The Giants made an early change on the offensive line, and it seemed to make all the difference.
After the first fruitless series of the game, starting right guard John Jerry was replaced by Brett Jones. That subtle move appeared to spark the offense to life as the team drove for a field goal and a touchdown — their first offensive visit to the end zone this preseason — on their next two possessions in Saturday night’s game against the Jets.
The Giants dabbled with the change in practice this week, giving Jones, a backup center, work at guard.
“Brett does some good things for us,” Ben McAdoo said during the week. “He is a tremendous communicator, whether he is at center or guard. He knows the scheme, knows the system, helps communicate to the players around him . . . He is a physical player. He plays with good pad level and we trust Brett.”
Jerry seemed to lose that trust on the first series when he was thrown aside by Sheldon Richardson in pass protection. Richardson was able to level Eli Manning on the play, forcing an interception.
Jones played stoutly. He stood up Muhammed Wilkerson to allow Manning to hit Sterling Shepard for a 16-yard completion and had a nice block on a 1-yard touchdown run by Orleans Darkwa.
“I’m always working to get better each and every day,” Jones said during the week. “You want to get in there as much as possible and I’m ready to play wherever and whenever that chance is. I just want to go in and make the most of it.”
Neither Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) nor Brandon Marshall (shoulder) played. McAdoo had coyly refused to rule them out during the week. Marshall, a former Jet, was on the field during warm-ups kibitzing with Jets staffers and former teammates . . . WRs Dwayne Harris (upper body) and Tavarres King (ankle) did not play, either. LBs Mark Herzlich (stinger) and Keenan Robinson (concussion) and CB Michael Hunter Jr. (concussion) also sat out . . . DT Jay Bromley left the game in the first half with a left knee sprain . . . CB Eli Apple left the game with an ankle injury . . . RB Shaun Draughn left the game to be evaluated for a concussion.