WATCH: Three observations from Jets' preseason game against the Saints
The New Orleans Saints defeated the New York Jets 28-13 on Saturday night. The Saints came storming out of the gate after Drew Brees connected for a 19-yard touchdown pass with Michael Thomas. New Orleans then made the Jets pay on a Ty Montgomery fumble on their first drive to go up by two scores.
From that point on the Jets were playing catch up. The closest they would get was within three points in the second quarter. However, Teddy Bridgewater and the Saints began to pull away again and would not relinquish their lead.
Despite coming up short, here are three notable things to take out of tonight's game.
1. Sam Darnold playing well
Sam Darnold went into tonight’s game being everything the Jets hoped to get out of him. Darnold let the Jets to opening drive touchdowns the past two games. That got snapped tonight as running back Ty Montgomery fumbled the ball on the Jets first drive of the game. It took a while to get going, but Darnold did put up some decent numbers in the process.
Darnold went 8-for-13 tonight for 97 yards and one touchdown pass. This brings Darnold to 211 yards on the preseason, connecting on 17 of his 25 pass attempts for two touchdowns. Darnold also hasn't thrown an interception this preseason.
After being turnover prone at the beginning of last year, Darnold has made great strides in limiting pickoffs. If he can continue to put up impressive numbers while limiting the turnovers, he will be great for Gang Green this year.
2. Battle at running back
Because Le'Veon Bell was not given any playing time this preseason, this opened up a big opportunity for the other running backs on the roster. The aforementioned Montgomery got the start in the backfield tonight. After his mistake on the first drive, he rushed for 21 yards on eight carries. Montgomery also caught Darnold's one touchdown pass on the evening, with four receptions for 24 yards on the night.
Next came the battle between Trenton Cannon and Elijah McGuire. Cannon got fewer touches, but he showed the Jets coaching staff he was capable of the job, as he rushed for 51 yards on six carries. Elijah McGuire, on the other hand, rushed for only 21 yards on five carries. Meanwhile, veteran Bilal Powell had only one carry for a loss of two yards.
As it stands, it looks like Cannon is making it certain that he should be on the Jets roster. Gang Green has one more game Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles. This is the last chance for the running backs not named Bell to make a statement.
3. Taylor Bertolet finding his game
Perhaps the biggest area of concern this preseason was the Jets' kicking. Both Jets kickers Chandler Catanzaro and Taylor Bertolet both went 1-for-1 in field goal attempts, only to go 1-for-3 in extra-point attempts. Catanzaro retired after the first preseason game while Bertolet remained on the roster for tonight’s game. He made the most of his opportunities.
Tonight, Bertolet had one extra point and went 2-for-2 on-field goal opportunities. The longest was from 56 yards and the other one from 48. It seems that Bertolet is getting back on track and could secure the job.