The New York Jets hosted the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium tonight, hoping to finally cross the goal line and score a touchdown this preseason. Mark Sanchez was intercepted when a fairly easy completion was mishandled by Stephen Hill and plucked out of the air by Captain Munnerlyn. Tim Tebow was also intercepted, firing a pass into Reggie Smith's chest. The Jets will be back in action this week when they finish their preseason schedule against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The New York Jets defense was impressive once again, stifling Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers throughout the first half. Cam newton finished with just 60 passing yards and one touchdown, while losing a fumble (forced by Quinton Coples). The defensive line continues to impress this preseason, with Kenrick Ellis and Muhammad Wilkerson joining Quinton Coples as the leaders up front. Once Sione Pouha is inserted into the rotation, the Jets will be especially stout on the defensive line.
Not to be outdone by the big boys, LaRon Landry made his presence felt with some big hits as he played downhill most of the night. When he was in coverage over the top, he intercepted Derek Anderson (with some help by way of a pressure by Kenrick Ellis). Bart Scott, Aaron Maybin and Antonio Cromartie also had good nights on defense.
The most scrutinized offensive player for the night, Austin Howard, passed his first test with flying colors. Austin Howard showed off his athleticism, taking on Charles Johnson one-on-one and faring extremely well. The offense still couldn't score a touchdown, but the Jets moved the ball well and took some shots downfield.
The lack of a preseason touchdown for the first team offense will continue to be a story heading into the regular season since the starters aren't expected to see any time in the preseason finale on Thursday night versus the Philadelphia Eagles. It's important to remember that results don't matter in these games. The Jets should be pleased with the performance of their new right tackle and some of the rhythm they showed offensively. Up is up, and the Jets offense clearly is better with Austin Howard than it was with Wayne Hunter.
The New York jets need to be down to 75 players by 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. We are awaiting word on the status of Dustin Keller, David Harris and Josh Baker, who all suffered injuries during the game.
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