Jets vs. Giants: 5 Biggest Takeaways from Monday Night Game
The third preseason game of the season is typically considered the most important. Head coaches give their starters the opportunity to play into the second half in hopes of seeing them clicking as a unit.
5. David Carr Should Be the Backup QB
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Carr could be one of the most underrated backup QBs in the NFC, and tonight he was a lot better than the numbers suggested. The reason he struggled so much as a Texan was the same reason he struggled tonight: the offensive line. The backup line hardly blocked for him and committed countless false start penalties.
Carr remained poised. He didn’t force any plays and moved the Giants down the field on his first drive. It ended with a blocked field goal. On the final drive of the game, Carr called a hot route and moved the chains on an important 3rd-and-17. The numbers don’t show it, but Carr was effective.
It was the plays he didn’t make that make him a more valuable backup than Sage Rosenfels. He kept control of the ball even when faced with a ridiculous pass rush. The former No. 1 overall pick was once considered a potential Pro Bowler. He undoubtedly has the talent, and something about tonight made me believe that he’d deliver if (knock on wood) Eli were to go down with an injury.
4. Hakeem Nicks Is Only Getting Better
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Nicks is an absolute stud. The catch he made over Antonio Cromartie on the field goal drive in the second quarter rekindled memories of Plaxico Burress circa 2007.
It seemed like Nicks was held on almost every ball thrown his way, and he still came up with most of them. He is becoming one of the more physical receivers in the league and will be a nightmare for opposing defenses moving forward.
If he played a full game he would have easily had 100 yards, a feat seldom accomplished for a wide out against the Jets viscous tandem of Antonio Cromartie and Darelle Revis.
3. The Running Game Is Clicking on All Cylinders
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Ahmad Bradshaw wasn't supposed to play, but he looked excellent off the screen. He’ll be in positions where shaking one guy will mean large gains; he reminded us of that tonight.
Jacobs opened the Giant’s first drive of the second half with a big 25-yard run. He’s getting great acceleration off the line and appears to be in midseason form. If he wasn’t ejected for throwing a punch at the start of the third, he most likely would have had a touchdown run as well. (The Giants were stuffed on 4th-and-1 at the goal line).
Even Danny Ware looked like a Pro Bowler. The fact these guys were so successful is mainly due to their offensive line. Having David Baas at center gives these guys a new attitude and explosiveness off the ball.
2. Eli Is Still Making Bad Decisions
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The first interception was tipped off the hands of Victor Cruz, but it was a pass that should have never been thrown. The second interception was inexcusable, Ahmad Bradshaw was the primary receiver, and even though he properly executed his wheel route, Eli threw off his back foot and at Bradshaw’s inside shoulder. Eli needs to learn that when he’s under pressure, it is okay to throw the ball away.
Seeing Manning take the sack at the end of the half was actually encouraging, it was good to see he didn’t just throw up a prayer.
He has a long way to go if he's going to significantly decrease his interception total from 2010.
1. The Special Teams Are a Mess
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The Giants kick coverage team is not where it needs to be. The Giants saw a ball drop in the end zone, and they nearly gave up on the play. Antonio Cromartie nearly took it back for a TD. It was eerily similar to the punt DeSean Jackson returned for a TD that ended the Giants’ season in 2010.
Jerrel Jernigan almost gave the Jets the ball inside the Giant’s 10 on a muffed punt on their first possession of the second half. On their second punt return of the half, Jernigan fumbled the ball. Jerrel pretty much showed that he’s not the right choice to return punts in 2011.
Throw in the blocked field goal and a muffed kickoff return, and this is easily the worst the Giants special teams has looked in a while.
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