Last night marked the third preseason game for both the Jets and the Giants, which means that this was the game in which the starters actually played more than one series. In traditional fashion, it also meant that the two New York teams faced off to earn meaningless supremacy for a year.
The first important thing I noticed was Kellen Winslow, Jr. I had absolutely no clue he was a Jet. I knew that he appeared at mini-camp, but I didn't know that he was signed immediately after. Since I have been away for seven weeks, I missed the first two preseason games so I was shocked when his name was called by the announcers.
After David Wilson's touchdown, I tweeted this. I think that explains everything. Just when we thought the only thing we had to worry about was the offense.
Geno Smith started out pretty good early, though a lot of that was due to Marty Mornhinweg's gameplan which included a lot of short check down passes. It seems like they were very focused on protecting Smith from making too many mistakes with a ton of short passes to Winslow, Jeremy Kerley, and even the running backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. Unfortunately, Geno still found a way to make huge, costly mistakes. The first interception wasn't his fault, Prince Amukamara played the route perfectly and made an awesome pick. The second one was an awful throw by Smith which went straight to Stevie Brown, who was probably shocked that he didn't have to do anything to earn that ball. Justin Tuck's interception was also pretty bad, but Brown's was absoutely horrible.
What was even worse for the Giants was what happened after Brown made the play. He went down and we learned this morning that it was due to a torn ACL, That's a devastating blow to the Giants defense because their secondary was already questionable with Antrel Rolle out (he wasn't even that good to begin with) and with Aaron Ross and Corey Webster being possible issues. Prince Amukamara will have to be a star in order for this pass defense to have any succcess, and I don't think that's out of the question.
As for Geno Smith, the short passing game looked really good when the offensive line gave him enough time. The rookie Brian Winters looked decent filling in when Vlad Ducasse went down with an injury. We already know that Ducasse is completely worthless, so I'm intrigued to see what this kid can do.
Unfortunately, when the protection did break down, Geno Smith looked ridiculously uncomfortable and rushed most of his throws. He also tended to stare down his receivers, but I'm not terribly worried about either issue because he's a rookie. He'll get better and more comfortable as time goes along.
I must say, that Smith looked pretty good on deeper throws, so that looks to be an important part of his game.
As for the Jets defense, Sheldon Richardson impressed me, he looked very good last night and on a few plays used brute force to simply overpower his counterpart. Along with Muhammad Wilkerson, I that the Jets defensive line may just have a foundation for years to come. Obviously I haven't seen too much from Richardson, but if he continues playing like he did last night, watch out.
Last night, Curtis Painter reminded me that he is...Curtis Painter.
Now for more important backup quarterbacks, Matt Simms confused the QB situation just a bit by his play last night. He came in when Mark Sanchez got injured, something that Rex Ryan has been getting killed for. I'm going to defend Ryan on this one, Mark Sanchez should be and at least for this game, is the backup quarterback. Also, the preseason is coming to a close soon, so he needs to get a look at Sanchez anyway. There's no reason why so many people should think that putting him in the game was such an egregious decision.
Anyway, back to Simms. He looked very good and had quite a few nice throws to Ryan Spadola. I think that he should get a chance to compete for the starting job. Ideally, they would cut Mark Sanchez, but since that would never happen, I guess Greg McElroy is the odd man out. We'll see if Simms looks even better in the final game against the Eagles.