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Jets manage to salvage something from an otherwise lousy summer

Eric Decker, left, and Brandon Marshall celebrate one of two passing touchdowns for the first-team offense against the Giants. Bill Kostroun/AP

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets need to get out of this preseason ASAP. Bad stuff keeps happening to them, from Sheldon Richardson's off-the-field transgressions to the IK Enemkpali/Geno Smith altercation. On Saturday night, they received a scare when prized No. 1 pick Leonard Williams left the game with a knee injury. The early reports indicate it's a bone bruise, not a torn ligament, but they won't know for sure until they receive the MRI results. The way things are going, they should send Williams into the MRI tube with a rabbit's foot and an official program from Super Bowl III. There's nothing wrong with creating your own karma, right?

On the field, the Jets' starters salvaged something from the summer of insanity with solid, all-round performance against the New York Giants. The Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense scored two touchdowns in five first-half possessions, sparking the Jets to a 28-18 win in the so-called Snoopy Bowl. For the first time in the preseason, they resembled a real offense, mixing the run and the pass, spreading the ball to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and moving the pocket to give Fitzpatrick better looks.

Fitzpatrick, who replaced Geno Smith in the aftermath of The Punch, gave the kind of performance that makes you believe the Jets might have a chance in 2015. He completed nine of 14 passes for 127 yards, including touchdowns to Decker (18 yards) and running back Zac Stacy (24) on a screen pass. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was better than last week, and it'll have to do because the starters probably won't play in the preseason finale. Todd Bowles knows what he has in Fitzpatrick, but it was nice to see anyway.

"It's always reassuring (to see it)," he said. "Everyone over there on offense pretty much has a résumé, but the older guys have to prove they can still play and he proved that tonight."

If Fitzpatrick's preseason is done, he finished with a 106.4 passer rating and, most importantly, no turnovers. Preseason stats are meaningless, though. As noted by Fitzpatrick after the game, the Jets saw mostly vanilla defenses with soft coverage. It'll be a lot harder when Marshall and Decker see tight, man-to-man coverage in the regular season, forcing Fitzpatrick to throw into tight windows. It'll be a different game.

"This was another step," Fritzpatrick said of the team's second straight win, keeping it in the proper perspective. "It was a step in the right direction in terms of confidence in the huddle, a little bit better productivity and good conversations on the sideline, everybody moving in the same direction -- the right direction."

Marshall said it best: "If we want to be great, if we want to be good, first we have to calm down and relax and understand we have a lot of games to go and a lot of work to get done."

So a couple of long touchdown drives saved the preseason from being a total bust. They'd like to move on to the real season, just the same.