Aug 201996
New York Jets 13 – New York Giants 6

General Impressions: While this was a much better outing for the first team offense and defense, one must still factor in that it was against the Jets — one of 4 teams with worse records than the Giants. But then, so were the Ravens. The second team grades horrible as a unit, but they’re not designed to play as a unit. There were some individual standouts both positive and negative. I watched for, and will try to spend more time on things that are of particular interest to the BBHP crowd. As box scores are available elsewhere, I will not post specific stats.

Quarterbacks: General: Dave Brown started and was clearly nervous or over-excited or something on the first 2 offensive possessions of the ball. In general, he had time to throw (overall: knocked down twice and took what appeared to be a coverage sack). On these 2 possessions, he looked like the QB of last year when throwing the ball. From the 3rd possession on, however, he settled down and played much better. He marched the team on two long drives. His Play Action Fakes (PAFs) are quite good now — better than most QBs in the NFL, and Brown was throwing the ball REALLY WELL on the roll out. While he’ll still misfire occasionally, after he settled down, he was pretty accurate except for when throwing the bomb where he over threw his WRs — once by about 4 yards, and once by about 1 yard. He still needs work on this, and you could tell by his reaction — he knows it. Brown’s decision making was very good. I didn’t see him make any bad ones, and if he missed anyone wide open, I couldn’t detect it and the announcers didn’t point it out. The play calls Brown worked with seemed less conservative than last year. Believe it or not, the slant has become a part of the Giants offense, and Brown was throwing it well. Specific: Here are Brown’s plays (hopefully) in sequence from my notes separated by “/”: PAF overthrow (OT) / bad throw / OT to Hampton / ball knocked down/Roll out (RO) long pass to Calloway. This was REALLY nice, he rolled out way left, then threw the ball all the way back across to the right to a wide open Calloway. / Nice throw to Elias / PAF for 6 yards / Throw to Cross — hit in the numbers on the 1 yard line, Cross dropped it — if he’d caught it and fallen forward it was a TD. Timing play to Calloway in the Red zone and Calloway didn’t get close enough — he tipped the ball 3 times and it fell to a Jet lying on his back fir an INT. Next possession: Nice slant to Dawsey, but pattern not run far enough for 1st down / OT Lewis on the bomb / RO to Calloway — again, nice / Slant to Lewis / Throw to Calloway / Off target throw to Dawsey in redzone / OT Lewis again on bomb. Maddox: I won’t spend much time on Maddox since he was cut yesterday. In general, he played his best half of football for the Giants, and was still pretty bad. He failed to move the team. He had little help form the second stringers. No fumbles.

Running Backs: The run game benefited greatly from the return of Charles Way. Hampton: RH looked more like RH. Here’s how it went: Stuffed / 2 yards / stuffed / took pitch out for good gain / 5 yard gain between the tackles / again / outside run for 9-nice block by Toomer / 1st down plunge / 5 yard gain / 3-4 yard gain. Way: Way looked good. His returned sparked the running game. He was in early then the team went to the H-back and he wasn’t a factor. Aside from good blocking, he had an nice reception on a PAF and one nice carry for like 9 yards. Elias: Elias was Elias. Stuffed often, getting yards occasionally. He’s nothing out of the backfield, but if you throw to him, he can be effective.

Tight Ends/H-Backs: Not used much. Cross had one golden opportunity and blew it. He was wide open on the 1, and Brown hit him in the chest. Cross dropped it. Cross was making good progress as a receiver a few years back, but if anything, Cross has regressed under Reeves. He is underused to the point that catching the ball is foreign to him. The other TEs were non-factors as receivers.

Wide Receivers: General: Lewis reportedly suffered a mild concussion, but it was impossible to determine when this occurred. Toomer got a good amount of playing time as the 2nd WR with the first unit, but Brown didn’t go to him except on the bomb. Calloway was Calloway. On the play Dawsey was stripped of the ball for a TD, the officials MISSED THAT HE WAS BEING FACEMASKED! Dawsey wasn’t a factor otherwise, and it was encouraging to me that Toomer received more work than Dawsey with the 1st unit. The WRs were running slants much more than we’re used to, and while they need some more practice, it looks like it may become effective. It’s a pass Brown and Maddox both were throwing well, however, Omar Douglas and Dawsey both ran them too short when the team needed first down yardage. Probably gonna’ cost Douglas his job. The WRs also ran several fly patterns. On one, Toomer blew by Jet Ottis Smith, got 5 yards of separation, and kept it for the distance. If Brown hit him, it would have been a TD. I saw good blocking from Toomer on 2 plays. Arthur (get used to him) Marshall caught one and actually showed a move.

Offensive Line: Starters: The starters did fine — evidence by the fact that you seldom heard anything about them. Hugh Douglas beat Bishop once or twice and they allowed one sack that looked like a coverage sack. The run blocking looked improved as evidence by Hampton’s gains between the tackles. There were 5 penalties in the first half and a couple were on the OL. 2nd team. Pretty lousy. Maddox was under siege. Roman Oben looks very erratic — good on some plays bad on others. He’s a ways away from being consistent — neither he, nor Bishop is going to make us forget Jumbo anytime soon.

Defensive Line: (projected) Starters: Much better! They didn’t appears as flat as they have in the other games this year. Strahan looked good again. Harris and Hamilton are much better at DT than any other current roster option — i.e. Harris is better than Agnew. (Guys, Swann signed with AZ, so get over the fantasy) If you watched Stacey Dillard in this game, his release was NOT a surprise. He was a human turnstile, and if your going to have a human turnstile, you can have one of the FAs (Holsey and Okoli) who are younger, bigger and cheaper. Agnew had a weak performance and SHOULD lose his starting job to Harris. Run stopping is supposed to be his thing, and he’s not getting it done. NICE to have big Hammer back. He makes a difference. Bratzke and Jones alternated at RE, and both were handled by Elliott early. Later however both beat Elliott for sacks. Don’t know if he’s 100%, but Jones showed no remaining evidence of a limp. He displayed great quickness, but has a lot to learn. You could see him getting better as the game went on. On one play, he beat Elliott with a forearm and inside move — he knocked down O’Donnell just after his release. On another, he beat him with a fake and an inside move. As the game went on, he got closer and closer to the QB. 2nd team. Late in the game Holsey and Okoli were making plays against the Jets backups. They may make the practice squad or even the team, considering the Dillard cut.

Linebackers: Starters: Uneventful. Armstead had a sack on a blitz and showed his speed. Widmer looked good against the run, but need a little work on coverage. I didn’t notice Miller much. 2nd team. Buckley actually made 2 tackles! Galyon made some plays. Colman wasn’t a factor.

Secondary: Starters: Sparks is in mid-season form. What else do you need from him? Sehorn almost had a sack on a CB blitz. Otherwise he was still Sehorn, often out of position, not as physical as a big corner should be. It was difficult to tell whether he was getting beat or letting his man loose for the safety. Early prediction: Conrad Hamilton is going to be starting opposite Sparks by Game 1 of 1997 at the LATEST. This kid is ALWAYS around the ball — as a DB AND on special teams. He’s currently raw, and a loose cannon, but he loose as good as or better than Randolph did his rookie year. He should be ahead of Sehorn NOW, but he won’t be. Campbell had a quiet night. 2nd team: Rodney Young had 2 picks of the O’Donnell Superbowl variety (i.e. on terrible passes). He also showed good play against the run. Much better than last week. Maurice Douglass was terrible again — an obvious cut. Toast Beamon probably won’t make the team either.

Special Teams: Horan punted 2 balls into the endzone and didn’t have a great night. Daluiso and Mare seem neck and neck to me. Both have touchback legs. Both kicked short FGs easily. PRs were Marshall — not much, Harrell — not much. Toomer — not much. KR Marshall had an OK return to the 30. The Giants Return coverage was much better this week. Elias and C. Hamilton are the gunners and go all out.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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