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Hackenberg, Forte, Wilkerson Make First Preseason Appearances For Jets in Loss to Giants

Jets running back, Matt Forte, No. 22 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets running back, Matt Forte, No. 22 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)


The New York Jets fell to the New York Giants in the annual Snoopy Bowl on Saturday night by a score of 21-20. The Jets now have a 1-2 preseason record.

For the first time this preseason, Todd Bowles was able to get all four quarterbacks some game action. None of them really dazzled, however. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 76 yards, had a touchdown pass, but also fumbled. Christian Hackenberg threw for 105 yards, also had a touchdown pass and threw an interception. Bryce Petty threw an interception as well.

“He was up and down,” Bowles said about Hackenberg after the game. “He missed some throws, but he made some throws. It was good to get his feet wet.” Despite being the Jets second round pick this year, Hackenberg did not play in either of the first two preseason games.

In regards to the quarterback play as a whole, Bowles wasn’t too happy with what he saw. “None of them played great. The biggest thing with the quarterbacks is the turnovers. We can’t have the turnovers” Part of the issue with the quarterbacks last night was the fact that Brandon Marshall did not play due to a sore hip. Apparently it was nothing serious and the Jets just wanted to be on the safe side. They also wanted to see some of the younger guys play.

Speaking of injuries, Matt Forte and Muhammad Wilkerson both played last night for the first time in the preseason after getting healthy from a hamstring injury and a broken leg respectively. “From what I could tell, he looked fine,” Bowles said on Wilkerson. “He looked good up front and like he was ready to go.” Wilkerson made four total tackles and two solo tackles against the giants.

Matt Forte on the other hand had 10 carries for 28 yards. He also made two receptions for nine yards. “He looked healthy and quick,” said Bowles. “Not much production, but for him, it was about getting his feet wet and getting hit.”

The Jets are now just two weeks away from their first game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals. Bowles believes there is still work that has to be done. “We’re not close. We still have a lot of work to do before opening day.”

I still think the offense can be a little smoother. Even though Marshall did not play, the offense looked a little choppy. And obviously they cannot turn the ball over as many times as they did. Other than that, the defense looked pretty good, especially with the return of Wilkerson solidifying the line. The special teams also looks a lot better already than it did last year.

The Jets will play their final preseason game on Thursday night in Philadelphia, a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.

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