TOJ Roundtable – Jets vs. Giants, Preseason Edition

The TOJ Roundtable discusses what they want to see from the New York Jets against the New York Giants this Saturday night

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What do you want to see from the New York Jets against the New York Giants on Saturday night? 

Joe Caporoso – A few sustained drives from the starting offense. This was the game last year when we started to see signs of the unit’s potential and hopefully that can be replicated on Saturday. They are unlikely to be at full strength without Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa and Breno Giacomini but they have enough key pieces to move the ball against a Giants defense in transition. With Enunwa out, Jace Amaro desperately needs a strong performance or he risks becoming a complete afterthought this season. The same goes for veteran receiver Kenbrell Thompkins.

Geno Smith and Bryce Petty will have a little less than one half to split and make their case as the team’s primary backup. It would be nice to see both rise to the occasion, show consistency and protect the football.

Defensively, a few big plays. It has been a quiet summer for Lorenzo Mauldin, who could use a few pressures and/or a sack to build momentum going into the season. The same goes for cornerback Marcus Williams, who has struggled this August. On special teams, Jeremy Ross needs a big play or two if he wants to stick because he is unlikely to contribute enough on offense to have that be the reason he makes the 53.

Dalbin Osorio – Something strange always tends to happen during the Snoopy Bowl. We’ve had Sanchez’s injury as our most recent example, but it does feel like someone important always gets hurt. So let’s hope we get through this game with no key injuries first and foremost.

I’d like to first see how the Jets offensive line holds up against an overpaid Giants defensive line. The Jets OL is key for this team this year when you factor in the different running styles of Matt Forte and Chris Ivory. Ivory breaks more tackles than Forte and can therefore still be effective with a below average OL, like we saw last year. Forte is a shiftier runner who still needs lanes to get to the next level. The Giants DL is a good opportunity to see how the Jets OL is gelling as a unit.

Lastly, let’s continue to see more of Darron Lee. The Erin Henderson injury has opened up the door for Lee to start Week 1 against Cincinatti. He has really flashed so far this preseason and this could be a coming out game for him against a Giants OL that isn’t very good.

Joe Malfa – The third preseason game is always the “rehearsal” for the regular season. The starters will play approximately three quarters, before the backups come in to close things out. In a game like this, we can’t really keep an eye on the guys trying to make the back end of the roster because they won’t see much of the field. Instead, all of the focus is on the starters. For me, I want to see three things:

First, I want Fitzpatrick to look more in-sync with Marshall and Decker. We all know from last year that they have great chemistry and I have seen it in person at training camp, but it is time to put it all together in a game setting.

Second, I want to see a good all-around performance from the offensive line. Neither Carpenter nor Giacomini played in the first game, and then Mangold joined the others on the bench against the Redskins. Hopefully all five starting offensive linemen are active Saturday night, and they will have their work cut out for them against the loaded front-line of the Giants. 

Lastly, I want to see how Revis handles Odell, and which CB steps up to grab that starting spot opposite Revis. I want to see if Revis can make up for the speed advantage Odell possesses by being physical with him at the line. At the second starting CB position, no one has really stepped up and it seems like it may be more of a “play the hot hand situation” as of now, but that is not a situation you want at CB — look for someone to step up.

The only other thing that bears watching is what happens when the starting offense comes out. Who will Bowles send in — Geno or Petty? And will both play, or will we truly find out who the 2nd QB is?

Matthew StalkerThis week, the players to keep an eye on are the starters that are in the game. For me, all eyes are on Ryan Fitzpatrick. He hasn’t had much play time this preseason as expected, but he went 3/4 with 72 yards against Jacksonville and looked decent. In the second game against the Redskins he went 4/9 with 35 yards which did not impress me in the least. I just want to see him play well, make throws and stay healthy against what should be an improved Giants defense. I would like to see more of the Jets’ young receivers  (Jalen Marshall, Charone Peake, and Robbie Anderson) early, getting time to play with Fitzpatrick and the first team a bit.

Otherwise, more of the same. I’m still waiting for someone else on the offensive line to step up, still waiting for Jace Amaro to step up, and I want to see Dee Milliner in there against the Giants’ starters after He struggled mightily against the Jaguars, mainly Allen Robinson in Week 1.

David Aitken – A restoration of my sanity. Let’s stop worrying about the defense, let’s stop trying to drum up a backup quarterback controversy. It’s been two years now under Bowles that the Jets first team has sleepwalked its way through the preseason, and it would be nice to see an indication that the team is ready for the regular season. Last year in the same game, Fitzpatrick threw 2 touchdowns and Cromartie walked into the end zone after picking off an Eli Manning pass. There was some sense that the game was being treated a little more seriously than the first two. Let’s head into the regular season on a high note after the forgettable last two first-team performances. That obviously goes for the returning starters, but it would be especially encouraging to see starters with a lot to prove look comfortable. Both starting outside linebackers, whoever gets the start at right tackle, and whoever is the third CB in nickel sets will be worth watching. Additionally, Darron Lee should get some opportunities with the first team. It’s been a solid camp and he’s made some splash plays this preseason so far, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles the regular season dress rehearsal.

Because of how long the starters will play, there is greater danger in losing an important player to injury than in the other preseason games. Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez (Rex on the assist), Osi Umenyiora and Jason Sehorn all saw seasons ruined in this annual meeting. Let’s hope to avoid adding another name to the list.

John Hargaden  This week all the talk has been on the #2 QB battle between Geno Smith and Bryce Petty. However, there are some more position battles that are very intriguing. 

The first one must be the #2 CB spot. From all indications it does look like the Buster Skrine is the projected starter. Marcus Williams and Dee Milliner have not exactly “jumped out” during the games and on film. Unless we do see a clear separation, I would expect Skrine to be the starter. The next area is the WR spot. This is the first time in a while that the Jets have good young potential at the position. When the Jets practice all you hear is Jalin Marshall but when it comes to game time, you do not hear his name too often. Robby Anderson had a great game against Washington and he has now put his name into the ring about a roster spot. I would expect to see all of them in as early as the 2nd quarter. This will not be a easy decision for the team as they trim down rosters after next week. 

Looking at the game I would like to see some continuity on offense. Would like a couple of first towns and the offense continuing to improve itself. On the defensive aide of the ball, the tackling does need to improve. Against the Redskins, there was poor technique across the board. 

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports