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Good Afternoon

A look back at Giants-Jets

The Jets' Calvin Pace hits Giatns QB Eli

The Jets' Calvin Pace hits Giatns QB Eli Manning from behind during a play in the second quarter of Monday's preseason game. (Aug. 16, 2010) Credit: Errol Anderson

Picking up the pieces from a Giants-Jets preseason game that certainly made for a more interesting opener than usual for both teams, and only heightens the anticipation of a regular season that can’t get here soon enough:

• When Brandon Jacobs first came into the league, he was a seldom-used short-yardage back who played behind the diminutive Tiki Barber. Will Jacobs return to that role again now that the Giants clearly have taken a liking to Ahmad Bradshaw? Couldn’t help thinking about that possibility after watching Bradshaw get the start against the Jets, and then having Jacobs come in on the goal line after Antrel Rolle’s interception return to the Jets’ 1. No, it won’t happen quite that way, because Jacobs has been a 1,000-yard back. But there is clearly something going on here, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the running game evolves. Couldn’t get a great read on things because of the Giants’ offensive line injuries to guards Chris Snee and Rich Seubert. But the deployment of the running backs will be an issue, especially after you see what Bradshaw did on that 51-yard run after catching a short pass from Eli Manning in the second quarter.

• Can’t criticize Calvin Pace for his hit on Manning, the one that caused his helmet to come off and resulted in a three-inch gash on his head that required 12 stitches to close (shown above). Pace isn’t known as a dirty player, and Manning was bumped into him by Jacobs. If Manning’s helmet hadn’t come off, we wouldn’t be talking about this play at all.

• I’d be stunned if Manning plays on Saturday against the Steelers. There’s no way the Giants should risk Manning re-opening the wound, or causing a situation that might lead to him having a more long-term problem with scarring/bleeding. Sit him out, let the wound heal, and move on … even if it means he misses the next two games.

• Really like the way Mark Sanchez composed himself after that interception on his first pass attempt. It was reminiscent of that play last preseason when he was intercepted on his first attempt by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who rumbled 25 yards for a touchdown. Sanchez settled down nicely to complete 13 of 17 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. Sanchez seems markedly more self-assured.

• From the Captain Obvious school of journalism: Undrafted rookie receiver Victor Cruz, who grew up in Paterson, N.J., will press underachieving former second-round pick Sinorice Moss for a roster spot. If Cruz gets cut, at least half a dozen teams — including the Jets — would be interested.

• Did Darrelle Revis’ case grow stronger after a poor performance by the Jets’ reserve cornerbacks? I doubt it. Can’t see the chasm getting much smaller than the $40 million difference of opinions between the two sides. Still see this one coming down to the wire before the start of the regular season, regardless of what happens in the preseason games.

• Here’s why it’s good to talk to coaches about what happens during a game: On Cruz’s 34-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, it looked as if cornerback Drew Coleman was burned on the play. But the way Rex Ryan explained it, Coleman should have had help over the top from the safety. But the help never came because the inside linebacker didn’t cover the tight end.

• Best thing about Jets-Giants preseason game being over. No more stupid talk about braggin’ rights. A silly annual rite.

• It’s obvious the Jets are trying to force feed rookie running back Joe McKnight, who led the team with 13 carries (32 yards, 2.5-yard average). Still a long way to go.

• Lousy stats for LaDainian Tomlinson (8 carries, 17 yards), but he did look like his old self on that 14-yard reception that set up Brad Smith’s touchdown catch in the first quarter. Still think the guy has something left.

• Giants’ defensive problems solved now that Perry Fewell is in charge? Not after the Jets put on a 14-play, 68-yard touchdown drive that lasted 8:42 against the Giants’ first-team defense. Never too early to start worrying, coach.

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