Jets vs. Falcons: What to Watch For

What should you keep an eye on when the New York Jets face the Atlanta Falcons?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ: Friday night at 7:30 p.m., the New York Jets will take the field for the team's second preseason game of the 2015 season. After falling to the Detroit Lions in opening week, the Jets will square off against the Matt Ryan-led Atlanta Falcons. 

So, what should you keep an eye out for? Here's three things to watch: 


How do the Jets starting units look in extended action?

Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he planned to play his starters for the majority of the first half. If the coach holds true to his words, it'll be quite the bump from last week when the first unit played just a series. 

With quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick now having an entire week of practice as the team's starter under his belt, it'll be interesting to see how the offense runs with him under center. Against the Lions, Fitzpatrick looked good leading New York to a field goal, but again, it was a small sample size. Friday night, Fitzpatrick will have an entire half to work. 


Can defensive lineman Leonard Williams show domiannce? 

It was a quiet debut for Williams a week ago as the rookie just got his feet wet in his first NFL game. With Muhammad Wilkerson sitting out again Friday due to an ailing hamstring, Williams should get the lion's share of first-team reps. 

Coming out of USC, Williams was viewed as the complete package as a defensive lineman. He had the size and strength to play stout defense against the run, but the speed and agility to get after the quarterback. When he fell to the sixth spot in the draft, the Jets jumped at the chance to add him to their defense. Friday night will be Williams first chance to show Jets fans why in his first game at MetLife Stadium. 

Can the offensive line continue success?

Again, it was just one series a week ago, but one of the bigger positives to take out of the Jets matchup with the Lions was the push generated by the first-team line. Granted, Detroit no longer has Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh manning the middle of the defensive, but still, it was promising. 

Getting an entire half of play Friday will show if New York's line really is improved, or if that one drive was nothing more than false hope. 

Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (

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