The New York Giants showed positive signs in their preseason victory over the Jets, but there are still things for Big Blue to work on.
Although the Giants came away with the win and showed some improvements, all did not go well on Friday night.
Eli Manning was accurate for the most part completing 17 of 23 passes for 188 yards, but he misfired on a couple of throws that could have been touchdowns. He can’t afford these types of misfires in the regular season.
At the end of the day, a win is still a win, but the Giants still have some work to do.
Here are the positives and negatives from their win against the Jets.
The Giants special teams were the best unit on the field Friday night against the Jets. Hunter Sharp scored the Giants’ first points of the game on an 55-yard punt return. Later in the first half with the Giants up 16-13, Kalif Raymond returned punt 35 yards that set up a field goal.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 25, 2018
The special teams unit also forced a turnover Russell Shepard forced a fumble by Trenton Cannon on a kickoff that was recovered by Jerell Adams. Another positive, Aldrick Rosas converted on all four of his field goal attempts, and Marshall Koehn converted on his lone field goal attempt.
The wide receivers
Despite Odell Beckham Jr. not playing, Giants receivers were making plays all night long. Cody Latimer hauled in a 54-yard reception from Manning in the first quarter, and Sterling Shepard finished the game with seven receptions for 78 yards. In the second half, Alonzo Russell made a leaping catch on a pass thrown by Davis Webb that was good for 47 yards.
It’s become apparent that the revamped offensive line is better at pass protection than run blocking. On Friday night, Manning dropped back 23 times and was not sacked and seldom pressured.
If there was such thing as a preseason MVP, Kerry Wynn would get it. He had another strong game on Friday with three tackles (two of them for a loss) and a sack.
Stewart’s poor preseason continued on Friday night as he carried the ball three times for minus seven yards and worst of all, he fumbled at the Jets six-yard line in the first quarter. Based on how the other running backs have performed in the preseason, the veteran Stewart may not make the final roster.
Too many field goals
While it’s great that the Giants converted on all of their field goal attempts, they missed golden opportunities to come away with touchdowns. The Stewart fumble along with some overthrown passes doomed the Giants in the red zone. The fact that the offense did not cross the goal line has to be a concern for Shurmur.
Red zone efficiency has been an issue for the Giants for the past several seasons and it reared its head again on Friday.
The ground game
At one point in the first half, the Giants had six carries for minus eight yards. Often in the first half, Jets defenders were in the backfield as soon as Giants running backs had their hands on the ball. The line simply did not beat their man at the point of attack.
The ground game picked up in the second half as Jhurell Pressley had a few nice runs, but the first team offense was poor, to say the least.
The defense started slow
The defense started the game flat as they allowed Sam Darnold and the Jets offense to drive the ball 75 yards on 11 plays that culminated in a Bilal Powell 10-yard touchdown run. On the drive, the Jets converted on two third down attempts. This was certainly not the way defensive coordinator James Bettcher wanted his team to start the game.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 24, 2018
Tight end Evan Engram left the game in the second quarter and is in concussion protocol. He should be fine for the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9.