Saturday, August 23, 2008

What to watch for: Jets vs Giants

Tonight is game 3 of the preseason for both New York teams. The Giants come in after having harassed the Cleveland Browns in their last game, leading 30-3 in the 2nd quarter and injuring Browns quarterback Derek Anderson. The Jets come in hoping that their newly acquired star quarterback can come out healthy.

If Favre comes out in one piece, the Jets will be happy, but they also hope the entire team can stay healthy and show improvement. The defense improved from week one to week two, but this week will be their biggest test as they will play presumably close to three quarters. The third game is always the biggest competition because both teams will play their starters longer, so it will be interesting to see who gets time and who plays well.

Players to watch
*Vernon Gholston: At some point, you'd like to see the 6th overall pick make an impact play.

*Dwight Lowery: He has as good a chance as anyone to get the other starting job at corner. This game will probably be his biggest test so far.

*Marques Murrell: Has a chance to make the team as an edge rusher. Looked great last game and has been solid in camp, so one more good performance could seal the deal.

*Chansi Stuckey/Brad Smith: With David Clowney injured, the race for the slot receiver role is between these two, just the way it began. It's still too close to call, a big performance by one player or the other could make the difference.

*Laveranues Coles: He probably won't play, but if he does, watch him to see how healthy he is.

*Brett Favre: He's been good in camp and shown flashes of greatness. However, that's been marred by some inconsistency, and you'd like to see him put up another good performance.

*Thomas Jones: Will he get more carries?

As for the Giants, they return a similar team to last season. Michael Strahan is gone, but Osi Umenyiora, Matthias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck, Barry Cofield, and the rest of that front seven is strong enough to make up for his loss. Kenny Phillips, a safety from Miami, was their first round pick, and he's looked very good so far. They hope to fly underneath the radar and play the "no respect" card with the Jets taking the New York headlines and the Cowboys dominating the NFC headlines.

It's preseason, so don't get too excited, but the regular season beckons. 15 days until week one!

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