AT FIRST GLANCE
In the fifth annual MetLife Bowl, the Jets scored offensively, defensively, and on special teams against the Giants, who lost 28-18 on Saturday night.
The Giants (1-2) wrap up the preseason with a trip to Foxborough to face the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (2-1) on Thursday night.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE
After the Giants' first two drives amounted to 15 yards on nine plays, the third was by far the best of the preseason for the starters. Aided by three defensive penalties, quarterback Eli Manning led a 14-play, 85-yard scoring drive in 8:09 that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Rashad Jennings. It was the first-team offense's first touchdown of the preseason, but Eli Manning's night was later spoiled by a pick-six from cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who returned the interception 59 yards for a touchdown with six seconds remaining in the first half.
Manning finished 12 of 16 for 90 yards and the interception. Meanwhile, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who often lined up against All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis, caught his first five passes of the preseason for 31 yards with a long of 8 yards. In relief of Manning in the second half, backup quarterback Ryan Nassib went 11 of 18 for 122 yards and a touchdown to tight end Jerome Cunningham. Nassib also completed a successful two-point conversion attempt to wide receiver Julian Talley.
"That 14-play drive is what this offense needed," Jennings said. "We can look on tape, build off of this, see what we were doing right and mindfully clean up the chemistry of offensive line, running backs, quarterbacks, receivers, everything. We took a step forward but the self-inflicted wounds, that can't happen."
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE
Plays were made but not consistently enough to the Giants' liking. Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went 9 of 14 for 127 yards and two touchdowns before being relieved by rookie Bryce Petty in the second half. In all, the Giants allowed plays of 20 yards or longer to three Jets receivers while giving up 4.6 yards per carry.
"We're playing better as a unit," veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "We've had some good plays where guys make plays, but consistently we're not playing perfect football enough. We need to get on our assignments better, our techniques better so that everybody can play better more consistently."
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE SPECIAL TEAMS
Making all five of his field goal attempts last week against the Jaguars, Giants kicker Josh Brown made a his lone attempt from 48 yards against the Jets. However, coverage continued to be a problem for the Giants, who allowed a 54-yard return touchdown on Robert Malone's punt in the third quarter.
DID NOT PLAY
WR Victor Cruz, DE George Selvie, LB Mark Herzlich, CB Chykie Brown, S Bennett Jackson, S Nat Berhe, CB Chandler Fenner, LB Jon Beason, LB Jonathan Casillas, OT Will Beatty, C Weston Richburg, OL Brandon Mosley
Dallas Reynolds for Richburg at center; Larry Donnell for Daniel Fells at tight end; John Jerry for Geoff Schwartz at right guard; Jameel McClain for Beason at middle linebacker.
RB Rashad Jennings, LB Jameel McClain, DB Trevin Wade
DE Robert Ayers Jr. suffered an ankle injury during warmups and did not play. Rookie offensive lineman Bobby Hart suffered a knee injury late in the third quarter. Safety Josh Gordy hurt his hip in the fourth quarter and did not return.
Photos from the Giants Preseason Week 3 matchup with the Jets