The Giants fell 23-10 to Cincinnati as the starting offense was, essentially, forced to stay on the field for longer than anticipated, just to get a certain number of reps. In other words, it was more of a special teams show than any kind of offensive performance. “I didn’t like the way we started the game offensively,” New York coach Tom Coughlin said after the game. “There was no tempo, no rhythm. Three and out, three and out. That didn’t start us off very well. I just think our tempo and our rhythm has got to be upgraded.”
The Jaguars, on the other hand, got a big-time confidence boost in their preseason opener as second-year quarterback Blake Bortles, not only saw extended playing time but played well. Bortles completed 11 of 15 pass attempts for 118 yards, en route to a 23-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week and showcased the work he’s put in during the offseason on his mechanics and footwork. The bottom line? Bortles looked good.
The big question for Jacksonville, now, is whether or not the offense can maintain the tempo, particularly with an offensive line that was bottom of the NFL barrel last season. The Giants, meanwhile, are simply looking to hear any kind of rhythm on the field. Here’s what else you need to know about preseason week two:
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Giants
Saturday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET
The game will be broadcast locally on NBC 4 in New York and WJXT 4 in Jacksonville. Click here for a full TV schedule listing.
Met Life Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
New York, -2.5 via Oddsshark
Jaguars 25, Giants 24 on November 30 in Jacksonville
Scouting the Jaguars
Blake Bortles looked good last week. The offensive line looked good last week. These are not things that the Jaguars are particularly used to. At least at the same time. Both Bortles and his o-line showed flashes of what could be last season but, more often than not, found it difficult to get on the same pass-ready page.
That didn’t seem to be a problem in Jacksonville’s preseason opener against Pittsburgh. The challenge, now, of course is maintaining that consistency.
The Giants finished fourth in the league in sacks last year and while New York is still without Jason Pierre-Paul, there is some size on that defensive line and some guys who are ready to prove they’re a viable replacement for JPP. That puts the pressure squarely on the Jacksonville offensive line. Throughout camp, the right side of the line has stood out and Saturday night presents a good chance for the backups to make some noise as well.
Scouting the Giants
Forget all the drama, or not-drama, surrounding Eli’s contract. What he said, or didn’t say, isn’t as important as New York finding some offensive consistency, particularly after such a disappointing preseason opener in Cincinnati.
Victor Cruz still isn’t 100 percent and no one is going to risk Odell Beckham’s hamstring in the preseason. So what does that leave the Giants? The run game. New York needs to establish a run game or at least look like the team is trying to establish a run game.
The Giants racked up 106 total rushing yards last week on 24 attempts. First team’ers Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen combined for four attempts for 16 yards. Now, this is preseason and those guys aren’t on the field for many snaps but if New York is going to make a playoff run, or at least bounce back on Saturday night, this team needs to starting running – and fast.
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