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New York Giants Vs. New York Jets: Preseason Week 3 Game Analysis

August 24th, 2014 at 2:55 PM
By Dan Benton

Leading up to Friday night's MetLife Bowl, there was a significant amount of trash talk coming from the New York Jets and their fans. Of course, that can be attributed to it being their biggest game of the season, which unfortunately for them, did not end the way that they would have hoped. And after six days of "showing off" the Snoopy trophy from last year's preseason victory over the Giants, Gang Green was forced to hand it over after being defeated 35-24.

Despite the victory, not all news was good news for the Giants. They saw offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz and wide receiver Marcus Harris go down with serious injuries, and their first team offense once against struggled until late in the second quarter.

Key to Victory: Second and Third Team Dominance

Okay, okay. Maybe the word "dominance" is a little strong, but there's no denying that the Giants' second and third teams appear to be performing at level higher than the first team. And while that's a positive in terms of depth, it gives little hope for fans expecting to see Big Blue rebounding from a 7-9 season in 2013.

Now allow us to take a deeper look into the positives and negatives from Friday night's game.

GAME POSITIVES:

  • Ryan Nassib – After under-whelming against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Nassib has rebounded with two tremendous performances, including his best NFL performance on Friday night against the New York Jets. Nassib completed eight of his 12 passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns. It's clear that he has a solid grasp of the West Coast-style offense and has now bumped Curtis Painter (no snaps on Friday) completely off the depth chart.
  • Corey Washington – Ho-hum. Another game, another fourth quarter touchdown for Corey Washington. He saw fewer than 10 snaps (we believe) on Friday night, yet managed to haul in two passes for 36 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. The guy certainly makes the most of his opportunities, doesn't he?
  • Victor Cruz – Cruz had been completely blanked on the stat sheet coming into Friday night, but re-emerged against the Jets (naturally) with four receptions for 61 yards. It was abundantly clear that when Cruz is more heavily involved, the offense itself performs at a much higher level.
  • Steve Weatherford – Super Steve has absolutely dominated the preseason. Because he's a punter it's gone largely unnoticed, but he's playing at an other-worldly level right now. He boomed another seven punts against the Jets, tallying 315 more yards (45.0 average) with three dropping inside the 20.
  • Rashad Jennings – Jennings has not slowed since the start of the preseason. If he hasn't opened your eyes yet, you may want to visit an optometrist. He carried the ball 13 times for 67 yards (5.2 ypc average) and currently leads the NFL in preseason rushing. However, the most impressive aspect of his game against the Jets came when he slid perfectly across the pocket to pick up a blitzer, allowing Eli Manning extra time to find an open target.
  • Andre Williams – Jets head coach Rex Ryan said the last time he had seen Williams, the running back was "getting smoked by Clemson." Well, Williams got the last laugh with the go-ahead touchdown on Friday night. He also showed a tough side, absorbing some big hits from jets defenders who very clearly had him in their crosshairs.
  • Jacquian Williams – Williams has somewhat quietly put on a tremendous showing this preseason. He added to that with another solid performance on Friday night, collecting seven more tackles (he had led the team before being taken out in the second half).
  • Eli Manning – Manning's performance could go under the "mixed" category, but it was his best performance of the preseason by far. Once the offensive line gelled a bit and started to give him some time in the pocket, Manning unleashed several truly impressive throws (one to Victor Cruz and another to Rueben Randle for a touchdown come to mind). The one real hiccup came on an interception that was eventually overturned. Manning clearly tried to force a pass to Cruz and it nearly cost the Giants big. Still, 12/21 for 139 yards and a touchdown eclipses his entire preseason stat line to date.
  • Damontre Moore – Moore is playing at a different level in 2014. There's really no other way to put it. He's energized, seems to be comfortable in Perry Fewell's defense and has dominated anyone put in front of him. He added four tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and two quarterback hits to his resume on Friday night — including a sack of the speedy Michael Vick.

GAME NEGATIVES:

  • Charles James II – James is a guy you feel like you have to root for, but his performance against the Jets may have hurt his chances to make the 53-man roster. Early in the fourth quarter, he was flagged for a late hit and them almost immediately gave up a touchdown that put Gang Green back in the lead. He'll need to turn heads next week against the New England Patriots.
  • Will Beatty – Although he rebounded later in the game and played really well during the 2:00 drive to end the second quarter, Beatty struggled for the better part of the first half on Friday night. He was abused by Jason Babin on one inside move, and a stunt later terrorized he and Geoff Schwartz. It's hard to tell exactly who is at fault for some of the issues, but many of them came from Beatty's side.
  • Mario Manningham – Manningham didn't really do anything that stood out as a "negative," but after receiving some first-team reps, the fact that he was only able to haul in a single pass for five yards is a bit concerning. Super Mario is playing for his life and if that's all he's capable of bringing to the table right now, his odds of making the 53-man roster are long.
  • Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi was nearly non-existent on Friday night, putting little to no pressure on Jets quarterbacks. He did have one night pass defensed, but other than that, there was little to write home about. With Damontre Moore dominating, Kiwi needs to step up if he wishes to retain his starting job across from Jason Pierre-Paul.
  • Referees - Another game, another 20 enforced penalties and over 25 called. It's gotten completely out of hands, is slowing down the game and killing the enjoyment factor.

PLAYER OF THE GAMEQuarterback Ryan Nassib

What more needs to be said about Nassib? The reality is he's gone from bust and wasted pick to a solid No. 2 quarterback who truly grasps the West Coast-style system brought in by Ben McAdoo. He leads the NFL in passing, has performed well in three of four preseason game and a portion of that came against the Jets' first team defense.

While no quarterback controversy is brewing, Nassib is finally rounding into shape and giving the Giants a legitimate option should Eli Manning go down with injury again in 2014 (knock on wood).

Game Balls:

Quarterback Ryan Nassib, wide receivers Victor Cruz and Corey Washington, and defensive end Damontre Moore

OVERALL PERFORMANCE GRADE:

It took a little while to get going, but the Giants first team offense finally showed a little something on their two-minute drive to end the first half. Then, as noted previously, the second and third teams came in and cleaned things up, helping to propel the Giants to a 4-0 preseason record, however meaningless that may be.

There's plenty of concern left to be expressed, but there's no denying the team finally took a small step forward. Now they have something to build on heading into the final preseason game against the New England Patriots.

Grade: C+

Also…

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Charles James, Corey Washington, Damontre Moore, Football, Jacquian Williams, Mario Manningham, Mathias Kiwanuka, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rashad Jennings, Ryan Nassib, Steve Weatherford, Victor Cruz, Will Beatty

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7 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. New York Jets: Preseason Week 3 Game Analysis”

  1.  Baldwin says:

    Nice analysis and nice to hear a positive analysis on Eli Manning in the no huddle drive. People like to criticize and say Rex called off the dogs on that play, but Ryan was bringing the house on that 3rd&3 completion to Cruz. Eli saw it quickly and rolled the pocket and beat the blitz on man coverage to Cruz. It was well done. The a Jets were on their heels and Eli kept the chains moving.

    It’s funny, but before the game, fans were saying, “Just show me something. Just give me one long drive for a TD.” Eli delivered it and then the fans proceeded to ignore it or shred it to pieces. Unbelievable.

  2.  Krow says:

    Well … right now if you divided the NFL into thirds we’d be in the middle one. We’ll win some … lose some … and probably hover around .500. The question before us is how do we improve to that next step?

    Clearly the OL has the chance to undermine the season. They proved that last year. But I think the pass rush does too. On the other hand they could also be the missing piece that puts us in the playoffs.

    Time will tell.

  3.  Jason McEwan says:

    Nice analysis Dan. However there’s one thing I don’t entirely agree with:
    “Once the offensive line gelled a bit and started to give him some time in the pocket”

    The 1st team O-line didn’t really gell, Eli was able to complete those passes in the 2:00 minute drive because McAdoo realized that he needed to roll Eli out of the pocket to give our WRs any real chance of a reception. Our 1st team line is below average right now and Schwartz going out might be a blessing in disguise as Richburg might be the answer on our interior line.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Sorry, but those who didn’t see improvement in the O-line are just seeing what confirms their prejudices. They were MUCH better.

    And only two of those pass plays in the 2-minute drill were rollouts, one if which wasn’t even completed. So almost all of the long drive was made with Eli in the pocket.

  5.  Nosh.0 says:

    We will have to clarify what constitutes as “good” offensive line play. Missing your block and letting the QB get sacked is at minimum a drive killing play. And if the QB fumbles it could be a game changing play. If the QB gets hurt than it is a season killing play.

    I suppose because the OL was so horrendous last season that it has scarred Giants fans to the point of deeming friday nights performance acceptable. The Giants had 6 drives in the first half. The first 5 resulted in a punt. 2 of the drives resulted in negative yards. Eli was sacked twice for -22 yards. And we saw Eli have to roll out more than we ever have.

    The pass protection was flat out unacceptable by the first team OL. Have we lowered our expectations so much that a guy missing only a few blocks in one half of football constitutes a “good”?

  6.  Nosh.0 says:

    Here’s the last I’ll say about it since after all it was only a preseason game. In order for an offense to function at a high level it needs to be able to get into a rhythm. Particularly the QB and the WR’s. If the QB is under pressure every 2-3 plays, it will never be able to get into rhythm enough to consistently win football games.

    What I saw Friday night was a QB consistently running for his life for 30 minutes of football. Sure the 2:00 minute drive was great. But you’re not going to win many football games relying on that. If the OL does not give Eli protection on a consistent basis then this team is looking at another lost season.

    I actually thought the OL played reasonable in the Colts and Pitt game and Eli was more the culprit. The Jets game was the opposite. Eli did every thing he could while the OL decided it was acceptable if they hit 2 out of every 3 blocks.

  7.  Nosh.0 says:

    Coughlin was asked what he thought of left tackle Will Beatty’s performance Friday and he said Beatty was working very hard every day in practice. Asked if he was happy with Beatty’s work since returning from his injury, Coughlin said this: “‘Happy’ and ‘satisfied’ are not the words I would use to describe it, but I do recognize the progress and I do recognize that he’s working hard at his trade.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-giants/post/_/id/38247/practice-report-giants-o-line-woes-mount

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