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Giants-Jets: 5 impactful plays

Let’s look at a few plays we can learn from

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants rested most of their starters against the New York Jets on Saturday as Brian Daboll’s team prepares for Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys. The Jets defeated the Giants 32-24 in the much-anticipated Snoopy Bowl.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his first appearance as a New York Jet, and he threw a 14-yard touchdown to second-year wide receiver Garrett Wilson.

The Giants backups received valuable snaps, and several were injured through the game. However, the Giants briefly saw their newest addition - linebacker Isaiah Simmons - make an early impact on third down. Let’s start there on this week’s edition of five impactful plays to monitor.

Play 1: Isaiah Simmons on the simulated pressure

On Simmons and Aaron Rodgers’ first third down with their new respective teams, the former pressured the latter on third-and-12 to force a punt. The Giants acquired Simmons with plays like this in mind; the former top-10 pick is extremely athletic and poses a problem for opposing offenses.

Wink Martindale ran a simulated pressure with seven defenders on the line of scrimmage and three of them bailing into coverage. This play is designed to waste offensive blockers; both guards block no one as the right tackle is forced to assume Oshane Ximines (53). This isolated running back Michael Carter (32) against Simmons (46).

The new Giant contacted Aaron Rodgers (8), but the savvy veteran maneuvered away from Simmons to extend the play that ultimately resulted in an incomplete pass. Simmons told Martindale he wants to rush the passer, and this is something he’ll do often.

Whatever Martindale tasks Simmons to do in passing situations should pose a problem for the offense. He won’t start, and shouldn’t, at linebacker next to Bobby Okereke, but his role in Martindale’s sub-packages will be important.

Play 2: Jalin Hyatt!

You may be asking yourself, “what are you doing, Nick, this was a 10-yard penalty and Hyatt finished with no catches!” I understand, but I love this play for a few reasons. None of those include Matt Peart.

One of the best ways to leverage a talent like Jalin Hyatt (84) is to give him free releases off the line of scrimmage. In 12 personnel, the Giants motioned Hyatt to the field side where he was one-on-one against the reigning defensive rookie of the year, Sauce Gardner (1).

Hyatt ate into Gardner’s cushion and sank his hips at the first-down marker; this forced Gardner to reoriented his path near the 40-yard-line. Gardner attempted to squeeze and redirect himself outside the numbers near the first down marker, but Hyatt quickly transitioned upfield and used his incredible acceleration to separate from Gardner.

I appreciate the coaching staff for positioning Hyatt in this situation, Hyatt for his ability to sell the break at the first down marker, and the rookie for his explosive nature to separate from one of the game’s best cornerbacks.

Play 3: Jashaun Corbin touchdown

Running back Jashaun Corbin punched in a 1-yard touchdown to conclude a 14-play, 81-yard drive where quarterback Tommy DeVito helped to convert four third downs. Wide receiver David Sills (13) threw a key block that allowed Corbin to score from a short distance. Sills also had a solid game with six catches for 81 yards, with a final minute score, and two close challenges that went against him.

Play 4: Will Carter Coughlin make this team?

Is this the most important play of the game? No, but the Giants linebacker room isn’t as vacant as we originally anticipated. Coughlin’s primary function on the roster is a special teams’ asset. Coughlin led the Giants with nine tackles on special teams last season.

When he was at Minnesota, he was a star edge rusher who played exceptionally well in his junior season. He didn’t take a senior year jump and his 31⅜-inch arms really hurt him at edge. He fell to the seventh round and transitioned to linebacker under the Joe Judge regime, and that transition continued when Brian Daboll took over as head coach.

The 2023 Giants have are a much more well-rounded roster than last year’s team. That begs the question - can Coughlin crack the roster? There could be a spot but it would be at the expense of another special teams’ ace at linebacker in Cam Brown.

Through the preseason, Coughlin has looked competent, explosive, and smart at linebacker against backups. He’s looked better than Brown at the second-level, but is that enough for Coughlin to earn a roster spot over Brown? I’m not sure, but it can’t hurt.

Play 5: Injuries

It’s not a play, but the Giants suffered several injuries in this game, some were roster bubble players. Here’s a list of injuries sustained against the Jets:

WR Bryce Ford Wheaton: Knee
WR Kalil Pimpleton: Hand
CB Zyon Gilbert: Hamstring
TE Chris Myarick: Hand
OL Wyatt Davis: Ankle injury that required the cart
CB Gemon Green: Shoulder
DB Bobby McCain: Concussion
S Gervarrius Owens: Hamstring