EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Of course coaches and players will tell you winning any game is important, even a preseason game, but winning the first-half in the third preseason game of the year is the most important of all preseason action.
The Jets won preseason bragging right’s against their stadium-mates as they beat the Giants 28-18 to win the (not-so) coveted Snoopy Bowl trophy but more importantly they dominated the first-half with both teams starters playing the entire half.
The Jets won the first-half of the game, 21-7, and outside of some coverage issues with their linebackers the Jets looked to be the far superior team. The Jets ran 28 plays for 191 total yards (6.9 yards per play,127 passing yards and 64 rushing yards) to the Giants 35 plays for 121 yards (3.5 yards per play, 84 passing yards and 37 rushing yards).
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets avoided turnovers and Eli Manning threw a pick-six, late in the second quarter, to Antonio Cromartie who had perfect coverage. Cromartie just sat on the route and jumped it at exactly the right time, cutting in front of receiver James Jones to pluck the ball out of his sights and take an easy 59-yard stroll into the end zone.
Penalties plagued both teams in the first-half, the Jets were flagged five time for a total of 30 yards and the Giants drew six flags for a total of 46 yards. The Jets finished the game with eight penalties for 50 yards and the Giants seven penalties for 51 yards.
The Giants couldn't get anything going on offense outside of one drive when they took advantage of DeMario Davis. Davis got beat in coverage on a couple of plays and was also called for two separate penalties. On that drive the Giants ran 14 plays for 85 yards, for the rest of the half they only managed 42 yards on 21 plays.
On offense the Jets were able to run the ball effeciently and it didn't matter which running back got the ball. Chris Ivory ran the ball for 38 yards on eight carries (6.3 yards per carry), Bilal Powell ran for 12 yards on two carries (6.0 yards per carry) before leaving the game with an injury and Zac Stacy added 14 more yards rushing. As a unit they ran for 4.57 yards per carry and Stacy also caught a screen-ass and took it in for an easy 24-yard touchdown.
Fitzpatrick looked the best he has all summer, finishing the half 9-14 for 127 yards, two touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 133.0 and the offensive line, not only did a good job in the running game but, managed to protect Fitzpatrick and give him plenty of time as they didn't allow a single sack. Fitzpatrick was barely pressured, meanwhile Manning was constantly rushed and was sacked twice for six yards.
Both of the Jets starting receivers flexed a bit of their capabilities as Eric Decker caught three passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Marshall caught three passes for 33 yards and also delievered a few key blocks in the running game.
In the second-half the Giants managed to trim the lead but there were three big plays that had to get Jets fans excited and allowed the Jets to come away victorious tonight. The first two came back to back, with the Giants deep in their own territory Reilly and Sheldon Richardson applied pressure on Giants backup qauarterback Ryan Nassib as Richardson came away with an eight-yard sack forcing the Giants to punt from their own two. Then Giants punter Robert Malone let go a 52-yard boot to
Walt Powell who took the punt back for a 54-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 28-10 lead halfway through the third.
Then late in the third Marcus Williams got beat by Jones but Williams made up for it by wrestling the ball out of Jones' hands before he hit the ground to force a turnover. The Giants would go on to score a late touchdown and add the two-point conversion but that was the last score of the night and the Jets will take the Snoopy Bowl trophy back to Florham Park.