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Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Football Weekend

Both the Jets and the Giants take steps forward.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Touchdowns everywhere you look.

    That's more like it.

    After a rough first weekend, the Jets and Giants both flexed their muscles and showed that they can be the teams we wanted them to be this season.

    Perfection remains a long way away for both clubs -- for all clubs, really -- but this week found more to like than dislike during two games at the Meadowlands.

    GOOD: As much as the Giants needed a win, they needed to prove that they were capable of not beating themselves with sloppy mistakes. They did that on Monday night by standing back and letting the Rams fall all over themselves during their 28-16 win.

    BAD: Centers don't get a ton of attention, but you're going to notice Nick Mangold's absence from the Jets lineup for as long as he's out. With three straight road games, including visits to the Patriots and Ravens, Mangold's high ankle sprain could not have come at a worse time for the offense.

    UGLY: Eli Manning threw another awful interception in the first quarter and missed on nine of his first 11 passes before getting things together on Monday night. He still looked a beat off once he did start completing passes and needs to be sharper over the entire game in Philly next week. 

    GOOD: Using Antonio Cromartie as some kind of Deion Sanders/Brad Smith hybrid was a very smart move by the Jets. He might never become the offensive weapon that Smith was, but the thought that he can touch the ball on offense will keep defenses even more confused while trying to defend the myriad options available to Mark Sanchez.

    BAD: The Giants secondary remains a mess, with Antrel Rolle's inability to cover receivers in the slot looming as a particularly large problem. The Rams receivers played like they were plucked off the street moments before the game and they still racked up 367 passing yards.

    UGLY: Can we retire those Titans-era throwbacks already? They aren't attractive and don't represent any great era in franchise history, so how about going back to the 80's duds if you feel it necessary to wear throwbacks.

    GOOD: Justin Tuck made a world of difference on defense for the Giants by sacking Sam Bradford twice and drawing a holding penalty. If the Giants can get Osi Umenyiora back on the field, the pass rush could take a lot of pressure off that terrible secondary.

    BAD: We've already broken down Mark Sanchez's performance, but that doesn't get him out of this spot. The defense bailed him out on Sunday, another throwback that we've seen enough of to know it doesn't work.

    UGLY: The offensive line play of both teams leaves much to be desired. Wayne Hunter and Will Beatty, respectively the two new starting tackles for the Jets and Giants, both look overmatched in their new spots, to put it kindly.

    GOOD: For a defense that gets talked about in reverent tones, the Jets crew doesn't have many games like they did on Sunday. The only question is how much of it had to do with their work and how much was thanks to Luke McCown deserving to start at quarterback in the NFL as much as Justin Bieber?

    GOOD: The Giants got back to basics on Monday night by running the ball early and often against the Rams. The numbers weren't great, but the commitment was a good thing for an offense that's usually quick to abandon ship.

    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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