Giants 26 – Jets 3: Hits, Misses, & Musings
And the Snoopy trophy goes to …the Giants, who topped the Jets 26-3.
So much for a preseason game’s outcome not being worth something, right? Since last year, when MetLife bought the naming rights to the building formally known as New Meadowlands Stadium, they’ve designated the annual summer matchup between the Jets and Giants as the “MetLife Bowl,” the winner receiving a statue of the famed cartoon character Snoopy from the late Charles Schultz’ ‘Peanuts’ series.
As the Giants Senior Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon said last night before the Snoopy trophy presentation, time to make some room among those four Lombardi’s.
Seriously, I actually want to applaud the Jets, the host team, this time around, on a few things (and no, their play on the field isn’t one of them).
First, they were good enough to paint one of the end zones with the Giants’ logo, which I thought was a nice touch of courtesy toward their MetLife Stadium neighbors.
Second, they didn’t cover up the Super Bowl mural outside of the Giants locker room like they did last year when the two teams met in the regular season, a move that turned into a massive public relations disaster for Gang Green.
There’s such a thing as being gracious hosts, and I’m glad that the Jets realized that trying to cover up the mural doesn’t erase the Giants’ accomplishments. It seems they’ve realized that perhaps having their players walk past that mural on game days can hopefully serve as motivation that with some hard work and consistency, one day soon they can add to their mural.
And I have to say I’ve also been impressed by the lack of outrageous chatter coming out of Gang Green, especially from head coach Rex Ryan who in the past was more known for his colorful guarantees about winning Super Bowls than he was for actually winning games. The 2012 version of Ryan has been far more humble and subdued, perhaps having learned there’s a difference between being boastful and being confident, and it’s actually been quite refreshing.
I don’t know what the season holds for the Jets, just as I don’t know what the season ahead holds for the Giants. But I applaud Gang Green, who finally seem to have matured a bit when it comes to their stadium neighbors’ success.
The following Giants did not play this week: CB Terrell Thomas (knee); CB Brandon Bing (hamstring); DB Michael Coe (hamstring); LB Jacquian Williams (hip); LB Michael Boley (hamstring); LT Will Beatty (back); DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot); and DT Marvin Austin (back).
DT Chris Canty (knee) and TE Travis Beckum (knee) are on PUP, and were ineligible to play. Also, DT Marcus Thomas (DT), signed by the Giants on Thursday, and WR Hakeem Nicks, who was activated off PUP earlier this week, were not eligible to play.
The following new injuries developed in the game: LB Mark Herzlich (hip pointer); DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (right wrist), and CB Jayron Hosley (foot). Of those, Hosley’s is probably the biggest concern right now only because they don’t know the extent or severity.
Jayron Hosley: Head coach Tom Coughlin wanted ball security from his punt returners, and Hosley delivered, cleanly fielding both of his attempts and returning them for ten yards. His highlight-reel play, though, was his 77-yard interception return for a touchdown off a Mark Sanchez pass, a play in which Hosley read the quarterback well, quickly got himself into position to make the catch, and moreover, didn’t look a bit like a rookie in doing so. Looks like the Giants have themselves an emerging star at the slot corner spot.
Lawrence Tynes: I wrote about how Tynes worked to improve his leg strength this past off-season and boy was that on display this week as Tynes sent four of his seven kickoffs deep into the end zone. He also made all four of his field goal attempts, including a 40 and a 45-yarder.
Keith Rivers: Starting for Michael Boley, Rivers looked right at home this week coming up against the run and in coverage. He finished as the team’s leading tackler with five (three solo), including one tackle for a loss.
Joe Martinek: Although he only received a handful of snaps, he made the most of them and in my mind is one of the most improved players on the offensive side of the ball from the start of camp. While his technique needs a little more work and he probably could use a little more strength so he can become more effective between the tackles, Martinek showed that he knows his assignments and I also saw him get a good lick on a Jet late in the game. His fourth quarter touchdown also inspired confidence in his ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands. He’s probably headed to the practice squad, and there’s certainly no shame in that, especially if one considers that the Giants running backs group has suffered annual injuries that lead to guys missing time.
Ramses Barden: It completely baffles me how Barden seems to be two different players during practice and on the field. In practice, he shows a little life in going after the ball and he generally catches everything thrown his way. On the playing field, it’s quite a different story. In the first quarter of the game, he dropped a pass that was right in his hands. Granted, he had a defender draped over his back, but he still should have made the reception. And then on the second pass thrown his way, with Darrelle Revis covering him, that he showed little fight against Revis was disturbing. Revis is the best of the best, but Barden is 6-6 to Revis’ 5-11, a clear height advantage that, had the receiver used, he might have very well come up with a major accomplishment to add to his résumé.
The running game. The Giants’ running game finished with 32 carries for 58 yards. That’s a 1.8 yards per carry average. Awful. Something has to give there because this team cannot go into the season with that kind of production.
DJ Ware: While I can’t lay the poor run blocking at his feet, I can lay the poor job he did in the second quarter on the punt team when he failed to pick up Aaron Maybin, who blocked Steve Weatherford’s punt. Ware has to do a better job in that spot; fortunately the Mistake didn’t hurt the Giants.
The preseason is more than halfway done, and the Giants’ defensive tackles aren’t the only position that seems to be in a state of disarray due to injury.
Offensive tackle is a very deep concern, as left tackle Will Beatty has now missed his second preseason game, not to mention many practices because of a bad back. He also hasn’t played since last November, when he initially suffered a season-ending eye injury.
That’s a long time for a player to go without any snaps in an organized scrimmage. A LONG time.
I think we can all agree that protecting Eli Manning is vital to this team’s success. And while I realize that there probably isn’t anyone out there right now that fits what the team might be looking for, I have to believe that if Beatty’s back continues to be an issue, a veteran is coming just as soon as roster cuts are made.