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Jets’ offense anemic in preseason loss to Redskins

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets is hurried by the defensive end Preston Smith #94 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 19, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. Credit: Getty Images / Larry French

LANDOVER, Md. — LANDOVER, Md. — In the midst of all of the calamity, Bryce Petty was a bright spot.

While Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith put forth a mediocre performance in Maryland, it was Petty — the third-string quarterback in danger of losing his roster spot — who provided the offensive spark last night.

His pretty 19-yard pass in the third quarter to tight end Zach Sudfeld was the first of his two touchdowns. Robby Anderson scored on a 42-yard pass from Petty (16-for-26, 242 yards) in the fourth quarter. Those were the only TDs by the Jets.

On the pass to Sudfeld, Petty said, “Lucky is sometimes better than good,” referring to his thread-the-needle TD. “I kind of squeezed that one in there. Probably shouldn’t have. Definitely shouldn’t have.”

The good news is, it’s only the preseason. But, man, was it ugly.

In the end last night, the Washington Redskins got a TD in the last minute of the game for a 22-18 win at FedEx Field.

Fitzpatrick (4-for-9, 35 yards) essentially did nothing, and the Geno Smith (6-for-13, 47 yards) of old resurfaced in the form of an inexplicably thrown interception that helped pad Washington’s early lead.

Asked why rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg didn’t play, Bowles replied tersely: “Coach’s decision.”

While Petty threw several errant passes, his touchdowns and a 50-yard completion to Anderson provided a glimmer of hope on an otherwise dreadful night for the Jets.

The Jets will have to make roster cuts in the coming weeks and Petty wants to stay.

“That’s what I’m trying to do, regardless of whether I am or not [on the roster],” he said. “That’s the point I wake up to every day: Try to make it as hard of a decision as possible.”

For more than three quarters, Bowles’ team found new ways to outdo itself with an assortment of missed tackles, poor pass coverage and dubious decisions by their quarterbacks.

And then there were the injuries.

Quincy Enunwa, their do-it-all offensive juggernaut, was injured on punt coverage.

He’s now in the concussion protocol, Bowles said.

After running downfield, the Jets’ receiver/H back collided with Redskins’ Jamison Crowder and Enunwa’s helmet hit Crowder’s knee. Enunwa immediately grabbed his head and writhed in pain. He did not return.

A short time later, inside linebacker Erin Henderson was forced to leave with a shoulder injury. He also did not return. Bowles said he suffered a stinger.

Jets cornerback Dee Milliner, fighting for playing time in a crowded secondary, left with an arm injury (sore bicep). And defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas, who got some first-team reps early in the game, left with a shoulder injury.

The Jets’ defense was only slightly better than the offense.

The Redskins easily sliced through the Jets’ first-team defense early on. By the end of the first quarter, Washington had outgained the Jets, 127 yards to 2, and dominated the time of possession (13:58-1:02)

Notes & quotes: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and center Nick Mangold were among eight inactive Jets players. Wilkerson has been getting 11-on-11 reps but it’s unclear whether he will play at all this preseason.

New York Sports