Three Things to Watch: Jets at Giants

As the New York Jets and New York Giants battle in the annual MetLife Bowl, here are three storylines to keep an eye on for Gang Green.

1. Can Geno be Hero?

It will take a heroic performance from rookie signal-caller Geno Smith to turn the tide in the New York Jets never-ending quarterback saga.

Hobbled by an ankle injury, Smith is almost 100 percent healthy and set to make his first ever NFL preseason start. As the Jets take on the cross-town rival New York Giants, the rookie will be tested by a vaunted Big Blue pass-rush early and often. Both quarterbacks coach David Lee and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg are imploring the former West Virginia star to ‘cut things loose' and not remain gun-shy in the pocket.

The Giants secondary has several question marks with playmaking safety Antrel Rolle injured and their linebacking unit very much unsettled there should be ample opportunities for big plays through the passing game. Look for Smith to come out firing on the opening drive and set the tone for the night as he tries to unseat incumbent Mark Sanchez as the leader of the Jets' huddle.

2. Will Ivory Coast?

The Jets had their prized free agent Chris Ivory on a snap count last week as the power running back carried the ball just six times for 13 yards. Coming off a strained hamstring, New York's coaching staff took the cautious approach and limited Ivory's playing time to avoid overextending him this preseason.

Look for the fourth-year pro to get some more touches on Saturday night as the Jets aim to build on a ground game that produced 176 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ivory will be the Jets bell cow this upcoming season, but look the tandem of Bilal Powell and Kahlil Bell will be key cogs in Gang Green's resurgent rushing attack.

3. No run of the Milliner?

Rookie cornerback Dee Milliner was victimized by the Jaguars; missing several open field tackles and failing to lock up Jacksonville's receivers in coverage. Rex Ryan expressed a degree of disappointment in the former Alabama's standout's performance last week, but is optimistic the first year pro will reverse his fortunes Saturday night.

With Victor Cruz sidelined due to a heel bruise, Milliner's calf soreness will hold him out of Saturday's contest, so he'll have to wait until next week to bounce back from a subpar performance.


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