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First off, can I say that I’ve been writing up/reviewing preseason games for about seven years now – and I always hear the same opening bit for this particular preseason game. There’s a whole 2–60 minute intro in some kind of ‘tough guy’ voice going on and on about how this is the bragging rights game of New York. The game announcers then come on screen right after…and talk about how this is for bragging rights.
Let me ask you Jets fans out there something – who won this game last year? You have no idea. Guess what? You lost. Guess what? No one cares. Your team and your entire organization is the single worst in all of football – would winning this one meaningless preseason game change an ounce of that? Don’t answer.
Totally apropos for the situation, before asses got settled into seats – the Jets were down 19-0, and down 29-3 at halftime. You know why? Because the Jets suck. Nothing smacks of this being a critical game more than when the Jets roll out Christian ‘The Hack’ Hackenberg as their starter. When the Giants later answer with Geno Smith…Oh, IT’s ON BAY-BEEE!! This like Mayweather-McGregor level action here.
Maybe if the Jets’ GM didn’t spend his entire day waiting for other teams to cut players and then quickly rushing to his cell phone to click over onto the waiver wire app and going to the add/drop button GMs I assume have in the NFL..maybe the Jets wouldn’t be such a mess. And maybe if he knew anything about football talent he’d be more discerning about the talent he was grabbing blindly. I swear every single player that gets cut this year gets picked up by the Jets 30-seconds later. The Jets are like the NFL’s toxic waste dump site for players.
I can’t make any real commentary about the Giants or Jets overall from this performance because, of course, the Giants smashed around the Jets when they wanted to do. The Jets valiant comeback in the second half occurring as the Giants took a nap for the final 30 minutes of football. Congrats, Jets…so close to getting those important bragging rights, but the Jets still lost in the end…something they’ll be used to again and again this year.
Fantasy player notes…
— I’m not afraid to admit it, I love Evan Engram (2-32-0/3) and I don’t care who knows about it…
Engram is running routes and working with Eli Manning in the way I hoped O.J. Howard would in Tampa Bay with his QB, but it’s not even close. Engram is being used as a weapon on equal footing with the other talented receivers the Giants have this preseason. …O.J. Howard is doing some nice blocking in Tampa.
Evan Engram put a stutter step move on a linebacker that nearly twisted the defender into a pretzel. The move allowed Engram to blast wide open over the middle. It was one of the best moves I’ve seen this year — because it came from a tight end who runs like a fast wide receiver. We all thought or knew this was coming with his speed, but wondered how it would really be used – so far, better than expected. In the history of the NFL, there may have never been to anything like Evan Engram – and the beautiful part is I think Eli recognizes it. But…it’s the preseason. Eli may default to the WRs come the regular season, at least early on.
I’m excited about what I’ve seen with Engram on his catches, but as critical has been watching him when he doesn’t get the ball. He’s literally open every play if they wanted to throw it because linebackers have no prayer of keeping up with him.
I’m moving Evan Engram into TE1 status for 2017 (but take as a TE2). I thought O.J. Howard could be the rookie who breaks that mold, but it’s Engram not Howard in 2017 it appears. If anyone jumps up and says, “Oh, rookie tight ends never do well in fantasy in year one!” Then I’m going to backhand you with the fact that we never seen a tight been constructed like this…with this kind of speed/agility. It’s an apples and oranges debate to some degree.
— Two quick notes on the Jets backfield…
Matt Forte (10-43-0, 2-1-0/2) got his first preseason playing time, and it looks like normal Matt Forte. He started and played heavy in this game to get up to speed. As long as Forte is healthy, he’s going to take touches. He’s become undervalued in fantasy/disrespected to a degree…I’m guilty of it too.
But just like last season, Bilal Powell (7-32-0, 4-110-1/4) will see a pretty fair amount of carries himself but is the lead dog as a receiver. Powell ran a slant pattern out of the backfield on a play in this game, caught a pass in stride and just raced down the field for an 85-yard score. Powell is going to be very viable in the Jets poor passing game. Powell may even be more viable if the Jets get the bright idea of trading Forte, as they should have already.
— ArDarius Stewart (5-82-2/6) had two TDs in this game and the football media loves it…because ‘Alabama’. All I can say is this – on three of Stewart’s catches, I noted there was no defense against him to make the catch. He had two catches where defenders had fallen down/slipped and Stewart was easily open. On his last TD catch, he was completely forgotten about and was literally standing in the back of the end zone alone… I think the only guy actually in the end zone as the pass was thrown. He just waited for the pass to come to him. Stewart saw little pressure on his catches in this game – so it’s hard to judge anything. It was odd. He may be a fine wide receiver, but I’m not getting jacked up by this performance because I didn’t see him really do anything besides ‘exist’ while others fell down.
— I’m not sure what the Giants are doing with rookie QB Davis Webb (2-4 for 20 yards, 0 TD/0 INT); maybe they’re trying to hide him, but this extended look at Geno Smith garbage is silly. The Giants are a lot better team than their showing in the preseason, but because they are playing way too much Geno in games it’s killing them. It’s a waste of time for all the weapons involved.
I don’t know how we live in a world where Davis Webb is buried as the fourth quarterback onto the field for his team, while across the field Christian Hackenberg gets another start. Just to be clear – Christian Hackenberg is the worst and should get the GM fired right now…and Davis Webb would be the best QB talent on the Jets right now.
Let me just tell you something Jets…There’s not a lot of bragging rights when the other New York team’s fourth string quarterback is better than your entire QB depth chart.
— Austin Seferian-Jenkins (1-16-0/3) had another quiet game, but as I’ve said for three weeks straight – no one could have a feel for ASJ or Robby Robbie Anderson (1-9-0/4) at this point because the Jets keep trotting out their dumpster fire quarterbacks all game. Josh McCown played about a millisecond of the preseason. We don’t know what the Jets passing game will truly be capable of based on this preseason to-date. The one moment with McCown was in — was pretty good.
— You know who might be the Jets best wide receiver right now? New York Giants UDFA rookie Travis Rudolph (3-81-0/6). Another reason the New York Jets are a horribly run franchise. A guy the Giants might have to cut in a few days would be the most reliable receiver on the Jets potentially.
The comedy would be that Rudolph gets released, and the Jets — who always claim everybody, don’t claim him.
Travis Rudolph looks terrific in the preseason…a very polished wide receiver with nice size. He’s not the fastest guy in the 2017 NFL Draft class, but he’s one of the more competent, quality receivers out there. His career might be better off getting bounced from the Giants to go somewhere with more opportunity. He’s been so good this preseason, I think he sticks as the last WR on the depth chart.
— I have never watched Paul Perkins (6-33-0) in a preseason or regular-season game and gone, “Well, that guy is good.” I’m always left scratching my head wondering how in the world he is a starting running back in the NFL on a title contending team. You know how bad Paul Perkins is? He couldn’t start for the Jets…he couldn’t see touches, much less start. When the Jets have something better than you do as your main starter – it’s time to reevaluate the situation.
— Congratulations, New York Giants on the big win here, you must be so thrilled about having bragging rights over the Jets…as if you needed this game for that.