At least that's what it felt like. Granted, it wasn't flawless - his pass with 2:50 left in the second quarter, intended for Charone Peake, tipped off the offensive line and was almost intercepted, and he added a turnover late in the third quarter, off a fumbled snap - but it did display exactly why the Jets were so high on him in the first place. Hackenberg struggled that night, completing only 11-of-31 passes and throwing a mind-numbingly bad interception that he should never have tried to throw in the first place. There will be some obstacles and adversity along the way but in the grand scheme of things, the Jets are doing it right, at the cost of the 2017 National Football League season.
For Hackenberg, there were plenty of positives.
How far along is Christian Hackenberg? That may have been partly Hackenberg's choice, but it felt like the coaches limited the game plan to help Hackenberg's confidence, and because they don't trust him to run the full offense. This was Hackenberg's first game since September 1, 2016, when he played the preseason finale at Philadelphia. He played eight series, scoring on none of them.
By all accounts, Ross Martin is "winning" the kicking competition in camp as Catanzaro misses short field goal attempts with embarrassing frequency. It means Peake takes every part of his job seriously, and with special teams contributions on his game film, he should be a lock to make the roster. McCown showed deep-ball accuracy, hitting Robby Anderson on a 53-yard bomb - something we haven't seen in training camp.
The Penn State product easily could have been spurred by the performance of Josh McCown, who impressively led the Jets downfield on their opening, eight-play, 78-yard drive that resulted in his four-yard TD flip to Charone Peake.
On his first attempt, he scrambled to his right and completed a 15-yard pass to Rishard Matthews.
The Jets' starting defense looked dominant against the Marcus Mariota-led Titans.
Below you'll find our live tracker for tonight's Titans vs. Jets game.
Devon Still, Anthony Johnson, Josh Martin, Jordan Jenkins, Bruce Carter, Leonard Williams, Patrick Gamble and Stanford had sacks for the Jets. It's all about seeing what backups and third-stringers can do in real game simulations and also testing out certain packages and plays in games that don't even matter.
Corner Darryl Roberts was burned for a 42-yard gain, and Bryce Petty didn't do much as he played the final quarter and change behind Hackenberg and McCown.
There were several drops in the game by wideouts Jalin Marshall and Myles White and from fullbacks Julian Howsare and Anthony Firkser.