What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Jets @ Panthers

Final Score: Jets 27, Panthers 0

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


I think any of us who love football and are into the preseason circled this game early on for one reason and one reason only: The battle of the punters. Johnny Hekker and Thomas Morstead are as good as it gets at the position, and they dominated this game.

All kidding aside, I was excited to see how Bryce Young would look in his first game action. It was encouraging to say the least, and he looked much more prepared for the NFL than C.J. Stroud did the other night in New England. Both of their new additions at wideout, D.J. Chark Jr. and Adam Thielen, caught passes from Young early on. After that, Carolina’s offense was stagnant at best. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson continued his improved play and led the Jets on three scoring drives in the first half. The game was over at that point.


New York Jets

| HOF Game |




Zach Wilson: 14/20, 123 yards, TD, sack | 1 carry, 2 yards


For the second week in a row, Wilson didn’t make any Wilson-esque boneheaded plays, and that is a positive development. He wasn’t perfect and he didn’t light the world on fire but he also didn’t make any mistakes and he led three scoring drives in the first half. That’s really all the Jets can ask for out of him. The needle is comfortably pointing up for Wilson.


  • QB sneak earned first down, nearly fumbled the snap
  • Looks more poised in the pocket
  • Aaron Rodgers special for the TD – play action bootleg to a wide open TE. Great call, great play.


Tim Boyle: 9/10, 84 yards, 2 TD, INT | 1 carry, 2 yards


Made the best defensive play of the game on his INT, tackling the defender on what would have otherwise been a pick six. Boyle was very upset with himself after, as it was a bad throw in the red zone.


Running Back


Zonovan Knight: 4 carries, 13 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 3 yards



  • Started for NYJ
  • Not fast enough to get around the edge, had a window
  • Couldn’t handle a pass from Wilson, got spun around. Then got whacked. Couldn’t convert 3rd down


Israel Abanikanda: 12 carries, 56 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 31 yards


He’s clearly fast, but I’m not sure why the Jets keep trying to use him as a between the tackles guy in short yardage situations. He gets stuffed pretty much every time. I liked him more this week than I did in the HOF game but I continue to question their usage of him.


  • Flashed his speed with the ball in space
  • Caught a screen with under a minute left, instead of going out of bounds he tried to cut back inside for extra yardage and slipped. Didn’t end up hurting them but it was probably the wrong choice

Missed Opportunities

  • 26 yard carry down to the half yard line, initially ruled a TD but overturned on review. Broke a tackle, spun around a defender, then dragged another guy about five yards before it went down. Impressive run. Took the next carry and was stuffed two yards behind the LOS.


Michael Carter: 4 carries, 19 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 34 yards



  • Still has quick feet, good run up the middle avoiding a tackler
  • Wide open in the flat on 3rd and short, turned it into a 25 yard catch and run
  • Nice spin move to avoid a tackle, earn an extra four yards


Travis Dye: 10 carries, 32 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards


Missed Opportunities

  • Had a hole but got tripped up by his own blocker. Play had big gain potential


Damarea Crockett: 5 carries, 17 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jason Brownlee: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards


After hearing so much about Brownlee in Jets’ camp and being disappointed in his performance in the HOF game, I was expecting more this week and he once again just didn’t really deliver. He had fewer opportunities and they weren’t really in spots where he could have showcased any kind of playmaking, but I still wanted more. I’ll give him one more chance before I jump ship.


  • Nice catch on the sideline, got both feet in bounds. Ran route a little short, left a 3rd and 2 with 33 seconds left
  • Long and lanky

Missed Opportunities

  • Only target he didn’t catch was with a defender draped all over him. Probably should have been DPI. Ball did hit him in the chest but it would have been a pretty miraculous catch the way the defender was on him.


Tyler Conklin: 2 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards

C.J. Uzomah: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

Allen Lazard: 1 target

Kenny Yeboah: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards, TD

Zack Kuntz: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 17 yards, TD


Carolina Panthers




Bryce Young: 4/6, 21 yards, sack


Young played three series in this game and looked completely in control. He didn’t make any major mistakes and he looked comfortable in the pocket. The difference between him and C.J. Stroud in each of their first preseason games is huge. I’m not sure how soon it will translate to fantasy success, but Young might make a more immediate impact in Carolina than many of us thought.


  • First throw, stood in and took the hit. Found Thielen with a dart for a 1st down. Went through his progressions first. Nice start
  • Overthrew Chark down the sideline, out of bounds. Didn’t really give him a chance. Took another hit, probably should have been roughing the passer. Jets D got away with one


Matt Corral: 15/22, 126 yards, INT, 4 sacks, 2 fumbles (1 lost) | 2 carries, 7 yards


Corral faced lived competition for the first time since college and it showed. The game looked too fast for him, but that’s to be expected after missing so much time. He’s a little smaller than I expected, but I like his arm strength. He was heralded for being a great leader at Ole Miss so if he improves over the next two preseason games there may be something there. It was pretty disappointing that he didn’t lead them on any scoring drives, however.


  • Overthrew a wide open Ian Thomas on his first throw. Might have been a little too excited out of the gate
  • Sacked on back to back 3rd downs
  • Inaccurate throw across his body. Receiver was open but announcers were not happy with that
  • Fumbled a snap
  • Facing a loaded box, handed the ball off on an RPO. Easy tackle for loss for the Jets
  • Stripped by a Jets DL. Sloppy ball handling, didn’t feel the pressure coming and left the ball in a vulnerable spot
  • Very nearly penalized for an illegal forward pass past the line of scrimmage
  • INT came on final play of game, heave towards end zone


Running Back


Chuba Hubbard: 4 carries, 9 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards


Hubbard is just a guy and he continues to just be a guy. Nothing to see here.


Spencer Brown: 8 carries, 34 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 4 yards


Brown had a couple of really nice runs, including one at the end of the half that he nearly broke for a long score. Shifty, made defenders miss on multiple occasions. High effort. I liked what I saw.


Raheem Blackshear: 1 carry, 2 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 4 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


D.J. Chark Jr.: 2 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards

Adam Thielen: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Hayden Hurst: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Laviska Shenault Jr.: 1 target


Shenault was targeted once on an overthrow by Bryce Young. Former Panther Steve Smith Sr. was on the call for this game and he was quick to point out that Shenault was at fault on the play, as the situation depended on a quick win by the WR and Shenault took way too long to attempt to get open. Young recognized that and threw it away. If anyone knows how to get open as a WR, it’s Steve Smith.


Javon Wims: 7 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards



  • Has a good chance to make the team according to the broadcast
  • Made a good move to evade a defender and earn a few extra yards


Derek Wright: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards



  • Made one catch where he landed on a Jets defender, recognized he wasn’t down, got back up and earned an extra few yards
  • False start penalty on 4th and 6 pushed them back five yards

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