Victor Cruz shines against the Jets. Undrafted rookie Victor Cruz caught six passes for 145 yards and THREE touchdowns. His stellar performance overshadowed an inauspicious showing by the rest of the team. With Cruz making plays, the rest of the team seemed to be going through the motions. Besides Antrel Rolle's 59 yard interception return and Ahmad Bradshaw's 51 yard scamper, the Giants looked lethargic.
On their opening drive, Bradshaw was tackled for a four yard loss. WR Ramses Barden dropped a pass. And on third down, Eli's pass was incomplete. A very quick three and out.
Their second drive was set up by Rolle's interception. With the ball on the Jets one yard line, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin "I refuse to use the play action pass"Gilbride calls three straight running plays. Thankfully, after the third attempt, Brandon Jacobs crosses the goal line for a touchdown.
After the Giants scored a touchdown, Perry Fewell's defense looked pathetic. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez engineered a 14 play 68 yard touchdown drive. While the Giants were dazed and confused, Sanchez found a wide open Brad Smith for a 4 yard score. A miscommunication on the part of the Giants defense, cost them a touchdown.
On the Jets touchdown drive, the Giants defense could not get off the field.
The Jets converted all of their third downs. ( 3rd and 2, 3rd and 3, 3rd and 5, and a 3rd and 13)
They could not hold the Jets on third and 2 as Shonn Greene bulldozed for 8 yards. On the 3rd and 3, Sanchez found Cotchery for 7 yards. Then came the inexplicable. Michael Boley was called for a penalty. (illegal use of the hands) Because of Boley's infraction, the Jets were awarded a first down. On the last third down of this drive, on a check down pass, LaDainian Tomlinson was able to evade Terrell Thomas and get past the sticks.
Yes. This is the first preseason game. The Giants did not have Bulluck or Phillips in the lineup. And the Giants could not put pressure on Sanchez. If a rapid developing Mark Sanchez could move the ball on this defense, McNabb, Romo, and Peyton Manning will carve Fewell's defense apart.
As mentioned earlier, Ahmad Bradshaw caught a toss from Manning and made a play. Bradshaw scooted 51 yards which set up the Giants in the red zone. On the Jets 14 yard line, What does Gilbride call?
Hand off to Jacobs for one YARD. Gilbride is so averse to use any kind of trickery.
On second down, he calls a pitch to Ware which gains eight yards.
Subsequently, on third and one, I am still perplexed about the play call. Jacobs runs into Eli. As a result, Eli loses the ball, his helmet and almost gets decapitated by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. Bleeding profusely because he had a gash in his head, Eli had to leave the game. Aware of the loose ball, Jacobs pounced on it.
Instead of scoring a touchdown, the Giants had to settle for a Tynes field goal.
The red zone woes continues. As long as Gilbride is calling the plays, the Giants will continue to struggle in the red zone.
Speaking of struggling, the Giants special teams were rancid. Punter Matt Dodge had a punt blocked. He looks very shaky. Let us hope, before the season begins, he makes the necessary corrections. An inconsistent Dodge could cost us valuable field position.
The kickoff returns were dismal too.
Ware had a return for 21 yards.
Andre Brown had returns 14 yards and 17 yards.
Last season, the Giants were 28th in the NFL in kickoff returns. Last night, they did not show any improvement.
What I found troubling about the offense is the running game. Last year, the Giants had difficulty running the ball. Last night, was more of the same.
Jacobs: four rushes and only 2 yards
Bradshaw: three rushes -1 yards
Lastly, I am rooting for Rhett Bomar to make the roster. This guy has a quick release. I hope he continues to play well for the remainder of the preseason.
What are your thoughts about the Giants? On the telecast, Jon Gruden called the Giants his sleeper team. He thinks the Giants will win the NFC East. Conversely, Ron Jaworski is looking through a different lens. Jaws does not think the Giants will make the playoffs.
Do you agree with Gruden or Jaws?