Christian Hackenberg got his first taste of NFL action Saturday night in the New York Jets preseason loss to the New York Giants. Hackenberg flashed some of his great potential and showed reasons why he is a work in progress, but overall the 2016 second round draft pick had an encouraging NFL debut.
Hackenberg’s stat line was not the best as he finished 6 for 16 with 105 yards and one touchdown and interception each. Hackenberg’s touchdown drive was impressive as he completed four straight throws. He connected with Zach Sudfeld for 16 yards, Charone Peake for 26 yards and two straight to Robby Anderson for 27 yards and a 10-yard touchdown on a fade to the corner of the end zone.
Hackenberg was excited for the first touchdown pass of his professional career.
“It was sweet,” Hackenberg said of the touchdown to Anderson.
Hackenberg had a poor interception in Jets territory as Giants dropped eight into coverage and 295-pound tackle Davon Coleman batted the pass into the air for Andrew Adams to complete the interception. Hackenberg understands he made some mistakes and must continue to learn for them and develop his game.
“That’s something I have to learn from,” Hackenberg said. “I can’t do that, especially in that field position. It sucks, but it’s a good learning tool.”
Head coach Todd Bowles was content for his rookie to get some experience and also acknowledged Hackenberg had an inconsistent debut.
“He was up and down,” said Bowles. “He missed some throws, but he made some throws. It was good to get his feet wet.”
Hackenberg is the clear fourth quarterback on the Jets depth chart and the team will continue to take a patient approach with the development of its young quarterback. Jets fans should continue to stay excited for the potential of Hackenberg’s career as he has a great chance to develop into a quality starting quarterback.