The Giants brought home the super cool Snoopy Trophy with a 35-24 win last night. This game was a tale of two halves. The first half saw the Jets starters outplay the Giants starters and take a 10-7 halftime lead into the locker room. Offensively, there was a lot to like. Geno looked good, and he spread the wealth. Rookie second round pick TE Jace Amaro hauled in 4 passes and grabbed Geno's first TD pass of the preseason. Eric Decker showed you some of what made him a 7.5 million dollar a year WR. The running game was excellent, as the duo of Ivory and Chris Johnson displayed the potential for a very effective thunder and lightening duo. There were a few red zone inefficiencies and the Jets scored only 10 points, so certainly we're not talking about a juggernaut, Broncos-esque performance, but it was a welcome change from... well, the past couple years.
Defensively, the Jets frustrated Eli with their pass rush as they blanked the Giants offense for the entire half... UNTIL the two minute drill, where Eli looked like the Eli Manning of old for the first time all season. The secondary was mostly kept unexposed thanks to the play up front, although the aforementioned 2 minute drill saw the secondary get sliced and diced.
The Giants took control of this game in the second half when the backups began to play. Ryan Nassib, he of Syracuse fame, took the Jets backups to school with an 8-12 performance with 3 TD passes. Nassib displayed a lot of good arm talent and in general looked to be more in control than Eli did (granted, against backups). Thanks to Nassib, the Giants get to put the Snoopy Trophy in the Timex Building to admire for the entirety of the season. Which is good since it will likely be the only trophy they win this season.
So who played well, and who played not so well?
The Jet Quarterbacks
I'm going to lump all the Jets Quarterbacks in here, because I think all of them played pretty well. Geno looked like a quality starting QB. Geno was 9/14 for 137 yards and a touchdown. He hit 7 different receivers, only hitting Amaro multiple times (they connected 3 times). The Jets had two drives of 60+ yards in the first half, culminating in 10 points. Most importantly, Geno had maybe one risky pass, the slant to Hill, and even that had a low chance of interception. He stood tall and delivered passes even when he was about to get smashed. He used his legs when he needed to, and got down rather than take big shots. He threw his first TD of the preseason, and maybe should have had 2 except Decker couldn't haul in a pass in the end zone. All in all, Geno looked like he was a lot further ahead from where he was as a rookie. Vick had an early fumble that gave the Giants the ball, but responded with a nice drive capped off with a tight throw to Decker for the touchdown. All in all, he was 4/5 for 35 yards. Even Matt Simms looked pretty solid as he attempts to lock down a spot on the roster, as he went 9/14 for 107 yards and a touchdown to Greg Salas, which he celebrated Victor Cruz style. It was a good and almost mistake free day from the QB position.
Kris Kross and the Jets run game
In a nickname that will probably not extend further than me, the running back duo of Chris "Mac Daddy" Johnson and Chris "Daddy Mac" Ivory looked as though they could be an excellent backfield. The line gave the backs holes to run through and Kris Kross hit them, and hit them fast. Two plays stick out to me. One, Mac Daddy had a 17 yard run on a zone stretch play where he saw a hole and just PLANTED the foot and turned it upfield. It was a cut that I honestly thought Chris Johnson didn't have anymore. It was the type of run that made me think CJ still has some ball left in him. Another play was when Daddy Mac took a simple blast run up the middle for 17 yards where it looked like Ivory was shot out of a cannon. He appeared to take the hand off going full speed with no regard for what was ahead of him. It showed great trust in the offensive line that the hole would be there. We also saw both backs rip off nice gains in the screen game. It would be nice to see the screen game take off, as the Jets have stunk at screens for a long time. In all, Kris Kross combined for 15 carries and 92 yards, as well as 3 catches for 58 yards.
Amaro hauled in 4 passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. While he's not the fleetest of tight ends in the NFL, he looks comfortable running routes and presents a big target in the middle of the field. He could be a big key in the red zone for a team who has had trouble there over the past 2 seasons.
This guy is just fun to watch. He had 5 tackles and a PD. Also ruined a Giants screen with his mere presence. He just flies all over the field. I liked to see that they trusted Pryor to handle the deep middle.
Much was made about Coples losing snaps last week, along with Rex Ryan's cryptic comment that it may be like this going forward. Well, Coples got the message, as he finally showed up last night, grabbing 5 tackles and 1 TFL in which he looked like he was shot out of a cannon to the football. He also looked stout in holding the point of attack to me.
5 tackles and a strip sack of Manning. Also applied great pressure on a screen pass and put a hit on Manning. A stud outing for a stud player.
Walls has some downs, such as a deep ball to Reuben Randle where he failed to locate the ball, and the first two passes on the Giants first TD drive went to Walls's man, but he also had 3 PDs and nearly had a pick that would've likely been 6 the other way.
Had a strip sack on an inside move. Bet you didn't see that one coming.
Gates led the team with 40 receiving yards. Yes, commence shock.
Caught Simms's salsa TD.
Another 4 tackles for Edds playing specials and defense, as he vies for a roster spot. He may displace Nick Bellore.
Committed bad penalties, got picked on by Victor Cruz on the 2 minute drive, then got picked on again by Giants backups. Once got lost on the sidelines and went out of bounds, then failed to establish himself back in bounds, nullifying an interception. Kyle Wilson showed that he's unlikely to ever have enough awareness to be a great corner, and his coverage ability tonight showed that he wasn't even a good cornerback. A bad night for Kyle.
Cool, he caught a 12 yard pass on a drag route uncovered. Pretty much the only positive you can say about Hill's night as a receiver. Ran a lazy slant route and got no separation from DRC on a throw from Geno. Dropped a down field pass that basically hit him right in the gut. Was otherwise totally invisible. It's hard to justify keeping him on the roster this point, yet the Jets continue to run him with the 1s. Hill certainly can't use lack of opportunities as an excuse. He just flat out stinks.
Generally an invisible player and had an awful whiff on Rashad Jennings that allowed him to gain an extra 20 yards on a run. I'm really hoping Landry finds his way to backup status once Allen moves back to safety.
Talk about a rough night. Goodness, this guy sucked yesterday. Got roasted on 2 long touchdowns thrown by Ryan Nassib, gave up a 3rd down conversion, and made a Dee Milliner attempt at a tackle on Andre Williams. His performance was honestly puke inducing. Not a good audition for a guy trying to make a roster... any roster.
I commend Nelson on coming in midseason and giving the Jets some quality snaps last year, but in the end, his status is solidified as being a JAG. Was basically this yesterday.
Got lost and fell down on a short pass to Henry Hynoski, then failed to keep him out of the end zone. Also failed to impress when he got some first team snaps. If Josh Bush had anything, he might be out of a job.
The run defense
A year after a near historical caliber run defense, the Giants basically sliced and diced the Jets on the ground. While there were a few splash plays against the run, overall it looked like the Giants OL executed much better than the Jets DL in the run game. It didn't get any better with the backups, either. Jennings went for 67 yards on 13 carries.
Not an awe-inspiring day as a blocker, and had a dumb penalty that wiped out a 28 yard gain. One has to wonder if Aboushi is going to replace Winters at some point this season.
I'm going to put Sheldon in the notes pile. There were some things I thought he did well; he had a couple of pressures and overall looked like he has a better idea of hand fighting. However, I also thought he got moved a lot in the run game and even wound up on his back a couple of times. Also, I don't see any development in Richardson's pass rush moves. You can't really come down on Sheldon too hard because at the VERY worst, he's going to make some tackles through his athleticism and nonstop motor. Can't help but respect a guy with his level of talent and hustle. But if Sheldon wants to make that leap into Richard Seymour's stratosphere like I think he can, he needs to develop his technique.
Antonio Allen the Cornerback
Allen made a nice play on a poorly thrown deep ball, and the Jets did use him in some off coverage. That said, it's hard to get a read on whether or not Allen has a chance to stick there because he got hurt early.
Geno the Starter
Not to put too much stock into the preseason, but frankly, Geno has earned the right to start. While I don't like that this was predetermined in June, Geno's play merits the starting job. Let's hope the momentum carries itself through the season. If not, however, it's nice to have a viable backup.
What do you think about last night's game? Did Geno impress you, or do you need to see more? Are you confident in these receivers? Do YOU want Stephen Hill on this team? Can this secondary hold up in real games? Please leave all your thoughts below and thank you for reading.