Christian Hackenberg report card: How'd Jets' QB look vs. Titans?


He was Newsday's football writer covering the Jets and Giants, as well as the NFL, from 1989-91. They've purged most of their veteran talent in favor of rebuilding the team in favor of a bright future.

The second-year mystery man answered some questions in the New York Jets' preseason opener Saturday night at MetLife Stadium, delivering a respectable performance in his first game action in a year. No, that's not going to happen in the preseason, but this game wasn't about that.

Yes, Christian Hackenberg can throw the ball in the ocean. Sixth-round draft pick Elijah McGuire played two drives with the first-team offense.

Those who suggest Hackenberg should simply be anointed as the starter, especially given the low expectations for this year's team, need to be mindful of the possibility he might drown in his own self-doubt should be struggle at the start. Instead of breaking down the game, let's focus on the individual players or units that stood out, for better or worse. This was Hackenberg's first game since September 1, 2016, when he played the preseason finale at Philadelphia. During that time he completed two of three passes for 15 yards with no interceptions or touchdowns.

New offensive coordinator John Morton didn't ask Hackenberg to do too much, a smart way to break him in.

Last year Marcus Mariota's season was cut short after suffering a season ending injury against Jacksonville on December 24.

But there were also mistakes. His next pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage and almost intercepted. It means Peake takes every part of his job seriously, and with special teams contributions on his game film, he should be a lock to make the roster.

That said, this is the time the Jets need to play Hackenberg as much as possible. He got his evening underway with a 9-yard completion to Robby Anderson and completed his first four attempts.

In his first National Football League game as a no. 1 receiver, Anderson caught three passes for 71 yards in his limited field time. Tanney had a 67-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor overturned on review during a drive that eventually ended with a 36-yard field goal by Ryan Succop.

Throwing short and intermediate passes, he completed 11 of 16 in the opening half for 70 yards.

It wasn't all good.

By all accounts, Ross Martin is "winning" the kicking competition in camp as Catanzaro misses short field goal attempts with embarrassing frequency. One of his punts went only 14 yards, and he failed to pin the Titans offense deep in Jets' territory.