Initial Reaction – New York Jets Beat Giants…And?

Joe Caporoso with initial reaction to the New York Jets 34-27 win against the New York Giants

The New York Jets beat the New York Giants today 34-27 in a back and forth, sloppy football game, moving their record to 2-7 and dropping the Giants record to 2-8. After a fast start from Sam Darnold and the offense, the Jets managed to hold on, thanks mostly to a looting of Daniel Jones by Jamal Adams and a total shut down of the Giants “generational” starting back Saquon Barkley, who had less rushing yards than Trevon Wesco on the day. What does the win mean in the grand scheme of things?

Sam Darnold played a solid, clean football game today. He finished 19/30, 230 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 rushing touchdown with zero turnovers. He generally took advantage of a bad Giants defense, particularly in the first quarter and did enough in the second half for the Jets to hold on. Despite being unable to get Le’Veon Bell going (68 total yards on 22 touches), the Jets got another productive game from Jamison Crowder, who scored a touchdown for the second week in a row and Demayrius Thomas, who finished with 84 receiving yards. Darnold showed good mobility and pocket awareness while avoiding forcing any throws down the field.

The Jets offense still clearly has issues, both with protection and running out of steam after their opening scripts but today was a step in the right direction, even if it was against a poor overall defense. They should be able to build more momentum next week against a porous Washington team, who has less wins than them so far this season. Everything else aside about today, Darnold putting together an encouraging performance is the most important takeaway and was something this organization desperately needed.

Defensively, the Jets were…meh. They did allow Daniel Jones to rack up 4 touchdown passes and nearly sacrificed a 14-0 lead but came on strong late and finished with 6 total sacks. It was a breakout game from Nathan Shepherd, who looked like the guy the Jets took 3rd overall this year and they received the best game of the season from Jamal Adams, who returned from a two week hibernation to go back to the All-Pro safety he was in 2018. Adams had the play of the game with a strip sack touchdown of Jones, where he simply ripped the ball out of his hands and took it back for six.

Gregg Williams is dealing with a patchwork cornerback group but does anybody really miss Trumaine Johnson and Daryl Roberts? They stink and the backups stink. It was ugly out there at times today but the Jets did enough when it mattered to get a win. There was also encouraging signs from rookie sixth round pick Blessaun Austin.

In the grand scheme of things, I am not sure what this win really means outside of bragging rights and further clinching an already should have been obvious truth – Sam Darnold will be the quarterback in 2020. The unfortunate reality is that this win will probably be weighed too heavily by the Jets ownership because of the geographic location of the Giants, rather than where the Giants are overall as a NFL franchise right now, likely influencing their decision to avoid any major changes before 2020. It is nice to beat the Giants to tease your buddies but the let’s be honest, the Giants suck and they have sucked the past few years, it isn’t worth throwing a party over beating them by a touchdown.

There is something to be said about handling your business against bad teams and the Jets will have three more chances to do that agains Washington, Cincinnati, and Miami. Yet, we will really learn about the progress they’ve made when we see how they handle games against Oakland, Baltimore, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

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