Hunter Sharp – © USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK GIANTS 22 – NEW YORK JETS 16…
The New York Giants defeated the New York Jets 22-16 in their annual third preseason game match-up on Friday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants improved their preseason record to 2-1.
The Giants out-gained the Jets in total net yards (344 to 240), net yards rushing (87 to 66), and net yards passing (257 to 174). Two key differences in the game were penalties and special teams return yardage. The Jets were flagged 13 times for 108 yards while the Giants were flagged half of that with six penalties for 50 yards. The Giants dominated the Jets in punt return yardage: 145 to zero.
The game did not start off well for the Giants as the New York Jets, behind rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, drove his team 75 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Bilal Powell. In response, the Giants’ offense gained one first down on their initial drive and punted.
The Giants defense settled down after the Jets’ first possession. They forced a three and out, which was key as wideout Hunter Sharp returned the ensuing punt 45 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 7-7.
The Giants’ defense then forced another three-and-out and the G-Men got the ball back on their own 40-yard line. On the first offensive play of this series, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Cody Latimer for a 54-yard gain deep down the middle of the field to the Jets’ 6-yard line. However, on the very next snap, running back Jonathan Stewart fumbled the ball away to the Jets, who returned it 39 yards to the Giants 47-yard line, blowing a great scoring opportunity. Five plays later, Darnold threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. The Jets missed the extra point and led 13-7.
The Giants responded with an 11-play, 50-yard drive that led to a 48-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. After forcing a three-and-out, the Giants quickly got the ball back and tied the game at 13-13 after another 50-yard drive resulted in a 40-yard field goal by Rosas. Both drives were sparked by long completions from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
The Giants got the ball back right away again when linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong forced a fumble on the ensuing Jets’ kick return. Tight end Jerell Adams recovered the ball and the Giants were set up at the 16-yard line. However, the Giants could not get the ball into the endzone and settled for another field goal by Rosas, this one from 27 yards out as the Giants went ahead for good, 16-13. The Giants were able to add to their advantage before halftime by forcing their fourth three-and-out of the half. Wide receiver Kalif Raymond returned the ensuing punt 35 yards to the Jets’ 30-yard line. Again, the Giants stalled in the red zone, settling for a 21-yard field goal and a 19-13 halftime lead.
The back-ups played in the second half and neither team did much scoring after the break. Both teams punted twice in the 3rd quarter. The Giants began their third drive of the half at their own 16-yard. A penalty and sack put the team in a 3rd-and-19 situation from their own 7-yard line, but quarterback Davis Webb and wide receiver Alonzo Russell bailed the Giants out of trouble with a 47-yard deep strike that helped to set up a 44-yard field goal by place kicker Marshall Koehn. The Giants now led 22-13 early in the 4th quarter.
After both teams exchanged punts again, the Jets’ second- and third-teamers drove 78 yards in 13 plays. However, their drive stalled at the 2-yard line and the Jets were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal with just under three minutes to play. The Giants were able to run most of the rest of the clock out before punting and the game ended.
On special teams, Rosas was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with kicks from 48, 40, 27, and 21 yards out. The Giants returned seven punts for 145 yards and also forced a turnover on a Jets’ kickoff return. (By the way, the TOTAL punt return yardage for the Giants team in 2017 was 148 yards!)
Offensively, Manning played well and finished the game 17-of-23 for 188 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. His leading receiver was Sterling Shepard with seven catches for 78 yards. Running back Wayne Gallman was held to 23 yards on 11 carries, but newcomer Jhurell Pressley rushed for 71 yards on 11 carries.
Defensively, the Jets were held to 66 yards rushing and 174 yards passing. Defensive end Kerry Wynn picked up another sack and linebacker Lorenzo Carter and defensive end Josh Mauro shared a sack. The defense did not force a turnover however.
Video highlights are available at Giants.com.
INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT – EVAN ENGRAM SUFFERS CONCUSSION…
Not playing for the Giants due to injury were wide running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring), running back Jalen Simmons (concussion), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (unknown – Active/Non-Football Illness list), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), linebacker Calvin Munson (concussion), and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring).
Running back Robert Martin did not play and there is media speculation that an ankle or foot injury kept him out.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., quarterback Alex Tanney, and cornerback Mike Jones were healthy scratches.
Tight end Evan Engram left the game with a concussion. Tight end Rhett Ellison left the game with an eye injury.
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at Giants.com:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Saturday. The players are off on that day.