Sam Darnold, Eli Manning
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Preview of the New York Giants and New York Jets preseason Week 1 matchup at MetLife Stadium on Thursday of this week.

The preseason is finally here, and both the New York Giants and New York Jets will be looking to improve immensely. The Giants have a combined record of 8-24 the last two years, while the Jets are sporting a combined record of 9-23 in the same span.

Needless to say, New York football hasn’t produced as of late, meaning Pat Shurmur and Adam Gase would love nothing more than changing that narrative as soon as possible.

  • Giants vs. Jets preseason Week 1 matchup
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 7:00 p.m. ET
  • MetLife Stadium (Giants are the home team)
  • NFL Network
  • WFAN 660AM/101.9FM (Giants radio network)
  • ESPN New York 98.7 FM (Jets radio network)
  • NFL Game Pass (Subscription-based)

Expect to see the rookies and backups for each team a lot more than the starters. This is the preseason, and not even Week 3, also known as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. Weeks 1, 2 and 4 of the preseason are rookies and backups to the point where it almost becomes exclusively.

All-in-all, don’t watch this game if all you want to see is Saquon Barkley break tackles and Sam Darnold man the Jets offense; you’ll be disappointed.

Every rookie. No, I’m not overexaggerating. No, I’m not just saying that to be lazy. Every single rookie, as well as backup, should have your full attention. Yes, some rookies will be watched more than others, such as first-rounders Daniel Jones (Giants) and Quinnen Williams (Jets). However, the rookies should steal the show for the fans.

The Giants have 23 rookies, 10 of whom they drafted while 13 were signed as undrafted free agents. Of course, Jones will be the biggest name, along with other first-round picks Dexter Lawrence and DeAndre Baker. Both Lawrence and Baker are likely starters on this defense when the regular season rolls around.

However, there are numerous other rookies to watch closely. There’s outside linebacker Oshane Ximines and how he’s able to get to the quarterback. There’s also cornerback Corey Ballentine and how he can lock down certain receivers. Not to mention, undrafted running back Jon Hilliman is looking to outperform Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins.

Don’t forget about linebacker Ryan Connelly and defensive back Julian Love. The former could eventually become a replacement at inside linebacker if the Giants decide to part ways with Alec Ogletree or B.J. Goodson at some point. Love, on the other hand, very much could become Antoine Bethea‘s successor at the free safety position.

As far as the Jets, they have 18 rookies, six of whom were drafted.

Of course, fans will be excited to see Williams play, but one of the main guys that should be focused on his third-round pick, tackle Chuma Edoga. He could eventually become a great asset for the Jets on an offensive line ranked 25th last season by Pro Football Focus.

Fourth-round tight end Trevon Wesco could really make a name for himself going forward with this important preseason as well.

With starting tight end Chris Herndon suspended for the first four games of the year, Wesco has an opportunity to get some playing time during the first couple weeks of the regular season and possibly beyond that. This preseason will be a big test to see if he deserves that type of playing time.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.