It hasn’t been a good year for New York Jets’ sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who was reportedly hitting reporters on the sidelines with passes during organized team activities in June. During the Jets’ preseason game against the Detroit Lions Saturday, things got even worse for Hackenberg (seen above last January against the Bills), as he was absolutely demolished by an unblocked Cornelius Washington on one play:
Life as a Jet hits you hard sometimes 🤕
Poor Christian Hackenbergpic.twitter.com/35MsXlcVxl
— TotalProSports (@TotalProSports) August 19, 2017
That’s just a brutal play all around. If it was designed to let Washington go unblocked, Hackenberg has to be much more aware of him and let a throw go sooner. If it wasn’t (and this seems more likely, as Hackenberg wasn’t even looking that way), someone missed an assignment in a big way. In any case, it led to Hackenberg not only taking a big hit, but also fumbling. Fortunately, teammate James Carpenter recovered. But this came on a third-and-nine deep in the Jets’ own end in the first quarter, and the subsequent punt let Detroit start a drive at New York’s 43, which turned into a field goal.
This was just part of the overall misery for Hackenberg and the Jets. They trailed 13-0 at halftime, and Hackenberg had only completed two of six passing attempts for a measly 14 yards at that point. He did have 11 rushing yards on two carries, so he was more effective carrying the ball than throwing it. And he had one play described as “Ball slipped out of QBs hand during pass attempt” by NFL.com’s drive tracker, and it looks as bad as you’d expect:
When you have a good tweet but just as you hit send you see a typo pic.twitter.com/1GMzcnTv3S
— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) August 20, 2017
That one happened in the second quarter, so it’s not an excuse for the team not blocking for Hackenberg in the first quarter. However, if that’s an example of the passes he’s been throwing in camp, it might be. (Or maybe he was targeting his offensive line for not blocking for him; you never know with this team.) It’s hard to imagine that the team famous for the Buttfumble can have worse quarterback play than that, but Hackenberg is certainly giving it a go.
There’s a reason the Jets were last in our preseason rankings, and the sorry state of their quarterback position is a big part of that. (And remember, Hackenberg was a second-round pick last year, so that’s great drafting.) The “most depressingly hopeless team in the NFL” continues to live down to its reputation, and Hackenberg’s fitting in there just fine.