Post Game Thoughts- Giants 31 Jets 16
Well the first game is now in the books and surprisingly the Jets played their starters for almost the entire first half, a rarity for a first preseason game. I'm not sure why the head coach decided to go that route, but it made for a much more enjoyable experience as we got to see NFL football for far longer than anyone thought. Let's take a look at some of the things we might be able to take out of the game.
Mark Sanchez got off to a rocky start with a huge interception as he tried to force a ball to LaDainian Tomlinson, but luckily he turned things around after that and looked like the player from the 2009 playoff run rather than the 2009 regular season. Had that not occurred the headlines probably would have been all about Mark, but Sanchez was clearly the better of the two starters.
The starting wide receivers all looked good. Braylon Edwards made a great grab while Jerricho Cotchery's route running was superb. Santonio Holmes saw time with the second unit and looked fine. You can even throw Dustin Keller in this group as he had nice timing with the QB tonight. Outside of one pass where Edwards went out of bounds prior to making a reception I'm not sure if any of these players had a ball thrown to them that did not result in a reception.
Robert Turner filled in nicely for Nick Mangold and likely cemented his status on the team. He did have a costly holding call, but all in all a good showing for one of the teams reserves. The starting DB play was excellent. Like the Sanchez pick early on would have led to a negative media blitz so would have poor play by Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. Of course those same media types will pay it no attention tomorrow but it is a guarantee is Manning was 9 of 10 for 120 yards they would be ripping the Jets for not paying Darrelle Revis. Privately the Jets front office has to be very happy right now as Manning did nothing in the passing game.
Overall the starting defense did a nice job, except for the long Ahmad Bradshaw play that must have had Rex Ryan going insane on the sidelines with all the missed tackles. Other than the score set up by the Sanchez interception there was nothing going on for the Giants. Their first half offense, outside of the Bradshaw catch and run, went 25 plays for about 22 yards. That is awful.
Nice job by the special teamers tonight. They blocked a punt and never gave up anything close to a return, a real sore point last season.
The lack of depth on the team was apparent. Once the starting unit went to the sidelines and gave way to the backups the Giants took over the game. You would like to see some sense of urgency from these players who should be fighting hard for job, but there was none in this game. There are a few guys that made a few plays and should not get lumped into this category, such as Danny Woodhead, Ropati Pitoitua, and James Ihedigbo among others but most of the players looked like they did not belong on a NFL field.
We have heard all offseason about Vernon Gholston going back to where he belongs and how he has beat up the starting linemen in one on one drills, but once again the guy was nowhere to be seen. He may have been credited with a pressure late in the first half, but otherwise was another straight zero on the scorecard.
RB Joe McKnight looked every bit the part of the rumored player that will have a hard time making it in the NFL. There was nothing impressive to his game at all. There was no special burst. No special moves. Nothing. Even in a preseason game you hate to see that out of a runner. Running is relatively simple and players should stand out against these vanilla defenses if they have talent. McKnight did not. Once again Ryan had problems getting his defensive substitutions in the game and was forced to call two timeouts to avoid penalties. Yes it's only the preseason, but this was a major problem last season and the coaching staff should be more on top of these things. Hopefully it is a one week problem that we never see again.
I hesitate a bit to put K Nick Folk in this category, as he hit all his chip shots, but he missed his one long attempt and after the season he had last year you never want to see that happen. The fact that this is preseason should make no difference to a kicking unit.
Kevin O'Connell probably played his way off the team tonight. O'Connell was dreadful in every sense of the word. His handling of the final drive was so poor as he looked like a lost rookie on the field racking up two penalties and failing to score. One day the Jets will have to explain why they traded for him, but it would be a shock if he was on this team after the performance in this game.
Saving the worst for last we come to the backup defensive backs. Either Jim Sorgi turned into Peyton Manning or Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman are really awful. The coverage was nightmarishly bad against Victor Cruz who made a name for himself by abusing the Jets backups. Lowery was at least around Cruz, but Coleman should be cut tomorrow he was so bad. Very disappointing.
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