Preseason Week 3 continues with the New York Jets at the New York Giants. The third week of the preseason is generally considered a “dress rehearsal” for the NFL season, and starting positions and important roles can be won and lost this week. PFF’s analysts have all the important position battles and players to watch for each team below:
Coverage by: Cyrus Geller
Position Battle: Christian Hackenberg/Bryce Petty, QB
- Hackenberg and Petty will both be behind Josh McCown on the depth chart come opening day, but they still will be battling for that backup position over the course of the rest of the preseason. Thus far in preseason, Hackenberg has 31 pass attempts, while Petty has 30. Hackenberg ranks tied for 15th out of 59 qualified quarterbacks in adjusted completion percentage at 79.3, while Petty ranks 44th at 64.3.
- Both have been very average while under duress this preseason, as Hackenberg is 24th in passer rating while under pressure at 70.1, and petty is tied for 27th at 68.8.
Players to Watch:
- Juston Burris, CB – Burris has done a good job building a case to getting himself a lot of meaningful snaps come regular season. He currently is tied for sixth among 159 qualified cornerbacks this preseason in coverage snaps per reception at 35.0.
- Dexter McDougle, CB – There has been a lot of talk about Morris Claiborne and who will start opposite him in the secondary, but Dexter McDougle has quietly put together a very impressive preseason. McDougle has done an excellent job in the slot thus far this preseason, as he is third in lowest passer rating allowed when targeted at 45.8, as quarterbacks have only gone 3-of-8 for 21 yards when throwing at him in the slot.
- Robby Anderson, WR – The Jets wide receiving core is extremely thin this season, but if Anderson can carry over his play from the preseason to the regular season, New York may have a viable option from the outside on their hands. Anderson ranks ninth out of 166 qualified receivers in yards per route run this preseason at 4.73.
Coverage by: Ryan A. Smith
Position Battle: Kerry Wynn/Avery Moss/Jordan Williams/Devin Taylor, Backup ED
- Wynn has been the Giants most effective pass rusher on a per snap basis this preseason. His ranks 15th among 4-3 DEs in pass rush productivity (14.7). Moss has registered two stops and a hurry through two games – only Romeo Okwara has played more snaps than Moss among edge defenders. Moss earned a 76.3 grade Monday night.
- Quietly, Williams has registered three stops and a sack. He’s lined up at 1-tech, 3-tech, and on the edge. Taylor has yet to register a pressure and has played the least of this group (just 22 snaps through two games).
Players to Watch:
- Brett Jones, C – Reportedly getting some first team reps at guard in practice, Jones had a fantastic game this past week (80.1 overall grade) which included a crushing screen block. He played 30 snaps last week so look to see how much/where he plays versus New York.
- Geno Smith, QB – It’s very clear the Giants want Geno Smith to win the backup quarterback job but he did not improve his chances on Monday night. Of his 17 pass attempts, none went further than nine yards down the field. Just one of Geno Smith’s 33 attempts has gone more than 20 yards downfield. He is 2-of-10 under pressure for 19 yards.
- Evan Engram, TE – Again his run blocking was fine and it was interesting to see where the Giants utilized their match up weapon. He caught a 21 yard pass coming out of the backfield. 16 of his 25 snaps were spent inline.