Jets 24 – Giants 21 (OT): Hits, Misses and Musings

Quick note: I’m revising how I do this recap a bit. Specifically, I’m adding a film review section. Hope you find it useful.

FILM ROOM

Q1: 1-10 NYG 16 (14:02)
Running back David Wilson take the handoff from Eli Manning and proceeds to cut around the left side for an 84-yard touchdown run. This play was by and large made possible by two players – left tackle Will Beatty, who sealed the inside, and receiver Hakeem Nicks, who got the outside man to give Wilson the room to run to daylight. Tight end Brandon Myers also had a block n this play, but it was more of a “get in the way” type, which I’m not sure had as much of an impact on the outcome as by the time the block had been mad, Wilson was already approaching the second level.

Q1: 3-5-NYG 22 (9:08)
Jets quarterback Geno smith connects with receiver Ben Obomanu for a 22-yard touchdown to tie the score 7-7. On this play, defensive end Adrian Tracy was standing up in coverage and had his eye on the quarterback all t way. Meanwhile, Obamanu slipped behind Tracy, who never once looked behind him until it was too late. Obomanu ends up wide open in the middle of the field, and becomes an easy target for smith, who made the read perfectly.

Q1: 3-9-NYJ 23 (0:36)
Safety Stevie Brown picks off Geno Smith’s pass intended for tight end Kellen Winslow. On this play, it looked like Keith Rivers had the underneath coverage and Brown was up top. Safety Ryan Mundy managed to pressure Smith into making the thrown, and Brown, who was injured on the play, was patient in letting things develop, reading the quarterback all the way and moving into position to make the pick.

Q2: The Giants failed third and fourth down attempts from the Jets 12 yard line starting at the 2:00 warning.
3rd-and-2 NYJ 2
It looked like the main culprit on this play’s failure was center Jim Cordle, who went a little too low at his man and ended up on the ground. AS a result, fullback Bear Pascoe, who was the lead blocker up the gut, had to handle two men, which he was unable to do, the result being Brown stuffed for no gain.

4th-and-2 NYJ 2
The pass wasn’t the best thrown ball in the world, but it did seem to hit Hakeem Nicks in the hands. The Jets defender on the play, Landry, never looked back for the ball, but there was no pass interference as he stuck his hands in the way to swat the ball away just as it was coming down toward Nicks.

Q3, 2-2-NYG 2. Bilal Powell takes the direct snap and scores the touchdown.
On this play, it looked like Mark Herzlich, in a t middle linebacker, might have been slow to recognize what was developing. Jets OL Brian Winters was pulling toward the right side and he met Herzlich at the point of attack, with Herzlich unable to disengage from the blocker.

Meanwhile linebacker Kyle Bosworth looked like he took a poor angle as he ended up on the ground, behind the runner and safety Tyler Sash appeared to have run into Bosworth after Powell got by tem.

Defensive back David Caldwell was also engaged in a block and Powell actually ran underneath the “bridge” formed by Caldwell and his man’s arms for the score.

Q4 2-14- NYJ 1 Geno Smith sacked out-of-bounds in end zone for a Giants safety
Although Mark Herzlich was credited with this play, it looked like Kyle Bosworth, who managed to beat Jets fullback Tommy Bohanon, got things going. Bosworth’s play helped Herzlich get into the backfield to chase down Smith, whose awareness on this play was poor.

HITS

David Wilson: His 84-yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty, but even more impressive in his showing was his performance in pass protection against a Jets defense, which is not the easiest in the league to manage. Credit Wilson for recognizing what was coming at him and getting in the way to slow down the blitzes.

Kyle Bosworth: It probably says a lot that Bosworth was given more snaps that Aaron Curry. And Bosworth did not disappoint, continuing to build on what’s been a strong summer. Among his plays included three blitzes and one great penetration and near-safety on a running play. While he also looked to be the one who was beaten on the Jets final touchdown, Bosworth might very well have done enough to lock up a roster spot.

Justin Pugh: The rookie stepped up and answered the bell in his NFL starting début. No, it wasn’t perfect as he was flagged for a false start midway through the second half and seemed to be surprised on a Jets power rush,  but what I did find somewhat encouraging was that he held up well to speed rushers, which seems to be the name of the game in today’s pass rushing  game. Pugh also held up well as a run blocker, holding  the block as long as necessary. And he looked good pulling on a couple of run blocks, finishing these pulls off with a nice little thud against the defenders.

Steve Weatherford: Not only has his punting been fine thee last few weeks – and he’s had a  heavy workload—but credit this veteran for taking such good care of himself to prevent any possibility of developing a tired leg so early in the season.

MISSES

Da’Rel Scott: Scott most likely sealed his fate with his late-game fumble, but before then he was having trouble pass blocking. That he no longer is even in the running as a special team returner is also not a good time for a player with good straight-ahead speed, but seemingly very little else to offer.

Jim Cordle: If there’s one thing I can’t fault Cordle on, it’s his effort, which is consistently good all the time. With that sad, his run blocking just wasn’t sharp, and even on the pass block, he looked to be the responsible party for the sack on Eli Manning.

I’m not sure the coaches stick with Cordle at center moving forward, but if they do, I do believe Cordle will work at correcting his shortcomings as best he can. Whether that will be good enough remains to be seen, but again, It’s hard to criticize a guy who gives it his all.

Aaron Curry: I had such high hopes for this former first round draft pick but he’s been mostly invisible this summer. One of the most alarming things from Curry this week was his failure to keep up with a running back in the open field. Curry looked sluggish on the play, which is not what you want to see from a  linebacker, and that’s why he was among the first round of roster cuts announced today.

Rex Ryan: I don’t normally include the opponent in this column, but how on earth does Ryan justify putting Mark Sanchez into the game in eh fourth quarter behind a makeshift offensive line? Seriously, what was there to learn about Sanchez that he didn’t’ already know in order to make a decision on who his starting quarterback will be? All Ryan did was potentially wreck Sanchez’s and the Jets’ season.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. His bizarre behavior in the post-game press conference – he turned his back on the media to show how he can turn away from them to answer a question– made a mockery of a reporter’s simple yes/no question when he said, “I can say anything I want. That’s the beauty of this country. I can answer it 100 times.”

I don’t cover that beat, obviously, but it sure does sound like Ryan is so unhappy right now that he’d almost welcome being relieved of his duties with that organization.

Matt Simms: I never thought I’d give anyone named Simms a ‘miss’ considering how highly I think of Phil Simms and the way he always conducted himself on the field when he played for the Giants, but his son’s excessive celebration after throwing a garbage time touchdown pass—he was flagged for the infraction, by the way–was pure bush league.

I’m all for celebrating, but the way the kid was acting with dragging out his celebration, you’d thought he was just informed he won a free trip to Disneyworld. So much for the old advice, “Act like you’ve been there before”  I guess.

MUSINGS
I’ve said it before, and will say it again.

Preseason games mean nothing. Squat. Zilch.

Their purpose is for teams to evaluate players and work on new things. In the Giants’ case, the purpose, at least against the Jets, was also to work on some old things.

I’m talking about the communication between quarterback Eli Manning and receiver Hakeem Nicks. On first glance, these two didn’t seem at all to be on the same page, the result of course being a combination of Nicks’ absence in the spring, and then an early training camp injury.

But again, that’s what preseason is for. In one-half of play, Nicks was targeted six times and only caught one pass that went for 34 yards.

So if you scratch beyond the surface of those numbers, you’ll see that the Manning-Nicks combination drew three pass interference penalties and consisted of a few throws that, with more time working together, go for completions instead of incompletions.

Maybe that’s why Manning isn’t pushing the panic button just yet despite his offense’s struggles against the Jets.

“(Just work) on it in practice and have it transfer to the field,” he said when asked what they need to do to improve the offense. “It’s not a thing to get worried about, but we know we do have to make improvements and get better.”

INACTIVES

Giants: CB Corey Webster (knee/groin);  WR Victor  Cruz (heel),  WR Ramses Barden (knee),  WR Louis Murphy (leg);  C  David Baas (knee)  T David Diehl (thumb surgery); FB Henry Hynoski (knee, just activated off PUP);  DE Damontre Moore (shoulder),  DE Jason Pierre-Paul  (back, PUP) DT Markus Kuhn (knee, PUP).

Jets: LB Quinton Coples; WR Braylon Edwards; DT Kenrick Ellis; C Dalton Freeman; WR Santonio Holmes (Activated from PUP); LB Josh Mauga; CB Dee Milliner.

The following Giants dressed but did not play in the game:  QB David Carr, QB Ryan Nassib, WR Terrell Sinkfield, WR Kevin Hardy, S Cooper Taylor, TE Chase Clement, T Austin Holts, and TE Jamie Childers.

THE FINAL WORD

If have one wish for a major rule change to go into effect next year, it’s that the NFL’s Competition Committee ban overtime games in the preseason.

Granted, overtime games are rare, but in the preseason especially, what’s the point? The results don’t count and all the extra 15 minutes of play does is increase the risk of players getting injured.

If the NFL is truly committed to player safety and is not willing to reduce the preseason slate from four to two games, then at least consider removing overtime, which, while not happening often, shouldn’t have to be something to think about at this time of year.

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