New York Jets’ passing game involved many in preseason opener

New York Jets

There are several positions up for grabs on the New York Jets’ roster, but perhaps no competition is as wide-open as the battle at wide receiver.

During the Jets’ preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans, those wide receivers got many opportunities; their quarterbacks did a solid job spreading the wealth as well.

Seventeen different Jets were targeted on a pass, including nine wide receivers, three fullbacks, two running backs and three tight ends.

Robby Anderson was certainly the most impressive of the bunch, an encouraging sign considering the Jets expect him to be their No. 1 wide receiver. His evening began with a 53-yard reception on the opening drive on — it was the longest play of the day. It was especially impressive considering he was being covered by Tennessee’s Logan Ryan, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract this offseason.

“Hopefully [Anderson’s speed] is a big weapon,” head coach Todd Bowles said after the game. “He caught one tonight and that’s a good start for him.”

Anderson led the team with 71 yards on three catches. He also played 14 of the 15 snaps with New York’s first-team offense.

The only other player that spent more time on the field with the starters was Jalin Marshall, who played all 15 snaps. Marshall was targeted twice on the evening, catching one for 15 yards, but also dropping a fairly easy pass from Christian Hackenberg. He was also flagged for a holding that brought back a first-down run by rookie Elijah McGuire.

Charone Peake, who many expect to be the Jets’ no. 2 receiver to open the season (especially because Marshall will serve a four-game suspension), only earned four snaps with the starters. He did, however, catch the only touchdown of the game.

The Jets played a fair amount of two wide receiver formations, especially early in the game, which left the door open for tight ends and fullbacks. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Jason Vander Laan and Anthony Firkser had one catch each.

New York’s rookie wide receivers were limited on Saturday. ArDarius Stewart didn’t enter the game until late in the first half while Chad Hansen appeared later in the second half. Both rookies made nice catches — Stewart for eight yards (and a solid stiff arm), Hansen for 10 yards.

Two reserve receivers that took full advantage of the opportunities were Chris Harper and Marquess Wilson. Harper, who played four snaps with the starters, had two catches for 21 yards and a first down. Wilson’s three catches were tied for the team high. He has as good of a chance to make the roster as anyone given his four years of NFL experience — the most for any Jets receiver.

About Max Marcilla

Max is a sophomore broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. He is the news director for WMUC Sports, a reporter for The Left Bench TV and the co-owner of New York Jet Fuel, a site dedicated to covering the New York Jets. You can contact Max at mmarcilla98@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @MMarcilla98.

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