On Saturday night, the Jets suffered their first loss of 2008. A 13-10 loss at the hands of the Washington Redskins dropped the team to 1-1 in the preseason. Brett Favre went 5-6 and in his first game in green and white, he showed some glimpses of what it will be like watching a legend in the regular season. He still has a long way to go learning the offense, but he passed his first test in Jet green.
He led the Jets down the field in his second possession to a touchdown, on a pass to Dustin Keller. The Redskins eventually cut it to 7-6 as Kellen Clemens struggled to get the offense going 5-12. In his defense he suffered through four drops, but once again he was upstaged by Brett Ratliff.
When James Ihebdigo misplayed a pass from Colt Brennan, the Redskins took the lead. But then Ratliff led the Jets 71 yards down the field, giving them a chance to win. Then the Jets self-destructed. Rookie free agent Paul Raymond dropped a pass in the end zone that would have won it. Then Ratliff had to call the Jets' last time out after they ran out of time on the play clock. Finally Nugent came out to try a field goal from 23 yards to send a preseason game to overtime, which he clanged off the upright.
Jets fans left with a mix of shock and awe. Some were happy a preseason game wasn't going to overtime, while others were just shocked at the absurdity of the ending. Needless to say, if this game had been in November, heads would roll.
But the Jets' first team did play pretty well. The defense showed improvement over last week, with LBs Calvin Pace, Eric Barton, Ryan Spencer, Marques Murrell and DEs Kareem Brown and Kenwin Cummings all impressing. Pace and Barton are locks not just to make the team, but to start, too, while the other four may be competing with each other for slots. Murrell and Spencer both showed potential rushing the quarterback while Brown and Cummings have been impressive in both games so far. Murrell hurt Redskins backup Todd Collins on one rush, leading to Ihebdigo's interception of third-stringer Derek Devine.
A few offensive players who stood out include Jason Pociask, Jesse Chatman, and Ratliff. David Clowney continued his impressive camp by turning a short Kellen Clemens pass into a 29 yard pickup, but he left with a collarbone injury and will be out several weeks. Bad news there as Clowney was asserting himself as a legitimate deep threat.
As for the new Clemens vs Ratliff battle, which so far has been more in the minds of Jets fans fed up with the former Oregon Duck's lack of development. Clemens was victimized by his own teammates, but the fact is that Ratliff has outplayed Clemens in both preseason games and has shown flashes in training camp. Kellen remains the number two, but perhaps that can change down the line.
Next come the Giants on Saturday. This is the same team who gave Derek Anderson a possible concussion last night, so this is a big test. The Jets need to keep people happy and show that their brand new offense and defense are ready to face a Super Bowl champion. It's a tall order, but if the Jets are impressive, it could be a good omen for the regular season.
Expect Favre to play a lot more against the crosstown rivals. God forbid, if he somehow gets hurt, there will be riots between Jets and Giants fans.