>> WATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM GIANTS VS. JETS
On the final drive of the first half -- which wound up being the core starters’ last one of the game -- Eli Manning led a 91-yard two-minute drill, resulting in a 15-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle. The scoring drive doesn’t necessarily mean the starters won’t have to play in the preseason finale (partly because the Giants don’t open the regular season until the following Monday), but as Manning said after the game, it was definitely a sign of progress for the new system under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
2. Ryan Nassib is making his case for the backup job.
>> NASSIB AMONG 5 PLAYERS THAT STOOD OUT
Nassib responded by leading the game-winning drive last week in Indianapolis and went back to No. 2, where he remained against the Jets on Friday night and threw three touchdowns to no interceptions while Painter never entered the game. “One thing that was very impressive was that he didn’t have a very good game two weeks ago and he came back last week and this week and played very well,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He ran the offense well.”
On Friday night, the Giants turned in their best offensive performance so far in the burgeoning system under Ben McAdoo. And it all started with the ground game. After Victor Cruz caught a nine-yard pass on the first play of the game, Jennings followed with two runs for 16 yards and moved the chains for the first time on a Giants’ opening drive.
>> INSTANT ANALYSIS: GIANTS WIN 35-24
He went on to lead all rushers with 67 yards on 13 carries (5.2 yards per attempt) while also proving his value in pass protection. “I thought we ran the ball early on and I thought that Jennings did a nice job with that,” Coughlin said. “I thought that we blocked the run pretty well. It was inconsistent, which I think the Jets’ defense is very good at shutting down what you’ve just done. And then with the two-minute drive, we did advance the ball with the pass. I think it’s a good step.”
4. The Giants -- 4-0 in the preseason -- still have question marks.
Even before left guard Geoff Schwartz exited the game with a dislocated toe -- which Coughlin said was “pretty serious” -- the first-team offense struggled at times with protection, which partly led to Manning’s two fumbles (the Giants were able to keep possession on both). Meanwhile, the defense didn’t come away unscathed as it gave up big plays of 20 yards or more to four different receivers.
But in the end, the starting defense gave up 10 points before being relieved in the second half, but that was too much, according to defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. “I think we fought out there,” he said. “Still too many mistakes, too many penalties, too many missed assignments. We have to clean it up.”