The Jets should avoid looking at how things turned out for the 1977 Atlanta Falcons, who, before the Jets, were the last team to be held out of the end zone in its first three preseason games. The Jets seem to heavily resemble those Falcons, who went on to go 7-7 in the regular season and miss the playoffs.
Like the 2011 Jets, the 1977 Falcons were stronger on defense than offense. They allowed a league-low nine points per game that year, but were just 25th—same as last year's Jets—in total offense. Atlanta also was in the midst of a coaching shake-up (like this year's Jets, with new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano) that brought about a power running game. Plus, two quarterbacks saw considerable playing time that season, similar to what may happen with Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
The Jets showed some signs of progress against Carolina, getting into the Panthers' half of the field seven times. And, in what is shaping up to be a departure from last season, the offense has produced some fairly big plays this preseason.
On Sunday alone, the Jets had five offensive plays of 20 yards or more, something they did just four times last season, according to Stats LLC
Bennett, the former Falcons coach, said it's too early to draw any conclusions. "Some teams can flip a switch when the season starts," he said. "And if their offense is able to do that, everyone will forget about what happened in the preseason."