Bryce Petty emerges from shadows; young wide receivers regress

Byrce Petty completed 15 of 24 passes for 160 yards against the Lions' third-string defense. Leon Halip/Getty Images

Positive and negative performances from the New York Jets' 16-6 loss to the Detroit Lions:


QB Bryce Petty: It'll be interesting to see how coach Todd Bowles sets his quarterback rotation for the coming week. Quite honestly, Petty deserves a bump in his practice reps. The Forgotten Man played a solid game, leading the offense to a pair of field goals. Petty (15-for-24, 160 yards) did it against third stringers -- he has starred in that show in the past -- but at least he got the offense moving. Bowles said, "He made some good throws, some good decisions, but we have to put the ball in the end zone." If nothing else, Petty probably secured a roster spot. Maybe there should be a battle for the No. 2 spot, with Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

OLB Corey Lemonier: For the second straight week, a backup linebacker made our "three up" list. Lemonier, battling for a roster spot, had a sack and an interception while playing on the second-team defense. Jordan Jenkins looks to have locked up one outside-linebacker spot, but the other side appears open. Lorenzo Mauldin's injury has created opportunities for players like Lemonier and Josh Martin, who had another sack.

QB Josh McCown: He didn't play, but he still managed to pull away in the so-called quarterback competition. The more he sits, the more entrenched he becomes. Such is life on the Jets. McCown has played only one series in the preseason, so he figures to see a lot of action next week against the New York Giants. Asked if it's reasonable to assume McCown will be the Week 1 starter, Bowles said, "Not at this point." He can be coy, but we know how this will turn out.


QB Christian Hackenberg: Bowles tried to protect his young quarterback, saying, "It's not a fair evaluation of the kid because he didn't get a chance on a couple of passes." Hackenberg was sacked twice, including once by an unblocked rusher, but a review of the tape shows he had no pressure on his six pass attempts. He completed only two for 14 yards. Bowles called out the pass protection, but sometimes it's not all on the offensive line. The quarterback has to read a blitz. On the first sack, a bone-jarring hit, the Lions had six men at the line and the Jets had only five blockers. Hackenberg didn't recognize the six-man rush and got pulverized. He called his performance "a good learning experience."

The offensive line: Bowles has been saying there's competition at three spots, and he backed it up by starting three players who were on the bench last week -- left tackle Ben Ijalana, center Jonotthan Harrison and right tackle Brandon Shell. They played the entire first quarter before being replaced by Kelvin Beachum, Wesley Johnson and Brent Qvale, respectively. It's hard when you're rotating that many players, but that doesn't excuse the lack of push in the running game. Don't forget, the Lions played without the injured Ziggy Ansah.

The wide receivers: This a step back for the young receiving corps. None of their top four receivers -- Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall and Chris Harper -- had a catch. Peake dropped a pass on a quick slant, and it was nearly intercepted on the deflection. Unlike the Tennessee Titans, who played soft coverage last week, the Lions challenged the Jets' wideouts. Hackenberg noted that Detroit "watched game tape from last week and took some stuff away from us." The reality is, the Jets are an easy team to defend because they have no dynamic presence on the outside.

Special teams: Ah, yes, that old bugaboo. There was a muffed punt, a fumbled kickoff return and three penalties. On the positive side, Lachlan Edwards punted better than last week and Ross Martin made two of three field goals, his only miss from 56 yards.