New York Jets: 4 Reasons the Preseason Game vs. New York Giants Should Matter
Yes, it's only preseason, and it's irrational and unwise to predict a team's season based on meaningless games.
But losses are still losses, and poor play can't be excused in any sort of game.
Swiss Cheese Offensive Line
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The Jets' O-line was an Achilles heel all through last season. After not doing much to address the line's needs this offseason, it's not surprising that they've faltered plenty during the preseason.
Jason Pierre-Paul led the way for Big Blue's front four, as they brought down Mark Sanchez behind the line three times. The second team held their own just as well and then some. They sacked Tim Tebow four more times. JPP's two sacks matched Adewale Ojomo's pair for the game-high.
Gang Green's porous protection also crimped the run game. Shonn Greene, Bilal Powell and others combined for 24 rushes averaging out to only 2.7 yards per carry. The team's offense failed to put up any points for the second consecutive game.
The offensive line has looked as bad as it has in recent years for the Jets. Mark Sanchez believes his guys are going to be fine in time, though. He told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, "I know we can block those four-man rush looks. I've seen our guys do it. And, I know we have the right personnel."
Sanchez's optimism is about the only positive outlook shining on the Jets' front five. Their miscues will undoubtedly spoil any playoff chances the team is clinging on to if they don't show immediate improvement for the start of the season.
Lack of Discipline Leading to Flags
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New York fans are never quick to warm up to a clumsy, undisciplined team. This Jets team is shaping up to fall under that category.
Against their co-tenants on Saturday, the Jets were flagged for eight penalties for a total of 76 yards. A team that was penalized 110 times in 2011 would presumably be coached to clean up their acts a season later.
That's 15 flags now for Rex Ryan's squad in just two preseason games—games that are typically and understandably sloppy, but a Jets point of emphasis this season should be to cut down dramatically from their bloated 2011 total.
Failure to Get Up for "Biggest" Preseason Game
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It's a matchup these players see every preseason and one that fans are never hesitant to get rowdy about. The media falls in love with the contest every August, and as the two teams broke camp just prior to Saturday's game, seemingly everyone in New York was buzzing about the annual brouhaha.
Except the Jets.
Almost every man dressed in green on the MetLife Stadium turf failed to match the defending champs' intensity, and the effects were paramount on Saturday.
The Giants' 23-point bashing of their in-state foe was the largest margin of defeat against the Jets in any game—preseason or regular season—which demonstrates just how historic the Jets' failure to rise to this particular occasion really was.
The argument can be made that, after all, it's still only a preseason game—which is valid. The point remains, however, that if a team can't get excited to face off against the defending Super Bowl champions (let alone the team they compete for fans with), then who will they get up to line up against?
Very Telling First Half
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It was the team's second game of the preseason, which meant the first team would take the first half snaps.
In the two-quarter game of the Real Giants versus the Real Jets, Gang Green failed to put points on the board and lost 13-0.
Mark Sanchez looked steady for most of the half but allowed an interception to be returned for a score by G-Men corner Jayron Hosley with 2:05 remaining in the half. It was a poor throw, but it's hard to blame Sanchez for poor performance when there's a member of the defense on his hip before he's even set to throw.
He completed nine of 11 passes, but for a meager total of 59 yards. Save the interception, Sanchez's only other incompletion was a sloppily dropped pass by Patrick Turner on a slant route.
As a whole, the Jets looked overmatched and were outplayed by their rival's starting corps.
Shonn Greene carried the ball 11 times and racked up only 36 yards in the first two quarters.
The defense looked to be a step slow, which is never excusable but more or less typical in the exhibition season.
The Jets have yet to take a single lead halfway through the preseason. If their first team doesn't show drastic strides towards competence Sunday versus Carolina, their fans won't have a whole lot to look forward to as the regular season kicks off.