In the annual battle for New York, Nick Ballistreri previews each team’s preseason opener, and looks into some key offseason storylines to watch.
Jets at Giants will be played at Metlife Stadium, on Thursday August 8, at 7:00 PM EST. The game can be seen on NFL Network.
Jets vs Giants Preview
Here we go. When August comes around, you know football is here. Yes, it’s only preseason, but fans everywhere (including myself) are salivating at the thought of having football games on TV 3 days a week. Both the Jets and Giants are in the rebuilding stage, and are looking to improve on subpar seasons last.
The Giants made one of the boldest decisions of the NFL draft when they decided to take Quarterback Daniel Jones at #6 overall. Many feel that it was an aggressive reach, and with them having #17 in their back pocket as well, they could’ve waited to draft him later on. Nevertheless, with Eli Manning reaching his twilight years, and with him being a shell of his former self, the Giants decided that the time to pick a QB was right now.
The Jets on the other end are on an upward trajectory. They took QB Sam Darnold with the #3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and while not spectacular, Darnold showed some poise and talent in his rookie season. The Jets feel he is their QB of the present and future, and have started to build a solid team around him. The main offseason addition was of course, RB Le’Veon Bell from Pittsburgh. Having Bell in town will help ease the pressure on Darnold to do everything himself, as Bell has proven himself to be one of the best RBs in the league. Another plus for having Bell? He’s one of the league’s best pass catchers out of the backfield.
Let’s talk preseason. This is Week 1 of the preseason, so you can be sure to see minimal action from starters, and lots of the end of roster guys competing for their futures. While this may be boring to some, it will ensure that this game will be played 100% until the final whistle…at least by the guys on the field. These guys are looking to make an impact and eventually make the final roster. It all starts here.
On the Jets end, expect Sam Darnold to get a drive or two to start the game. He’s a young QB, and any game reps will be beneficial for his development. Don’t expect to see starters such as Bell, and new addition Jamison Crowder, who is battling an injury currently.
For the Giants, I would be surprised if Eli hit the field. Veterans like himself rarely play in preseason openers, as there is nothing to gain, and often a lot to lose. Expect Daniel Jones to get a lot of reps with the first and second teams to have the opportunity to show his stuff on a big stage. Let’s be clear here: there is a lot of pressure on Jones to succeed. The New York crowd won’t be so kind if he gets off to a bad start.
Jets vs Giants betting line
- The Jets are currently -1.5 favorites, and -125 on the ML.
- The Giants are currently +1.5 underdogs, and +105 on the ML.
Jets vs Giants Spread Prediction
As you know, this is only the preseason, so the coaching staffs don’t exactly care about wins and losses. But hey, there’s a line posted, so let’s get into it. Last preseason, the Jets went 1-3 and the Giants went 2-2. Now, those stats don’t matter, but what does matter is getting Daniel Jones off to a good start. Getting off to a bad start would be the last thing the Giants and Daniel Jones need. Because of this, I expect the Giants staff to do anything in their power to make Daniel Jones look competent in this opener. I expect a ugly game, with down the roster players getting the majority of the time towards the end, but ultimately I expect the Giants to pull this one out to win the battle of NY.
Pick: Giants +105 on FanDuel