Cruz got open on a deep ball in the first half, but the pass was underthrown by Eli Manning and almost intercepted.
Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 16 for 76 yards with the score and lost a fumble in the red zone before being replaced by Geno Smith just before halftime.
The entire Giants starting offense was bad, managing just 61 yards of total offense, a troubling number.
It was unproductive, yet Cruz could not help but smile after the Giants' 21-20 win on Saturday night.
The Jets recovered the ball at the Giants 15, but three plays later, former Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison sacked Fitzpatrick for a 9-yard loss, stripping the ball loose for teammate Johnathan Hankins to recover.
Other than Cruz beginning his return, the first half of the game on Saturday was not pretty from an offensive point of view. The pass led Beckham too far and he spotted hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor on the scene, coiling to administer a knockout blow.
Jets second-rounder Christian Hackenberg began trending on Twitter after he went 4 of 6 for 79 yards on his first National Football League drive, capping it with a 10-yard TD throw to Robby Anderson.
No one who has observed the Giants on offense lately can have a scintilla of confidence that a switch can be clicked in a few weeks and just like that, this will be a high-powered attack when the real games arrive.
He had been nicked up earlier this month in training camp with a strained groin. He was targeted twice and caught one pass for four yards.
Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall was a surprise scratch with what Bowles said after the game was "sore hips".
McAdoo said that they would like their starters to play the entire first half and then some of the third quarter in Saturday's game.
The Jets kept challenging the rookie first-round pick.
Even though it's the preseason, a clash between the hometown teams is always entertaining.
Jets: Undrafted K Ross Martin, competing with veteran Nick Folk, kicked a 55-yard field goal in the third quarter and added a 29-yarder in the fourth.
Carr capped the opening drive with a 6-yard TD pass to rookie DeAndre Washington and almost had a third TD, but he missed an open Clive Walford in the end zone in the closing minute of the first half. Petty, trying to secure a roster spot, was 5 of 10 for 59 yards before being replaced by Hackenberg on the drive following his interception.
Nonetheless, Cruz was humbled not by his performance, but by the warm welcome he received when he made his long-awaited entrance.
Jets: Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale took turns at RT with the starters, and one could start if Breno Giacomini (back) isn't ready for the regular season. Rookie linebacker B.J. Goodson and cornerback Leon Hall left with concussions.
Jets: LB David Harris left late in the first half with a shoulder injury.
This week in practice, McAdoo has had his Giants go through a dress rehearsal of its own, as he put them through a regular season work week to get them ready for the Week 1 opener against Dallas. "There is definitely some room for improvement, but we will go on from here".