The worth of a preseason game changes dramatically when taking on an interstate rival. The Jets and Giants took the field on Saturday night to figure out roster spots and to see the progression of how the team is looking. The Jets feel that they have a bright side, on one side of the ball.
“I think we did what we were supposed to do on defense,” said middle-linebacker David Harris. “Gave up 10 points. We kind of flustered them, that’s always a good thing.”
Harris is one of the key veterans on the Jets’ defense. He comes in as the longest-tenured defensive player on the team, playing in his seventh season. One of the more highly regarded linebackers in the league, Harris has high expectations for the team and that starts with eliminating big plays.
“Oh, yeah. You never want to give up an (84-yard) run ever,” said Harris.
David Wilson exploded through a seam on the left side of the offensive line and was able to blow by the Jets' linebackers and secondary. The play highlighted the quickness of Wilson but also illustrated the inconsistency of a young defense. After that initial score the Jets were able to blanket the Giants, for the most part.
“We just came to the sideline, everyone knew what went wrong," admitted Harris. "We gave up the edge. The Giants have a very explosive back in (David) Wilson. When he gets behind you, I think nobody is fast enough on our defense to catch him. Good play by them but we came back in and just played football after that.”
The first team defense would only allow only a single field goal after that initial touchdown, preventing the Giants first-team offense from converting seven of eight third-down attempts. The biggest test for the defense took place late in the second quarter. The Giants drove down to the Jets goal line, but a Dawan Landry pass deflection on fourth down prevented the Giants from scoring a touchdown.
“That was huge," noted Harris. "Dawan (Landry) made a heck of a play on that fourth down, covering a wide receiver. “It was just the mentality once you get down to goal line. To try to keep them out at all costs and we did that.”