You can put the Snoopy Bowl in the books for another year as the New York Giants won the preseason bragging rights with an 11-point victory. That said, the nature of the first half will have arguably left the Jets feeling more confident about their prospects as outside of a late score, the offense sputtered once again.
There are still roster spots to be decided for both teams, but for the starters, preparation now turns to when the wins and losses really matter. Two teams, one city, both with question marks at quarterback. For the Jets it’s whether Geno Smith can build on his late-season form from 2013 and take a leap forward in Year 2. While for Ben McAdoo and the Giants, the question is can Eli Manning put a horrible preseason behind him to get the G-Men back into postseason contention.
Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy performances.
New York Giants – Performances of Note
Damontre Moore, DE, +3.0
Breakdown: Starring in preseason again, Moore has a knack for making plays that catch the attention of anyone watching the game. Two more sacks and a fumble recovery, but showing he might be ready for a bigger part of the rotation, it was actually his work in the run game that earned the highest mark.
Signature Play: Q4, 11:45 to go. More impressive than either of his sacks, he’s simply too quick off the mark for Ben Ijalana and beats him inside for a hit on the quarterback.
Eli Manning, QB, -3.8
Breakdown: Ugly. That was ugly. Manning looks like he’s regressed, resembling that deer in the headlights rookie and not the two-time Super Bowl winner he is. Was incredibly careless with the ball, whether scrambling in the pocket or showing a lack of regard for defenders. You don’t win games playing like that.
Signature Stat: Was pressured on nine of 23 drop-backs. Completed one pass and took two sacks where his poor ball security saw him fumble twice.
Rogers Gaines, RT, +3.2
Breakdown: Gaines has had a nice little preseason, particularly in the last two games where he’s kept a perfect pocket and in this one, really let his run blocking do the talking. Is it enough to earn a roster spot or a place on the practice squad? On this evidence it’s very possible.
Signature Play: Q4, 10:08 to go. He should win inside against T.J. Barnes and does. But it’s that he never lets up with Barnes only able to get off the block when he’s 8 yards from the line of scrimmage that is so impressive.
New York Jets – Performances of Note
Dominant Starting Defensive Line, +8.0
Breakdown: You think Sheldon Richardson, Muhammed Wilkerson and Damon Harrison are ready for the start of the season? They really had their way with the Giants’ offensive line for the most part, with each man scoring positives against the run and adding pressure. Making it look easy.
Signature Stat: On run plays where any of the trio were on the field (16 of them) they were responsible for a defensive stop on 31.3% of plays.
Brian Winters, LG, -2.6
Breakdown: After starting the first preseason game, Winters found himself working with the 2’s a week later. Back with the starters, he once again he was found a little out of his depth. Flagged for a penalty and responsible for a quick-fire pressure, Winters also didn’t impose himself in the run game. The pressure is on if he wants to be a 16-game starter.
Signature: Q3, 9:35 to go. Mike Patterson swats him away with ease to pick up a quick pressure that forces the quarterback to leave the pocket.
Antonio Allen, CB, +0.7
Breakdown: Not bad at all for Allen who is making the most of an opportunity to show he can play cornerback in this league. A would be nice bonus for a Jets team that looked incredibly weak at the spot given injuries that have hit them, only for Allen to be forced from the game with a likely concussion. There’s just no luck in the world for some.
Signature Stat: Thrown at twice on his eight snaps in coverage but didn’t allow a completion and broke one up.
PFF Game Ball
There wasn’t a standout performance, but rather a standout unit. The Jets’ defensive line came to play and that is ominous for any offensive line set to face them this year.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled