NFL Central

Lions in the League: Hackenberg struggles in final preseason game


Former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg may have seen the field for the last time in 2016.

In the New York Jets’ final preseason game on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, starter Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t play, and neither did backup Geno Smith.

Former 2015 fourth-round pick Bryce Petty was in for a couple series, but injured his shoulder on a 44-yard touchdown pass.

Thursday belonged to Hackenberg.

The Nittany Lions’ all-time leading passer did not play in New York’s first two preseason games and engineered a nice touchdown drive in the third game against the Giants, but had an extended look before the regular season gets underway.

Unfortunately for Hackenberg, he wasn’t able to do much with the opportunity.

The 2016 second-round selection completed 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and an interception. He averaged 1.7 yards per attempt and recorded a 30.7 quarterback rating.

The pick wasn’t real pretty for Hackenberg, either.

With the poor decision came criticism across Twitter.

Like this.

And this.

While the statistics weren’t in Hackenberg’s favor, neither was his offensive line. The quarterback was pressured all evening, being sacked once and hurried on countless occasions.

Nevertheless, Hackenberg has plenty to work on, and with the regular season approaching and sitting at the bottom of the depth chart, he’ll have plenty of time to get more familiar with the playbook.