What did we learn from the New York Giants' 24-21 overtime loss to the New York Jets in a preseason game Saturday night? Here are five thoughts.
The Giants' offense is a mess
The Giants got an 84-yard touchdown run from David Wilson on their first play from scrimmage. Other than that, their offense was a total disaster for the third straight preseason game.
"The one thing that's very disappointing to me is where we are offensively," said a concerned Tom Coughlin after the game. "There was no consistency whatsoever. We've got work to do on the offensive side of the ball.
He wasn't kidding.
The Giants went 3-for-18 on third down. They failed to score with a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line. The revamped offensive line struggled. Eli Manning doesn't look comfortable. Brandon Myers is not having much, if any, impact on the offense. The Giants still haven't scored a touchdown in the red zone this preseason.
"Whatever is going on, we've got to solve it and we've got to solve it fast," Coughlin said.
The Giants don't have many options when it comes to the offensive line. They could put Kevin Boothe at center and either Brandon Mosley or James Brewer at guard, but there's no guarantee that will result in anything better than what we saw Saturday. The returns of Henry Hynoski and Victor Cruz, whenever they come back, have to help. Oh, and let's stop complaining about David Baas. I think we saw his value Saturday, when Jim Cordle struggled to figure out some complex Jets' defensive alignments.
Rex Ryan doesn't have a clue
Actually, we already knew this about the Jets' head coach. He proved it again Saturday, however.
What on earth he was thinking putting Mark Sanchez, his likely Week 1 starter, in the game in the fourth quarter behind a third- and fourth-team offensive line is absolutely impossible to figure out. What happened, with Sanchez suffering a shoulder injury when Marvin Austin blasted him into the MetLife Stadium turf, seemed inevitable as soon as Sanchez trotted onto the field. Also, while I don't blame Ryan for getting annoyed with being badgered during his post-game press conference, his performance had to be embarrassing to the franchise.
Overtime in preseason games is ridiculous
Let's just say having had to sit through that awful, unnecessary, dangerous overtime aggravated me enough that I'm tempted to break my own guidelines on the use of 'colorful' language. I won't go there, but let's just say that overtime in preseason games is a stupid thing that the safety-conscious NFL needs to get rid of.
Defensive back Laron Scott paid the price, suffering a hamstring injury on the first play of overtime. Both sides are lucky that's the worst thing that happened. Even Major League Baseball, stuck in the Dark Ages on many things, allows teams to stop extra inning games and call them a draw in Spring Training. The NFL needs to do the same. Maybe only Jets' third-string quarterback Matt Simms gained anything from playing in overtime. I hope I never see one again.
Marvin Austin is making the 53-man roster
Austin, for probably the first time as a pro, was a force. He sacked Sanchez once, drove him into the turn and messed up his shoulder once, had a pair of quarterback hurries. In general, he made himself noticed.
"I feel like I went out there and tried to play the best football I could play and just leave it out there on the field," Austin said. "I have to be more productive. I know that to be a part of this team, I have to be more productive. I just want to go out there and have fun, make plays."
The Giants' defense showed some good signs
The defense was the big worry heading into the preseason. Right now that isn't the case. Granted, Saturday night the Giants faced a putrid offense with a confused rookie quarterback who three three interceptions. The Giants, though, came up with five turnovers. In the first half, they held the Jets to 18 rushing yards on 12 carries. The pass rush showed some signs of life, and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell showed more of a willingness to send extra pass rushers than he has at times in the past.