Jets vs. Panthers: Points of Note from NFL Preseason Week 3

Adam Waksman@@AdamWaksmanCorrespondent IIIAugust 27, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 26:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers breaks free of  Muhammad Wilkerson #96 and Calvin Pace #97 of the New York Jets during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 26, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NFL preseason does not say much about the regular season. Everyone knows this, and you have to look mainly at rookies and backups to find reliable information.

In the case of the New York Jets, it's important to add the fact that Rex Ryan is doing his best job to hide all interesting aspects of his offense from public sight.

The Jets' third preseason game against the Carolina Panthers was another loss, 17-12. However, the score of a preseason game is only a footnote. Here are three takeaways from the game worth remembering.

Austin Howard might actually be good

At the last minute, the Jets demoted starting right tackle Wayne Hunter and replaced him with the inexperienced Austin Howard. Howard—a huge X-factor—played a fantastic game. He completely neutralized Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson and did not allow any sacks. Having a quality right tackle could be a major game-changer for the Jets offense.

Tim Tebow will play in the red zone

Now without former No. 2 wide receiver Plaxico Burress, the Jets have had trouble in the preseason in the red zone. They are 0-of-5 on red-zone attempts and have not yet scored a preseason touchdown. This likely means that the Jets will make use of backup quarterback Tim Tebow in the red zone when the regular season comes.

Tim Tebow will be used primarily in the Wildcat

Tebow was again allowed to take some attempts at throwing in a conventional offense. For the umpteenth time, he showed the world that he lacks the skills to be a conventional quarterback. He put up a stat line of 4-of-14 with an interception—a 13.7 quarterback rating.

Head coach Rex Ryan is likely convinced that Tebow's only use is as a Wildcat back, the position he was originally brought in to play. Expect to see heavy use of the Wildcat starting with Week 1 of the regular season.