble in addition to a special-teams stop. This linebacker has been a huge surprise this summer playing with grit and intelligence.

Chuma Edoga
Not yet in the starting lineup, tackle Chuma Edoga was one of the most impressive rookie offensive linemen this preseason. The third-rounder allowed only two pressures on 69 pass-blocking snaps across four games. This may turn out to be one of the best picks of the draft.

Greg Dortch
Jet coaches may have soured on this dynamic un-drafted 5’7” free agent WR/PR after he muffed a punt in the last game. But he excelled in training camp and the 3 games before. He can be a valuable asset and luckily landed on the Jets practice squad.

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The Jachai Polite Debacle
You and I probably work hard for living. When we hear about a player like Jachai Polite and how he abused his NFL status, it is incredible. A first round talent who fell to the third round because of his horrid NFL Combine showing,  Mike Maccagnan took a chance on him. Polite then proceeded to rack up $100,000+ in fines because of over sleeping and being late to meetings multiple times. Incredibly he was passed over by the other 31 teams, cleared waivers and landed on the Seahawks practice squad. Then we hear his college coach at the University of Florida Dan Mullen come out and say he was late numerous times in college also. Thanks for the reference coach!

Green Tidbits
…..Don’t be surprised if the Jets play a lot of 3 safety sets against the Bills…..Trenton Cannon made the team which was a surprise to me. He has got to show he can make people miss him with his speed. He has shown very little in moves…..Unlike Jachai Polite, un-drafted free agent DE Kyle Phillips out of Tennessee willed his way onto the 53-man roster. He played his heart out all pre-season. Keep an eye on #98. By the way his mother, Teresa, has been the Athletic Director at Tennessee State for some time and was the first black female athlete at Vanderbilt University. You have done a great job mom!…..The Jets Practice Squad: OL Calvin Anderson, CB Kyron Brown, OL Ben Braden, QB Luke Falk, RB Valentine Holmes, LB Jamey Mosley, WR Jeff Smith, RB Josh Adams, TE Ian Bunting, WR Greg Dortch,…..Glad Jets chose Bell over Antonio Brown…..Bills QB Josh Allen is a huge runner. Jets must stay in their lanes and contain him…..

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell will play a football game Sunday for the first time in 20 months -- 601 days, to be exact -- but he's not interested in easing into the regular-season flow. "Don't hold back," Bell told coach Adam Gase, the play caller. In other words, Bell believes he's ready for a full workload in what could be the Jets' most-anticipated debut by a veteran player since Brett Favre in 2008…

Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets’ defense has to find a way to bottle up Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who has a cannon for an arm and can beat you with his feet. Allen accounted for 18 touchdowns last year as a rookie. Against Adam Gase’s Dolphins last year, Allen ran for 135 yards in one game.
“He’s maybe 240, running out there,” Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “It’s like a smaller Cam Newton that can run the ball. I’m pretty sure his 10-yard split is just as fast as anybody’s. If you let him go vertical, he’s going to make you pay. If you have bad rush integrity and bad gap integrity when it’s a pass, he’s going to make you pay for it. If his reads aren’t there, he’s going to try to make something happen.”Allen can throw the ball a mile and is very good at extending plays. This will be a test for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ unit.
…..The Jets have to hope Trumaine Johnson’s return from injury goes better than the last time. Johnson is expected to play in Sunday’s season opener against the Bills after missing three weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury. Last year, the cornerback also faced the Bills as he came back from a five-week absence with a quad injury … and the Bills went after him from the start. On the first play of the game, Matt Barkley threw a 47-yard pass over Johnson’s head to Robert Foster, and the rout was on. It was one snapshot of Johnson’s disappointing first season with the Jets.Now, they desperately need him to be the guy they thought they were getting when they signed him a five-year, $72.5 million contract last year, and not the guy who committed killer penalties and gave up several big plays. Johnson is the most important player on the defense. This defense has holes. The other starting cornerbacks are Darryl Roberts and Brian Poole. They do not have an elite edge rusher. Johnson can mask some of those holes if he can be a No. 1 shutdown cornerback. In order for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to prove that last “g” stands for “genius,” he needs Johnson to come through.


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Body In Woodstock, Heart With Joe Willie!
Last month everyone was celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the original Woodstock. Well I was there! Along with Green Rewind contributor Ralph Sharaga who I have known since we were both 8 years old. But unlike most rock and roll enthusiasts, Ralph & I wanted to be in New Haven Connecticut instead of the Woodstock music festival. Going to Camp Willowy for most of my youth in upstate New York (that’s where Ralph & I first met) my years as a camper were over and now Ralph and I along with a group of other 15 & 16 year olds became CITs (Counselors In Training). All CIT programs in reality are a scam to put lifelong campers to work for free learning to become counselors. Because CITs were not paid, the reward was a trip at the end of the summer. At our planning meeting to pick a destination, Ralph and I wanted to go to New Haven Connecticut but were outvoted by the rest of the group 16-2 who talked up the Woodstock festival. Why New Haven? That was where the World Champion Jets were going to play their cross town rival Giants for the first time. Well we ended up going to this historic event and in all honesty, we were like fish out of water. Nevertheless some of the music was enjoyable but we wanted to be in New Haven  Connecticut with Joe Namath and Mike Battle that weekend to witness the Jets winning 37-14.




NFL News And Rumors
…..It didn’t take long for Antonio Brown to find a new home. Brown was released by the Raiders on Saturday morning and agent Drew Rosenhaus said he’d go to work on finding his client a new place to play. Rosenhaus told PFT on Saturday afternoon that Brown has agreed to terms with the Patriots. It’s a one-year deal worth up to $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus.…..Quarterback Cardale Jones joined the Seattle practice squad on Saturday, according to the NFL’s transaction report…..With Sunday rosters locking as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, the two remaining holdouts are guaranteed to miss the first week of the regular season. Even if Chargers running back Melvin Gordon or Washington left tackle Trent Williams have a change of heart tonight and try to show up tomorrow, there’s no way they can be added to the roster, because there can be no transactions on Sunday…..The Patriots have signed cornerback Jonathan Jones to a contract extension through 2022. Mike Reiss of ESPN reports that the three-year extension has a base value of $21 million with another $4 million in incentives and bonuses…..The Dolphins announced that offensive lineman Jesse Davis has signed a contract extension through 2022. The extension is for three years and worth $15 million with $8.5 million guaranteed, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports…..The Cardinals made a change to their roster ahead of Sunday’s game against the Lions. The team has promoted tight end Darrell Daniels from their practice squad. Offensive lineman Jeremy Vujnovich was released in a corresponding move…..Buccaneers rookie linebacker Devin White may not be able to make his NFL debut on Sunday. White has been a late addition to the Bucs’ injury report with an illness. He is now listed as questionable for the opener against the 49ers. The flu has reportedly been going around the Bucs’ facility, with wide receiver Mike Evans the most notable name to be affected…..It doesn’t look like Michael Badgley will be doing the kicking for the Chargers on Sunday. Badgley was listed as questionable on Friday after injuring his groin during practice. The team downgraded his status to doubtful on Saturday, which means they do not expect him to be able to play against the Colts. Assuming there’s no last-minute upgrade to Badgley’s status, punter Ty Long will be doing double duty in the season opener. He handled both jobs for the CFL’s British Columbia Lions for the last two seasons…..The Eagles have some short-term salary cap relief and Alshon Jeffery has some long-term job security.Jeffery has restructured his contract just before the start of the season, the Eagles announced this afternoon. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal takes $11.75 million of salary for this year and converts it into a signing bonus, meaning it lowers Jeffery’s cap number for this season…..The surest sign of a return of Sunday football comes from the smattering of Saturday transactions aimed at tinkering rosters to account for injured players.Washington officially has ruled out tight end Jordan Reed, who has a concussion. They’ve also elevated tight end J.P. Holtz from the practice squad to provide depth at the position.The move resulted in the waiver of receiver Robert Davis, who if unclaimed by another team will be a candidate to be re-signed next week…..

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Jets Lose Bragging Rights Game!

Pre-season football is the time of year you thank god for the Internet and you don’t really have to watch the whole game and can live on the highlights available. But if you are an NFL geek like me you sit through the whole game even with a one hour lightning delay. Nevertheless the game was about what you would expect.Sam Darnold almost mirrored his first NFL regular season pass in that Lions game that was returned for a touchdown. This time the almost sure “pick 6” was dropped by Jabrill Peppers of East Orange NJ (by way of Don Bosco High School & the University of Michigan). Sam and the Jets lived another day and made the Giants pay as they went down the field fairly easily. After the initial drive, there was not a ton for Jet fans to get excited about but then again, these games don’t count.

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The Good
Sam Darnold continues to look the part. I’m ecstatic on the inside but tentative when talking about him. Field vision and extending plays are two attributes I love in quarterbacks. I just hope an injury is not nearby because he extends plays when he should curl up and go down like Tom Brady. But Sam Darnold is the real deal. The Chris Herndon suspension for the first 4 games is a bummer but if by some miracle the Jets are 3-1 in the first 4 games, it will be a fun season when Herndon comes back.

Jamison Crowder & Company
This is what you are going to get from a gifted player like Jamison Crowder (from Duke). If the Jet offensive line performs, Crowder will have a stellar season. He only had 2 receptions with one going for a touchdown but wait till you see this player’s YAC (yards after catch). Jet fans will see the 6’3” Darnold regularly find Crowder in crossing patterns who will get tons of extra yardage a la Wes Welker.  

Linebacker Frankie Luvu is a solid tackler who when he is on the field, mixes it up like an NBA player who specializes in getting rebounds (like Paul Silas and Dave DeBusschere). The Jets list 4 starting linebackers on their web site depth chart: Brandon Copeland, C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson and Jordan Jenkins. Despite Jenkins having 7 sacks last year (Luvu had 3), you can make a case that Luvu should be in the starting rotation ahead of Jenkins or Copeland. We’ll have to see more of him and how he is developing covering running backs out of the backfield but I have always liked this guy since day one and he deserves to be on the field. Thanks Mike!

Greg Dortch is quick! He was a little overmatched playing wide receiver Thursday night but still caught a TD pass. This punt returner should also have kick off responsibilities once the Jets cut Trenton Cannon. He returned one punt 32 yards and fans saw a sprinkling of what he can do. If I was Adam Gase, I would also put in some packages with Dortch coming out of the backfield. Imagine this 5’7” lightning rod running hiding behind these huge NFL linemen on a screen pass? If Gase does this, the Jets have Bruce Harper 2.0.

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The Bad
Parry Nickerson was thought to be a steal by some last year but he looks like he doesn’t belong on an NFL field. He is constantly getting burned for long plays and seems to out of position. A lot of times his coverage reminds me of Devon Lee trying to cover running backs. Giant fans wondered why the Giants played Geno Smith ahead of Davis Webb a couple of years ago. Thursday night we saw why. Davis Webb is just not an NFL quarterback and one of those players I would advise to get his insurance license. With Trevor Siemian having solid game and Luke Falk getting a passing grade, I’d be surprised if Webb is a Jet after the first cut. Look for him to land in Philadelphia for part of the pre-season as the Eagles back-up QB, Nate Sudfeld got hurt. Joe Douglas might deal him to his old team for a conditional 7th round pick. Jachai Polite was lost! He and the rest of the Jets defense did not get any pressure on any Giant QB.

The Ugly
Does it get any uglier for kicker Chandler Catanzaro? Was Lucy out there pulling the football from Charlie Brown? Not just missing 2 extra points but if you saw him at Jet practices, he has not lit it up. I’m one of the few who wasn’t upset the Jets didn’t resign Jason Myers but Catanzaro has been awful. Matt Bryant is 44 but Joe Douglas has got to give him a call. I may be wrong but I think 34 year old former Jet Nick Folk is available. I’d also have him in for a tryout.

                                  

2019 New York Jets Updated Training Camp Schedule
Here is the Jets’ updated training camp schedule, in terms of all publicly open practices and preseason games:

• Sunday Aug. 11, 8:25 a.m. — open to public, with ticket

• Tuesday Aug. 13, 8:25 a.m. — open to summer camps only

• Thursday Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m. — Week 2 preseason game, at Falcons

• Sunday Aug. 18, 7 p.m. — Green and White scrimmage/practice (at MetLife Stadium)

• Saturday Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. — Week 3 preseason game, vs. Saints

• Thursday Aug. 29, 7 p.m. — Week 4 preseason game, vs. Eagles

Admission and parking at all 2019 Jets Training Camp events will be free, but tickets are required. Free tickets can be downloaded by visiting newyorkjets.com/camp. Practices may be cancelled or closed to the public in the case of inclement weather. Fans are encouraged to call the team’s fan line at (973) 549-4844.


Green Tidbits
…..Why in the world was Quincy Enunwa on the field Thursday night?…..Deontay Burnett 4 catches (targeted 4 times), 12 yards. Less than modest stats but he continues to catch balls thrown to him…..Elijah McGuire and everyone else did not the run the ball well but he looked good catching passes out of the backfield..... 
CB Kyron Brown who was moving up the depth chart got burned but he was active. Might have something here…..Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele came out crazed. He looked like a missile with a purpose on the first 2 plays of the game…..RB Valentine Holmes deserves another look after playing very hard. He took some licks but kept coming back for more…..Montrel Meander shows some quicks. Let’s keep an eye on #30…..

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What the Jets Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
The Jets' first-team offense was sharp, sans RB Le'Veon Bell, who was held out for precautionary reasons. "He's taken a lot of hits over his career," Adam Gase said. "The way he's been practicing, that has really been the important part for us." He said they will go week-to-week on whether to play him in the preseason. Practice is fine, but there's no substitute for game speed. He needs to get a few carries before Week 1…..The Jets have a developing problem at kicker, as Chandler Catanzaro missed two PATs. His work in practice also has been spotty. It's time to bring in some competition. Adam Gase didn't dismiss that possibility, but he refused to sound the alarm. He said there was an issue with one of the snaps/hold. "We have to look at the whole operation," he said…..Sam Darnold was perfect in his preseason debut — a 158.3 passer rating. He completed 4 of 5 for 68 yards and a TD, leading a 75-yard drive. Darnold caught a break, almost throwing a pick on his first pass attempt. It should've been intercepted by Jabrill Peppers. Darnold rebounded with poise, sliding in the pocket on long completions to Chris Herndon and Jamison Crowder. They were wide open, as the Giants appeared confused in coverage. This was a good first step for Darnold, who didn't have Le'Veon Bell (coach's decision).

Brian Costello, NY Post
Jamison Crowder and Ty Montgomery’s Jets debuts didn’t last long.But Sam Darnold’s two new weapons made sure to introduce themselves before getting the rest of the night off. With the Jets first-team offense only playing one drive in Thursday’s preseason opener — a 31-22 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium — Crowder and Montgomery made the most of it, showing a glimpse of the offense Adam Gase hopes to boast in his first year at the helm. Of course, the Jets’ biggest prize of the offseason, Le’Veon Bell, was held out of the game, but Crowder and Montgomery welcomed themselves to the green and white in no time, keying a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended in Crowder’s 3-yard touchdown catch for the 6-0 lead.

“That’s really as good as it can get,” Crowder said. “We got a lot of weapons in this offense. My main thing is just play my role, be as much of a viable target for [Darnold] as I can. So whenever I get the opportunity, I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

Sam Darnold's performance was so good it became forgettable
Of the seven plays the Jets ran on the way to the end zone, Crowder and Montgomery combined to touch the ball on six of them, with a Darnold pass to Chris Herndon the only outlier. Montgomery took two carries for 7 yards and caught a 5-yard pass, showing ever so briefly the Swiss Army knife he can be in Gase’s offense…..Crowder could become Darnold’s favorite receiver to throw to this fall, a veteran target in the slot who signed a three-year, $28.5 million contract. The 26-year-old is coming off a down year last season with the Redskins, when he was hampered by a nagging ankle injury, but looked strong Thursday night.

Al Iannazzone, Newsday
Adam Gase apparently can bring the best out of Sam Darnold.

The Jets’ second-year quarterback threw a perfect game in Thursday’s preseason opener at MetLife Stadium. Actually, it was only a perfect series, because that’s all Darnold played in the Jets’ 31-22 loss. But he carved up the Giants’ defense, leading the Jets on a seven-play touchdown drive. Darnold completed 4 of 5 passes for 68 yards and a score on the game’s first drive. His passer rating was a perfect 158.3.
This was Gase’s first game as the Jets’ coach. He was brought in to help develop Darnold into a franchise quarterback, make the offense explosive and lead the Jets back to the playoffs. There’s a long way to go, but the first-team offense — with Le’Veon Bell a healthy scratch, watching from the sideline — had no trouble moving the ball against the Giants.

“It was fun out there for that first drive,” Darnold said. “Hopefully it gave Jets fans a little taste of what this season is going to be like.”

It almost was a very ugly and imperfect start for Gase and Darnold, whose first pass nearly was picked off by safety Jabril Peppers. On the very next play, Darnold showed some of the traits that have the Jets excited about the future. Darnold was on the move and fired a pass to second-year tight end Chris Herndon, who was wide open. The play went for 32 yards. Herndon is a big part of the Jets’ offense and will be missed while he serves a four-game suspension to start the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

NFL News and Rumors
…..Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has filed a grievance against the NFL to be permitted to wear his preferred helmet, league sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. There was some recent scuttlebutt that Brown was skipping Raiders camp in response to the cryotherapy treatment that damaged his foot. Rather, it seems that Brown is staying away as he fights the league for his right to wear the headgear that he wants…..The NFL has suspended Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway for violating the league’s policy and program on substances of abuse. He’ll miss the first four games of the season, leaving the Browns without one of their most intriguing weapons until mid-October……Eagles backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld underwent surgery on Friday morning for a broken bone above his left wrist, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter) hears. The QB is expected to be out for six weeks, creative some uncertainty for the Eagles as they head into the season…..Broncos’ undrafted free agent tight end Austin Fort suffered a torn ACL in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Seahawks, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Of course, it’s a season ending injury, so Fort will have to wait until at least 2020 to make his true NFL debut…..On his first drive as a Lion, Jermaine Kearse suffered severe injuries. The recently signed wide receiver sustained a broken leg and ankle damage, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Kearse was blocking on a run play, and a defender rolled into him. The veteran wideout signed a minimum-salary Lions pact earlier this summer. He required an air cast after the injury, per the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers (on Twitter)…..The Dolphins announced that they’ve signed free agent defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche to a one-year deal and placed him on the active/physically unable to perform list. The pact is worth $1.19MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com…..The Chiefs have agreed to sign free agent cornerback Morris Claiborne, according to Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Claiborne will receive a one-year deal worth $1.5MM, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The pact contains playtime incentives, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, and Paylor indicates (via Twitter) those incentives could be worth up $1.5MM. In total, Claiborne’s deal will have a maximum value around $3MM. Kansas City is bringing in Claiborne with the knowledge that he’ll be unavailable for the first quarter of the regular season. Claiborne was hit with a four-game suspension earlier this month after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy…..Michael Crabtree won’t be joining the Cardinals after all. Just hours after word of an agreement leaked, negotiations between the two parties went bust, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. With that, the wide receiver remains on the free agent market  

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