The long-awaited start for the exciting, new-look 2022 New York Jets begins tonight. The team is on the road for a matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Key points of emphasis for the Jets:
The first and obvious goal for the Jets in this game is staying healthy. Especially following the recent season-ending injury to Mekhi Becton, most importantly, for the Jets, keeping everyone healthy is the main point of emphasis in this game.
From there, all eyes will be on Zach Wilson starting year two. Seeing confidence, command, playing within the structure of the offense, good decision-making, and accurate, on-time throws will all be key points to watch for from Wilson in the first preseason game.
Hitting underneath passes in-stride and trusting his revamped, improved collection of skill talent will be important for Wilson. Putting at least one or even a second encouraging series together in this one would be ideal. Moving the football, gaining a couple of first downs, converting some third downs, and hopefully, some points on the scoreboard would make for a solid start to Wilson’s second year.
The offensive line has some moving parts from a year ago and will be worth keeping close attention on. Laken Tomlinson makes his Jet debut in this one.
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Alijah Vera-Tucker will be making his first start at right guard. With Duane Brown signing just yesterday, whether Chuma Edoga or rookie Max Mitchell starts with the first-team at right tackle in place of Becton will be important to see. Mitchell is one player worth watching with his talent and potential to grow.
The run defense of the Jets will have to start proving themselves tonight. This aspect of the Jets in particular has to be better than it was last year.
The Eagles have a talented, physical offensive line which presents the Jets with a good challenge. Also, on the defensive line, the depth the Jets currently have should be on display all throughout this one. Young players like Micheal Clemons and Jonathan Marshall in particular will gain some reps to showcase their skills.
Lastly, the debut of fourth-overall pick Sauce Gardner will take place for the Jets tonight. With DJ Reed not playing as a result of a hamstring, Gardner will likely start alongside third-year cornerback, Bryce Hall. The competitiveness, confidence, and physicality of Gardner should all be present from the jump of his young career.
It will be exciting to see the Jets kick off the 2022 season in this one tonight. Hopefully, they go out and play some good football and have something to build on for the start of the regular season.