Observation deck: Jets-Giants

August, 16, 2010
8/16/10
11:46
PM ET
Let the record show the New York Giants defeated the New York Jets 31-16 in the first game played in the new Meadowlands stadium.

But the game didn't count.

What does count are revelations from the preseason opener.

[+] EnlargeLaDainian Tomlinson
Alan Maglaque/US PresswireLaDainian Tomlinson rushed eight times for 17 yards and caught a 14-yard pass in his preseason debut with the Jets.
1. Mark Sanchez performed pretty well. All in all, Sanchez had a nice night. He forced his first pass to LaDainian Tomlinson in tight coverage. The ball was deflected and turned into an interception. But Sanchez, who had five multi-turnover games last year, rebounded. He conducted two methodical scoring drives: 14 plays for 68 yards and a touchdown against the Giants' first-team defense and 10 plays for 69 yards and a field goal against the second-team. Sanchez finished 13-of-17 for 119 yards and a 90.1 passer rating.

2. Rex Ryan made some curious decisions about playing time. Most of the Jets' starters played the entire first half, an unusually long night for a preseason opener. Although Ryan already has designated free-agent signee Mark Brunell the second-string quarterback, Kellen Clemens relieved Sanchez to start the third quarter. Clemens completed seven of his 10 throws for 84 yards.

3. Jets cornerbacks better not get hurt. While the Jets probably can make do with cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson and Dwight Lowery as long as Darrelle Revis continues holding out, Jim Sorgi and undrafted rookie Victor Cruz lit up the Jets secondary in the second half. Cruz beat Lowery for a 64-yard touchdown, but needed to make a sensational, one-handed grab to pull it off. But in the fourth quarter Cruz torched Drew Coleman for a 34-yard touchdown and outfought Marquice Cole for a 5-yard score.

4. The offense wasn't run-dominant. Are the days of "ground and pound" over? The Jets ran 28 times and passed 43 times. Even before the Jets' final, desperation drive, they'd run 27 times and passed 32 times. Santonio Holmes had four catches, while Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith had three apiece.

5. Shonn Greene ran hard. Even though All-Pro center Nick Mangold had the night off and greenhorn Matt Slauson started at left guard, Greene plowed forth for 26 yards on five carries in one quarter of work. He had runs of 8 and 7 yards.

6. Tomlinson didn't look old to me. His numbers weren't prolific, eight carries for 17 yards and one catch for 14 yards. But Tomlinson didn't look over the hill. He showed a burst on a 14-yard would-be touchdown run that was nullified by a holding penalty.

7. Cromartie should have had two interceptions. His coverage was oppressive, but you'd like to see him come down with at least one of the two passes he could have picked off.

8. Dustin Keller was a popular target for Sanchez. Don’t forget about the third-year tight end when considering the Jets' various offensive weapons. After a relatively quiet regular season, Keller caught a touchdown pass in each of the Jets' three postseason games. It looks like he's very much in their plans this year. On their first-quarter touchdown drive, Sanchez threw to Keller four times (one was wiped out by a penalty), connecting twice for 19 yards.

9. Nick Folk remains a question mark. Ryan publicly ridiculed Folk's erratic leg in OTAs, but lately has been expressing faith in his new kicker. Folk, released by the Dallas Cowboys last year after an ugly stretch of games, converted his first three field-goal attempts from 36, 22 and 36 yards. Then he missed from 46 yards.

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