By Rex Oâ€™Rourke
The Swamp in Joisey
With my wife out for dinner with friends, and cats Yogi and Scooter by my side, I settled in for what turned out to be a pretty entertaining little pre-season matchup between your New York Jets and your New York Giants. I was planning on taping the game and zipping through it (DVR, the greatest invention since canned beer) but ended up watching the entire contest.
At first I just wanted to see the first half and see which of the plethora of Giants receivers would step up and seize the starting job. Lo and behold, the very problem that I feared most in the post Amani/Plaxico era, the dropsies, crept into almost every offensive series by the G-Men. Eli Manning delivered ball after ball right on target only to find Roberto â€œManos De Piedraâ€ Duran on the other end; one miscue resulting in a costly interception deep in Giants territory. The good news, for Giants fans anyway, is that, their receiving corps, delivered separation consistently. The bad news, for Jets fans, is that their secondary committed way too many penalties trying to hold, bump, and harass Giants receivers.
Mark Sanchez stepped up and gave Jets fans a glimpse (13 of 20, 1 TD) of what may be; a charismatic young leader with poise and toughness. He took a couple of shots, yet hung in and delivered an improv throw for long touchdown.
The Giants defensive line is as deep and rich as yer grannyâ€™s puddinâ€™ pie and is going to give most teams trouble. Their linebackers and defensive backs are a little nicked up (Antonio Pierce and Aaron Ross were reduced to cheerleaders, and not very cute ones at that) but still have the talent the compliment the line and make some plays and make the D the class of the division.
The Jets looked, despite too many gift penalties, like a team on the rise. If Rex Ryan can stay healthy (he looks like heâ€™s about to pop) he should shepherd a play-off team. Heâ€™s brought in some veterans from Baltimore (Bart Scott, most notably) and inherits a squad that was a sore arm away from making some serious noise last year. I got the feeling the game meant a little more to the Jets, still, the Giants got to run some two minute offense and get David â€œpunching bagâ€ Carr some reps; a tough and capable back-up if ever there was one.
All in all, it was a good game and a reason for both squads to be optimistic about things to come. It was also evidence of the fact that I have no life!
Until next week,