Saturday, December 24, 2011
How you feeling? Giants-Jets
By Dan Graziano
As you get ready for this afternoon's "road" game against the Jets, here's one reason for New York Giants fans to feel good and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: The Giants are at their best when they can draw some sort of external motivation. They're a big "Nobody believed in us" bunch. And they're not great fans of the way the Jets have carried themselves since Rex Ryan took over as Jets head coach three years ago. The Giants believe their more conservative, buttoned-up, just-play-the-game style is a better way to approach their business than the Jets' boisterous swagger. The Giants have taken joy in beating the Jets in preseason games during the Ryan era. So there's little doubt that, coming off of last week's flop against the Redskins, the Giants will be fired up to beat the Jets in the stadium the two teams share. There should be little doubt about the Giants' ability to get "up" for this game.
Cause for concern: Well, the Giants' own defense remains their biggest cause for concern. Unless it's going to look completely different than it has at any point over the past six weeks, the Giants are going to continue to struggle on third downs and continue to give up points. Mark Sanchez's offense isn't nearly as explosive as some of the offenses that have taken apart the Giants during their current 1-5 stretch, but neither was the Redskins offense that did whatever it wanted to do against them last week. The Giants' best hope is to win a shootout, and the problem there is the trouble their receivers could have with very good Jets cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. If Eli Manning can hit some big plays down the field early against those guys, it could set an encouraging tone for the Giants. If not, it could portend a long day.