Jets Podcast


Jets-Giants: 3 Questions, 3 Answers

Posted Aug 22, 2014

Green & White Trade Second-Half TDs Until Big Blue Pulls Away for 35-24 Win in MetLife Bowl

In the first half, it looked like Geno Smith and the Jets were going to run away and hide against the Giants, not to mention hide the Snoopy trophy in their training center for another year.

Then in the second half, it looked like the team that scored last would prevail in the fourth annual MetLife Bowl.

But when the second- and third-teamers took over late in the third quarter, the Big Blue crew made more plays than the Green & White. With two fourth-quarter touchdowns, on Andre Williams' short run and Ryan Nassib's 31-yard pass to rookie WR Corey Washington, the Giants opened up a lead that the Jets couldn't whittle back down in their 35-24 loss at MetLife Stadium tonight in the teams' 46th annual preseason game.

Early on, our 10-0 lead fashioned on a pair of Smith-engineered marches was our largest first-half lead in the last decade of this preseason rivalry. But in the second half the five lead changes and the Giants' five total touchdowns set summer records.

And speaking of records, the Giants improved to 3-0 while the Jets dropped to 2-1. Here are three Green & White answers from the game and three questions that will still linger in the short week ahead before the Jets finish the preseason at Philadelphia on Thursday night.


1. Will we have any healthy corners to start the season with?

Dimitri Patterson thought he was ready to return to action but was a late scratch. Then in the second quarter, Antonio Allen, pressed into corner duty due to all the injuries, was slow to leave the turf and did not return with what head coach Rex Ryan said afterward was a concussion. It's at about this time that Jets fans say, sadly but wisely, "One of our starting corners on opening day is not on the roster now." We'll see how that shakes out with cuts coming up to 75 by Tuesday and then to 53 by Saturday.

2. Is the turnover problem of last season fixed?

The giveaway/takeaway ratio can turn around in the blink of an eye so we can't make any blanket statements. The defense was fired up as it usually is to play Eli Manning as Jason Babin in the first quarter and Muhammad Wilkerson in the second quarter each had a strip sack (each his first sack of the preseason, Babin's his first as a Jet), and CB Kyle Wilson had a sideline interception.

But Wilson's pick was wiped out after a replay review, the Jets didn't recover either loose ball, and lost one fumble of their own (detailed below) through three quarters. So their plus-3 margin of the first two games is no guarantee that the minus-14's of the previous two regular seasons are things of the past just yet.

3. Is left guard Winters' job?

It could be, but then again ... the second-year man got the start and had some nice blocking early. But then he was flagged for holding to wipe out Jeremy Kerley's 28-yard catch-and-run to the Giants 19. Instead of at least a field goal, we had to settle for Ryan Quigley's drop punt. Since Philadelphia in the final preseason game is a no-starters zone, we'll need Rex Ryan to reveal if Oday Aboushi has a shot at coming out of the new aircraft-carrier tunnel with the first unit on Sept. 7.


1. The offense may be all right.

Rex, Marty Mornhinweg and the offensive players, not to mention the fans, needed to see some offensive progress tonight. They saw it in the first half as Geno Smith looked efficient in completing nine of 14 passes for 137 yards, the 1-yard TD flip to Jace Amaro, no turnovers, no sacks, and three keepers for 17 yards. Eric Decker's 27-yard reception on the skinny post was the offense's longest pass play of the preseason. Chris Johnson had a 17-yard run and receptions of 16 and 19 yards, Chris Ivory an 18-yard run and 23-yard reception. Overall, 222 yards and 14 first downs in the first half is fine production.

2. The top of the QB depth chart is set ... for now

To be sure, many thought there wasn't much competition between Smith and Vick. Smith got all three preseason starts, and in the first two games they were pretty even. But Smith appeared to separate tonight with his strong first half while Vick's first two plays in the third quarter produced a sack and a lost fumble leading to a 16-yard Giants TD drive before he atoned with a touchdown possession of his own.

After the game Ryan made it official, at least for Geno going into Week 1 against the Raiders: "Yes, he'll be our starter," but declined to go further than that: "We're happy with both the quarterbacks, period ... It's a great situation to have and one that I feel blessed to have."

3. The penalty problem has not yet been solved.

The Green & White got hit with four penalties for 29 yards in the first half. The second half was worse. It's true that ref John Parry's crew was calling a lot of the new-emphasis calls on the secondary in this one, but nevertheless, as DC Dennis Thurman said, "You can't worry about it. It's a rule. If we do it the way we're taught, we'll be OK." The Jets are not OK yet with 10 penalties for 79 yards on the night.


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