2009 Preseason Week 3 - Jets at Giants Photos
Rex Ryan was obviously not totally, completely, 100 percent happy. In his opening remarks after the Jets' 27-25 win over the Giants, he had a few bullet points for the week ahead.
* "We started on our heels a little bit. We had seven penalties in the first quarter, which is obviously not the way you want to start."
* "I thought our offense was outstanding today, despite the obvious 1-for-11, which I'm sure somebody will point out on third downs."
* "We had a couple mistakes on defense with that last group. Those guys are NFL players. You know, a lot of times they do a lot of good things. But we've got to be consistent. We can't make those mistakes. We've got to get that corrected."
But make no mistake about it, Rex also likes winning and the Green & White beat Big Blue for their first win of the preseason and his first win as an NFL head coach. And it was good to see a few of the Jets who will be backups and contributors on this team once it gets to the preseason making some plays to help secure that victory.
I saw Dwight Lowery standing alone in the corner of the locker room getting ready to leave. I couldn't let him depart with reminiscing about his high pass defense on Mario Manningham in the fourth quarter. I found the second-year DB in a thoughtful mood.
"You get feelings during games that things are going to happen," Lowery began. "At a certain point you have to act upon how you feel."
Cryptic, but then he elaborated.
"At Baltimore, I knew a play might happen but I didn't trust myself. Then exactly what I thought would happen happened. At a certain point you have to stop playing conservatively."
That led to his one big play on Manningham, who was running a deep pattern but didn't get by Lowery. David Carr's pass was there for the taking by Manningham — and then it wasn't as Lowery knocked it away.
"I felt they were going to try take a shot or two on me," he said. "I watched some film this week — not as much as we would for a regular-season game — and I saw a couple of tendencies that they were showing."
The play wasn't a drive-stopper. But the Giants needed five more plays before Carr found rookie Hakeem Nicks in the back of the end zone with 4:15 to play to cut the Jets' edge to 20-19. They could've used those two minutes used on those plays later in the game for their second comeback.
That's because after the first Nicks score, Erik Ainge came in for his first play of the night and immediately found Aundrae Allison for a 70-yard touchdown pass to open it back up to 27-19.
"You want to go in and have it be a close game for a victory," said Ainge. "Mark [Sanchez] did a real good job. The three other quarterbacks [Sanchez, Chris Pizzotti, Kellen Clemens] did well. It was fun just being part of a win."
That's because of Allison's speed and coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's call.
"They'd been bringing a lot of pressure," Ainge said of the Giants' backup defense. "Schotty said, 'We're gonna take a shot right now. Think Drae [Aundrae, that is] all the way.' I took five steps and let it go."
The ball was underthrown, but that was OK because Giants CB DeAndre Wright was playing for "88 Out of the Gate" (as Rex Ryan calls Allison) to try to blow by him. Allison came down with the ball at the Giants 32, then took a second to kick into fourth gear because Wright was in hot pursuit. But he couldn't catch Allison, who completed the Jets' third 70-yard TD in the last two preseasons.
"It definitely was good for the young guys," Lowery said about the endgame to this Jets-Giants meeting, the 41st annual matchup in the Meadowlands and the last in this venue before the teams shift 100 yards to the north to resume hostilities in the New Meadowlands Stadium in 2010. "For the older guys, they play and then they're done. The younger guys have to commit to the game like it's a real game, see how teams try to attack you and go from there. You don't go to practice because you have to. You're a professional. You go to practice to correct things."
The Jets will make these corrections in the next four days before they get to take on the Philadelphia Eagles and probably see an extra helping of Michael Vick on the Meadowlands FieldTurf in the final preseason game Thursday night. But they'll make them as a team coming off a victory, and that means a lot, even in the summer.