Even though it’s just the preseason, it’s always a good game when the New York Giants meet their hometown rival the New York Jets. The two teams will meet Friday, in the second-to-last preseason game for either team.
Expect about a half from the Giants’ starters on Friday night. Yes, all eyes will be on the Giants offense, as the first team has repeatedly struggled this preseason, but the defense will also face an important test as it gets its first 2014 look at a pair of very nimble quarterbacks.
The Jets have Geno Smith and Michael Vick as their first and second stringers, two quarterbacks with the ability to move outside the pocket and make plays with their legs in the open field.
The Giants defense needs to get used to dealing with mobile quarterbacks, as the NFC East is chalk-full of these kinds of elusive players.
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is a constant threat to break loose when he can’t find a receiver downfield or even on a designed play. Also, both Nick Foles and Tony Romo are crafty in the pocket and can take off when a play breaks down.
On Friday, New York’s defensive front needs to keep the pressure constant but, at the same time, make sure that the defensive ends, especially starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka, keep the contain on the outside. Allowing Smith or Vick to get out of the pocket will force the defense into a tough spot.
Also, the Giants’ linebackers will need to be aware of the running ability of these quarterbacks. They will be the second line of defense and will need to make plays in the open field in order to prevent big gains. Starters Jameel McClain, Jacquian Williams and Devon Kennard must play smart and make sound tackles if Smith or Vick is able to breach the line of scrimmage.
New York’s defense has been solid this preseason, but will face a different sort of test with the Jets. Their performance on Friday may be a quick look at how the Giants defend other teams in their division.