Friday night we’ll get to see which team is better equipped to have a winning season in 2018, the Giants or Jets.
The New York Giants and New York Jets will clash on Friday night in their annual preseason showdown. Even though it’s a preseason game, this game matters a little more since it’s for local bragging rights, and because it’s the dress rehearsal before the regular season.
The Giants are looking to get back on track under new head coach Pat Shurmur after a disastrous 3-13 season. The Jets are looking for a winning season to justify keeping head coach Todd Bowles around.
Both teams are 1-1 in the preseason, but the question is: who is the better team heading into Friday night?
Our own Jason Leach and Paul Esden Jr. will make cases why their team has the edge.
Why it’s the Giants
The reason why the Giants have the edge heading into Friday night’s game is simple, and that’s Eli Manning. The future hall of fame quarterback is equipped with the best offensive weapons he’s ever played with in Odell Beckham Jr, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and rookie phenom Saquon Barkley.
Beckham and Barkley may not play on Friday, but Manning still has enough weapons to carve up the Jets defense, especially since he has Nate Solder protecting his blindside.
While the Giants quarterback position is solidified, the Jets quarterback situation is still a mystery. They still don’t know if it will be rookie Sam Darnold or Teddy Bridgewater lined up under center in Week 1. That type of uncertainty can plague a team even in the preseason.
In their two preseason games, the Giants have allowed just 117 yards on the ground on 55 carries. Bilal Powell and the rest of the Jets running backs won’t find any running room on Friday.
Why it’s the Jets
The New York Giants are going to experience first hand their mistake from over four months ago — they should’ve taken Sam Darnold and I’m glad they didn’t. From all accounts, Darnold has looked like a star in camp and someone whose stardom can lead this franchise from irrelevance.
To some, this is just a meaningless preseason game. But to others, this is local bragging rights every year. Not all of the stars will be playing on both sides, but for the Jets, it’s all about the quarterbacks.
Darnold will likely at least play the first half, with Teddy Bridgewater completing the rest of the game. Although Bridgewater is no longer vying for the starting quarterback job with the Jets, he’s displaying himself for the other 31 teams in the league.
The expectation is Teddy will be dealt prior to the season so his contract does not enact certain guarantees and eat up another precious roster spot for the green and white.
The other big thing to watch out for is the offensive line of the Jets. They were “holy” last week and I’m not talking about in the religious sense. If they don’t clean up their act, it won’t matter who is under center. The Giants’ defense should be a good test for this unit.