Serious Concerns for Both Giants And Jets

Bill Kostroun/The Associated Press

After the Giants- Jets exhibition game last night, I think we found out that both teams have some question marks going into the season. That’s not surprising for any team, but it seems pretty clear what the issues are at this point, for both teams.
Looking at the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the number one concern that has been clear since over a week ago are the injuries on the defensive line. Shaun Rogers is out for the season with a blood clot in his leg. Marvin Austin has a back injury. Defensive tackle Martin Parker, who missed the whole 2011 season with a foot injury, has a serious herniated disk in his back, and Chris Canty is nowhere ready after offseason knee surgery.
That leaves Linval Joseph, Rocky Bernard, Dwayne Hendricks and Markus Kuhn as the only healthy defensive tackles on the roster.
Secondly, Left Tackle Sean Locklear looks like a lock for the Turk to come calling. Right Tackle David Diehl may have to switch back to Left Tackle, which he played in 2010 for the Giants. The problem then becomes who plays Right Tackle? The Giants will surely be looking at the waiver wire for a stopgap measure until Will Beatty can recover from his aggravated sciatic nerve injury, but this is a major concern, because Locklear can’t block anyone.
Finally, the Giants’ running game looked even worse than it did last season, when they finished last in the league. They gained 58 yards on 32 carries last night, for a 1.8-yard average. The Jets didn’t fare much better at 2.7 yards per, and that brings us to their problems.
Right now, the Jets’ offense looks about as bad as the Giants offense in the 1970’s. Oh, that’s bad. Their Offensive line is mainly to blame, with Nick Mangold as the only quality player there. Against the Giants, the Jets quarterbacks were sacked seven times. Eight if you don’t count an offsides penalty by Osi Umenyiora.
So the Jets can’t run, and they also can’t pass because Right Tackle Wayne Hunter, dubbed “The Maitre D'” by Dave Rothenberg of ESPN radio, escorts defensive ends directly to the Jet QB without even taking tips. He may be kind, but a bit too kind a gentleman.
Rothenberg went off on the Jets today on his show, and blamed GM Mark Tannenbaum for not having found a decent Right Tackle. I’d have to agree.
Then there’s the Jets QBs. Oh, don’t get me started. Tim Tebow started off going 3 for 3 and looked good, but went 2 of 11 the rest of the way. Jerry Golsteyn anyone? Richard Todd had better numbers. Mark “The Sanchise” Sanchez didn’t light the world on fire either, going 9 of 11 for 51 yards and an interception taken back for a TD.
The problem with the Jets’ passing game is that without Santonio Holmes, who was injured, the team has no other threat. Tight End Dustin Keller had been invisible, and the rookie Stephen Hill has only shown flashes. It’s a frightening situation for Jets fans.
It’s interesting that both teams are having Offensive Tackle problems, and Running game problems, while both defenses are solid. The similarities end though with Eli Manning behind center for the Giants. He and a host of very good receivers blow away their Jets counterparts, and is in fact, the strength of the Giants. Their WR Ramses Barden could be on the way out though, because he has shown nothing, while former Cowboy Isiah Stanbach has looked good, and the team seems a bit overloaded at Wide Receiver. (Keep an eye out on the waiver wire, Jets.)
So for Big Blue, if they can find another Offensive Tackle to work into the mix, and get back one of their injured defensive linemen, they’ll probably be ok, and make another run. If not, you could be looking at an 8-8 season, and no playoffs.
On the upside, rookies Jeron Hosley and Reuben Randle, along with first-round pick David Wilson all look great, and free agent DE Adewale Ojomo looked like the second coming of Michael Strahan, albeit vs. third teamers in the second half. So there is a lot to look forward to for the Giants.
For the Jets though, they MUST replace Hunter, who is probably the worst starting Right Tackle in the league, and they better hope that Hill develops into a Victor Cruz like player, because if not, it’s going to be a huge step back for the organization, and you can waive bye-bye to Mr. Tannenbaum at the end of the season.
Many prognosticators are suggesting a 6-10 or 7-9 season for the Jets. If the Jets can’t get some new blood in off the waiver wire, I’d say that sounds about right.
The only bright spots for the Jets are first-round pick Quinton Coples, who looks to be a beast, and continued good play by their defense.
Let’s hope for their sake, the Jets stop recalling memories of the Giants teams of the 70’s. The Giants finished the decade with a 54-96 record, with a perpetually good defense and a pitiful offense.
But wait, they didn’t have Tim Tebow! All joking aside though, the great thing about football is that you can never predict what’s going to happen. Who would have thought that the Giants could be Champions, even after the final Redskins game just before the playoffs? Ya gotta love football!
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