NEW YORK GIANTS 21 – NEW YORK JETS 20…
Ben McAdoo won his first game as head coach of the New York Giants on Saturday as the Giants defeated the Jets 21-20 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants overall preseason record now stands at 1-2.
The Giants trailed 0-7 at halftime as the starting offense continued to struggle mightily with the defense keeping the Giants in the game. In seven first-half drives, the Giants offense only generated 47 total net yards and three first downs. The starting offense also went three-and-out to start the 3rd quarter. Minus left guard Justin Pugh, the Giants offensive front was not able to handle the Jets extremely-talented defensive line. Quarterback Eli Manning finished the game 10-of-15 for 65 yards and one interception – which was partially caused by wide receiver Odell Beckham making a business decision by cutting off his route to avoid a big hit. The Giants had five yards rushing at the half on 12 carries (0.4 yards per rush).
Special teams were also a problem as the Giants allowed a blocked punt – terrible whiffs on attempted blocks by safety Justin Currie and running back Orleans Darkwa – in the 1st quarter. The Giants also allowed punt returns of 52 and 28 yards by the Jets.
The starting defense played well. The Giants allowed three first downs on the Jets first drive of the game, but only three more first downs on the other six Jets possessions of the first half. After a blocked punt set the Jets up on the Giants 15-yard line, the defense immediately got the ball back as defensive tackle Damon Harrison sacked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, forcing a fumble that defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins recovered. The only Jets points in the first half came after Manning’s interception set the Jets up at the Giants 30-yard line. A perfect back-shoulder throw by Fitzpatrick to wide receiver Eric Decker for a 22-yard score despite tight coverage from cornerback Janoris Jenkins gave the Jets the halftime advantage.
In the second half, the Jets extended their lead to 10-0 after a 5-play, 18-yard drive set up a 55-yard field goal. Late in the 3rd quarter, after a 21-yard punt return by running back Bobby Rainey and a 15-yard face-mask penalty set the Giants up at the Jets 47-yard line, wide receiver Tavarres King gained 20 yards on an end around and then scored from 27 yards out on a pass from quarterback Ryan Nassib. Jets 10 – Giants 7.
The Jets responded with a drive that reached the Giants 23-yard line early in the 4th quarter. But on 3rd-and-10, linebacker J.T. Thomas deflected a pass that was intercepted by defensive end Kerry Wynn and returned 73 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. The Jets immediately regained the lead by driving 75 yards in seven plays and a 10-yard passing touchdown. After a three-and-out by the Giants and the ensuing 52-yard punt return by the Jets, Gang Green went up 20-14 with a 29-yard field goal with 6:26 to play.
The Giants drove from their own 26-yard line to the Jets 5-yard line but turned the ball over on downs with 3:33 left in the game. The Giants got the ball right back when defensive tackle Davon Coleman tipped a 3rd-and-7 pass that was intercepted by safety Andrew Adams at the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Nassib hit King with an 11-yard catch-and-run for the game-winning touchdown with 2:25 to play.
Nassib finished the game 6-of-19 for 69 yards, two touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Sixteen Giants caught passes but no one had more than two catches. Both of King’s two receptions went for scores. King also was the leading rusher with 20 yards on one carry. Running back Shane Vereen (11 yards on six carries) was the only other play to break single digits as the Giants only rushed for 39 yards on 20 carries.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz, playing in his first game since 2014, played 32 snaps (29 plays) and had one catch for four yards.
Defensively, both Wynn and Adams had interceptions and Hankins recovered the fumble caused by Harrison’s sack. Defensive Romeo Okwara also had a sack. Harrison and defensive end Olivier Vernon combined for 12 tackles.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.
Not playing were left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder), tight end Will Johnson (burner), tight end Matt LaCosse (knee), safety Darian Thompson (shoulder), and safety Mykkele Thompson (concussion).
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ribs), linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion), cornerback Leon Hall (concussion), and fullback Nikita Whitlock (foot) all left the game and did not return. ESPN is reporting that Casillas has a cracked rib. “He has a rib injury. I’ll know more tomorrow,” said a tight-lipped Head Coach Ben McAdoo after the game. Whitlock was seen on crutches and in a protective boot after the game in the locker room.
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- WR Tavarres King (Video)
- DE Olivier Vernon (Video)
- DE Kerry Wynn (Video)
- CB Eli Apple (Video)
- Reading the tea leaves on Giants roster decisions by Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com
- Victor Cruz doesn’t need to prove anything to his Giants teammates by Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com
- Healthy Giants LB Jonathan Casillas playing at different speed by Dan Duggan for NJ.com