Giants Looking to Fine Tune Their Play in Second Pre-Season Game
Added by Nathaniel Mathison on August 17, 2012.
Ahmad Bradshaw and the Giants offense will look to get things going against a tough Jets defense.
When you combine a trash talking cornerback, a couple of training camp brawls, a camp holdout, and a QB controversy with a dash of “Tebowmania,” what you get is the New York Jets offseason in a nutshell. The Jets have been the talk of the town for more reasons than just one as you can see, and it could all hit the fan this weekend in the Meadowlands.
This Saturday, the Giants are back at MetLife Stadium for the first time this preseason to face off against their co-tenants, the New York Jets, in their annual exhibition duel. In their second tune-up of the preseason, the Giants will be tested against a Jets defense that has been ranked top 5 in the league the past three seasons under direction of coach Rex Ryan. Despite the small circus that is the New York Jets, this will be the Giants first test against a pretty elite defensive group.
Even though it’s a battle between two of the bigger market teams in the NFL, Giants quarterback Eli Manning is not giving into the hype and is treating this just like any other preseason match-up. When asked if there will be extra buzz and if it will impact the team he said, “Offensively, we know we’re going to go against a good defense. They got good players, and they do a good scheme. So, we’re going to be tested and knowing our rules and our assignments, and making sure we know exactly what’s going on. Know all of our responsibilities, and see if we can go and be effective against a top-quality defense.”
Manning is going to need all the weapons he can get and, with his number one target, Hakeem Nicks, off of the PUP list, the team’s offensive arsenal is looking to show up, especially after last week’s performance against the Jaguars. Manning said, “Obviously, there are some things that we can clean up but we were very close to being very good. I thought the guys were sharp and running around well and close to scoring on all three possessions that we had. I think overall it would be something to learn from and but we can improve on it though.”
The Jets defense will provide the Giants with another chance to fine tune and work out more kinks in the offense. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is looking forward to the task at hand, saying, “Yeah, they always have a great package on defense. They run a bit of a 3-4 so it’s going to be a good test for our offense and our running backs to get used to.” Manning is very optimistic about Saturday’s matchup and how the younger players will grow from preseason week 1 to preseason week 2. ” In our first game, we did things well. Everybody knew their assignments, so we could be a little bit sharper in our technique, and trying to do things perfectly. So, I think that’s what we’re looking for now. I think there’s a lot of growth in the young players. I think as a young player, you know what the plays are, you know what your assignments are, what you’re supposed to be doing. You don’t always do the right thing at the right time. So, it’s really just learning how you have to prepare, how you have to study for every single situation that might come up.”
This will also be a great opportunity for the Giants defense, as they take on a Jets offensive unit that struggled in their preseason debut against the Cincinnati Bengals. The first team offense, led by Mark Sanchez, only managed to gain a whopping 34 yards of total offense; something the Giants defense would love to expose in this game.
The Giants first team defense looked a step behind after the allowing a touchdown drive by Blane Gabbert in the opening minutes of the game against Jacksonville, but finished strong, forcing a couple of turnovers. They will look to further build on that against the Jets and their run heavy oriented offense, which is missing their number one receiver Santonio Holmes, who suffered bruised ribs in training camp.
The Jets, who acquired dual threat Tim Tebow in the offseason plan to use his unique skillset in the Wildcat formation, spelling Sanchez, but it remains to be seen if the Jets will throw any Wildcat looks at the G-men. “It gives us a good look,” Tebow said. “But, obviously, you want to get some reps live.” The Jets are probably saving that package for the regular season, but don’t rule out Tebow operating exclusively from the Wildcat at some point of the game, especially in front a split home crowd.
With a boatload of marquee names, and two of the league’s most talked about teams, Look for this game to have a regular season feel to it as bragging right will be on the line.