Often called the battle for New York, or battle for bragging rights, regardless of the cheesy title; this annual preseason contest is a microcosm of what we’ll see week 1 in the regular season. The starters normally play into the 2nd half, so this is a good preview of how the team is looking heading into the preseason finale next week. Well it looks as if the suspense of who will be the New York Jets starting quarterback for week 1 will be delayed at least another week. Rex so far has refused to name a starter stating, “Well, I never said I never knew who the starter was,” Ryan said at his press conference Tuesday. “I’m just not ready to announce it yet.” Earlier in the press conference, Ryan remained candid on the quarterback situation, refusing to concede. “I’m not going to name it right now, no matter how many times you ask it, or whatever,” he told reporters. “Somebody fire another one at me. ‘I’m going to get it out of him.’ No, you’re not. I’ve given in to you guys before. I’m not giving in on this one.” Though it seems to everyone in and out of Florham Park that it is simply a foregone conclusion that Geno Smith will be starting the Sept. 7 season opener against the Raiders.
The next-to-last preseason game is the dress rehearsal for the season opener. Jobs are won and lost in this game. And when you factor in the bitter and long rivalry between these teams, the intensity level always gets turned up. If you thought last week was intense with the smack talk between teams, get ready. Both New York teams come into this one undefeated which is a bonus more than anything else. While Geno has looked efficient thus far, Eli has looked anything but. Last week he finished 1-of-7, something that has become an issue for the Giants over the last several seasons is their offensive line. They’ve had shoddy play, not providing Eli with enough time to get the ball to his play-makers, which last season led to 27 interceptions being thrown. For the Giants to be successful this season they’re going to have to protect their quarterback. With Ben McAdoo’s new offensive scheme coming to town it should really help Eli get his completion percentage up and cut down on turnovers. So look for the Giants to continue to work out the kinks in their new west coast offensive system.
While on the other side of the field the New York Jets will be getting some of their pieces back on the field. Rex said at his press conference that he expects both Chris Ivory & Eric Decker to be back in action this week. So finally we’ll get to see the 3-headed rushing attack in full force for this one. From the New York Jets perspective something we’ll be looking to see is the chemistry between Geno & his receivers most importantly his new #1 target Eric Decker. They haven’t had a lot of preseason action to work together, but this Friday night we’ll get to see it first hand.
But by far in large the most important thing to in this game for both teams is to make sure to come out as healthy as possible. In the last couple of years we’ve seen a vast amount of injuries occur in the annual ‘Snoopy Bowl’. From Eli getting bloodied, to Sanchez tearing his shoulder, to Stevie Brown tearing his ACL there’s just been way too many injuries.
With that being said, look for both Geno & Eli to see well into the 3rd quarter of preseason action. With Vick coming to fill out the rest of the game. Again the annual preseason ‘purge’ is looming when the NFL rosters have to be downsized in two fell swoops. From 90 players to 75 players to our final 53 man squad. This game will play a huge part in who ends up separating themselves from the pack and everyone else who simply withers away. This should be a fun one with competitive bragging rights on the line and of course another week closer to the regular season opener for the New York Jets on Sept. 7th.