It's summer, when "the games don't count." Yet it's also Preseason Week 3. That means it's time for the Jets and the Giants, MetLife Stadium's undefeated co-landlords, to duke it out in Friday night's MetLife Bowl. At stake: the Snoopy Trophy.
OK, that's important, but more important is that our starters have a little extra edge this week to help them in their final dress rehearsal for the 2014 season, since as we all know, the first team will rest next week at Philadelphia.
"I think the guys like each other and respect each other," head coach Rex Ryan said today of his side and Tom Coughlin's team, adding, "This game's usually a very physical game ... and you don't get to play each other very often. I think that amps it up a little bit."
Here are seven things to know about this year's 46th annual Jets-Giants preseason meeting:
1. Stacking the Deck
2. Corner Health
A concern for Ryan and Jets fans is the secondary. It's slowly getting better with word that starter
"I got the green light from the staff and I'm practicing," said Patterson. "You want to get out there and play well. You want to, I guess, end on a good note, but how can you end on a good note when you're just beginning a season? But at the end of the day you want to play well, get into a rhythm."
No new word on CB
3. Competition Hotspots
The Jets are deep at wideout and corner, which means many players clawing away at each other to climb onto the back end of the roster ahead of next week's two cutdowns to 53.
Closer to the front end of the depth chart, can
4. Penalty Watch
One might be tempted to say that all the training camp pushups didn't help since we were hit with 12 penalties for 133 yards at Cincinnati. Yet Ryan has fixed such overzealousness before, such as last year after Games 3-4. And
"We don't want to go out there and get penalties. That's not how we want to play, that's not how we want to be seen," Breno said. "But to go out there and fight the way we did was awesome. And you want to play through the whistle as an offensive lineman. It's not because you want to be tough. It's because of the backs we have. They'll break the tackles, they'll make those 80-yard touchdown runs."
5. Out of the Mouths of Babes
You didn't think Rex was going to let stand Giants rookie RB Andre Williams' Tuesday comment that "I think the Giants are the real New York team," did you?
"The last time I saw him, he was getting smoked by Clemson," Ryan said today, smiling but firing back at the former Boston College back. "I will say that the kid's a good back, though. Is anybody going to tackle him? But I have a funny feeling he's going to get some Riddells put on him." That's Riddells as Jets helmets attached to good, clean hitters in green.
6. Special Role Reversal
It will be a special night for Thomas McGaughey, who before he became our special teams coordinator, spent four seasons on Coughlin's Giants staff as assistant ST coach from 2007-10.
So there will be a few bro hugs and fist bumps before and after this game for T-Mac. But one in-game matchup will have to wait. After the Giants, McGaughey moved to LSU and developed Odell Beckham Jr., who scored three special teams touchdowns under him. One of McGaughey's jobs on Friday night was to keep Beckham out of the end zone. But the Giants' first-round rookie has been ruled out due to his lingering hamstring injury.
7. Breaking the Tie
Of course it's most important to win games in the regular season, and the Giants hold that edge on the Jets, 8-4. But it's remarkable to consider that when you add our 24-20-1 advantage in the preseason, the record between these rivals and stadium mates is knotted at 28-28-1. What's more, Rex is 3-3 in all games against the Giants and Coughlin is 6-6 in all games vs. the Jets. So Friday's result will put the winners in the rivalry's driver's seat. At least until a year from now.
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