John Fennelly, Lead Writer
There’s not much to say about the Giants’ 28-18 loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium. It was basically an even game statistically, but the Giants made costly mistakes and the Jets made them pay.
Two big plays by the Jets, an interception returned for a TD right before the half and a punt return for a TD in the third quater, were the difference.
“Not real complicated, we had six penalties in the first half. We kind of broke our play up, I thought,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “You know, we had an interception for a touchdown. We had a punt return for a touchdown. We were backed up and punted from the one after a sack. We couldn’t run the ball with any consistency. I thought they ran the ball well, not just in the second half, but they did basically with it what they happened to do there. So I mean, as I said, you give two scores away like that and it’s going to be most difficult to win in this league any time.”
Outside of the 14 play, 89-yard TD drive that ate up eight minutes in the second quarter, the Giants lacked the consistency and the cohesion the coaches want to see come the third week of the preseason.
“Oh, I liked the drive,” Coughlin said. “I thought the drive was outstanding. I thought there were big plays made. There was consistency in terms of picking up first downs when we had to and we had a couple of penalties, but that was a good drive, a good football drive and it really was encouraging for me. I thought we would come right back out, but this one was the two-minute drill. You know we had the ball twice in the two-minute. I thought for sure that this was a great opportunity for us, not only to work on the two-minute, but to be in a game situation while we’re doing it. So I was disappointed.”
The Giants actually outgained the Jets, had more first downs and offensive plays but were not able to sustain drives outside the long one in the first half.
“Other than the fact we converted some first downs, there weren’t a lot of long chunks,” Coughlin said. “We converted some first downs and kept the play alive. We executed well. We came back in the two-minute and didn’t.”
The defense was not porous, but did not function that well, either. After the Giants scored on that long drive, they allowed the Jets to charge right back with a 73-yard scoring drive of their own.
The pass rush was non-existent, partly due to the fact that DE Robert Ayers (ankle) was scratched. The Giants only sack came on a safety blitz by Cooper Taylor.
“I really don’t know,” Coughlin said when asked what happened to Ayers. “He’s out there pregame and all of a sudden he’s on the ground and complaining about his ankle and his Achilles and whatever. That was two minutes before we came into the locker rooms prior to going out and starting.”
Damontre Moore started at RDE for Ayers. Cullen Jenkins started at LDE. With Weston Richburg resting his sore knee, Dallas Reynolds started at center. John Jerry was the starting RG again.
WR Rueben Randle, who has missed the past two weeks with tendinitis in his knees, started and caught one pass for sevenyards.
CB Prince Amukamara played for the first time since tearing his biceps last Nov. 3 vs. Indianapolis. Amukamara, who missed the first two exhibitions with a groin injury, played the entire first half, as did all of the starters.
The Giants’ leading rusher was backup QB Ryan Nassib, who gained 30 yards on three carries, including a 16-yarder.
Nassib passed well and played the entire second half, completing 11 of 18 passes for 122 yards, including a 6-yard TD in the fourth quarter to TE Jerome Cunningham.
Rookie Landon Collins started at free safety after missing one game with a knee injury sustained in the preseason opener at Cincinnati. Veteran free agent Jeromy Miles started at SS.
LB Uani Unga led the Giants defense with eight combined tackles.
Rookie OL Bobby Hart (ankle) and CB Josh Gordy (hip) left the game with injuries.