The Jacksonville Jaguars came into New York for the second preseason game. The New York Jets walked away with a decisive 37-13 win. Does this mean the Jets have turned the corner?
Here are five things we do know:
5. Quarterback competition
Both teams came into the game with a quarterback competition. One team walked away with a solid quarterback performance.
This may be hard to swallow, but the New York Jets helped Blaine Gabbert look like a viable starting quarterback. Before leaving with a thumb injury, Gabbert amassed respectable stats. He left the game 13-of-16, for 165 yards and one touchdown. Gabbert looked good.
Chad Henne looked less impressive. He was 4-of-10, for 30 yards and one interception.
On the other side of the ball, Mark Sanchez played three quarters. Sanchez was in a competition with himself. It appears it is okay to play a rookie quarterback all week on a weak ankle but he has to dress down for games.
Greg McElroy was dressed but unalble to play because of an ankle injury.
Sanchez was well, Sanchez. He finished the game 13-of-23 for 169 yards and one touchdown and one interception.
Given the golden ticket to solidify his starting positon, Sanchez passed it away in the end zone. While his play wasn't "brutal" it was less than stellar.
Can Sanchez win the quarterback comptetition by default?
4. Braylon Edwards vs. Justin Blackmon
Edwawrds on the field attempted to prove he could still be elite. Edwards may just turn out to be the quarterback's security blanket.
Edwards was well, Edwards. He snagged a pass that looked uncatchable.
Edwards caught 3 passes from Sanchez for 49 yards. If he can continue being the Edwards of the miraculous catches versus the Edwards of the "how did he miss that catch" he may be the quarterback's best weapon.
Justin Blackmon looked good. Last season it took him half the season to get started. This year he will be on a four-game suspension. Hopefully, he will return to his preseason status. Blackmon had four receptions for 46 yards.
There were definite glimpses of why Blackmon was a first round selection.
Can the Jets survive on just Edwards alone? Will the Jaguars survive without Blackmon for four games?
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
He is back. For the first time in two seasons Jones-Drew played in a preseason game. He only was in for show and it looked good. Jones-Drew had three carries for nine yards. He also had a 20-yard pass.
Running back not name Maurice Jones-Drew need not apply. It is hard to tell how great he will be with only three carries.
However, a good MJD is still a servicable MJD. If he is on the field he is an asset to the Jaguars. No question.
2. Running Backs Not Named Maurice Jones-Drew
Welcome Kahlil Bell to the party. What's the depth chart for the New York Jets running backs? Mike Goodson is still missing in action.
Chris Ivory played. He had six carries for 13 yards.
Bilal Powell continued to pad his resume to be the featured back in the Jets backfield. He finished the game with seven carries for 68 yards and one reception for five yards. Powell looked good.
And then there is newcomer Kahlil Bell. Bell played in the second half with the second team. Bell put his head down and ran. He ran for short yardage. And he ran for touchdowns. Bell ended the game with eight carries for 28 yards. He also had two touchdowns.
Ground and pound will have to employ a running back by committee. Will Powell, Bell and Ivory serve to take the focus away from the passing game?
1. Antonio Cromartie and the Jets Defense
The Jets defense was less than imposing the first half of the game against Jaguars first team. It appeared the defense had trouble when the Jaguars used a semblance of a hurry-up offense.
The defense missed tackles.
Gabbert managed to convert five-of-seven third downs. They Jaguars offense completed 13 first downs in the first half.
Even Henne managed to convert two fourth and inches.
The defense looked better the second half against the Jaguars second and third team.
Can this defense save the Jets' season?
See learning is fundamental.