By Paul Dottino
EAST RUTHERFORD (WFAN) – Tom Coughlin will be happy to come out of any game with a victory, although he’s well aware that the Giants have plenty of work to do following a 31-16 win over the Jets in their preseason opener and first game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. At least he can breathe a sigh of relief about quarterback Eli Manning.
In the second quarter, Manning suffered a 3-inch laceration above his left eye requiring 12 stitches. The Giants sent him home and said X-rays were negative and he did not have a concussion. Coughlin said he should be able to practice once the swelling goes down.
In the meantime, the team will await an MRI on Chase Blackburn’s sprained knee. He got caught under a pile in the second half and said he was optimistic that he’ll be okay.
But what about the three things we told you to look for heading into the game. Let’s review.
1. QB Jim Sorgi vs. Rhett Bomar. Both passers threw the ball well when they had time, although Sorgi (8-15-146 yards, 2 TDs) was rushed several times and did not show much mobility. He also put a nice touch on his 64- and 34-yard TD scoring strikes to Victor Cruz, who also caught a pretty 21-yard pass from him. Bomar (6-7-67 yards, 1 TD) scrambled 23 yards to the Jets’ 5 with less than three minutes to play. Neither quarterback was sacked nor intercepted. At this point, we’ll say Sorgi retained his edge in the battle for the No. 2 spot.
2. Special teams. Not good. Rookie punter Matt Dodge (5-46.5 avg.) had a punt blocked when Andre Brown whiffed on his man, and put an attempted fourth-quarter pooch punt from the Jets’ 38 into the end zone. He also did not get good hang time on his punts, although he was able to get good rolls. Kicker Lawrence Tynes was perfect on placements and put three of his six kickoffs into the end zone, including two touchbacks, but the coverage unit allowed a mediocre 25.75-yard avg. on four KOR returns.
3. LT William Beatty. We know he’s got the feet, athleticism and smarts to play the position, so it’s only a matter of getting reps before he’s ready to take over. Well, chalk this game up to experience because he was very passive and did not show the aggressiveness needed at the position. He did not engage and hold his blocks well, and did not take his man out of the play often enough. On the plus side, he didn’t get flagged for any penalties.