Jets DT CJ Mosely zeroes in on Giants QB just before sacking him during the Jets 10-7 win on Saturday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The good news is that Brett Favre looked great in his second exhibition start with the Jets. The bad news is multiple penalties took away field position and a beautiful Favre to Jerricho Cotchery TD strike. However, despite the mistakes, the Jets were able to rally to beat the defending World Champs and get back local bragging rights for one year.
January 20th, 2008 was a distant memory for Big Blue and Gang Green (well at least for Brett Favre) Saturday night during the tug of war for New York (and New Joizzy) bragging rights which ended in the Jets favor 10-7.
“As I’ve said all along, they deserved it,” Favre said. “Not only in our game but the way they played throughout the playoffs. Believe me, I wanted to win the game but I give them a tremendous amount of credit and respect. But, that’s over and done with.”
If Saturday was any indication for what’s in store for these two teams this coming season in front of 78,060, then there are a lot of questions to be asked and answered for both teams. There were no points scored until the third quarter. But then again, it’s just preseason right?
“We need to score points regardless if it’s preseason or week nine,” WR Marcus Henry said. “In this league, scoring points is half the battle.”
No subzero temperatures (77 degrees at kickoff), no interceptions by Corey Webster and no game winning field goals by Lawrence Tynes (out with injury) could come back and bite Favre in the behind this time. Back and forth was the running theme with both clubs. With the G-Men driving, QB Eli Manning hit WR Domenik Hixon on an out route for 22 yards toward the right sideline to bring the Giants within field goal range. The drive stalled with a sack by OLB Calvin Pace three plays later.
“The only thing I was thinking was, don’t let him get out of it once I caught him,” Pace said. “A lot of credit goes to the defensive backs and the linebackers for giving me time back there. The guys did a great job up the middle. It was just a little bit of me and a lot of everyone else.”
With 6:35 left to play in the first quarter, Favre hit WR Brad Smith on a screen pass that went for 20 yards. Smith would hook up later with Favre on a post pattern down the right sideline for 29 yards, only to be negated by an illegal shift penalty on TE Bubba Franks (who was non-existent for most of the game).
Favre finished his day with 30 snaps under center, completing 9-of-12 for 96 yards.
“I felt better,” Favre said. “I would’ve liked to have gotten the ball in the endzone. We knew it was going to be a challenge against this team. Unfortunately we made some plays that were called back.”
Penalties plagued Gang Green all night. They were the least penalized team in the NFL last season yet had eight penalties going into the fourth quarter.
“Anytime you have 12 penalties and 11 of them are on offensive players, that’s an issue,” coach Mangini said. “That’s something we have to do a much better job on.”
Favre stepped up to the plate on one of them.
“They didn’t happen last week,” Favre said. “We threw a lot more this week. It was probably newer for me than it was for the guys. The one with Nick (Mangold), the last false start we had, I actually held the count a bit longer. That’s my fault.”
Two of those 11 offensive penalties went to LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
“It’s a concentration thing,” Ferguson said. “It was uncharacteristic. “We have to pay attention to what’s going on. On my penalty, I didn’t realize that I was that deep in the backfield.”
Kellen Clemens started the second half under center, hitting TE Dustin Keller on a crossing pattern up the middle for 34 yards. On two consecutive fourth down plays, (one from NYG 31, the other from NYG 14), Gang Green elected to go for it, rather than give Mike Nugent a chance to redeem himself from his atrocious outing against the Redskins last week. Four plays later he put a 24-yarder through the goal-posts.
Clemens finished the night 9-for-12, 83 yards.
“It was nice to go out there and put some points on the board,” Clemens said.
QB Brett Ratliff didn’t see much action tonight going 2-for-4, 51 yards , TD, INT and connecting with TE Jason Pociask for 27 yards on a deep out route toward the left sideline.
“It was a good ball,” Pociask said. “I’m just happy we got the score.” That score being the 24-yard go route to WR Paul Raymond to put Gang Green ahead for good.
“Brett (Ratliff) has shown all preseason his poise and he just made a good play,” Raymond said. “It was definitely a confidence boost. It showed a lot of confidence that he came back to me after what happened in last weeks game.”
Additional Reporting by Andrew Scharff.
Miller hurt, Lowery reps increase
DB Justin Miller went out with a foot injury with 1:14 to play in the second quarter. DB Dwight Lowery, who played into the second quarter with the first team, picked up for Miller. “It’s his foot,” Mangini said.
WR Laveranues Coles (leg) and DE Shaun Ellis (hand). Coles did not speak to the media.
Big Blue’s Big Man hurt
DE Osi Umenyiora went down with a knee injury on an incomplete pass from Favre to Cotchery with 10:55 left to play. His x-rays were negative and is due for an MRI tomorrow. “I’m thinking it is going to be okay,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “We won’t know until tomorrow what exactly they will have to do if they have to do anything.”
Points of Emphasis
Head coach Eric Mangini said that the O-lines point of emphasis was to have the tackles up on the line, rather than having the line in a bow shape. “That was something we knew was going to be an issue and we should’ve done a better job with that,” Mangini said. “I didn’t do a good enough job getting the tackles up tighter than they already were. That did come down from the league. That was a point of emphasis.”
Grading Gang Green
C- Saturday’s game is one which the Jets offense would like to forget. Numbers-wise Brett Favre did look good (9 for 12, 96 yards) but production-wise the first team offense performed poorly. The furthest Favre took the Jets was to the Giants 44-yard line, but they were instantly put back as C Nick Mangold was called for a false start.
After having everything go wrong for him last week, QB Kellen Clemens came back with a solid performance. Clemens (9 for 12, 83 yards) converted two fourth down opportunities on the Jets 17 play, 72 yard, third quarter drive that led to a Mike Nugent 24-yard field goal.
Also kudos go to Jets QB Brett Ratliff, who showed another side of himself. After throwing an interception, Ratliff came back and demonstrated his poise to the Jets coaching staff by throwing a 24-yard game-winning touchdown pass to rookie WR Paul Raymond.
A+ Anytime a defense gets eight sacks it’s a good night. And a even bigger plus for Gang Green is they might found the perfect fit for Eric Mangini’s 3-4 defense. Free agent acquisition Calvin Pace tallied two sacks on the night and created havoc all over the field.
CB Dwight Lowery got more notice as he took most of the snaps after CB Justin Miller left the game early with what Mangini is calling a “foot” injury. For the second team, LB Cody Spencer continued his stellar preseason. Spencer had four tackles and he also recorded his third sack of the preseason.
B After missing a kick last week that would have sent the game into overtime, K Mike Nugent responded positively by converting on his only attempt (24 yards). P Ben Graham also had a solid game as he averaged 46.7 yards a punt.
A Even Mangini said it himself in his post game press conference, that he did not do a good enough job emphasizing getting the tackles up tighter than they were. His team also committed 12 penalties. (which is very uncharacteristic of a Mangini team) Those penalties slowed down drives and even took points off the scoreboard as an illegal formation penalty on TE Bubba Franks took away a Jerricho Cotchery touchdown. But Mangini gets the A because Gang Green did come away with the win.
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