What We Saw: Week 8

The What We Saw Team recaps all of the Sunday action from Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season

Jets @ Giants

Final Score: Jets 13, Giants 10

Writer: Chuck Twohig (@Chuck2E on Twitter)


On a rainy day in East Rutherford, New Jersey, we sat down to watch a game of two backup quarterbacks trying to get another win for their team and keep them from spiraling towards the bottom of their divisions.  The Jets, sitting at 3-3, needed Zach Wilson to step up in a big way and deliver a victory to keep them competitive. The Giants hoped that the performances Tyrod Taylor handed in the past couple of weeks were an indication that he was prepared to deliver a very important win to a 2-5 team that has had its season all but written out.  What we got was a sloppy, undisciplined game between two teams who couldn’t keep players healthy on the field and whose quarterbacks could not come through for many different reasons.  The Giants played the entire second half as a team just trying not to lose, and they nearly succeeded before a few poor coaching decisions and a few poor penalties handed the Jets just enough of a chance to snatch the game away and leave at 4-3 and praying harder than ever for Aaron Rodgers to keep pushing his uncanny ability to heal.  After watching the most punts in an NFL game in over twenty years, I will tell you that this was genuinely the worst full game of football I’ve ever watched in my life.  It’s also worth mentioning that Giants rookie Jalin Hyatt, who provides a nice boost of speed and creates a ton of separation, did not see a single target today.  Let’s get into it.

Two Up

  • For a guy whose name has been missing from the stat sheet and the announcers’ mouths for most of this season, Kayvon Thibodeaux had a big game today.  He had 9 tackles, with 6 of them being solo tackles and 3 of them being sacks.  He has been causing pressure and moving the pocket around but hasn’t been on the stat sheet in this way so far this season.
  • A former player in a Wink Martindale scheme had himself a big day facing his old coach.  C.J. Mosley had 12 total tackles with 7 of them being solo and .5 sacks.

Four Down

  • Surprise surprise, Zach Wilson was bad…again.  Wilson had a TD pass but managed it on a screen pass that Breece Hall turned into a beautiful piece of running.  He once again held the ball far too long, wasn’t able to read the Giants defense, and left this one with an impressive 35.5 QBR rating.  In fact, that somehow was the best QBR recorded this game.  Which is a pretty good indicator of which names you’re going to read next.
  • Given a chance to push the narrative of if he should still start once Daniel Jones is healthy, Tyrod Taylor came out and had himself a very poor showing prior to leaving the game with an injury to his ribs.  Taylor managed to connect on four passes for eight yards and finished with a QBR of 8.4, which is ridiculous.  However, at least the Giants were allowing Taylor to try and pass, unlike the person who replaced him when he got hurt.
  • Enter Tommy DeVito to take over and bring the Giants this victory.  Right?  He had to come in and have some sort of Cinderella performance and shock the crowd. Yeah, no.  The Giants showed Tommy and their entire fan base how much faith they had in him by allowing him to pass one time the entire second half of this game.  That’s not a typo.  One pass.  They allowed him to throw some more when they got to overtime, two of which were screen passes to Saquon Barkley on back-to-back downs that looked like a mirror image of each other.  Not surprising that they did not confuse the Jets defense with such a brilliant game plan.
  • For someone who is usually nearly automatic, Graham Gano missed two field goal attempts today after missing one last week.  This is not typical at all and is a major reason why the Giants dropped this game.  Had he hit even one of those, this game doesn’t make it to overtime.  Definitely something to monitor moving forward.  Could it be that a veteran of this many seasons somehow managed to get a case of the yips?


New York Jets




Zach Wilson: 17/36, 240 yards, TD | 4 carries, 25 yards, 4 sacks

Zach Wilson is not an NFL Quarterback.  His field awareness is practically non-existent and the second he has pressure in his face he folds.  When the Giants were smart enough to keep rushing him, they had him off balance and unable to see downfield.  The Jets did not convert a 3rd down in this game until there was 2:19 left in the 4th quarter, and even then, Wilson had to take off running to get it.  He missed multiple receivers on easy passes, including a 3rd down checkdown pass that would have been an easy 1st down to their running back who was open in space.  He coughed up the ball on their first drive, giving the ball to the Giants in the Red Zone on a sack by Kayvon Thibodeaux that he simply had to feel the pressure of coming.  He lost another fumble with a poor connection to his 3rd string center after multiple injuries on the Jets offensive line.  If Adoree Jackson doesn’t have one of the most blatant pass interferences in the history of the game, the Jets very easily could have lost this game, and Wilson did not help at all.  The Jets kicked a field goal on first down in overtime.  If that doesn’t show the lack of faith they have in Wilson’s ability, I don’t know what does.


Running Back


Breece Hall: 12 carries, 17 yards | 9 targets, 6 receptions, 76 yards, TD

Hall was completely stunted in the run game by the Giants defense, but he was able to make some plays receiving the ball out of the backfield.  The most notable play coming on a 50-yard touchdown that was a basic checkdown that Hall turned into a really nice piece of running.  These numbers are not exactly thrilling if you are a Hall fantasy owner, but not all weeks will look like this for Breece on the ground.  His touchdown was the only real piece of genuine offense from either team the entire game.


Dalvin Cook: 2 carries, 5 yards

If you are still starting Cook in your leagues, stop immediately.  He has officially asked the team to search out trade partners and his usage does not look like it’s going to get any better.  He basically entered the game today to give Breece Hall some breathers.


Michael Carter: 2 carries, 2 yards | 1 target, 0 receptions 


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Garrett Wilson: 13 targets, 7 receptions, 100 yards | 1 carry, 6 yards

Wilson did what he could with the opportunities that he had.  The missed targets look deceiving, but all but one (which was a beautiful pass breakup by Flott) were bad passes by Zach Wilson.  Garrett managed to get to the century mark in receiving in a game where offense was pretty much a foreign concept.  It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Aaron Rodgers had a healthy season to work with Wilson.


Allen Lazard: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 45 yards

It’s hard to predict what type of week Lazard will have week to week at this point in this offense.  Wilson did go to him on quite a few important downs, but the lack of offense across the board was simply not enough for Lazard to have a productive day.


C.J. Uzomah: 1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards

Tyler Conklin: 2 targets, 0 receptions

Jeremy Ruckert: 1 target, 0 receptions

Xavier Gipson: 1 target, 0 receptions | 1 carry, 3 yards


New York Giants




Tyrod Taylor: 4/7, 8 yards | 5 carries, 33 yards, 2 sacks

Taylor was not the same quarterback from last week even before the injury that took him out of the game.  He was not attempting passes other than checkdowns, he was looking to run first rather than survey the field, and he looked uncomfortable the entire time.  Taylor went down for the day on another rushing attempt where he could have slid or gotten out of bounds but instead took a hit, injuring his ribs.  If there was anyone out there trying to claim that Taylor looked better in this offense than Jones or that he should start even when Jones is healthy, this game showed them exactly why that type of chatter is ridiculous.


Tommy DeVito: 2/7, -1 yards | 4 carries, 12 yards, 1 TD | 2 sacks

I am not really sure if we can even put DeVito in the quarterback category for this game.  He was allowed to pass once the entire second half of the game, and it was a drop that hit Daniel Bellinger right in the chest.  Unfortunately, DeVito didn’t have a chance to work with Waller who had left the game injured already by the time he came in, but I don’t know that the Giants play callers would have dialed anything up to him anyway.  If this kid came into this game feeling good about himself at all, the Giants made sure that is gone by showing just how little they trust him to handle the football.  Oh yeah…he scored his first NFL touchdown on a QB draw after an awful roughing the passer penalty by the Jets gave them new life for that drive.


Running Back


Saquon Barkley: 36 carries, 128 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 0 yards

Well Barkley was pretty much the entire Giants offense.  With that said, it was nowhere near enough.  Barkley grabbed 128 yards on the ground so immediately you’re like “Wow, what a game”.  Then you see he touched the ball 36 times to do it and his average yards per carry only came in at 3.6.  I am honestly surprised he was able to get as many yards as he did being as how the entire Jets team, coaching staff, front office, fans, and hot dog salesmen all knew every play was going to be a run.  For all his efforts, this game was just managed too poorly to come away with a win, and that’s rough because Barkley really ran hard.


Matt Breida: 5 carries, 13 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Darren Waller: 2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards 

Yes, that reads correctly.  The leading receiver from the Giants today was Waller with 4 yards.  Waller left the game with a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return to the game.  One of the major concerns with Waller coming to New York was how durable he would be knowing that he has faced injury issues in the past.  He has left multiple games this season with injuries, with at least two of those being a hamstring issue so apparently the concerns were valid.  Hopefully for the Giants he gets healthy quick.  A weapon means very little when there’s no ammo.


Daniel Bellinger: 1 target, 0 receptions, 0 yards

Do not start Bellinger if you have not already gotten this clue.  He never built a rapport with Taylor at all, who knows when Jones will be back, and DeVito isn’t allowed to throw passes.


Wan’Dale Robinson: 1 target, 0 receptions, 0 yards | 2 carries, 17 yards

Robinson manages to be the second best running back of the day for the Giants, unfortunately he’s a wide receiver where he managed zero catches on only one target.  It’s genuinely not safe playing any Giants wide receiver right now.


Darius Slayton: 2 targets, 1 reception, -1 yards

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