By Jaclynlkelli Kronemberg
The battle for the MetLife Stadium took place on Saturday August 18, 2012. This game has been played annually by the New York Giants and the New York Jets since 1969 and this year it was called the MetLife bowl with a Snoopy trophy at stake. This game showcased two top quality defenses battling it out allowing only one offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter. All preseason the Jets have been getting all the attention since they added Tim Tebow to their team. No one has paid attention to the defending champion New York Giants but after this game they might have drawn attention back to themselves after toppling the Jets 26-3.
The starters played the entire first half and the Giants defense was back on track after not being able to stop the Jaguars in their first preseason game. Both defenses stood strong on the first offensive series forcing each team to punt the ball away. When the Giants were punting the ball away the Jets ran into the kicker drawing a roughing the kicker penalty giving the ball back to the Giants. On their second series the Giants were able to get their offense going. Victor Cruz was the go to guy on this series grabbing three catches one for 21 yards. Cruz showing he still deserves his starting position. The Giants were not able to get into the end zone but they were able to go down the field in 12 plays for 63 yards and walked away with a field goal making the score 3-0. The Giants were unable to get their rushing game going against the Jets defense. On the Jets second offensive series Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Mark Sanchez on third down creating a three and out for the Jets. The Giants had a scare when Ahmad Bradshaw went into the locker room with a right hand injury but the X-rays came out negative.
In the second quarter the Giants decided to go for it on a fourth down and one yard to go on the Jets 15 yard line. Domenik Hixon came down with a four yard catch converting on fourth down. After going down the field in 13 plays for 39 yards the Giants were unable to get in the end zone again resulting in another field goal bringing the score to 6-0. On the Jets first offensive series of the second quarter Justin Tuck was able to pressure Sanchez resulting in a sack by Osi Umenyiora leading to another Jets punt. Eli Manning came back out on the field only to over throw his wide receiver causing an interception by LaRon Landry. Landry ran the ball back for 21 yards. The Giants defense stepped up again stopping the Jets on a fourth down conversion giving the Giants the ball back at their own 36 yard line but they were couldn’t capitalize punting the ball away again. This time the punt was blocked by Aaron Maybin resulting in a 21 yard punt by the Giants. This set up Sanchez with good field position unfortunately he threw an interception to Jayron Hosley. Hosley ran back the interception 77 yards for the first touchdown of the game. Hosley is still in the running for a cornerback position and he is proving he was worth the draft pick. With the touchdown the Giants took a 13-0 lead. The Jets came out hoping to get a score in before halftime but again Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Sanchez forcing the Jets to punt the ball away. The Giants went into half time with a 13-0 lead. Both teams were held to under 100 yards in the first half. The Giants had 81 yards and the Jets had 83 yards with no score.
The backups came out for the start of the third quarter which set up David Carr against Tim Tebow. This would be the first time Tebow would play in front of MetLife Stadium. Giants received the ball first and on the second play Carr hooked up with Rueben Randle for a 49 yard catch. Randle is starting to look like a solid receiver that will help out the Giants. This resulted in another field goal for the Giants giving them a 16-0 lead. Tebow took over for the Jets and was able to take the Jets down the field in 14 plays for 68 yards resulting in a field goal finally putting the Jets on the board. During the third quarter Mark Herzlich suffered a hip pointer keeping him out the rest of the game. At the end of the third quarter Jerrel Jernigan had a 19 yard reception keeping his hope alive for the third wide receiver spot. Giants went into the fourth quarter with a comfortable 16-3 led.
The fourth quarter was an array of sacks by both teams. On the Giants first series Carr marched the giants down the field in 10 plays for 53 yards resulting in the fifth field goal of the game bringing the score to 19-3. The next four series resulted in four sacks causing each team to punt the ball. Tebow was sacked by Wally Ojomo and Will Hill and Carr was sacked by rookie Quintin Coples and Josh Mauga. After the Hill sack on Tebow the Jets punter shanked the kick for the second consecutive time giving the Giants the ball in Jets territory but this one proved to be costly. This time a 23 yard David Douglas reception setup a Joe Martinek touchdown reception. This was the only offensive touchdown of the game. Giants took a 26-3 lead and that would eventually be the final score. Tebow was sacked two more times before the end of the game.
The Giants came out victorious in this game but their offense needs to perform better. The Jets defense is good but the Giants are still missing their big target Hakeem Nicks and once he comes back I feel the offense will be able to perform better. The third wide receiver position is still up for grabs and Randle, Jernigan and Hixon all want the spot. The rush offense was never able to get going but that was to be expected with a Rex Ryan defense out there. Hopefully in the next game the Giants will be able to get closer to finding the perfect complement to Bradshaw. The defense show cased their phenomenal pass rush capabilities and it looks like they will keep getting better. Hosley is showing he wants a starting position and he can get it if he keeps playing the way he has in preseason. Next up the Giants play the Chicago Bears on Friday August 24, 2012.