In Saturday’s battle between the Giants and Jets at Met Life, the big question will be which offense will finally emerge? This certainly won’t be easy for either side as both defenses have been the dominate side for both teams in the preseason.
Most likely it will further solidify the kicking contests on both sides.
With Eli Manning back, the Giants had their full cast on the field against the Browns Monday night and the script remained the same – no touchdowns and 18 points worth of field goals. The lone difference was the injuries to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, both of which have clouded their passing game and the doubts if the duo will be ready for the prime-time, season opener against Dallas.
Sterling Shepard could have a breakout game against the Jets as well as top pick Evan Engram, who has shown his speed in the open field. The team surprisingly cut receiver Darius Powe, who seemingly established himself.
The running game continues to be stagnant and it can be further slowed facing the Jets’ defense, which shut down Tennessee’s and Detroit’s. Paul Perkins has had some spurts, but he has the O-line hasn’t created enough space for him.
Rookie Larry Gallman has looked good in the second halves of both games and look for him to get more time this week.
Defensively, rookie tackle Dalvin Thompson has made his presence felt up front on a line that already looks in season form.
B.J. Goodson’s emergence has brought more stability to the linebacking corps and the secondary looks solid, and it could be a nightmare for the Jets’ quarterback trifecta.
The Jets have similar offensive woes as they have managed an opening drive touchdown from Josh McCown and three field goals.
Despite Bilal Powell’s return and his 32 yards against the Lions, their running game has been sluggish behind a rotating offensive line that is looking to settle itself. If Matt Forte returns, it should get a lift and alleviate some pressure off the quarterbacks.
McCown should see most of the time, but Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty have taken most of the reps in camp this week.
On defense, the Jets have shown their speed in the first two games, swirling around all up front and in the secondary with a new-found energy. The defensive line has a great opportunity to show its strength against the Giants and they should be able to lead a sack charge.
Linebackers Darron Lee, Demario Davis, and Jordan Jenkins will face another test, as they have applied pressure and looked steady in coverage.
But if the Jets’ offense can maintain drives, the defense could be worn down, as they were at times against Detroit last week.
What to watch for? Hopefully, offense surfaces for both teams. If not, be prepared for the ongoing kicker battle in a low-scoring contest.