NFL Nation: 2014 NFL Preseason Week 4 NYG at NYJ W2W4

W2W4: New York Jets

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
12:00
PM ET
The New York Jets (2-0) face the New York Giants (3-0) in their annual preseason game Friday night at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are the home team; kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

1. Battle of New York: It's MetLife Bowl V -- or whatever the sponsors are calling it these days. At stake is the coveted Snoopy Trophy (try not to laugh), captured last year by the Jets in a game that will always be remembered for Mark Sanchez's shoulder injury. Most of the players will forget the score by next week, but, yeah, there's a little extra juice. Giants rookie Andre Williams, who doesn't know what he doesn't know, raised eyebrows at One Jets Drive by claiming the Giants are the "real team" in New York. The question is whether the Jets, who were out of control last week in Cincinnati (see: seven personal fouls), can keep their emotions in check. There's a fine line between toughness and thuggery, and Rex Ryan admits they crossed it a few times last week. This will be a good chance to show they can maintain their cool in a heated game.

2. Prepare for a pillow fight: The Jets' beleaguered secondary faces the Giants' utterly inept passing offense. By the end of the night, one unit could be wiping egg from its face. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson is likely to return, which helps from a depth standpoint, but he may not come back in a starting role. Frankly, it's hard to predict how they will line up because they're still mixing and matching -- and that's not a good thing. By now, you'd like to have your lineups set, letting the starters play into the second half, but the Jets still are doing the patchwork thing. Converted safety Antonio Allen and Ellis Lankster started last week, but the coaches want to give Darrin Walls a look. They're not committed to Allen at cornerback; he received lukewarm reviews in his debut. Want some good news? Impressive rookie safety Calvin Pryor will have an expanded role with the starters. They will face a quarterback, Eli Manning, who looks robotic and uncomfortable in his new West Coast offense.

3. Geno, then and now: Geno Smith was a jittery, overwhelmed rookie last summer against the Giants, throwing three interceptions. You hate to put too much emphasis on a preseason game, but this is his chance to show everyone he's not the same quarterback from a year ago. Smith needs a good, long touchdown drive against the Giants' starters, and he'll be able to call the preseason a success. In eight series, he has led the offense to two touchdowns and two field goals, but only one touchdown came against a starting defense -- and that was only a 19-yard drive. Wide receiver Eric Decker returns to the lineup, so look for a lot of Smith to Decker. The issue with Smith isn't whether he can nail down the starting job (he has); it's about developing cohesion with the rest of the unit and building confidence for the regular season. The starters won't play next week, so this is the final dress rehearsal.

W2W4: New York Giants

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
12:00
PM ET
The New York Giants (3-0) and the New York Jets (2-0) square off in their annual preseason meeting Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium.

1. Time for the starters to show something. We've said this every week so far, but so far Eli Manning and the Giants' first-team offense hasn't shown anything encouraging in the preseason. There's some hope that the game-planning they've done for this game (where they didn't do any for the first three) might help the new Ben McAdoo offense look more in sync, though the Jets' tough defense could negate some of that. Giants coach Tom Coughlin hinted last weekend that Manning and the offense might not be able to take their accustomed breather in next week's preseason finale if he doesn't feel they've played well enough to deserve it. So they certainly should be motivated.

2. The offensive line. This seemed to be Coughlin's greatest source of consternation in practice this week -- the idea that he still doesn't have a five-man starting line combination with which he feels comfortable. Left tackle Will Beatty should play more than he did in his preseason debut last week, but if the Giants retain questions about how much they can expect of him, you wonder if you'll start seeing right tackle Justin Pugh over there. Pugh moved to the left side a few times in practice this week, with guys like Geoff Schwartz and Brandon Mosley getting reps at right tackle and rookie Weston Richburg playing guard. Watch to see who gets the snaps and at which positions on the line as the Giants continue to play around with this critical area.

3. Looking for playmakers. Will we see unproven wide receivers such as Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, who have been preseason stars, play with the first team at wide receiver? With first-rounder Odell Beckham Jr. still sidelined, the Giants are looking for answers on the outside. Not only could guys like Washington and Harris make the team with a strong showing, they could earn surprisingly large roles early in the season. Starting tight end remains up for grabs, and there still could be time for Jerry Reese favorite Adrien Robinson to overtake Larry Donnell. And there's still a lot to sort out at running back behind starter Rashad Jennings. Anyone who plays well in this game will set himself up nicely as roster cuts and other final decisions loom next week.

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