Manning, Blackburn Hurt; Giants Open New Stadium With a Win As Victor Cruz Stars: The Giants defeated the Jets 31-16 on Monday night at the new Meadowlands Stadium.
The story line, unfortunately, are injuries suffered to QB Eli Manning and LB/special teams ace Chase Blackburn.
Manning suffered a severe 3-inch laceration to his forehead when he was knocked into a player after losing his helmet. The wound gushed blood and the cut required 12 stitches. X-rays showed no signs of a concussion.
“I feel fine,” said Manning. “I feel normal. The play was my fault. We had a run play with an option to throw a fade that I thought I might try, but Brandon was coming right up the middle. Sometimes you make a mistake and you get hit in the head. It’s preseason. You learn from it. I’ll be back as soon as I can. It’s really not an injury. Nothing serious. I really feel like I could go back out and play right now if I had to.”
Blackburn suffered what looks to be a serious injury to his right knee. The Giants calling the injury a sprain, but the true extent will not be known until he undergoes an MRI.
As for the game, the Giants’ starting offense – minus a number of key starters – did not look sharp against last year’s #1 ranked defense. Not playing for the Giants were guards Chris Snee (knee), Rich Seubert (hand), and Kevin Boothe (pectoral); wide receivers Steve Smith (groin), Sinorice Moss (groin), and Tim Brown (leg); tight ends Kevin Boss (hamstring), Travis Beckum (hamstring), and Jake Ballard (hamstring).
Defensively, the Giants were without LB Keith Bulluck (knee), CB Corey Webster (glute), and safeties Kenny Phillips (knee) and Michael Johnson (back).
The Giants’ defense set up the first touchdown when S Antrel Rolle intercepted a deflected pass and returned it 59 yards down to the Jets’ 1-yard line. HB Brandon Jacobs scored three plays later to give the Giants an early 7-0 lead.
After that, the Jets pretty much controlled the first half of the game as they had the healthier team and decided to play their first-team players almost all of the first half. The Giants’ offense only managed to accrue four first downs and 97 yards in the first half. Despite that fact, the Giants only trailed 13-10 at halftime.
In the second half, the star of the game was undrafted rookie free agent WR Victor Cruz, who caught six passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Cruz demonstrated phenomenal body control and his first touchdown was a one-handed grab and run for 64 yards. His second TD was a 34-yarder on a go route. His final TD went for five yards to give the Giants a commanding 31-16 lead late in the 4th quarter. Also sharp were the backup quarterbacks: Jim Sorgi (8 of 15 for 146 yards) and Rhett Bomar (6 of 7 for 67 yards).
Minus two starting guards and three tight ends, the Giants struggled to run the football. Aside from the injuries, the most concerning aspect of the game was the Giants’ punting unit. Rookie punter Matt Dodge did not punt well at all and had one punt blocked after HB Andre Brown missed a block.
Video highlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Article on FB Madison Hedgecock: Giants’ Madison Hedgecock Ready To Hit Big Again Now That Shoulder Is Healthy by Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger
Article on LB Clint Sintim: Clint Sintim Is Coming On Strong by Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com
Notes: The Giants return to the practice fields in Albany on Wednesday. There is no practice on Tuesday. For details, check out the camp schedule in the Training Camp section of the website.