Matt LaFleur, like most of the offensive coaches off the Shanahan tree, doesn't believe in using starters in the preseason. With quarterback Jordan Love sitting for Green Bay, in addition to Aaron Rodgers, all eyes were on Jets rookie Zach Wilson, and he delivered an impressive two-touchdown performance in the first half. Though it came against the Packers’ backups, Wilson looks to be gaining momentum ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
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Zach Wilson put up a near-perfect 152.1 passer rating on just 12 dropbacks Saturday afternoon, averaging 11 yards per attempt. He was in rhythm in the passing game and showed good decision-making within the structure of his progressions.
It’s clear there’s no plan this year for anyone in New York other than Wilson to run this offense. Backup Mike White had just 39 yards on seven completions, even though Green Bay applied little pressure with its second- and third-team players.
|Michael Carter||UNC 2020||NYJ 2021 Preseason|
|Yards Per Carry||8.2||4.3|
|Yards Per Carry After Contact||4.7||3.2|
|Missed Tackles Forced Per Attempt||.31||.29|
Fourth-round pick and former North Carolina Tarheel Michael Carter handled the bulk of the work in the ground game for New York, with 10 carries on his 20 snaps. True to his tough running reputation in college, 34 of his 52 yards came after contact.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Offseason addition Corey Davis left Lambeau set to grade out highly for the Jets alongside Wilson. The two are building a clear connection for 2021, with Davis racking up 70 yards on four receptions in just the first quarter.
The Jets will have some real concerns in protecting Wilson this year, as they struggled again with keeping the pocket clean this preseason, surrendering pressure often, including a sack, with their first group against Packers reserves.
Second-year Jet Mekhi Becton had a strong showing in the run game, and his light feet and physical frame fit the zone scheme of Mike LaFleur’s offense perfectly.
Carl Lawson has had a brutal injury history:
2014: Torn ACL
2018: Torn ACL
2021: Torn Achilles https://t.co/NOSHvTsBMa
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 19, 2021
Head coach Robert Saleh’s four-down, Cover 3 scheme lends itself to productivity against the run for linebackers, and the position group capitalized with a handful of run stops. Milo Eifler led the way with three of his own and a tackle for loss on first review.
On first review, the defensive back corps gave up fewer than 100 yards on passes that targeted wide receivers they had in coverage.
Kurt Benkert took up about all the work under center Saturday, with 18 completions on 29 dropbacks. He averaged under six yards per attempt average and threw an interception en route to a 77.9 passer rating on the day.
Jake Dolegala had one attempt on the day and promptly used it to hand the ball back to New York on a poorly thrown pass that was intercepted.
Seventh-rounder Kylin Hill has been making the most of a preseason without starters taking away his reps. He scored a touchdown on just seven carries and put up over four yards per rush.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Malik Taylor was the best of Green Bay’s backup receiving options, averaging 16.5 yards per catch on his four catches Saturday.
Amari Rodgers worked well in his projected role as a slot/flex option for Green Bay, tallying 31 yards and a first down on four receptions.
Amari Rodgers, Slot Production vs. Overall Production | Clemson 2020
Green Bay’s backup linemen performed decently given the circumstances against the Jets’ starters, allowing a handful of pressures and a sack on the night.
Ben Braden will likely be Green Bay’s most reliable backup lineman in 2021, performing well in pass protection and the run game.
Keke Kingsley has drawn some attention from the Packers’ staff as a developmental piece of the pass-rushing rotation, and on first analysis of the game, he notched a quarterback hurry in his brief stint during the first quarter.
The Packers saw only 24 dropbacks against the Jets, and the defensive backs surrendered just nine completions on the day. Cornerback Eric Stokes gave up a 24-yard completion early in the first, but he came right back and broke up a pass on a key third down later in the drive.
Eric Stokes, UGA 2020
|Cover 1 Usage||Cover 1 Grade||Cover 3 Usage||Cover 3 Grade||Quarters Usage||Quarters Grade|