FLORHAM PARK, NJ — The Jets front office may still be without power here at the Atlantic Health Training Facility but that’s not stopping me from wrapping up last night’s Battle for NY Bragging Rights. Okay, so maybe the game was ugly enough on both ends that no one deserves to be bragging about one’s performance, but hey, the Jets’ Rex Ryan was the one hoisting the MetLife Bowl’s coveted (?) Snoopy trophy.
The offense often looked as stagnant as the water that’s still residing on the streets of Long Island from Hurricane Irene, but made the most of their opportunities. The defense looked sharp despite the lack of a consistent pass rush, while the special teams look, well, special – sparking two key plays that sealed the 17-3 victory over the Giants.
PASSING OFFENSE: C
- There’s two schools of thought on the outlook of the Jets’ passing offense. 1) They scored when they had, making the most of their opportunities (67% in red zone attempts). 2) Given their favorable field positioning, the should have scored. Against a good pass rush, like the Giants, this offense needs to show they can sustain drives – not just scoring from 30-yards out.
- Going 4-14 on third downs is a pause for concern with this team, as it was a glaring problem last year as well.
- Against this stout Giants front seven, the Jets o-line gave up zero sacks. Credit this unit for protecting their franchise player. Also credit Sanchez for keeping plays alive with his legs.
- No catches for Plaxico Burress? No problem. It was easy to tell both teams had their eyes on Burress the whole game, with the Giants not wanting to see him make a big play on his former team. His time will come.
RUSHING OFFENSE: F
- Thirty-eight attempts, 112 total rushing yards, 2.9 yards per attempt: They definitely pounded the ground, but with little to no effectiveness. The lack of a rushing attack allowed the Giants to zero in on Sanchez and focus more on coverage – with a passing attack that plays off of their ground game, they have to be able to run the ball effectively.
- Speaking of effectiveness, Shonn Greene has been exactly that. Through the pre-season Greene has been averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Watch out fantasy owners, he’s going to live up to the billing this year.
- We are seeing the decline of a legend, folks. LaDanian Tomlinson averaged 1.93 yards per carry this pre-season on only 11 carries. Are they trying to save his legs? Or has he reached the end of the road?
PASSING DEFENSE: A
- Two turnovers by a defense that ranked 25th in the NFL in turnovers last year is a great sign. An even better sign? Seeing S Jim Leonhard get his second INT of the pre-season. He’s a huge cog on this defense.
- You’d think after last season CB Antonio Cromartie would be used to all the attention he receives from opposing quarterbacks. Eli Manning took a lot of shots at Cromartie last night. He needs to be able to respond without getting penalized.
- Rookie ILB Nick Bellore will not be a starter but he definitely has shown he has a nose for the ball. He had two huge plays, disrupting the timing of the Giants QB — including a huge open-field sack on third down. Remember his name down the road.
RUSHING DEFENSE: B-
- Holding up a goal line stand on the 4th & goal, as well as stop another 4th & 1 attempt is a great sign for the front seven that faced the bruising attack of Brandon Jacobs, without the help of DT Sione Pouha (knee).
- The problem was, however, stopping the outside speed of RB Ahmad Bradshaw (34 total yards on four touches).
- The defense allowed 105 total rushing yards on 4.2 yards per carry.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
- Cromartie’s 70-yard KR set-up Holmes’ 17-yard TD catch. The guy is explosive from back there, but is it smart to have your starting corner returning kicks?
- Jarron Gilbert’s blocked FG killed the Giants’ hopes of mounting any sort of a comeback, and ultimately set-up Bilal Powell’s 1-yard TD score, putting the game out of reach.
- Looks like Nick Folk has won the starting kicking job. It has been reported that the Jets released Nick Novak today.
- Mike Westhoff is a special teams guru, but can he be counted on to win games for this team consistently? He shouldn’t be put in that position to be, that’s all I’ll say.
- The Jets were undisciplined getting plenty of personal foul calls that hurt the team, both offensively and defensively. You can’t keep giving the opposing team free plays or, worse, taking away plays from your offense.
- Yes, the Giants offense put up big yardage on the Jets defense, but credit DC Mike Pettine and Ryan on dialing up the intensity as well as the play calling when they got backed up against their own goal.