The 2008 installment of the annual Giants/Jets preseason rivalry unfolded like a plodding heavyweight club fight between two palookas who know how to throw a punch but also know how to take one as well. The Giants, who were playing their second game in six days — this time without defensive leader Antonio Pierce — lost the split decision 10-7. Plaxico Burress didn’t play — what else is new — and, although Amani Toomer started he was very quickly replaced by Domenick Hixon who, again, had a fine showing.
During the 1st half, neither team could mount anything offensively. The Jets due to a load of penalties — 12 penalties on the night — including one that negated a beautiful TD pass from Brett Favre. But, the Jets pass rush was a factor all 1st half — helped by a blown blitz pickup by Brandon Jacobs. The Giants had only one sustained drive toward the end of the first half but Eli Manning held onto the ball too long on 3rd down and took a terrible 16 yard sack by Calvin Pace — who was very disruptive all night. This left the Giant’s with a 42 yard FG opportunity which Josh Huston promptly blew, wide right. If Tynes doesn’t get back to soon, look for the Giants to bring in a couple of kickers.
But, by far, the most dramatic — and possibly disastrous — play of the first half for the Giants was the injury to Osi Uminiora who went down rushing Brett Favre. He seemed go down courtesy of a D’Brickashaw Ferguson shove but got back up, continued his rush, then went down again and eventually had to be taken off the field on a golf cart. Initial reports indicate he couldn’t bend his knee or put weight on it but it doesn’t appear to be a ligament tear. Tests will have to done. Once he went out, the pass rush definitely suffered. The rush defense, however, remained stout throughout whether it was the 2nd or even the 3rd units.
The second half between the Giants and Jets 2nd and 3rd teams was also a defensive struggle. Kellen Clemens started the 2nd half for the Jets and, in spite of four procedure penalties managed to mount a 16 play drive that resulted in a field goal. The Giants later scored on a short Ahmad Bradshaw run after a Renaldo Wynn interception on a zone blitz. The veteran defensive end dropped back into coverage and pulled down his first pick ever. The Giants couldn’t get anything else going throughout the rest of the half though because the Jets pass rush consistently harried the Giant’s quarterbacks who often held the ball too long — primarily David Carr.
After a terrible Jeff Feagles punt — his only bad one of the night — the Jets took over in Giants territory and Brett Ratliff, shaking off his earlier pick by Wynn, tossed a 24 yard TD pass to rookie Paul Raymond, putting Jets up 10-7. Rookie Andre Woodson came in after Carr for the Giants in the 4th quarter but couldn’t put any points on the board. By the way, he still looks like he has a definite ‘hitch’ in his delivery. All in all it was a pretty forgettable game for the Giants but, on the positive side, a lot of the youngsters looked good. Mario Mannigham caught 3 passes for 41 yards and Domenick Hixon caught 3 passes for 51 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw ran well and Kenny Phillips flashed on a few plays.