Hurricane Irene pushed the start time of the Jets/Giants game up from 7 PM to 2 PM last Saturday, and then postponed it until this past Monday. With everything that’s gone on in the tri-state area in the last four days, it was fair to say that those who had power and cable wanted nothing more than to sit back and watch a good game.
Well. Thanks for nothing, guys. Though the Jets topped the Giants 17-3 Monday night, the game was incredibly ugly and not much fun to watch.
+ Obviously, after all the fuss this offseason, the biggest sideshow was going to be Plaxico Burress. The former Giant was greeted warmly by the crowd and by Giants co-owner, John Mara, before serving as the Jets only representative for the coin toss. After that, Burress disappeared. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez threw at him 4 times, but he didn’t record any receptions.
+ Which brings us to…Mark Sanchez. Sanchez never seemed to get into any kind of rhythm before he was pulled, and finished 8 of 16 for 64 yards. The only time he looked really good was on the 17 yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. Play calling was on the conservative side and he faced some pressure, but those numbers just aren’t any good.
+ The Jets offense just didn’t look good all around – and credit to the Giants defense where it’s due, of course, but the Jets looked like they took a step backward. The starters were just 1 for 8 on third down opportunities, and had a lot of trouble running the ball. At one point in the first half, they failed to convert on third and inches, and nearly failed to convert on fourth and inches.
This is one of the most alarming things about the Jets this preseason. The whole “ground and pound” thing? That’s their thing! That’s their game, that’s how they define themselves as an offense! And, up to this point, there has been almost no ground and pound. This is the kind of thing that makes Jets fans nervous. There is still one game left versus the Eagles to work on the running game, and it’d be a comfort if we saw some good results. If the Jets can’t run the football, they aren’t going to win.
+ On the defensive end, the Jets were solid, holding the Giants to 3 points. Jim Leonhard and David Harris both had interceptions. Harris was all over the field, delivering hits, and getting into Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s face, which led to Leonhard’s interception. Then he picked off Manning himself. It was a pretty good night, except for one, massive, gaping hole. The Giants ran the football all night long with almost nobody stopping them. It’s sort of surprising the Giants didn’t score more points.
“We did a great job taking the ball away,” Leonhard said afterwards. “But we gave up too many yards, that was the biggest thing.”
+ The special teams looked good this game. Jarron Gilbert blocked a punt. After misplaying the ball in the endzone, cornerback Antonio Cromartie picked it up and ran for a 70 yard kickoff return, which jolted the struggling Jets offense a little bit.
+ Jets rookie defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson and Giants running back Brandon Jacobs exchanged punches in the third quarter after the play was whistled dead. Neither of them actually managed to land any punches, but both were thrown out of the game. After the game, Wilkerson has no regrets. There was a lot of pushing and shoving all night long, with two unnecessary roughness penalties.
The Jets and Giants next square off on December 24 at the recently renamed MetLife Stadium.
+ The Jets have finally chosen their kicker and punter for the upcoming season. Nick Folk will remain as place kicker and T.J. Conley will punt. Nick Folk won the kicking competition against Nick Novak with his performance on Monday. He nailed the one field goal he attempted and had a couple of really good kicks. Novak will be cut. Folk was 30-for-39 in field goals last season was perfect in extra point conversions, going 37-for-37. He put the Jets in front of the Colts for good, 17-16, in the AFC Wild Card game last January.
+ Cornerback Darrelle Revis banged up his hip a bit. Rex Ryan says it isn’t too serious an injury, but will be monitored. Fullback John Connor sprained an ankle. It was taped after the game and he was walking in a boot on Tuesday.
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