Complete coverage of Gang Green

The Good, Bad and Ugly of NY's Football Weekend

The Jets have played 12 quarters without a touchdown; The Giants look just fine

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012  |  Updated 2:46 PM EDT
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Another night without a touchdown for Gang Green.

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The Jets embrace dysfunction as if it were a long-lost relative, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by what we've seen from them this offseason.

With three preseason games in the book, the Jets have made it clear that they will feature a very strong defense and a very underpowered offense during the 2012 season.

On Sunday night, the Jets defense kept Cam Newton from doing the things that made him the hot new thing in the NFL last year and set the offense up in glorious field position when they forced and recovered a fumble on the Carolina 12-yard line. The ensuing offensive possession was a comedy of errors and the Jets had to settle for another field goal, something that increasingly looks like the only goal of a Tony Sparano-run offense.

The Jets are the first team since 1977 to go touchdown-less in the preseason and you'll note that the 1977 Falcons are not revered around the league as a team that proved preseason was nothing but a big joke. They're not remembered at all, which is what happens to teams that you want to forget about before you're even done watching them in the first place.

GOOD: The Giants have been looking for a third receiver to stand up and announce his presence with authority and they got one on Friday with Ramses Barden. The tall former third-round pick has been a total zero in his first three seasons, but had three catches and a touchdown against the Bears to bolster his shot at a regular role this year.

BAD: There might have been some enjoyable irony when Jason Pierre-Paul hurt his back because of his role in throwing Prince Amukamara into the cold tub, but there are no smiles after Amukamara's ankle injury, especially if he tried to keep playing on a hurt wheel because he was scared of his teammates' reaction. The Giants have very little behind Amukamara and high ankle sprains tend to hang out for a while.

BAD: As little as the Giants can afford to lose Amukamara, the Jets are in even worse shape if Dustin Keller misses time after leaving Sunday's game in the first quarter. Keller is vital to this offense's chances of doing anything other than setting football back to the Stone Age.

GOOD: Mark Sanchez won't win any awards for his play on Saturday, but it was better than it has been in the first two games and would look quite fine if not for two big drops by his receivers. One led to an interception, which mars Sanchez's line when it should go to Stephen Hill.

GOOD, BAD and UGLY: Speaking of Hill, that drop was ugly but he and Sanchez also hooked up on a long pass that briefly sparked hope that the Jets would score a touchdown. The rest of Hill's night was a reminder of how raw he is after playing in an option offense in college and prepared the world for a year of frustration of how his talent fails to translate into production.

GOOD: David Wilson showed signs of being a good back against the future unemployed in the first two games, but all that matters is that those signs were still in evidence against a first-team defense. Wilson ran well and will be a factor in the offense if he can figure out how to pass block a little bit better.

UGLY: The most damning thing about the Jets' touchdown-less preseason is that they can't even score when the scrubs are on the field. Anyone who saw Tim Tebow throw the ball on Sunday night will understand why that's the case.

GOOD: The Jets look like they hit on first-round pick Quinton Coples. He pressured Newton, forced a fumble and generally looked more dynamic than most Jets defensive linemen in recent years.

BAD: Depth appears to be an issue for the Giants based on the play of their second units. James Brewer and Mark Herzlich, two players touted as potential starters, have looked particularly bad during the preseason.

GOOD: There ain't much wrong with the starting lineup. The Giants look ready to defend their Super Bowl title.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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