Panthers 17, Jets 12: Jets' Offensive Futility Continues In Loss To Panthers

The Jets still couldn't find the end zone, losing to the Panthers on Sunday night 17-12.

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Confidence Or Delusion? Jets Look For Positives On Offense

Three preseason games are in the books for the New York Jets. All are losses. The Jets and their revamped offense have a league-low 21 points, all on field goals. That, according to the broadcast Sunday night on NBC, makes them the first team since the 1977 (yes, 1977!) Atlanta Falcons to fail to score a touchdown in the first three preseason games.

Embarrassing? Definitely. A source of obvious concern? Without a doubt. Especially in the modern NFL, where the passing game rules and points can come fast and furious in a league more and more resembling Arena Football.

Yet, coach Rex Ryan and quarterbacks Mark Sanchez continue to downplay the struggles and look for positives. Even if they have to use a telescope to find them.

[Rex Ryan Transcript | Mark Sanchez Transcript | Tim Tebow Transcript]

"We have work to do, but I think we made some improvements. I really think we’re going to get this thing turned. We have to. There were some encouraging things, and I think it started with the way Mark threw the football and the way we protected him," said head coach Rex Ryan.

"We’re going to draw some confidence from some of the things we did today. Clearly, we’d like to score. I hate losing. We all do, our fans included. We know we deserve more, but we’re making some strides. By the time we get going, we will be a confident group. I don’t think there’s any doubt. Have we had our entire offensive package out there in the preseason? No. Do we feel comfortable with our offense? I would say yes."

Confidence? From a handful of red-zone failures? From balls bouncing off receivers' hands? From four sacks surrendered? From watching tight end Dustin Keller, one of the few reliable players on the offense, suffer an injury? From watching Tim Tebow throw some atrocious passes?

Apparently.

"We just feel like there’s good stuff right around the corner, and we’re steadily improving and now we’ll need to make a big jump for this Buffalo game [the season opener] coming up, but we’ve got some time," Sanchez said. "We just have to execute better, we really do. We can’t have personal fouls. We can’t hurt ourselves. When the ball’s in the air in the end zone, we have to make plays. I know our guys can do it. I have full faith in them."

Are the Jets kidding themselves? Probably. We find out for real soon enough.

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Panthers 17, Jets 12: Rex Ryan Post-Game Press Conference

Opening Statement…
It’s disappointing not scoring a touchdown this game, as well as the first two. I think our offensive line did a much better job in pass protection. I think the first group gave up one sack. The protection was good. I loved the way Mark (Sanchez) threw the football. He was 11-of-18, but we had three drops that we know of as well as the interception that was (also) a drop. His numbers would look a lot more impressive if we caught the football. We had a couple of nice, 10-to-12 play drives over 60 yards, and then we found ways to shoot ourselves in the foot. We had a penalty with (Matt) Slauson, which clearly we can’t do. We have to get better at that. We had some drops that really hurt us.

Our defense was going against Cam Newton, who can make some plays and certainly did today. He was able to create on some busted plays, but overall, I thought the defense played well. We have to get off the field on third down, which has always been a staple here. We will get better on third down defense. That has to improve.

We did have them backed up. You play to your strength and don’t let them in the end zone, but unfortunately we gave up two touchdowns, and that was the difference today.

On the final offensive drive of the first half and why the team did not use the two-minute offense… We were going to (run our two-minute offense). It was kind of an iffy situation. We knew we were bringing out the ones again. At that time, we were thinking about using it depending on where that (first) play went. If it went for a first down, we were going to keep the drive going and use our timeouts. Then, we decided to go into the half. We were getting the ball to start the half. That’s what we told our guys, too.

On injuries to LB David Harris and TE Dustin Keller

No updates. The only thing I heard (is that) Keller (has) a hamstring and Harris (has) an ankle. We’re hopeful they’re not serious, but we’ll find out. (Josh) Baker’s injury looks like it’s going to be more serious. I’m not sure right now what it is, but when he came off that didn’t look good, that’s for sure.

On if he is concerned about the offense…
No. We have work to do, but I think we made some improvements. I really think we’re going to get this thing turned. We have to. There were some encouraging things, and I think it started with the way Mark threw the football and the way we protected him. I thought those were some real positives. At times, I liked the way we ran the ball. You have to give the opponent credit. They were good enough to win the game.

On whether the throw to WR Stephen Hill in the end zone was catchable…

I thought so. It looked like the ball went through his hands. You’d like to see Mark deliver it on his body, but he still has to catch that ball.

On whether he was counting the pass to Hill as one of the three drops…
Yes.

On if there is concern about the confidence of the offense…
No. If anything, we’re going to draw some confidence from some of the things we did today. Clearly, we’d like to score. I hate losing. We all do, our fans included. We know we deserve more, but we’re making some strides. By the time we get going, we will be a confident group. I don’t think there’s any doubt. Have we had our entire offensive package out there in the preseason? No. Do we feel comfortable with our offense? I would say yes. I know our defense is looking forward to it as well because, quite honestly, it’s tough to defend. We’ll see once we get it cranked up, but again, there were some encouraging signs today. I thought Austin Howard had a nice game for us. There will be some starters that play in that last preseason game. Some of these rookies, in particular, (are) guys that we’re counting on. We don’t want them to be rookies when they get into that first game, so let’s get them some experience. Some of those young guys will play.

On the extent of David Harris’ injury.…
To be honest, I have no idea right now. He came out with an ankle (sprain). I don’t know if it’s a high ankle (sprain) or (a) low ankle (sprain). I don’t believe it’s broken though. I haven’t heard that. That’s why I’m hoping that that’s good news.

On whether it hurts the offense’s confidence to get the ball close to the end zone on a turnover and not score…
You have to give the (Carolina) defense credit too, but clearly you want to knock that thing in there. There’s no doubt. We did have some decent drives that got us down there, but without question, you want to find ways to score. I think it comes down to execution again. We’ll see it when we see the film, but I thought we had what we wanted and never executed on one. We’ll see.

On Quinton Coples’ play…
I wasn’t as happy this game as I was previously. I thought he got winded a little bit. He kind of had a woe-with-me when we took out the starters. Hey look, you’re still a rookie, you have to play the whole game and then some. They ran the ball on us with our second group in there and I never like to see that.

On Tim Tebow’s play…
It was kind of good news, bad news. At times, Tim looked terrific. (He) absolutely did. He did energize the crowd. He made some huge runs and was able to scramble, get out of trouble and still had some nice passes. (He) just was a little inconsistent. The one interception that he did throw, he was able to scramble, buy some time and just never got the elevation on the ball he wanted. Overall, I was happy with the way Tim played. He competes like crazy as we know. He looked like he had a couple of those passes off when (he threw) both of them in(to) the end zone with what almost looked like a chance. That was impressive. I don’t know how many quarterbacks can stand back there and get away from the rush (and) buy time like he was able to do. I was impressed with it and there was one ball, he threw it so hard,
I was just glad it never hit a cheerleader to be honest with you. Overall, I thought he threw the ball (well). At times, I thought he threw the ball really well.

On whether Tebow will play against the Eagles
We’re going to sit Tebow. I think it’s time to let Greg (McElroy) and (Matt) Simms play. That’s what we’ll do. Having a game just four days from now, those guys (Sanchez and Tebow) had a lot of action and it’s time to let McElroy and Simms go.

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Carolina Panthers 17, New York Jets 12: Offense Continues To Struggle As Jets Fall

The offensive futility continued for the New York Jets on Sunday night as they fell to 0-3 in the preseason with a 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Quarterback Mark Sanchez did have his best outing of the preseason going 11-of-18 with 123 yards, but still couldn't get in the end zone. Tim Tebow took over in the third quarter and looked frankly bad, going 4-of-14 for 55 yards with a ghastly interception. The Jets lost Dustin Keller and David Harris to injury during the game, but neither injury appears to be serious.

Sanchez came out of the gate firing, hitting Dustin Keller and Patrick Turner for 24 and 20 yard gains, respectively, on his first two passes of the game. On the Jets' third drive -- after their first netted a field goal and the second was a three and out -- Sanchez advanced the Jets deep with a few completions, including a 32-yarder to rookie Stephen Hill. But once again, the Jets had to settle for a field goal.

Later in the half the Jets turned the ball over, as Hill dropped a perfect spiral in between the numbers from Sanchez, and the ball was picked off by Captain Munnerlyn. The Panthers turned the good field position into the only touchdown of the first half, taking a 10-9 lead.

In their first offensive possession of the second half, Shonn Greene finally showed that he could break off a run, scampering for 18 yards and advancing the Jets to the 26 yard line. But the Jets were docked 15 yards on an unsportsmanlike penalty, and Josh Brown missed a 45 yard field goal attempt.

Then it was Tebow Time. The Jets were given good field position when LaRon Landry picked off Derek Anderson, and Tebow took over. After completing a nice pass to Hill and following up with a should-be pick and a rogue missile on 3rd down, the field goal barrage continued and Nick Folk made his third of the night to give the Jets the lead, 12-10. On the ensuing drive the Panthers went 76 yards and re took the lead, 17-12, on a 1-yard pass from Anderson to Gary Barnidge.

Tebow's next drive showed the good of Tebow and the bad. On a 3rd and 16, Tebow avoided a sack and scrambled for a first down, breaking a few tackles at the first down line and gaining 20 yards. But three plays later on another 3rd and 16, Tebow broke out of the pocket but threw the ball right at Reggie Smith -- who plays for the Carolina Panthers. On the Jets next and final possession, they stalled at the Carolina 27-yard line.

There were some positives for the Jets, as the first team defense looked very good in keeping Cam Newton in check, but the Jets will now go into the season with neither of their top two quarterbacks having reached the end zone. It's not exactly how they drew it up.

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Josh Baker Injury: TE Suffers Horrifying Knee Injury

New York Jets tight end Josh Baker went down with a knee injury after a collision in the end zone in the second quarter of an exhibition game against the Carolina Panthers.

This would be the third Jets player to leave the game already, including fellow tight end Dustin Keller. Baker was trying to haul in a touchdown pass when he went down and could not put any weight on his injured leg.

The injury looks absolutely terrible. Baker appeared in 11 games last season, recording three receptions for 27 yards and one touchdown.

Here is a GIF of the injury.

For more on the Jets and Panthers, please be sure to check out our blogs Gang Green Nation and Cat Scratch Reader, respectively. Also click over to our Football Hub, SB Nation New York and SBNation.com for all the latest news and updates.

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Jets Vs. Panthers Preview: Kickoff Time, TV Schedule, Injury Updates And More

The New York Jets 2012 Preseasons (a.k.a The Search For A Touchdown) continues Sunday when the Jets host the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium at 8 p.m. It's one of the many Jet games this season, with a likely thanks to Tim Tebow, that will be on national television, as the game gets the Sunday Night Football treatment on NBC. The third preseason game is the one that garners the most attention, as most NFL teams play their starters into the second half in Preseason Week 3, and as starters generally don't play in the fourth preseason game, it's the last time for fand and media to get a glimpse of the A-Team before the regular season starts.

The questions surrounding the Jets are seemingly endless at this point of the preseason. Most of them are on the offensive side of the ball, where the 0-2 Jets remain the only team in the NFL to not score a touchdown this preseason. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has completed 13 of his 17 attempts, which is indeed a positive, but has thrown for just 80 yards. Tim Tebow's numbers look like Tim Tebow numbers, but we've yet to see the controversial backup in the Wildcat role, which is what the Jets claim they really brought him in for.

As for Sanchez, he has yet to complete passes to the team's top three receivers this preseason; Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley are expected to get off the shelf and make their preseason debuts on Sunday, and Stephen Hill has generally featured with the second team and Tebow. The Jets don't have a ton of weapons on offense, but in fairness Sanchez hasn't had the chance to throw to the team's best yet.

This week the Jets finally demoted Wayne Hunter from starting right tackle to the bench and replaced him with Austin Howard. It's essentially addition by subtraction as Hunter had become such a distraction with his poor form. Howard gets a chance on Sunday with the first team (he did get some first team snaps in the Jets' first preseason game at the Bengals), and also has to prove that he belongs as a starter in the NFL. Howard was an undrafted free agent who spent most of last season as a practice squad player for the Ravens. He's not exactly Orlando Pace, but the general consensus is that he's better than Hunter by default.

New York's defense remains the unit that most people have confidence in. Quinton Coples, the team's first round pick from this past April's draft, has impressed and it will be interesting to see if he can put together three productive performances in a row on the Jets' defensive line. Second year tackle Kenrick Ellis will start for Sione Pouha and will get a big test against a potent Panthers running attack. Mainly, the Jets want to get out of this game healthy on the defensive side of the ball.

It's the offense that needs to produce to get people to start backing off the ledge.

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Santonio Holmes Injury Update: Wide Receiver Expects To Play Sunday Against Panthers

New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes expects to play Sunday in a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, after a number of injuries have kept him out of the lineup for the Jets' first two preseason contests. Holmes has battled through bruised ribs, as well as back and hamstring issues, but he feels that he's ready to play on Sunday.

Asked the importance of returning for a preseason game, Holmes said, "I honestly think it would be to get the speed back up and get the feel of the game, try to get my wind back and play behind these guys and hopefully as much as I can do for the team come Sunday, Coach (Ryan) will allow that to happen and we will move forward from there."

Holmes is expected to be Mark Sanchez's No. 1 receiver. He caught 51 passes for 654 yards and eight touchdowns last season while playing in all 16 games.

For more on the New York Jets, be sure to visit Gang Green Nation. For all things pro football, check out SB Nation's NFL Hub.

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Austin Howard Eager For His Opportunity

Thursday morning New York Jets coach Rex Ryan announced that Austin Howard would take over the starting right tackle job from the struggling Wayne Hunter. That move had to be met by sighs of relief from Jets fans, and maybe from quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. After practice Thursday, Ryan explained the decision.

"You are always trying to do what is in the best interest of your football team and right now I believe that this is in the best interest of our team," said Ryan. "We are going to give Austin Howard a shot to be with this first group, and I think when you look at the preseason games, this is really the last opportunity for him to work alongside Brandon Moore because obviously Brandon won’t play against Philadelphia. I thought (Howard) earned that right. He played extremely well against Cincinnati, did okay against the Giants, but really played well against Cincinnati. This is what I want to do. I am going to put him in that situation and we will see how he does this week."

Asked if the Jets would seek to bring in another player at the right tackle spot, Ryan did not close the door on the possibility.

"Well, we’re always looking for things. Mike Tannenbaum and Scott Cohen and JoJo (Wooden), they’re always looking to help improve this football team. And if we can improve this team, whether it be a tackle, a corner, a whoever, then certainly we’re not going to shut ourselves out of that possibility," Ryan said. "I don’t know exactly what’s out there. We don’t know what’s going to be cut from other teams, or anything else. ... I don’t believe you’re going to find somebody right now that can be a starting right tackle ahead of who we have. Now we’ll see how Austin plays."

Howard has only four games of NFL experience, getting those with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010. The 6-foot-7, 333-pounder is taking nothing for granted.

"Right now, it is the preseason. As a stand-in, I get to go out there and do as I am asked to and just focus on Carolina. Whenever they ask me to play, I will be ready at all times," Howard said. "I view it as an opportunity and I view it as something I have to take advantage of."

Hunter, for his part, was not surprised by the move.

"Everybody knows, the whole New York City knows that I've been struggling the last year and the last game I didn't do much better," Hunter said. "So, I wasn't surprised. I was waiting for it to be honest with you. I knew I was struggling. Everything was kind of going south for me."

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Jets Depth Chart -- Wayne Hunter Replaced By Austin Howard

New York Jets' Wayne Hunter will no longer be the team's starting right tackle, coach Rex Ryan announced Thursday. Hunter, who has struggled during the Jets preseason, will be replaced by Austin Howard, a 6-foot-7, 333-pound, third-year backup from Northern Iowa.

The move to bench Hunter comes days after a very bad performance in the Jets' 26-3 loss to the New York Giants last Saturday. On many occasions, Hunter was beaten by Giants defensive linemen and allowed quarterback Mark Sanchez to be hit or sacked -- the performance was so bad, SB Nation New York's Chris Celletti called Hunter "the worst starting offensive lineman in football."

Howard will step in after last season being picked up by the Jets in November after he was cut from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Originally, Howard was an undrafted free agent in 2010 who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he made the 53-man roster and played in four games.

For more Jets news, stick with this SB Nation New York StoryStream. Check out Gang Green Nation for reaction on the Hunter news.

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WFAN At Jets Camp: Mark Sanchez Interview

Mark Sanchez spoke with Boomer and Carton Thursday morning at New York Jets camp, and discussed the Jets' revamped -- possibly for the worse -- offense, Tim Tebow, and Sanchez' role as he enters his fourth year in the league.

Sanchez spoke on the slow-developing offense thus far this preseason -- he noted not everybody has been available to play, but didn't use it as an excuse:

"You'd like to get that timing and rhythm down with those guys, with our starters. But at the same time, if something like this were to happen in the regular season, you gotta play. There's no 'woe is me.'"

On his "frustrating" year last year:

"It wasn't a lack of preparation or a lack of confidence, it just didn't work... This is the ultimate team sport, and I don't think we were (a team)."

On the expectations at this point in his career

"People are expecting a lot, regardless of system change or anything like that... nobody's going to feel sorry for you. The expectation level here is so high, and part of that is because we set it so high my first two years. But that's alright. The pressure's on, and it feels good."

On the Jets, so far in training camp:

"It's hard to sell to a fan "hey, look we're improving"... but when you sit down and watch this film and see how guys have improved since the first day we got here in spring, it's light-years."

And since you really want it, what he had to say about the hype surrounding Tim Tebow:

"I knew it would be amplified even more here in New York. But I don't really worry about it. He's got a big following, and there's nothing wrong with that," said Sanchez.

"It's nice. I'm flying under the radar."

For the most part, Sanchez had a good sense of humor through an interview with a pair of guys he clearly knows well. Here's the full interview:

For more on the Jets, check out Gang Green Nation as well as sticking around SB Nation New York.

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WFAN At Jets Camp: Tim Tebow Addresses Boomer Esiason

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow was interviewed by WFAN morning show hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Thursday morning. Esiason has been critical of Tebow as of late, including saying that he did not believe the Jets should even use Tebow as a quarterback.

In Thursday's interview, Tebow talked about how he deals with the media scrutiny in New York.

"I really try not to think about it. I just try to live my life day to day, meeting to meeting, practice to practice and, you know, stay focused on the little things and not worry about everything else -- what's in the tabloids, what's in the papers, what people are saying about me," Tebow said.

While Tebow has been trying to make the team as a quarterback, he has been used as a punt protector.

"I consider myself a quarterback that, they ask me to do other things to help this team. So if I have the ability and attributes to do something else and help this team, I'm gonna put my heart and soul into doing that," Tebow said.

[Mark Sanchez says he is 'flying under the radar']

Esiason, though critical of Tebow, admits that the quarterback "oozes genuine." However, he vows to call out Tebow when the situation arises. Tebow on the other hand, just wants to win.

"I think more than anything you would want people to say, ‘There's someone that helps the team win football games.' That's ultimately why you play the game ... to win. And however I can help the team win football games, that's what I want to do," Tebow said.

For more on the Jets, check out Gang Green Nation, and keep coming to SB Nation New York.

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Jets Depth Chart 2012 - Who Is At Right Tackle?

Wayne Hunter might be losing ground in his effort to keep the starting right tackle job with the New York Jets.

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Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley Return To Jets Practice

New York Jets wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley both returned to practice briefly on Wednesday, the Star-Ledger's is reporting

The return of the two wide receivers, though a step in the right direction, was brief. Holmes wore a red pennie, which indicates that contact from the defense is not allowed, and Kerley caught just one pass.

After practice, Kerley told the media his hamstring was at 90-percent and he will be a game-time decision for Sunday's preseason game against the visiting Carolina Panthers. Head coach Rex Ryan said there was a chance Holmes could also play.

For the latest on Jets vs. Panthers, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. Meanwhile, SB Nation's Gang Green Nation is all about the Jets and their preparation for the regular season.

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Today In Tebowmania! 'Tim Tebow Law' Passes, And Boomer Esiason Sounds Off Again

South Carolina has passed the 'Tim Tebow Law,' and the Jets backup QB is again under fire from former NFL quarterbacks

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Tony Sparano: 'This Is What Preseason Is All About'

New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano tried his best to ease the minds of the New York media Monday, as he downplayed his team's offensive woes heading into its third preseason game, Sunday, against the Carolina Panthers.

"At times during the course of the (game), if you really watch the film and you go through the tape you will see a lot of real positives," said Sparano in his post-practice meet with the press. "Offensively, it is a little bit different than defensively. You can run around with good energy on defense and you can cover up some of the mistakes. Offensively, if one guy makes a mistake, that will show."

After looking at the film of Saturday's 26-3 loss to the New York Giants, Sparano believes the Jets' offense, which has scored zero touchdowns during the preseason, was close to be really good.

"There were some really good things coming out of the film," said Sparano. "The quarterback was 9-for-11. If he didn’t throw the interception and maybe we don’t have a dropped ball there, we are talking about him being 10-for-10 or whatever the case is. It happened and it is something we can learn from right now. That is what preseason is all about."

When asked if he believed the offense need a confidence boost heading into this weekend's matchup, Sparano laughed.

"No, I mean this group isn’t really short on confidence," Sparano said with a smile. "They’re a pretty confidence bunch of guys."

"I would say this, obviously like anything else, you want touchdowns because you want to see the kids smile. You want to see the smile on their face. You want to see some validation on what it is that we’ve been doing and how hard they’ve been working. I think that’s the most important thing is that these guys work really hard. You want to see us punch the ball in the end zone."

For more Jets news, check out SB Nation's Gang Green Nation.

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'How Not To Build An NFL Offense' By The 2012 New York Jets

The Jets appear to be entering the season with an offense that is among the league's worst.

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