Giants @ Jets
Final Score: Jets 31, Giants 27
Writer: Jason Wolf (@J_Wolf_picks on Twitter)
For my first What We Saw article ever, I took on the last preseason game of the year for the Giants and Jets, aka the MetLife Bowl, and what a game I was treated to. What figured to be a lower-scoring affair turned into one of the best shootouts of the preseason. The Giants, who rested the vast majority of their starters save for rotating some defensive pieces here and there, hung in surprisingly well with the Jets’ first-team offense for most of the first half, even breaking through the Jets’ offensive line numerous times. The Jets treated this game as a dress rehearsal, suiting up nearly all of their starters who played over a quarter together, getting quality game reps in before the season officially starts. There were definitely some notable takeaways from this game, so let’s get into it and talk about exactly what I saw!
New York Giants
Tyrod Taylor: 2/4, 29 yards, INT, Sack | 1 carry, 13 yards
Davis Webb: 30/38, 202 yards, TD | 4 carries, 13 yards
With Daniel Jones a no-go for today, Hall of Fame backup QB Tyrod Taylor got the nod. Taylor’s legendary bad injury luck reared its ugly head again when Taylor took a massive hit from Jets’ defensive monster Michael Clemons, knocking Taylor out for the rest of the game with a back injury in the first quarter. While Taylor was in the game, he looked as nimble as ever, escaping the pocket under pressure numerous times. He looked about what you would expect from him; elite escape-ability, game management skills albeit with a limited throwing game. While Tyrod was out there, he consistently escaped pressure but a lot was left to be desired when he actually threw the ball. This was on display when Tyrod made a beautiful move to escape the pocket but then threw an absolutely brutal ball on the run, resulting in an INT.
Davis Webb looked like one of, if not the best out of all 3rd-string QB’s in the league, running the offensive system smooth as butter. Webb looked comfortable in the pocket, delivering short and mid-range strikes with ease. Webb regularly threw the ball into tight coverage and hit receivers in stride, showing good chemistry with Alex Bachman in particular. If Tyrod is to miss any significant amount of time, it looks like the Giants and HC Brian Daboll will not be scrambling for a backup QB because Webb seems perfectly up to the task.
Matt Breida: 3 carries, 1 yard, Fumble
Jashaun Corbin: 6 carries, 23 yards, TD | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 33 yards
Gary Brightwell: 2 carries, 11 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards
Sandro Platzgummer: 2 carries, 8 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards
Antonio Williams: 2 carries, 6 yards, Fumble
Saquon Barkley did not suit up for the final preseason game, so Matt Breida was given first reps as starting RB, further indicating his likely role as Saquon’s main backup for when he needs a quick breather. Breida surprisingly showed a tiny glimpse of his trademark speed from his glory days in San Francisco. However, he fumbled a ball on one of his three carries, and didn’t really do anything with the other two carries, either. Breida has looked like a true JAG this preseason.
Gary Brightwell actually flashed a little bit on the tape. The 2021 6th-round pick from Arizona showed some speed and decisiveness on his kick return in the 1st quarter. Brightwell had some nice plays in the 2nd quarter, starting with a hard run where he found open space but was dragged down by the only defender in the area. If he was a bit quicker, he could have turned the corner and beat his man for a substantial gain, potentially a TD if he was a burner. Midway through the 2nd quarter, Brightwell made a tough, contested catch in traffic, showing really good hands for a RB.
Joshua Corbin is fighting for a roster spot, and he most likely improved his chances with his showing today, displaying a lot of juice as a potential pass-catching threat. He made a crucial catch on 4th down & four, reaching down to snag a ball that was slightly underthrown while running for the first down. Corbin also showed really nice toughness and strength when he muscled in for a one yard TD after getting hit just shy of the goal line. Corbin looked more dangerous with the ball in his hands than Breida, and his preseason performance should be enough to give him a look for the final 53.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Kenny Golladay: 1 target
Darius Slayton: 2 targets
Wan’Dale Robinson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards | 1 carry, 11 yards
Austin Allen: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 40 yards, TD
Daniel Bellinger: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards
Alex Bachman: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 27 yards
There are a lot of mixed feelings about the potential of Wan’Dale Robinson being an impactful fantasy asset this year. Others believe in Brian Daboll’s creative ability to put his skill players in the best positions to succeed, while others use Robinson’s small frame and poor offensive situation to write him off. If today is any indication, then Daboll will be using Robinson all over the field in attempts to capitalize on his elite speed and elusiveness. His lone rushing touch was a classic sweep play where he got the ball running full speed and looked incredibly dangerous in doing so. Even though it was only an 11-yard run in traffic, it felt like he could break away for a long gain any second.
Kenny Golladay suited up and took 14 snaps, failing to haul in a reception on his lone target. Many questions surrounded the Giants’ plans for Golladay, and absolutely none of them were answered today. Will he be traded? Is he going to be cut? Is he an integral part of the offense strategically being kept secretly under wraps? No one knows, and seeing what happens with Golladay this week will most likely go a long way to figuring out the usage tree for this squad.
Darius Slayton made his first preseason appearance of the year, attracting 2 targets but didn’t come down with either ball. Slayton is another question mark in this receiving corps as well as Golladay and Sterling Shepard, who did not suit up because the Giants are playing it safe with his Achilles injury.
Rookie TEs Austin Allen and Daniel Bellinger both showed flashes, giving the Giants potential hope that their answer at the TE position is currently on the roster. Allen did a nice job of getting open and making a nice catch in stride for the red zone TD from Davis Webb. Bellinger left the game in the first half with a concussion, spoiling the nice day he was having. Between the two of them, it seems like they might see a surprisingly large amount of targets in this offense, especially if fears about the offensive line come to fruition.
New York Jets
Joe Flacco: 7/12, 76 yards, INT
Mike White: 13/17, 170 yards, 2 TD
Chris Streveler: 10/13, 96 yards, 2 TD | 1 carry, 7 yards
Joe Flacco is who he is at this point. He’s fine when he takes what the defense gives him and can manage a game well enough, but things get dicey when he’s throwing 10+ yards deep. He did however show off some veteran savviness and poise in the pocket in the first quarter. He repeatedly escaped a collapsing pocket, getting rid of the ball just in time and completing passes where Zach Wilson might not have been so poised. However his INT was a pretty inexcusable ball; just a terrible decision and an even worse throw in a crucial spot on the field, leading to a pick 6. Flacco didn’t wow with any of his throws, though he still shows nice zip on the short to medium stuff. The deep ball connection between Flacco and his receivers is definitely still a work in progress, as he missed multiple deep bombs by a few feet. Overall, the Jets could do much worse with Flacco as their backup QB.
Mike White, last year’s Jets folk hero has looked solid if not unspectacular this preseason. This trend continued in today’s game as White did a lot of nice things but also left me wanting a little more. His most impressive work came at the end of the 1st half when he successfully drove the Jets down the field with about a minute to go and ultimately led a TD drive with very little time left for Giants to do anything on offense. The one minute drill included some nice intermediate throws with White showing he does not lack the confidence to try and sling it.
Chris Streveler has quickly become a new fan craze in just a few preseason games. Streveler is causing there to be somewhat of a rare QB controversy over the 3rd string job. Orchestrating three comeback wins in three weeks will do that. Streveler has shown heart, good leadership, and the clutch gene, which are some solid intangibles that you don’t often see from backup QBs who have bounced around from team to team. Streveler has compiled 277 passing yards, a 72.7 completion%, 5 TDs, and a 120.9 passer rating in the preseason, all while showing passion and grit in bunches. Streveler’s game-winning TD toss to Calvin Jackson was a textbook goal line fade, thrown where no one but his man could have reached it. Streveler might just force the Jets to explore trading Mike White or perhaps bite the bullet and carry four QB’s on the roster.
Breece Hall: 5 carries, 13 yards
Michael Carter: 4 carries, 10 yards, Fumble (Lost) | 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards
Tevin Coleman: 3 carries, 14 yards
Ty Johnson: 7 carries, 15 yards
Zonovan Knight: 4 carries, 31 yards
Michael Carter turned in a very solid performance, showing why he’s still going to be heavily involved in the offense even though Jets spent the draft capital on Breece Hall. Carter showed impressive elusiveness early. On his 2nd carry of the game, he made an impressively quick juke to make the first guy in the backfield miss. He turned a five-yard TFL into only a two-yard loss. On his lone reception of the day, Carter put the moves on, creating a bit of extra space, but he fumbled when he lost his footing from trying to do too much rather than putting his head down and finishing the run. They went back to Carter the series after his fumble, and he showed good vision on the next carry, seeing through the hole and finishing strongly.
Breece Hall had a nice flash or two, but ultimately had a quiet day. Notably, on an obvious passing down on 2nd & 12, Hall got blown by in blitz pickup. However, Flacco bailed him out by making a great move to roll out and make the throw just in time for the first down. He needs to work on his pass protection if he is going to be the workhorse 3-down back people expect him to eventually become. Hall showed nice vision when he had a solid run on 3rd & 3, putting his head down and hitting the hole hard; he pushed forward for a tough four yards when he needed three. On a 1st & 10 in the first quarter with five minutess left, Hall took a good cut to the open side and made an excellent, quick move in the open field to make the first defender miss. He showed excellent elusiveness on the play. On his next carry, he didn’t hit the hole hard enough and tried to bounce it outside, causing him to lose 1-2 yards when he could have followed the lead block there for a better result.
Tevin Coleman showed he still has some gas in the tank, displaying a nice burst on a 9-yard run up the middle. The offensive line cleared a hole for him but he did his job well, finishing the run. As the 3rd RB option, that’s all that the Jets need him to do, and he seems like he can still perform that role capably.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Denzel Mims: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 102 yards, TD
Elijah Moore: 2 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards
Corey Davis: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards
Garrett Wilson: 2 targets, 1 reception, 12 yards
Jeff Smith: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 41 yards, TD
Braxton Berrios: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 36 yards, TD
Tyler Conklin: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards
C.J. Uzomah: 2 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards
Calvin Jackson: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards, TD
Braxton Berrios looks dangerous with the ball in his hands. He made some nice cuts during his first punt return. He also flashed as a receiver, doing a great job of taking a simple ball from the flat, bouncing off a tackle attempt, and showing off his spooky speed to beat everyone to the pylon. However, it’s worth noting that very poor tackling form from the NYG defender definitely contributed to the TD. It most likely would not happen against a technically sound tackle from better competition.
Besides Berrios, there were a few other TDs to go around, but Denzel Mims was the star of the show. After news breaking of Mims officially requesting a trade, there was much speculation about his usage leading into today’s game. The Jets seemingly did him a solid by putting his talents prominently on display. They made sure to pepper him with targets, and he took them and ran, balling out to the tune of 100+ yards and a TD. The Jets certainly increased his trade value, and they continue to build a good reputation under Robert Saleh’s regime. This game was certainly a win for Mims as well as he flashed several times.
With about five minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Mims made a nice catch in traffic, displaying some toughness, showing off a trait not many know him for. He made several catches of varying degrees of difficulty, including a pass from Mike White that was a little high, snagging it anway while keeping momentum. Mims’ TD reception from Streveler was a thing of beauty, with Mims diving low to the ground to catch a 30-yard bomb. I did not think there was a massive market for Denzel Mims before this preseason, but he capitalized on his opportunity beautifully and is now more likely to reap the reward of an increased opportunity elsewhere.
Congratulations to the Jets on securing some trade value for Denzel Mims pic.twitter.com/QNyd94TBRv
— Nico (@elitetakes_) August 28, 2022