Preview of Preseason Week 3: Giants vs. Jets and the Impact on Their NFL Lines for 2014-15
The Jets and Giants face off in Week 3 of the preseason in a game that will be an important litmus test for both teams, as both sides still have a variety of questions to answer.
Still, as everyone knows, the preseason’s third game is the one teams and fans alike take the most seriously, and could go a long way in determining how odds-makers adjust to these two teams’ NFL lines for Week 1. With that in mind, here are some key story lines to watch from each camp heading into their preseason tilt.
Giants – Is the West Coast Offense Ready?
The New York media continues to obsess over the notion that Eli Manning and company have yet to get comfortable with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s high-tempo West Coast offense.
And there’s plenty not to like: Manning is 1-for-9 in the last two preseason games. Victor Cruz has yet to record a catch. Rueben Randle has one.
But here’s the thing: despite the hype, the preseason is historically a time that teams keep their newest schemes close to their chests. Think back to 2012, when the Washington Redskins didn’t even run one zone-read play in the preseason before torching the Saints in Week 1.
Of course you want to see the Giants completing more plays at this point, but there are a great number of variables at play, and as Cruz said: “We haven’t shown a lot.” The regular season will be the real test of McAdoo and Manning’s new-look attack, but this week 3 test will be an important opportunity for the starters to execute the basic plays they’re running.
Jets – Receivers, not Quarterbacks, in Question
Forget the quarterback controversy. The Jets will start Geno Smith in Week 1 against the Raiders – it’s just a matter of time before Rex Ryan’s words match his actions and he ends the silly discussion of who will be throwing the ball at the beginning of the season.
The question is, who will catch it? Fourth-round draft pick Shaquelle Evans has been sidelined with a shoulder injury that required surgery, and the depth chart dries up quickly behind clearcut WR1 Eric Decker. Week 3 will be an important moment for Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, and Stephen Hill to show they can fill out the pass catching ranks for Geno as the green and white head into the regular season.
All told, it should be a great game. And while the on-field result won’t matter, this week 3 should tell us a lot about the regular season potential of these two offenses.
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