The Giants did what they usually do whenever they face their chatty co-tenants — let their game do the talking. Saturday night’s 26-3 dismantling shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as Big Blue played to their strengths, which also happens to be the Jets’ weaknesses.
But despite dominating the contest, it doesn’t mean all went perfect for the Giants. Here are four things we saw:
1. Defensive line deeper than we thought
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Big Blue has suffered injuries to key players during camp but after Saturday night’s demolition, maybe their problems aren’t as dire — or maybe the Jets’ offensive line is that bad. Either way, the Giants’ defensive line looked great, as they sacked the quarterback seven times (three on Mark Sanchez and four on Tim Tebow). Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had two of the sacks, and reserve defensive end Adawale Ojomo also added a pair.
2. Big Blue’s overall defensive depth
The defensive line was the backbone, but the Giants’ defense overall was impressive. They held a struggling Jets offense to 148 total net yards, including just 79 in the first half by the starters. Sanchez was under siege during his time behind the porous offensive line, as he went 8-of-11 for just 59 yards. He was also victimized by a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown by rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley.
Defensive end Justin Tuck was especially impressed with the defensive unit.
“We had it going,” Tuck said. “We know we have to play like that all year so why not start now. … The effort was a step in the right direction for us. [The starters] got four sacks and we were able to do that against a good team’s first-string offensive line.”
3. Starting offense still working out kinks
The starters didn’t look top-flight for the second consecutive game, as they failed to get into the end zone. While it’s not alarming yet, the Giants should be concerned that they continue to chalk up long drives while ending up with field goals instead of touchdowns.
“I thought we had a couple good drives and moved the ball,” said quarterback Eli Manning, who played the entire first half. “We converted some third downs, had some opportunities, but didn’t get in the end zone. … There is definitely still a whole lot for us to work on, but we’re making progress.”
Manning was uneven, finishing the half 7-of-14 for just 62 yards. He also threw an interception to strong safety LaRon Landry in the second quarter when he was trying to throw the ball away while under duress. The starting offense as a whole wasn’t great, as they only tallied 80 total yards, including just 19 rushing yards.
4. Running back depth a concern
Starter Ahmad Bradshaw left the game with a bruised hand in the first quarter (X-rays negative) and with him went the Giants’ rushing attack. Bradshaw wasn’t setting the world on fire either, garnering just two yards on three carries, but the Giants feel confident he’ll get it in gear once the games count. The backups are a biggest question mark. Rookie David Wilson had just 26 yards on eight carries, D.J. Ware had 15 yards on 11 carries and Andre Brown registered 10 yards on four carries. Ware in particular could have trouble making this team, as he was also a special teams liability after allowing his man to block a Steve Weatherford punt in the second quarter.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.