The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

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First a few updates:

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2. A reminder the Jets will putting Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath in their Ring of Honor tonight. So stay in your seats during halftime and pass up on the 9 dollar hot dog and 7 dollar beer.

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

It’s time for some August football, which means despite a Subway spokesperson and a reserve corner constantly expressing their jealously over the Jets, ultimately tonight’s results will be meaningless. However, that is no reason not to be excited to watch the Jets and Giants first teams battle it out in the first quarter. Well, at least the Jets first team since the Giants have continued their trend from 2009 by becoming the Mets of the NFL aka “the walking wounded.” What is in the water up there in Albany that has half of their team injured?

Anyway on to the football, there is plenty to watch for from a Jets perspective tonight:

Offense

1. Mark Sanchez – It would be encouraging to see Sanchez build on his strong postseason run tonight. The most important things are for him to protect the football and show the ability to take a hit after his off-season surgery. The Jets offense should be a little more wide-open than their strict ground and pound approach in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Schottenheimer dial up an early deep ball for Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson – The word out of Cortland has been that Tomlinson has a little bounce in his step and looks like he is far from done. LT will be getting substantially  more pre-season work than he is used to. The Jets love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, so look for him split out on a few plays and to be the target of a screen pass or two. It will also be interesting to see how the carries are divided up between him and Shonn Greene, along with who will get the goal-line touches.

3. Left Guard – The battle between Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse moves into a game situation tonight. Slauson has an early advantage but Ducasse should get a shot with the first offense to keep himself in the race. How much will the Jets miss Alan Faneca and his revolving door pass blocking?

4. Backup Quarterback – I’m not sold on Mark Brunell yet but apparently he has put together a strong camp. He will likely be working with Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and David Clowney at receiver, so let’s see the Jets offense move the ball against the Giants second unit.

5. Formations – The Jets are stacked with receiving options. I just can’t wait to see the different ways Schottenheimer has come up with to line up Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

6. Keep An Eye On – Rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland…reserve receivers Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry…rookie running back Joe McKnight (please don’t throw up)…How many reps rookie fullback John Conner gets with the first offense.

Defense

Photobucket1. A Team Without An Island - Antonio Cromartie slides over into Darrelle Revis’ old spot and will be looking to build on a monster training camp. Rookie Kyle Wilson will start opposite him, while Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole will be the first to work in behind the starters. It wouldn’t hurt the Jets leverage if Cromartie flashed back to 2007 and had a pick six or Kyle Wilson had a strong night in the starting lineup, while the organization could get antsy if Eli Manning is throwing all over the Jets first defense.

2. Is He Alive? – Vernon Gholston has been getting hyped up all August by the coaching staff and now even the beat writers. Will we actually notice him on the field tonight? Could he possibly pressure the quarterback or even record a sack?

3. The Cookie Monster – Kris Jenkins should see very limited reps tonight as he returns from ACL surgery. I would like to see the big fella blow up a few plays and then get on the sideline.

4. A Mirage – We get to see Jason Taylor rushing the quarterback in a Jets uniform tonight, weird. He can start winning fans over by flattening Manning tonight.

5. Mrs. Rhodes Replacement – I am anxious to see a safety next to Jim Leonhard who can tackle.

6. Keep An Eye On – Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker…Ropati Pitoitua battling for a spot in the defensive end rotation…Donovan Warren, Brian Jackson, Drew Coleman, and Emmanuel Cook battling for a roster spot in the secondary…Bart Scott ripping the ball out of Brandon Jacobs hands again.

Special Teams

What The Folk – I won’t be able to watch tonight when Folk lines up for field goals.

No More Dearth – The Jets have a new long snapper in Tanner Purdum, everybody will remember James Dearth’s name tonight if he flubs a snap.

Return Battle – I am looking forward to see Kyle Wilson deep on punt returns and Brad Smith, Joe McKnight, Aundrae Allison, and Larry Taylor fight it out for the kick return job.

Check back tonight for instant reaction after the game

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