Print
RSS

Giants vs. Jets: 10 things to watch for

Posted Aug 25, 2017

10 storylines to follow as the Giants take on the Jets Saturday night in the third preseason game:



1. METLIFE BOWL

This is the 49th consecutive preseason that the Giants and Jets will meet since the series began in 1969. The Giants won last year’s MetLife Bowl, 21-20, thanks to a late touchdown by Tavarres King. Ben McAdoo’s first taste of victory as head coach came in last year’s preseason game against the Jets. He went on to become the fourth coach in Giants history to lead the team to the playoffs in his first season, joining Allie Sherman (1961), Dan Reeves (1993) and Jim Fassel (1997).

2. PLAYING TIME

McAdoo is currently navigating a schedule that has his team playing three games in 11 days. Upon returning from their Monday night game in Cleveland, the Giants have the Jets this weekend before wrapping up in New England on Thursday. So what does that mean for playing time in the all-important third preseason game? The Giants are still going to treat it similar to last year, when Eli Manning played one drive into the second half, but they “may make some adjustments” because of injuries and the condensed schedule.

3. INJURY REPORT

Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), Brandon Marshall (shoulder), Dwayne Harris (upper body) and Tavarres King (ankle) have all missed time this week with injuries. Cornerback Michael Hunter and linebacker Keenan Robinson are in the concussion protocol.

>> FACT OR FICTION: PRESEASON STANDOUTS

4. ROSTER MOVES

On Thursday, the Giants signed defensive back Tim Scott, who was released earlier this month by the Washington Redskins, to take the spot of cornerback Valentino Blake, who was placed on the exempt/left squad list as he deals with personal issues. Earlier in the week, the team waived/injured wide receivers Darius Powe and Andrew Turzilli, and released offensive linemen Michael Bowie and Corin Brooks. Taking their places were offensive linemen Richard Levy and Matt Rotheram and wide receivers Marquis Bundy and C.J. Germany.

5. LEWIS STEPS UP AT WR


Wide receiver Roger Lewis, who made the roster last year as an undrafted rookie, has been taking snaps with the starters this week. Lewis had a couple big catches in 2016 and has shown his ability to stretch the field at practice, especially this week with the number of injuries to the wide receiver unit. He could see plenty of action against the Jets. The same goes for undrafted rookie Travis Rudolph, who also got a bump up.


6. OV, JPP IN MIDSEASON FORM

First they teamed up for an interception against the Browns, and then they teamed up for a sack. Defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon were firing on all cylinders in their first game together since Week 13 of last season. Pierre-Paul made the pick, but a play Vernon made later in the game got most of the attention after he trailed a rookie first-round draft pick 35 yards downfield to break up a pass on the opposite sideline.


7. DRC AT SAFETY?

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who picked up second-team All-Pro honors last year while playing primarily as the nickel cornerback, appeared at safety for a few snaps against the Browns. He practiced there a few times leading up to it, but he had never done so before in a game in his 10-year career. Rodgers-Cromartie said it was probably a one-time thing as the Giants just wanted to check out a new package. Since 2007, no player in the league has more passes defensed than Rodgers-Cromartie.




8. GIANTS-JETS CROSSOVERS

Big Blue currently has a handful of players who once suited up for Gang Green, including defensive tackle Damon Harrison (2012-15), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (2015-16), quarterback Geno Smith (2013-16) and kicker Mike Nugent (2005-08). From the other side, Jets linebacker Spencer Paysinger played four seasons for the Giants and was part of the Super Bowl XLVI championship team after making it as an undrafted rookie in 2011.



9. QB ROTATION

While Manning is expected to play the first half, give or take, playing time for Geno Smith, Josh Johnson and Davis Webb remains to be seen. Last week, McAdoo wanted to get all four quarterbacks in the game, but with the way things unfolded, Manning and Smith played the majority before Johnson quarterbacked a single drive at the end of the game (Webb did not play). Smith’s night ended after two consecutive drives resulted in turnovers: an interception at the goal line and a fumble by rookie running back Wayne Gallman on a handoff. “Taking care of the ball would be an important part of being on this team, yes,” McAdoo said.

10. ROSTER CUTS LOOMING

Clubs must reduce their active roster to a maximum of 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. Instead of first cutting down to 75 players like the league did in the past, teams will go straight from 90 to 53 because of a rule change.

“Yeah, the cut-down rule will make it interesting,” McAdoo said. “There will be a lot of players out there and a lot of good players out there. Some teams are stockpiling at some positions and they may not keep them around, so you will be able to find some good players out there that have some experience possibly that can come in and make your team better.”