Aug 132022
Gary Brightwell, New York Giants (August 11, 2022)

Gary Brightwell – © USA TODAY Sports


The next era of NYG football took another big step. After a couple weeks of training camp which inevitably led to a team-wide brawl on Monday, the Giants took a road trip up to Foxborough to take on the Patriots. The former employer of current NYG Head Coach Brian Daboll against the current employer of last year’s NYG Head Coach Joe Judge. If preseason football had more juice, this would be quite the storyline. Instead, the two-time Super Bowl opponents marched into the first inter-squad scrimmage of the year with two entirely different approaches. The Giants, coming off a 4-13 season and working with its fourth Head Coach in 7 years against the Patriots, coming off a 10-7 season and working with the same Head Coach since 2000. The Giants, marching out all but just three starters, against the Patriots, who opted to keep the vast majority of their starters off the field.

Daniel Jones, officially in a contract year after new General Manager Joe Schoen declined the option on the fourth-year quarterback from Duke, played the first two series of the night. He looked sharp, both mentally and physically. The offense was on the field for 19 plays, and it gained a total of 87 yards while scoring 3 points. When it comes to production, especially against backups, that is not anything to write home about. The positives were enough to give them a pass, however. The pass blocking created a pocket several times, Saquon Barkley was used in space the way many have been calling for since 2019, and Jones himself looked decisive.

The rest of the night belonged to the backups. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor played the entire second quarter, which included a touchdown scoring drive, ending on a pass from Taylor to Richie James. NYG led 10-7 at the half before more of the 3rd- and 4th-string players on both squads came in. The NYG offense was led by Davis Webb and rookie Bailey Zappe was handling the snaps for New England.

The Patriots’ initial second half drive resulted in a touchdown run by rookie running back Kevin Harris. NYG responded on the very next drive after a 34-yard kick return combined with a 15-yard personal foul face mask penalty by NE to start at midfield. Nine plays later, Antonio Williams crossed the goal line on a 2-yard score, giving them a 17-14 lead over New England. Sound familiar?

The fourth quarter scoring began with a 40-yard field goal by Graham Gano to make it a six-point lead. After the two offenses traded punts, NE marched into the red zone via an equal blend of passing and rushing. On 3rd-and-10, Zappe hit Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a touchdown on one of his several downfield passes up the sideline, most of which did not connect, but this one did. NE had a 21-20 lead with under 5 minutes remaining.

The backup NYG running backs had a great night and it was capped off on this final drive. They accrued 62 of the team’s 79 yards gained on a drive that brought them all the way down to the NE 6-yard line. NYG was able to bleed out the clock and kick a short field goal through the uprights as time expired.

NYG wins, 23-21.


Daniel Jones: 6/10 – 69 yards / 80.8 RAT / 1 att – 6 yards

There was not much to take away from just two offensive drives led by Jones. I expected to see him for 2-3 drives, not much more. The only thing I look for here is avoiding mistakes, and that is exactly what Jones did. He got the ball out, or tucked and ran, quickly. He was accurate and could have possibly had a touchdown had Kenny Golladay not dropped a pass in front of the goal line.

Tyrod Taylor: 13/21 – 129 yards / 1 TD / 95.1 RAT / 1 att – 2 yards

Taylor essentially only played 1 quarter but played just one less snap than Davis Webb who played the entire second half. He started off red hot 10/12, but then went 3/9 from there. This is by far the best backup QB the Giants have had since…dare I say Hostetler? I loved his different release points and the ultra-quick release. He did hit a struggle point after his hot start, but overall, a very reassuring performance from the backup.

Davis Webb: 8/16 – 51 yards / 57.0 RAT

Webb moves and throws more like the backups we have watched here in recent years. He did help engineer the game winning drive and I am in the camp that believes those moments do mean something, no matter the opponent. He was 3-of-4 for 32 yards on that drive.


-This was overall the most impressive position group on the team. Let’s start with the backups. Antonio Williams averaged 6.8 yards on 9 carries. Gary Brightwell averaged 5.7 yards on 7 carries. Sergio Platzgummer averaged 7 yards on 3 carries. Jashaun Corbin averaged 3.8 yards on 6 carries, and they all combined for 8 catches on 10 targets. The common theme between all of them? They ran hard, aggressively, and got downhill in a hurry. This builds off what I have been seeing a camp. A truly physical running game with coaches who emphasize getting to the line of scrimmage in a hurry behind a line that gets a solid initial push.

-Matt Breida did not play. Saquon Barkley got 5 touches (4 rush / 1 catch) for a total of 21 yards. The highlight play was his 3rd-down conversion reception that saw him matched up on an island against a linebacker in coverage. Great play design, great route, soft hands. We need to see more of this. This kid that had 91 catches as a rookie. If the names above can take some of the physical downhill running off Barkley’s plate, he could be a 100+ reception asset and he does his best work in space.


-Collin Johnson led the group with 7 catches for 82 yards. He is a clear favorite of Taylor, something I have seen at camp as well. His body has changed for the better and his showing more short area twitch than what we saw a year ago. He clearly has put in the work. Give me Johnson at $895,000 cap number (0.43% of cap) over Kenny Golladay and his $21 million cap number (10% of cap) any day. Speaking of Golladay, he had a drop near the goal line and showed zero separation down the field.

-Richie James is a spark plug who continues to make splash plays. He had 44 yards on 3 catches which included the biggest gain of the night for the offense (26 yards) and a touchdown. He is the leader in the clubhouse for the 6th receiver if they keep that many.

-Keelan Doss had 2 drops, a bit of a surprise as he has shown great hands at camp. Also, another guy who struggled to separate.

-Darius Slayton was higher up on the depth chart than expected. I really think this coaching staff is testing him in every way possible to see how he responds. In addition, he is a player who some teams could be interested in via the trade market. It is easier to showcase him with a 1st string offense.


-Rookie Daniel Bellinger and fourth-year veteran Chris Myarick each caught a ball. Both were below average as blockers. Bellinger was flagged for a hold and allowed a pressure while Myarick allowed a sack. I don’t want to be too hard on this crew yet, but they are not doing well at the point-of-attack as run blockers. We’ve seen worse, but there are going to be better tight ends available after rosters get cut down. Bellinger did make a couple of nice blocks on the move, so that was a positive.


-The starters were on the field for 2 drives, but Andrew Thomas came off after one. Overall, the group controlled the point-of-attack (against backups) and stayed on their man. Rookie Evan Neal had the most inconsistent night. Get used to that. His balance problems are going to be an issue against some of the pros he faces off against. He also allowed 2 pressures. On one play, he did not see the inside blitz quickly enough. On another, it caused a sack. The positive was the push he got in the running game and how easy it was to pass protect when his balance was there. He looks unmovable from the defender’s perspective.

-The standout backup was center Ben Bredeson. I thought his power presence stemming from his hands and hip extension made a big difference in the NYG running game. Rookie Josh Ezeudu was my next highest grade among backups. If Shane Lemieux is out for extended time, I think there is a real shot he ends up being a starter. The league’s track record with two Week One starters on the offensive line is not a strong one, but his game looks very developed. He showed some recovery techniques that I almost never see from day three picks early in their careers. He knows what he is doing, but there was and will be inconsistency that will cause plus-plays for the defense (he allowed a pressure and a TFL).

-I did not like what I saw out of Garrett McGhinn. He allowed 2 pressures and was beat in the run game multiple times. I’ll take Will Holden over him in a heartbeat. Max Garcia looks like he hasn’t gotten his foot speed yet. He looked faster last year but there is value in guy who has started recently (11 starts for ARI in ’21).


-Uneventful night for Kayvon Thibodeaux. He had a few pass rush opportunities that did not evolve into anything. He will be very reliant on his initial burst this season. Nothing wrong with that, but the power from his hand fighting and lack of lower body strength could make him disappear at times in a way we saw last night. That said, he barely played.

-Elerson Smith had a pressure that nearly resulted in a safety (the refs missed the intentional grounding call) and Quincy Roche had a pressure. Besides them, we didn’t see much from Oshane Ximines or Tomon Fox.


-We did not see Leonard Williams, as the team kept him out. Justin Ellis also didn’t play. Dexter Lawrence was on the field for 5 plays.

-The most impressive backup was rookie D.J. Davidson. He is an absolute boulder who shows both the power capacity and technique to anchor against the double team. He has stood out to me a few times at camp, and I think we are going to see him play this year. There isn’t much there as a pass rusher but the value of a 2-gap nose tackle in this scheme is huge.

-Jalyn Holmes led the group in snaps and had a pressure along with 2 tackles. Chris Hinton and David Moa struggled off the ball and did not make an impact on the passing game. I’m not sure I see the fit for them on the 53.


-With Blake Martinez being held out, rookie Darian Beavers got the start. He was all over the field against both the run and pass, as he is already being used exactly the way I envisioned when he was drafted. Big enough to rush the passer as an upfield threat, quick enough to cover backs in man coverage, and physical enough to make his presence known on contact. After a missed tackle on the first drive, he finished with 3 tackles including one for a loss.

-Austin Calitro had the play of the game on a pass he deflected into the air before coming down with it himself for an interception in the fourth quarter. This turned into 3 points for the Giants.

-Rookie Micah McFadden tied for the team lead 4 tackles. His greatest strength was put on display multiple times. He is incredibly quick and savvy downhill against blockers. He has a way of missing them and maneuvering his way to the football with his eyes and chest up, ready to pounce.


-Aaron Robinson was attacked in coverage early on. NE tested him deep including two straight deep balls down the sideline. He was beat once for a completion and another resulted in an incomplete pass. I was more interested to re-watch from a technique perspective. His recognition was solid, but his transition from backpedal-to-run had a couple of extra steps. The catch-up speed and ease-to-acceleration were a bit worrisome. Robinson is indeed fast enough to cover on an island, but that transition needs to be cleaner. He allowed a touchdown and was flagged for holding (which was declined) later on. Rookie Cor’Dale Flott, who played with the backups, was a clear example of how a smooth transition can cover that route up with ease. I liked what I saw out of Flott both in coverage and against the run. He plays aggressively, but also with smooth quickness and speed. I can already see the plus-body control on all angles here.

-The backup situation may end up being worrisome. This team is an injury or two away from marching out guys that just can’t play yet. Zyon Gilbert allowed a touchdown as he continues to struggle to locate the ball on vertical routes. Darren Evans was flagged for a hold and got beat downfield for a big play. Both look the part and both are undrafted rookies. I won’t look down on them at all, but in regard to the 2022 squad, it would be nice to have another veteran in front of them. I think this is another spot to look at when cuts start happening.


-Xavier McKinney was on the field for just 5 plays, which I am fine with. I think he is the most, or the second most, important defender on the team. Julian Love saw 14 snaps, thus the backups got plenty of action.

-Rookie undrafted free agents Yusuf Corker and Trenton Thompson both made standout plays as downhill defenders. Thompson had a sack and Corker made a stuff at the line of scrimmage. Both are aggressive and fast when going after the run.

-Andrew Adams looks like the clear number three safety on this team. His deep range in coverage was good to see in their Cover 1 looks and he also made a run stop at the line of scrimmage.


K Graham Gano: 3/3 (Made 25, 40, 24)
P Jamie Gillian: 4 punts / 48.8 avg / 35.5 net


-LB Darian Beavers, RB Jashaun Corbin, OC Ben Bredeson


-OT Garrett McGhinn, CB Darren Evans, WR Keelan Doss


1. I can’t remember a time where such an established franchise has gone this deep into the preseason without clarity on their offensive play-calling. Joe Judge, who has made his money as a special teams coach and failed miserably as a head coach, and Matt Patricia, who has made his money as a defensive coach and failed miserable as a head coach are sharing duties here? Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, but even he is not an offensive guy in an era where modern offense has taken over the game. Incredibly bizarre situation in NE.

2. Running back James White just retired a few days ago. He missed 14 games last season and has seen his snap count decrease year by year since 2018. I don’t view this as a big factor for the team, but his role does need to be replaced. They had a hard time doing so in 2021 and their leading pass catcher out of the backfield, Brandon Bolden, signed with the Raiders. J.J. Taylor has always been on my scope since his days at Arizona, but he has just 5 career catches and 42 career carries in his two seasons. This will be the best opportunity he has had to date.

3. The number one goal of the Patriots offseason was to add speed on defense. Because of the enormous money they spent in the 2021 offseason, they had to get creative with it. Most of notable additions they made in that department were rookies. They’ve always done a nice job of taking traits and adding value to their system, but they lost so much veteran talent this year and much of their hope will be on mid-round draft picks from the past 2 years who haven’t shown a thing yet. I project them to finish in 4th place in the AFC East.


1. My biggest takeaway from the combination of being at camp and then watching this game was the aggressive running style this offense is going to deploy. It was refreshing to watch. Less dancing around, more hitting the point-of-attack with bad intentions to create via physical force rather than dancing around hoping a crease opens up. Yes, the OL will need to get their job done, but the overall mindset and play design is going to create more positive plays, less tackles for loss. Step one to improving the bottom-tier offense is avoiding negative net gain plays.

2. There is not a QB controversy in NY. Jones is the unquestionable guy, as he should be. One more shot on a rookie contract, and in his defense, this will be the first time he is in a credible offensive system and this is likely to be the best OL he has played behind. That said, it is incredibly refreshing to see a backup quarterback who is not only better than most in that role across the league (rather than worse than all of them), but a guy who could really come in and bring a similar level of play. Do not forget, Taylor has a winning record in the NFL, and he has not exactly played on the best teams in the league.

3. As Joe Schoen stated in his interview, the pro personnel staff will have their hands full in the coming weeks. There are a couple positions on this team that will likely add a piece once the rosters get cut down. If you are watching any preseason football outside of NYG, I would keep a close eye on tight ends, safeties, and nickel corners.


As I say every year, don’t be the guy or girl with strong reactions in any direction after a preseason game. Hope for no serious injuries, watch the young guys and bubble players, and look for progress week-to-week. This is the time you want to see mistakes so we can see how a player responds. It is a huge part of player development. This roster already appears to be at a higher level than a year ago and it truly is a very young roster with a lot of quality players on their rookie contracts. The coaching staff looks more plugged in with modern football and there will be more cohesion all around. Real evaluation can come when these guys play a half of football against starters.

Aug 112022
Richie James, New York Giants (August 11, 2022)

Richie James – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 23-21 on a walk-off field goal at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Thursday night. The Giants and rookie Head Coach Brian Daboll begin the 2022 preseason 1-0.

In penalty-filled contest (Giants were flagged eight times, the Patriots 12 times), New York out-gained New England in total yards (418 to 308), rushing yards (177 to 52), and time of possession (33:59 to 26:01). The Patriots sat their first team while the Giants first teamers played one or two drives, minus a long list of injured players kept out of the game.

The Giants received the ball first and promptly marched down field on a 13-play, 68-yard drive that stalled inside the 10-yard line when quarterback Daniel Jones’ 3rd-down pass was dropped at the goal line by wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Place kicker Graham Gano kicked the 25-yard field goal to give the Giants a 3-0 early lead. The key plays on this possession were back-to-back 17-yard passes by Jones to receivers Darius Slayton and Collin Johnson.

After both teams traded punts, the Patriots’ second-team offense took the lead against the Giants’ second-team defense by driving 55 yards in eight plays and finishing with a 2-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Brian Hoyer who successfully targeted cornerback Aaron Robinson a number of times. Patriots 7 – Giants 3.

The Giants’ second-team offense crossed midfield on a quarterback Tyrod Taylor pass to Johnson, but Johnson fumbled after gaining 17 yards and New England recovered the ball at their own 31-yard line. After two punts by the Patriots and another by the Giants, New York got on the board again with an 11-play, 86-yard possession that resulted in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Taylor to wide receiver Richie James with under four minutes to play before halftime. James also made a 26-yard circus catch off a deflection on this drive.

Neither team scored on their final two possessions of the half, and the Giants led 10-7 at the break.

The Patriots regained the lead on their first drive of the second half, when they marched 84 yards in eight plays, capping off the possession with a 3-yard touchdown run up the gut. Patriots 14 – Giants 10. However, New York immediately responded with a touchdown drive of their own with Davis Webb now at quarterback. It took nine plays for the Giants to move the ball 51 yards, with running back Antonio Williams scoring up the middle from two yards out. Giants 17 -Patriots 14.

Both teams punted on their next possessions. Early in the 4th quarter, quarterback Bailey Zappe was intercepted by linebacker Austin Calitro on 4th-and-1 at the New York 43-yard line. The Giants only moved the ball 29 yards in nine plays, but they were able to set up Gano for a 40-yard field goal that gave New York a 20-14 lead.

After both teams exchanged punts again, the Patriots drove 69 yards in nine plays, finishing with a 20-yard Zappe touchdown pass on 3rd-and-10 to give New England a 21-20 lead with just under five minutes to play.

However, on the final possession for either team on the evening, New York responded with an 11-play, 69-yard drive of their own. This set up Gano at the New England 6-yard line with four seconds left. He nailed the 24-yard field goal as time expired.

At quarterback, Jones finished 6-of-10 for 69 yards. Taylor was 13-of-21 for 129 yards and one touchdown. Webb was 8-of-16 for 51 yards. The leading receiver was Johnson, who caught seven passes for 82 yards. At running back, Williams carried the ball nine times for 61 yards and a touchdown. Gary Brightwell carried the ball seven times for 40 yards.

Defensively, safety Trenton Thompson had New York’s only sack. Calitro had the team’s only turnover with his interception.

Video highlights are available on YouTube.

RB Matt Breida (unknown), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR Sterling Shepard (PUP – Achilles), WR David Sills (unknown), WR Austin Proehl (unknown), TE Andre Miller (broken arm?), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), OC Nick Gates (PUP – leg), OL Matt Peart (PUP – ACL), DL Leonard Williams (unknown), DL Justin Ellis (unknown), LB Azeez Ojulari (NFI – hamstring), LB Blake Martinez (returning from ACL), LB Carter Coughlin (unknown), CB Rodarius Williams (returning from ACL), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone) did not play.

LG Shane Lemieux left the game early with a left toe injury and did not return. He was spotted in a walking boot and will undergo more tests. OL Jamil Douglas (ankle) and CB Cor’Dale Flott (groin) also left the game in the second half and did not return.

The transcript and video of Head Coach Brian Daboll’s post-game press conference is available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube.

Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by Zoom on Friday.

Aug 102022
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (July 29, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

For the fourth time in six years, the New York Football Giants are starting a season with a new head coach. As Yogi once supposedly said, “déjà vu all over again.” The hope and prayers by a worn-down fan base is that this time will be different. My overall impression is that most New York Giants fans will accept another losing season as long as they think the team is actually building towards something rather than just treading water in mediocrity (or worse). They want the franchise to have a viable vision, a plan, a strategy for turning things around.

Perhaps it is just wishful thinking, but it seems like the new regime of Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll are ready to make tough decisions. They stood firm on purging the roster of $40 million in cap space, despite the fact they lost guys like CB James Bradberry in the process. While they brought in 35 new players in free agency, they did not break the bank and most of those players were signed to minimum, 1-year deals. Another 11 players were added in the draft, a few of which are projected to have major roles right out of the gate.

Could the Giants be a surprise team in 2022? Anything is possible, but a lot of things would have to break their way, some of which are unlikely. They do have an easy schedule. The defense has depth issues, but the starting group looks pretty good on paper. Most of the concern understandably lies with the offense. But the Giants do have two bright offensive minds now in charge on that side of the ball in Daboll and Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka.

The most difficult thing for fans to accept is that the team is starting over. Again. There was no banked progress from the previous three regimes. They are back to square one. Fans need to recognize and accept that. But fans are also tired of hearing about “learning curves” and “building chemistry” and “creating a winning culture.” Watching your favorite team isn’t supposed to be a chore. It’s supposed to be fun.

They key player who has missed all of camp is Azeez Ojulari. He’s supposedly close to returning, but he has missed a lot of time. Losing Marcus McKethan for the season due to an ACL injury will hurt. He had already moved ahead on the depth chart to second-team right guard and right tackle. Who knows when (or if) Sterling Shepard, Nick Gates, and Matt Peart will return?

Missing practice this week were DL Leonard Williams (unknown), DL Nick Williams (unknown), LB Quincy Roche (unknown), RB Matt Breida (unknown), WR David Sills (unknown), TE Andre Miller (broken arm?), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (unknown), OL Josh Ezeudu (unknown), LB Carter Coughlin (unknown), CB Rodarius Williams (returning from ACL), and S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone). Most of these guys will probably not play. Belton missing all of camp hurts as he was already receiving first-team snaps when he got hurt.

In my opinion, 2022 is not about a playoff chase. It’s about two things: (1) building the foundation of a team that will contend in 2023 and beyond, and (2) relatedly, making a final decision on Daniel Jones. Jones’ final audition begins on August 11th at 7:00PM and may NOT continue until early January 2023, when the team plays its final regular-season game of the season. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Jones will lose his starting job to Tyrod Taylor at some point. That’s how serious this situation has become for Jones.

Jones is in a tough spot. He’s on his third head coach and third offensive system in four years. The fan base has clearly turned on him and are over-analyzing every single action. The increased use of option routes where the receivers can make the quarterback look bad will be an issue. In any normal situation, Jones would be given time to grow into the new scheme. But time is the one thing Jones no longer has. I would go as far to say that the odds are really stacked against him at this point. His only hope is to tune everything out and just play ball. Don’t play afraid. Go out on your own terms. Playing it safe isn’t going to cut it.

Fans will also be watching a decade-long sore spot: the offensive line. There will be growing pains as the line builds chemistry (there’s that word again), but the Giants look to have cornerstone bookends at tackle. Jon Feliciano at center and Mark Glowinksi at right guard should be solid enough. The only real competition may be at left guard between Shane Lemieux and Joshua Ezeudu (who may not play this week). When analyzing Evan Neal, keep in mind what Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson spoke about this week. Neal is not only transitioning back to right tackle, but they are teaching him a completely new style of pass protection than he learned at Alabama. There will be some rough moments.

I’m not sold on the quality of the receiving targets on this team. Tight end looks mediocre at best unless Daniel Bellinger comes on like gangbusters as a rookie, and the depth behind him is filled with NFL castoffs. At wide receiver, Kenny Golladay looks like a colossal free agent mistake. He’s a big target who can’t seem to separate at all from defensive backs. As soon as it is financially possible, I see the team parting ways with him. The early take is Wan’Dale Robinson is everything the Giants hoped he would be. He should help. But there still is a huge question mark surrounding Kadarius Toney. Can he stay healthy? Is football really important to him? Sterling Shepard is coming off a serious injury and may never be the same player again. Everyone else at WR seems mediocre. That said, keep an eye on Richie James. Wide receiver and tight end are still both major needs on this team.

The best news on the offensive side of the ball coming out of camp is that Saquon Barkley seems to be rounding back into form. Almost as important, this coaching staff seems to know how to use him. I wouldn’t expect to see the coaches reveal too much in the preseason, but expect Barkley to perhaps have a bigger impact as a receiver in 2022 than even as a runner. That all said, I’m not sure Joe Schoen will want to give him the second contract Barkley desires. I would not be shocked to see the Giants deal him by the mid-season trade deadline, especially if he is having a great year. (Remember, the Giants need draft capital if they are going to pursue a new franchise quarterback).

This is the side of the ball I am most excited to watch. This is a very complicated system and there will be those dreaded growing pains. It’s all not a bend-but-don’t-break system, but an all-or-nothing approach. The Giants most likely won’t die from a dozen cuts on long drives, but there may be more 50+ yard touchdown completions against them.

The best player on defense right now is Leonard Williams. He’s been unblockable in camp. Whether he plays or not changes the make-up of the entire defense. On a good team, Williams would be getting a ton of publicity. But the Giants have added possibly another difference-maker in Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is also having an outstanding camp and seems to have impressed everyone within the organization for play, study habits, intelligence, and charisma. On top of these two, one gets the sense that Dexter Lawrence is finally being coached by a coaching staff that knows how to use him. He may be primed for his best year.

As mentioned previously, the key missing component here is Azeez Ojulari. We still don’t really know what Ojulari’s true upside is? How good can he be? Regardless, there are a lot of bodies at outside linebacker who are contending for playing time, including Jihad Ward (a coach favorite and team leader), Quincy Roche, Elerson Smith, and Oshane Ximines. The depth situation appears solid.

Inside, the coaches appear higher on Tae Crowder than fans. Blake Martinez is still making his way back from an ACL injury so he may not play much on Thursday. Having him back is really going to help this defense. Competition inside is fascinating as Darrian Beavers has made noise early and could press for playing time. The Giants also drafted Micah McFadden. Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin are still very much in the picture too, although Carter will probably not play on Thursday.

Aside from Thibodeaux appearing to be the real deal, perhaps the best news coming out of camp is Aaron Robinson’s play at cornerback. Don’t forget, with the loss of James Bradberry, the Giants had a major hole at outside corner. Many felt Robinson was strictly a slot guy and he is proving otherwise. Facilitating this move is the play of Darnay Holmes at nickel cornerback. His position coach said this week that Wink’s defense is particularly well-suited to Darnay’s skill set and he is responding appropriately. Also flying under the radar is the really strong camp that Adoree’ Jackson is having. If he’s primed to become a true #1 cornerback, then the Giants are in good shape if everyone stays healthy. With Belton out, the signing of Andrew Adams at safety is more important than many realize. He will get significant snaps in three-safety sets along with Xavier McKinney and Julian Love. McKinney is another budding star on this defense that may be poised to make some noise.

Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson was surprisingly frank this week about concerns about secondary depth. He’s happy with the way the first-team is playing but wants to see more progress from the second- and third-teams. Henderson said he hopes to be pleasantly surprised by their play in the preseason. The names in question are mostly foreign to Giants fans other than Cor’Dale Flott and Yusuf Corker. We’re talking about Zyon Gilbert, Darren Evans, Khalil Dorsey, Michael Jacquet, Gavin Heslop, Jarrod Wilson, Trenton Thompson, and Nate Meadors. These guys are virtual unknowns at this point.

The one glaring question here is punter. The “Scottish Hammer” Jamie Gillan has the job for now. Can he hold it? The Giants also don’t seem to have any inspiring returners. It bodes well for players like C.J. Board and Richie James if they end up being primary returners in the preseason.

Most of the attention will be on Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor. A quarterback controversy could be brewing, whether the team wants it or not.

Aug 312021
Kaden Smith, New York Giants (August 29, 2021)

Kaden Smith – © USA TODAY Sports


The preseason finale (yes, 2 weeks prior to the start of the season rather than 1) was a home matchup against the New England Patriots. Throughout my short lifetime of being a Giants fan relative to many of you, the exhibition game against the Pats has always meant we are right around the corner from week one. After 2 losses, NYG was looking to come out on the winning end of this one, as their starters on both sides of the ball were planning to play at least through the first half.

Daniel Jones, entering the vital-third year, was forced off the field after a third down that saw him sacked by NE edge rusher Josh Uche. The sack was allowed by Andrew Thomas, who had trouble sealing the edge all night. Cam Newton and the NE offense started near midfield after a poor punt before gaining 31 yards on 4 plays, three of which were on the ground. Consecutive incomplete passes brought kicker Nick Folk onto the field for a 41-yard field goal, which he made.

NYG had a bit more flow on their second drive with a solid 1st-down, play-action pass pick up of 13 yards and a 3rd-and-1 conversion by running back Devontae Booker. They crossed midfield before converting a 4th-and-1 by sending power back Elijhaa Penny up the middle. They shot themselves in the foot again, however, allowing a dual-outside sack by the tackles and a drop by Darius Slayton on a 3rd-and-13. NYG had to punt again.

After a solid punt that pinned NE inside their own 5-yard line, Newton was intercepted by linebacker and defensive leader Blake Martinez. It was a slight underthrow to Jakobi Meyers but he managed to get both hands on the ball. It was a brilliant, impressive play by the linebacker that resulted from him sticking with the receiver down the field. Good linebackers know that you just need to be near the action and good things will eventually bounce your way. NYG now had 1st-and-10 near the NE 40-yard line for the second time in as many drives. It took them 9 plays, including two 3rd-down conversions, to reach the 1-yard line. A failed run up the middle and then a horrific interception by Jones left 0 points on the board. 0 points came from two 1st-and-10s near the NE 40-yard line.

NE rookie quarterback Mac Jones came in and led a drive into field goal range, largely helped by a defensive holding penalty by cornerback James Bradberry. Quinn Nordin nailed a 48-yarder to make the score 6-0. How would the anemic starting offense respond? They failed to reach midfield after starting at their own 31-yard line. An Andrew Thomas holding penalty and a near-interception by Jones really brought the vibe down. The NE offense went 3-and-out on the next drive, however, as the backup offensive line was now protecting the rookie Jones.

Once again, NYG began with good field position, just 8 yards shy of midfield. They went into a 2-minute offense and Jones completed 6 straight attempts for an average gain of 5+ yards per. With just 30 seconds left, he threw his best ball of the night, a 23-yard touchdown that was put in the best possible spot for Kaden Smith to haul in despite minimal separation from the defender. NYG carried a 7-6 lead into halftime.

Backups filled the field for the second half, although there was plenty to still watch. NE first- and second-year skill players took care of business right away, marching down the field for a touchdown that ended with a throw from Jones to receiver Isaiah Zuber. They went for two to lengthen their lead to 7, but it failed. NE led 12-7. NYG, led by backup Mike Glennon, went 3-and-out just to watch the NE offense put another score on the board to make it 19-7.

Glennon’s second drive of the night had much more rhythm and success to it. He hit Alex Bachman for a 21-yard pickup but three straight incompletions forced NYG to go for a field goal. Graham Gano, who missed just one attempt in 2020, went wide right from 41 yards to keep the score at 19-7. Mac Jones then ended his night with a poor drive, holding onto the ball for too long, resulting in 2 sacks before punting back to NYG.

The Giants’ running game started to heat up at this point. Corey Clement and Penny combined for 46 yards in addition to a 15-yard face mask penalty by NE defensive lineman Montravius Adams. Glennon then hit Bachman for a 12-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-6 with Gano following it up with an extra point to make it 19-14 with 13:00 left. Brian Hoyer, one of the best backups in the league from a play + presence perspective, dinked and dunked his way down the field on a time consuming 12-play drive that put another 3 points on the board for NE.

The NE pass rush was all over Glennon on the next drive and they were forced to punt the ball back with under 4 minutes left, down by 8. NE gained a couple first downs and in typical preseason fashion, opted to start taking a knee just a tad early. Joe Judge wasn’t having it. He used his timeouts to get the ball back with under 30 seconds left following a missed 54-yard field goal attempt, setting them up near midfield again.

Glennon chucked a borderline-desperation pass into the end zone from midfield and a receiver that keeps making splash plays, Damion Willis (a former starter in this league), came down with the touchdown catch. NYG was within 2 with mere seconds left on the clock. Even though there is no overtime in preseason, it was still intriguing to watch this offense go for two. Glennon slightly rushed his 50/50 ball to Dante Pettis, preventing his target from being able to high point the ball, and the pass fell incomplete.

NYG loses, 22-20.


-Daniel Jones: 17/22 – 135 yards / 1 TD / 1 INT and 1 att / 4 yards

This was the first time we saw Jones in live game action. He will go into the third year, the T in the road of his career, having played 40 snaps before Week 1 against a very good defense. I still disagree with the approach but won’t touch on it anymore. Jones was forced into making a lot of throws underneath. The pressure was at his feet in a hurry and the NE defense dropped a lot of defenders into zone. He did a nice job of checking down and threw an accurate ball. The black eye of the night was a rookie-type interception on 3rd-and-goal from the 1, running to the outside while throwing back inside. His touchdown to Smith, however, was a great downfield throw with elite touch and placement. Jones can excel when throwing vertical, I am confident there. The question is, will he program himself and will the play-calling allow for more shots.


-Elijhaa Penny continued his surge this preseason. The no-nonsense, north-south runner gained 35 yards on just 4 carries. He ends the 3-game run with 53 yards on 7 carries. We can’t get excited about such a small sample size, especially from preseason, but he proved he deserves a shot to be the short yardage guy or at least get a few looks in those situations.

-Roster hopeful Corey Clement gained 24 yards and Devontae Booker, potentially the Week 1 starter, combined for 38 yards on 11 carries. The one standout here was rookie Gary Brightwell. The former wide receiver had 20 yards on 3 catches and added 10 more yards on the ground. He was on the field with the ones, in front of Clement. I thought that was interesting and it is another reason why I think Clement may have a hard time making the 53 (I am writing this early Tuesday morning).


-Sterling Shepard, who has averaged 10 yards per catch over the past 2 years (22 games played + 10 games missed), led the team with 5 receptions. They only accrued 42 yards (8.4 per). I bring the numbers up because he is likely going to be the most targeted player on this offense in the passing game. He is making $9 million this year, $10.5 in 2022, $11.5 in 2023. For an offense that needs to make bigger plays in the passing game, it is hard to see that kind of money going to a guy who won’t make big plays. I love the player, I love the route running and aggression after the catch, both of which showed up in this game. However, I question what he can do outside of the short window and then I ask myself if a player like that is worth top 5-7 money on this team. Something to look at this year.

-Darius Slayton had 1 catch for 6 yards and dropped a 3rd-down pass. He was also flagged for offensive pass interference. Dante Pettis was the one who came on the field once Slayton tweaked a foot injury (again). He had 1 catch for 8 yards and I charged him with a drop as well, although it was a tough one to bring in. It was interesting to me that he seemed ahead of David Sills on the depth chart. Sills had 1 catch for 14 yards where a defender was all over him. Once again, solid ball skills but he struggled to get open.

-Alex Bachman had 2 catches for 33 yards and a score. He also dropped one, his second of the preseason. Damion Willis made 2 big-time plays in the 4th quarter as NYG mounted their comeback. He finished with 70 yards on 3 catches and keeps making plays when the opportunities are put in front of him. I think he deserves a shot.


-The story of the night will be Evan Engram. Judging by the look of how the injury went down, I would expect him to miss a few weeks. By the time this review gets posted, we should know more. Anyway, the writing will be on the wall for Engram if he misses more time. Hard time catching the ball, hard time staying on the field, below average blocker in an offense that needs to focus on running the ball. This makes the position group look mighty thin if he ends up being out.

-Kaden Smith, who went scoreless in 2020, brought in a touchdown catch for 23 yards. It was a high-level catch. He blocked well but did allow a TFL on a bizarre play call. He struggles to really hold the point against defensive linemen.

-If NYG loses Engram for some time, the waiver wire could be the route they take but Nakia Griffin-Stewart looks interesting to me. Perhaps as a PS guy at first, though. He had 3 catches for 30 yards and plays a physical brand. He showed angry, violent hands as a blocker. He plays like he wants it.


-Really poor night by the two young tackles, especially Andrew Thomas. He played 40 snaps (just over half of what you would see on a normal Sunday), and allowed 1 sack, 1 pressure, and was flagged for a hold. He looked like he lacked confidence in his outside foot, as he wouldn’t reach and plant with any sort of anchor. His outside shoulder looked soft. Carl Banks (who I respect a ton), noted he looked afraid of losing inside. I disagree. He looked like he didn’t have the confidence in his footwork and overall lower body strength to anchor himself into the ground. Matt Peart allowed a pressure and was flagged for a false start. Both were solid in the run game, however. Really good movement off the ball.

-Will Hernandez is one of the winners of the preseason. This was the best I’ve seen him (albeit just one half of football). He looks much more fluid and active with both his feet and hands. If NYG can have that RG spot locked in, it is a huge benefit when considering the questions marks up front. Nick Gates played well in the running game but did allow a pressure. He was late to see a twist. This was a solid NE front they were up against, and both played well.

-Ted Larsen got the start at left guard and he struggled. He allowed a TFL and a sack before injuring his left leg when he got rolled up on. Kenny Wiggins came in and continued to struggle, allowing a pressure and TFL. The team traded for Billy Price and I will touch on that below.

-Nate Solder looks very lean and a little quicker. He started at RT, and I think that is what we will see early on but with a few rotations per game. Solder gets off the ball well, but he isn’t sustaining good contact. There are balance issues, and he just doesn’t stay square to his man. He isn’t powerful enough on the move and it will cause issues weekly. He allowed a sack.

-Jackson Barton looked much better at left tackle than what I have seen the previous 2 weeks. I also liked Chad Slade at right guard next to Peart. I think he is better inside where he can think more about power and violence.


-Nice to see Lorenzo Carter on the field. After watching the group of edge rushers on this team over the first 2 weeks, it is easy to see how advanced Carter is in comparison. More twitch, more pop on contact, faster decision making. He finished with 2 tackles and a sack.

-Azeez Ojulari and Oshane Ximines are likely going to split snaps opposite of Carter. They should lean more toward Ojulari in my opinion, as he looks better against the run, and he simply plays faster. Both finished with a pressure.

-Trent Harris finished with a sack and 3 tackles while Ryan Anderson, who will start the season suspended because of PEDs, nearly came up with a sack as well. At the time of this writing, I think both will end up on the 53-man roster. They won’t ever be reliable every down guys but they offer a niche respectively. Harris has pop and explosion in addition to an aggressive style. Anderson is powerful and stout. There are roles for both.


-B.J. Hill didn’t play, as he was a part of a trade to CIN that I will discuss below. Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Johnson, and Austin Johnson were the starters, all of whom played under half of the team’s snaps. Lawrence bull-rushed his way into a sack but was also flagged for a defensive hold on a screen.

-The trade of Hill will open a door for both Raymond Johnson III and possibly Willie Henry. Both had yet another active game, with the latter finishing with a pressure, a sack, and a pass break up, and the former added another pressure. I’m not sure what their roster status will be as of this writing, but I bet we see them on the field at some point. Let’s see if they can do it against starters.

-David Moa truly has done everything he could to make this team and maybe even carve out a weekly role. He is active and has shown surprising pass rush capability. There was an ugly 3rd-down run where he got pushed back 5+ yards, however.


-Play of the night by Blake Martinez on an interception in the first half. Man, it feels good to have a true general who can make an impact all three downs in the middle. Best linebacker they’ve had since Antonio Pierce and I mean that. He also had a pressure.

-Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland will likely split snaps next to Martinez. I hope they lean hard toward the former. Crowder had a TFL and just shows week-to-week how much more speed he has on the field. Ragland is a thumper and may see snaps here and there, but he is best suited for specific roles and situations.

-Devante Downs has a trade market? News to me. I haven’t heard anything there at all. He finished with 6 tackles in this one, including one on special teams. He excels at straight-ahead, physical play, but he misses too many tackles and can’t cover.


-James Bradberry was flagged for a hold on a third down. Otherwise, I liked what I saw of the true, credible number one corner. He easily turns and runs down the field with speed and shows good control out of his breaks.

-Adoree’ Jackson was out with an ankle injury, thus we saw Darnay Holmes start. He shifted inside on nickel and rookie Rodarius Williams came on the field. The 6th rounder led the team in snaps this preseason and I think we should be ready to see a lot of him early in the season. You know he will be tested often. He was up and down this preseason, but he has a really nice blend of tools. Can he think and react fast? Can he get used to not grabbing? We will see.

-Sam Beal played a solid game. He played physically against the run after a poor effort against the Browns in preseason game #2. He had a TFL on a 2-point conversion and was solid in catch-up coverage. I just see too many losses at the point-of-attack for my liking.

-Madre Harper was picked on for the third week in a row. He just doesn’t have it mentally. There is some impressive size and speed there, but he isn’t a pro corner. He just isn’t.


-We got to see the full gambit of how this team will use the abundance of talent they have at safety. This is one thing I feel really good about. Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, Julian Love, and Xavier McKinney all got on the field in a rotational manner. I love what they offer when it comes to versatility and hustle. Love has had a nice preseason, capping it off with a nice 3rd-down PD.

-Jordyn Peters had an awful game. He was beat on a touchdown pass where he was late to the seam route and then was barreled over on a touchdown run later. I can’t see any situation where he makes this team, but he is new to the position and could be worth a PS spot.


-Graham Gano: 0/1 (missed 41) – 2/2 XP
-P Riley Dixon: 5 punts / 43.0 avg / 33.4 net


-OG Will Hernandez, WR Damion Willis, LB Blake Martinez


-CB Madre Harper, OG Ted Larsen, S Jordyn Peters


Man, I could write a book on my admiration for how NE builds their roster year in, year out. I won’t because I know nobody wants to read that. But just in short, they excel at finding players to help their plan in every possible facet. The 2021 offseason was the most aggressive I have ever seen them in free agency by a wide, wide margin. They did it because their other strategies weren’t working. They didn’t fold, they didn’t double down. They quickly altered their approach and added talent to a team that had the second-most injured roster in 2020 (including Covid opt outs). They are so good at this stuff.

As I write this, Cam Newton being released just came across the ticker. I promise, I’m not even a little surprised. I said it last year: He simply looks done. Will he get scooped up? Perhaps, but keep in mind you really have to change the offense around him for that. Maybe BAL takes a look in a backup role? I don’t see the upside with him. We may have seen the last of the 2015 league MVP.

How far will NE go? After years and years of automatic bids into the postseason, they are in the tier of a dozen (if not more) teams. If things break right, they can win 10-11 games. If things break wrong, they’ll win 6-7. They have a really tough schedule from a rest perspective, and they have a lot of really good offenses they’ll have to defend. Mac Jones can play; I think we saw enough in college and preseason to confirm that. But “play” and trying to score 22+ points per week don’t always coincide. I think they will be in the playoff hunt, but they may be too easy to defend without a deep threat. Maybe someone emerges there or maybe running back J.J. Taylor breaks out into a big-time playmaker (yes, that is very possible). But the likes of Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, and Nelson Agholor won’t scare anybody. I’m calling for 8-9 or 9-8.


I want to offer a few thoughts on the B.J. Hill vs Billy Price trade. Again, I will try to keep it short. Hill is a quality defensive lineman who could make almost every roster in the league. I can only think of maybe 3 or 4 where he would be cut. He can offer something against both the run and pass. He is limited though, and he didn’t play a ton last year. This defense isn’t the ideal fit for him. I think some had an inflated outlook on him because in 5.5 sacks in 2018. He has had 2 since. He has had 2 TFL in the running game since. In 32 games. That isn’t good. Billy Price on the other hand, hasn’t been good either. He has been a horrific pass blocker, but a very solid run blocker. That doesn’t solve the issue with the NYG offensive line fully, but I do view him as an upgrade over what NYG has tried along the interior this year. Wiggins, Larsen, Fulton, Looney, Harrison….etc. They aren’t going to get it done. Price has seen his fair share of injuries (pec and foot), he has been moved back and forth between OG and OC, and the CIN offensive line coaches they’ve had are not highly regarded to say the least. NYG isn’t going anywhere without a better starting group than what they’ve had along the OL or more adequate depth. Is Price better than the names I mentioned above? Yes. He played well end of 2020 and this preseason. Could he crack the starting lineup by mid-year? Yes. All in all, this was a move that may or may not help this offensive line, the black hole of this franchise. It will not hurt the DL one bit, in my opinion. Worth the gamble.

Roster cuts from around the league will start pouring in as, and after, I send this review in. Don’t make any final judgements on the 53-man roster until the weekend is my suggestion. A lot will happen between now and then. The one group I would like to see NYG add to is tight end. Rudolph and Smith are fine, but if Engram goes down, I want another guy here who can be trusted to block. This passing game may need an extra body in there to help on the outside. Another place I would look is linebacker. If a guy with speed gets cut loose, I may want to start a Downs-type experiment over. Meaning, hope to get lucky off another team’s trash. Downs doesn’t have it.

As we enter the 2021 season in decent shape health wise, it is time to really turn on what we think will happen this year. I may get another post out there next week, but I think this team is actually similar to what we will see out of NE. If things break right (Jones + the OL turn it up a couple levels), we could see 10 wins. It would be on the heels of this defense though. They have a shot at being a top 10, maybe even top-7 unit. The pass rush is what concerns me, but I trust Graham to manufacture pressure when needed if the outside guys can’t get it done. Can the offense be “good enough?” They won’t get away with scoring 15-19 points per. They won’t get away with low red zone scoring percentages. Even if the NYG defense ends up doing well, they need to score 22+ per game to have a shot at 10 wins. If it gets ugly, you’re looking at 6-7 wins and a new quarterback in 2022.

Aug 292021
Blake Martinez, New York Giants (August 29, 2021)

Blake Martinez – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants fell to the New England Patriots 22-20 in the preseason finale for both teams. The Giants finished the preseason 0-3. This was the only game of the preseason where New York’s starters saw extended playing time, playing until intermission.

The bad news for the Giants offensively was two-fold. First, tight end Evan Engram (calf) and wide receiver Darius Slayton (ankle/foot) both left the game with injuries, as did guard/center Ted Larsen (knee), who actually started the game at left guard. Second, the first-team offense struggled for most of the first half with poor offensive line play, no running game, and a bad interception by quarterback Daniel Jones.

Perhaps the most telling sign of the night was the starting offensive line. Nate Solder started for Matt Peart at right tackle, while Larsen started for the injured Shane Lemieux at left guard. That said, the Giants ran all kinds of offensive line combinations throughout both the first and second halves of the game.

Jones and the first-team offense had five possessions in the first half:

  1. The first ended with a 3-and-out after Jones was sacked on 3rd-and-5 and LT Andrew Thomas was cleanly beat.
  2. The Giants moved the ball on their second drive, reaching the New England 34-yard line, but on 2nd-and-7, Jones was sacked again and New York could not overcome the 3rd-and-13. Punt.
  3. The Giants moved the ball again on their second drive, gaining 40 yards and reaching the Patriots’ 1-yard line. RB Devontae Booker was stuffed on 2nd down. On 3rd down, Jones badly missed Engram and his pass was intercepted in the end zone.
  4. The Giants gained one first down on their fourth drive before a holding penalty on Thomas put them in a 2nd-and-17 hole that they could not recover from. Punt.
  5. With 2:30 on the clock before halftime, Jones led the Giants on a 9-play, 58 yard scoring drive that resulted in a perfectly-thrown 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kaden Smith.

Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball, the Giants held the Patriots to just seven first downs and 106 total net yards in the first half. Two drives did result in field goals, from 41 and 48 yards out. Linebacker Blake Martinez ended one possession with a remarkable interception 35 yards down field when he stole the ball away from the intended receiver.

At the half, the Giants led 7-6.

The Giants appeared to use the second half to get a gauge on defensive bubble/fringe players and it showed as the Patriots easily took control of the contest as their second-team offense shredded a largely third-team defense in the 3rd quarter. In their first two possessions of the half, the Patriots first drove 75 yards in six plays to go up 12-7 (2-point conversion failed) and then 50 yards in four plays to extend their advantage to 19-7.

The Giants second-team offense went three-and-out on their first possession. After driving 52 yards on their next possession, place kicker Graham Gano missed a 41-yard field goal. The Giants forced the Patriots to punt and New York finally responded late in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th quarter with a 7-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Glennon to wide receiver Alex Bachman. Fullback Eli Penny gained 32 yards on three carries on this possession.

Unfortunately for the Giants, New England extended their lead to 22-14 on their next possession, driving 58 yards in 12 plays, taking 6:32 off of the clock, and finishing with a 37-yard field goal. Glennon was sacked twice on New York’s next drive, resulting in a punt.

The Patriots had a chance to put the game away, but missed a 54-yard field goal with 27 seconds left. After gaining 13 yards on one passing play, Glennon then connected with wide receiver Damion Willis on a 43-yard Hail Mary pass to cut the score to 22-20 with just seconds left on the clock. The 2-point conversion attempt, a pass from Glennon to wideout Dante Pettis fell incomplete.

Offensively, Jones finished 17-of-22 for 135 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked twice. Glennon finished 9-of-17 for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked twice. The leading receiver was Sterling Shepard with 5 catches for 42 yards. The leading rusher was Eli Penny with 35 yards on four carries. Overall, the Giants gained 96 yards on the ground in 22 carries.

Defensively, Martinez intercepted quarterback Cam Newton. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, linebacker Trent Harris, and defensive lineman Willie Henry were all credited with sacks. 

Video highlights are available at

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle), CB Aaron Robinson (PUP – core muscle), and CB Josh Jackson (unknown) did not play.

DE B.J. Hill and QB Brian Lewerke were the only healthy scratches.

TE Evan Engram (calf) and WR Darius Slayton (ankle/foot) left the game in the first half and did not return. OG/OC Ted Larsen left the game late with a left knee injury.

The NFL has suspended without pay linebacker Ryan Anderson for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Performance Enhancing Substances. If Anderson makes the team, he will be eligible to return to the Giants’ active roster on October 18, following the team’s Week 6 game against. the Los Angeles Rams.

The Giants re-signed safety Jordyn Peters on Friday. The 22-year old, 6’1”, 200-pound Peters was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets waived him in early July. The Giants then signed him shortly before training camp in July 2021 and cut him on August 13th.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at

Head Coach Joe Judge will address the media on Monday.

Aug 282021
Trent Harris, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

Trent Harris – © USA TODAY Sports

Preseason is much different now. Aside the obvious of it being reduced to three games, it is becoming clear that many coaches see joint practices as more important. For the Giants, another major difference is the last preseason game, and not the third preseason game in the old 4-game format, is now the primary dress rehearsal. For those who have not been paying attention, this is the FIRST and ONLY time that most of the starters will play in the preseason. The only first-string unit to receive playing time up to now was the offensive line, which only got in a couple of series against the Jets in the first game. That’s crazy. The game has changed.

Since Coach Judge usually does not provide much information on injuries, we don’t really know the true status of most of the people listed below. Some may play. Judge has said Barkley, Golladay, and Rudolph will not. Robinson is still on the PUP. It’s not likely we will see Toney, Ross, Mack, Lemieux, and Adoree’ Jackson.

  • RB Saquon Barkley (knee)
  • WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (unknown)
  • WR John Ross (hamstring?)
  • WR Austin Mack (hamstring?)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)
  • OG Shane Lemieux (knee)
  • OT Nate Solder (shoulder?)
  • NT Danny Shelton (unknown)
  • LB Tae Crowder (unknown)
  • LB Elerson Smith (hamstring)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle)
  • CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle)
  • CB Josh Jackson (unknown)

On paper, the Giants had a strong offseason. Coming off a dreadful offensive performance in 2020, the team added WR Kenny Golladay, WR Kadarius Toney, TE Kyle Rudolph, WR John Ross, RB Devontae Booker, and RB Corey Clement to upgrade that side of the ball. They also tweaked the offensive line by signing Zach Fulton and Joe Looney.

But those plans have unravelled. Fulton and Looney retired and the Giants were forced to scramble and sign 34-year old Ted Larsen late in camp. Golladay and Ross have been out all month with hamstring pulls, receiving very little practice time. Toney has been a train wreck, for all intents and purposes not practicing since the team drafted him due to COVID and unknown issues. Rudolph has been brought along slowly as expected, but it is still unknown when he will be able to be a significant contributor. On top of all of this, the team’s most dangerous play-maker, Saquon Barkley, has yet to allowed to practice with contact. When he first plays, Barkley will likely be on a low pitch count.

What this all means is that, as of late August, the Giants’ offense remains eerily similar to the unit that finished 31st last year. Golden Tate is gone, but Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram are the main targets for 3rd-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Oddly, Judge decided not to give the embattled Jones any playing time this preseason until this game. Until Barkley is fully back, Booker, Clement, and possibly fullback Eli Penny will receive the bulk of the carries. They won’t scare many teams.

Then comes the offensive line. Not only were the depth losses of Fulton and Looney unexpected, but the Giants lost starting left guard Shane Lemieux for all of camp and the preseason with a knee injury that he still has not completely recovered from. Lemieux needed that practice time. We don’t even know if he will be ready for the opener. On top of that, the starting unit has only played in a couple of series up until this point. Matt Peart has been up-and-down. Lemieux’s replacement, the 33-year old Kenny Wiggins, has struggled.

It’s not a rosy picture. Things can rapidly change when and if Barkley is nearing full strength and Golladay, Toney, and Rudolph return. But they will be rusty and not completely in sync with Jones. Helmuth von Moltke once famously said, “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Well, the Giants plans didn’t even survive camp. Coach Judge and his coaching staff will have to adjust. There are some very tough defenses coming up to start the season.

So with some understanding, fans are going to overreact to what they see on Sunday against the Patriots. After all, this will be only time we’ll see the first-string offense before the real bullets fly. If the Giants struggle to move the ball and score in the first half, The Corner Forum is going to be pretty ugly.

The second half of this game will be last hurrah for many. On Tuesday, the Giants must remove 27 players from the roster. The most interesting decisions will probably be at wide receiver.

The Giants fielded a surprisingly strong defense under apparent Miami Dolphin castoff Patrick Graham last season. On paper, the Giants look like they have upgraded that unit too with the additions of CB Adoree’ Jackson, NT Danny Shelton, LB Reggie Ragland, LB Ifeadi Odenigbo, LB Azeez Ojulari, CB Aaron Robinson, and LB Elerson Smith. Unfortunately, Robinson and Smith have missed all of camp and the preseason and are way, way behind. On the positive side, 6th-round CB Rodarius Williams has been a pleasant surprise to the coaches, even though he has been up-and-down.

Still, the defense appears to be the strength of this team, with a strong defensive line and secondary. The Giants have a very good inside linebacker in Blake Martinez. Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland will likely battle for playing time at the other spot. Crowder has been nagged by an unknown injury and we don’t know if he will play on Sunday.

The most interesting decisions will come at outside linebacker. Is rookie Azeez Ojulari an opening day starter along with Lorenzo Carter? Oshane Ximines has flashed as a pass rusher, but appears to still have issues setting the edge in run defense. Trent Harris is making a strong push to remain on the team. How does the team handle Elerson Smith, who has missed way too much time? Then there is Ifeadi Odenigbo, Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, and Niko Lalos. Since Brown and Coughlin have received time inside, that could create room for others.

One of the pleasant surprises of camp has been the performance of two guys who were regarded as camp fodder on the defense line: Raymond Johnson and David Moa. Is there room for both on the roster?

Fans will not get a true good look at their secondary on Sunday since Adoree’ Jackson will likely be out. Also, keep in mind the team felt Aaron Robinson was a 1st-round talent, and he is still on the PUP. The biggest concern right now is the slot corner spot. Darnay Holmes has been a bit shaky. He could be pressed by Julian Love if necessary, but this where the team also misses Robinson. The coaches seem to really like Rodarius Williams, but he’s been up and down. He is still learning. What do the Giants have in recently-acquired (by trade) Keion Crossen and Josh Jackson? Jackson’s been hurt. If he gets cut, the team may have been better of keeping Isaac Yiadom in the short term.

Nevertheless, with the Giants being able to field James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan, Xavier McKinney, this unit should excel. The team just needs to settle down the slot corner spot.

As expected, Ryan Santoso was traded. Another pick was added to the 2022 NFL Draft (now up to 11 picks). The kickers and long snapper are the same from last year. What we still don’t know is who will be actually returning punts and kickoffs on opening day when the games count. The unofficial depth chart says Jabrill Peppers and John Ross. Will the Giants want to risk Peppers in that role? Ross may not even make the team.

Head Coach Joe Judge on the final preseason game:We’re going to handle this as truly the dress rehearsal for the season. We expect to play the majority of our players for a minimum of one half. We’re going to make sure there’s some key positions where we have to see some guys with a little bit of an extended exposure and make the right decision on the roster. There’s still some jobs that are very competitive for the final 53. We’ll make sure we have enough film and evidence and exposure to make the right decision.

The only time fans get to see the first team in a true dress rehearsal is the final game of the preseason. Different times. I hope Coach Judge has this team ready in two weeks. There are a lot of parts missing.

Aug 262021
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (August 19, 2021)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

Thursday was the second of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants play the Patriots on Sunday in the team’s third and final preseason game.

Today is going to be very situational, we’re almost going to jump right into team from the beginning,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “We’ll have some brief individual periods, we’ll have a quick seven-on-seven, get the guys juiced up and rolling, then what the rest of today is going to look like is we’re going to create a situation and just play it out – all fourth quarter situations. We’ll start with the ball in four-minute offense mode. We’re going to manufacture some things to make sure we get in the situational part of the game, so you may see a manufactured penalty or a manufactured first down or whatever it may be, or an ignored sack for both sides at some point to make sure we manage to get the emphasis of the drill, to build in more of the two-minute mode, the end of game situations, the substitutions and everything that comes with it.”

The New York Giants have traded back-up kicker/punter Ryan Santoso to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional 7th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. If Santoso plays for at least two regular-season games for the Panthers, the Giants will receive the pick.

Santoso was originally signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Lions (2018-2019), Montreal Alouettes (2019, 2020), and Tennessee Titans (2019). Santoso spent 2020 on the Giants’ Practice Squad after the team signed him in early September. Santoso has only played in three NFL games, solely as a kickoff specialist.

CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), TE Evan Engram (unknown), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Ryan Anderson (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle sprain), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) did not practice on Thursday. Lemieux, Shelton, and Crowder were left behind in New Jersey for treatment.

According to multiple press reports, Jackson’s injury is a “minor” low-ankle sprain and he is expected to be ready for the regular-season opener. “We’re going to check to see how he is today,” said Head Coach Joe Judge. “He’ll be with the trainers a little bit, we’ll see where we can ramp him up to. Looks like we dodged a bullet right there, but we’ll see day by day how it is and we’ll move him around a little bit today with the trainers.”

When asked what is wrong with Toney, Judge responded, “I’m not going to get into anybody’s individual medical right there, but this guy is getting better every day. He’s working with our trainers and doing everything they ask him to do, so I’m pleased with the progress he’s making. He’s doing everything we ask him to.”

RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), and OT Nate Solder (shoulder?) practiced on a limited basis.

Some snippets from various media sources:

  • CB Rodarius Williams received reps with the first team at cornerback, starting with the walk-thru.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, WR Sterling Shepard made a one-handed, diving catch at the sideline. In the same drills, RB Saquon Barkley (wearing a red, non-contact jersey) caught a pass in the left flat from QB Daniel Jones and scored. Barkley also cleared out room for Shepard to score.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, QB Mike Glennon made a nice throw to WR David Sills for a touchdown.
  • TE Kaden Smith dropped a pass at the goal line.
  • LB Azeez Ojulari flashed on the bull rush in 2-on-2, pass-rushing drills.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, the Giants’ offense started with a three-and-out after a run and two short passes to WR Sterling Shepard. QB Daniel Jones actually may have been “sacked” too on one of these plays.
  • On next drive, the offense was worse with a short completion to WR Darius Slayton and then back-to-back sacks (one given up by LT Andrew Thomas and the other by RT Matt Peart, who also held on the play). After a reset, the first play was a false start. The offense finally turned things around with long completions by QB Daniel Jones to WRs C.J. Board, Darius Slayton, and Dante Pettis. Drive was completed with a 1-yard touchdown pass to FB Eli Penny.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, the first-team Patriots’ offense drove 80 yards and finished the possession with a RB Damien Harris touchdown run. CB James Bradberry dropped an interception on this drive.
  • On next drive, S Xavier McKinney broke up a pass from QB Mac Jones. That was followed up with an interception by S Logan Ryan on a seam route. Slot corner Darnay Holmes was replaced by Julian Love after Holmes was called with defensive holding.
  • CB Sam Beal forced two incompletions by QB Mac Jones, but Beal finished this possession by allowing a touchdown in the corner of the end zone and then the 2-point conversion. This drive would have ended earlier if not a practice as there were sacks by S Jabrill Peppers, LB Lorenzo Carter, and LB Ifeadi Odenigbo. CBs James Bradberry and Rodarius Williams also broke up passes.
  • Giants’ offensive line had issues in next team drill. RT Matt Peart in particular struggled, giving up another sack and multiple pressures. QB Daniel Jones did throw a deep seam pass to TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart. RB Corey Clement finished the drive with a touchdown. RB Saquon Barkley was in for two plays on this possession.
  • In next 11-on-11, 2-minute series, RB Saquon Barkley caught two slants from QB Daniel Jones, including one that would have gone for a big gain (possible score). Jones then connected with TE Jake Hausmann and WR Darius Slayton to set up a 49-yard field goal by PK Graham Gano.
  • On the day, QB Daniel Jones unofficially was 23-of-29; QB Mike Glennon 1-of-3; QB Cam Newton 4-of-6; and QB Mac Jones 9-of-20. RB Saquon Barkley received eight snaps in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
  • For a good in-person review of the action, see Thursday’s camp report from BBI poster “mittenedman.”
  • also provided a camp report on today’s practice.

    The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at

    Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at

    The Giants return to New Jersey and will practice at MetLife Stadium on Friday.

    Aug 252021
    Freddie Kitchens, New York Giants (August 22, 2021)

    Freddie Kitchens – © USA TODAY Sports

    Wednesday was the first of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants play the Patriots on Sunday in the team’s third and final preseason game.

    Our focus today as a team is to come up here and compete against a quality opponent,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “The series of practices both today and tomorrow will be very geared towards situation. Situation meaning third down, red area and two-minute. We’ll work some specific drills and setups to make sure we work some techniques on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, for both us and the Patriots to help us address some issues or some areas that maybe we hadn’t had enough work on in camp based on the opponents we’ve worked against or things that haven’t specifically come up in the preseason games as of yet.

    “So, we’re going to structure this working together. The pace of the practice will be a working tempo. We’re going to work together. We’re going to stay up, stay off the ground. There’s no cutting. We’re not looking to go ahead and live tackle at any point in any of these drills. There’s going to be guys on both teams at different points in practice wearing red jerseys. We would treat any player with a red jersey the same as we would treat a quarterback, punter, kicker or whatever it is. We’re going to stay off them. It’s going to be a non-contact portion.”

    CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. However, TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) was activated off of the PUP List. He practiced on a limited basis for the first time this year.

    RB Saquon Barkley (personal excuse), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) did not practice on Wednesday. 

    OT Nate Solder (shoulder?) and LB Azeez Ojulari (unknown) practiced on a limited basis.

    On Solder, Head Coach Joe Judge said, “Nate will be limited in practice today. You’ll see him do some things. He’ll definitely be continuing to do the individual with the group. He’ll do a little bit against the Patriots in some team drills. Really, it’s going to be kind of based on ramping him back up from missing some time right now.”

    On Ojulari, Judge said, “We’re going to increase him today and tomorrow we expect him to be full speed. We’ll see where he goes with that. But this guy, we’re just kind of managing some loads with him right now.”

    CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle sprain) left practice early. He will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury.

    Some snippets from various media sources:

    • Overall, Patriots out-practiced the Giants on both offense and defense.
    • Offensively, Giants worked some on the read-option.
    • LT Andrew Thomas impressed in 1-on-1 drills.
    • In 7-on-7, goal-line drills from the 6-yard line, QB Daniel Jones was 3-of-5 with two touchdowns, two to TE Evan Engram and one to TE Kaden Smith. One pass was thrown away due to good coverage.
    • During 1-on-1 offensive line versus defensive line drills, there was a big fight and both groups were forced to run a lap.
    • LB Blake Martinez had trouble covering RB James White in 1-on-1 drills.
    • S Julian Love dropped an interception from QB Mac Jones. S Xavier McKinney almost intercepted Jones on a pass on a play where he provided excellent deep coverage.
    • S Kyle Duggar intercepted a pass thrown into double coverage from QB Daniel Jones that was intended for WR Darius Slayton.
    • In 2-minute drills, the first-team offense of the Patriots successfully set up a field goal after QB Mac Jones was 5-of-5. CB Darnay Holmes gave up one completion and was flagged with pass interference. RB James White also beat LB Blake Martinez.
    • In the 2-minute drill, QB Daniel Jones was 3-of-6 with two short completions to WR Darius Slayton and one to WR C.J. Board. TEs Nakie Griffin-Stewart and Jake Hausmann dropped passes. PK Graham Gano connected on a 54-yard field goal.
    • LB Lorenzo Carter flashed on the pass rush with two “sacks.”
    • QB Mac Jones had no problem completing passes in 11-on-11, full-team drills against the New York secondary.
    • LB Ifeadi Odenigbo “sacked” QB Mac Jones on a play where the ball was tipped.
    • The Giants’ first-team offensive line gave QB Daniel Jones good protection in 11-on-11 drills.
    • In full-team, red-zone drills, QB Daniel Jones threw three touchdowns, one went to WR Sterling Shepard and another to TE Jake Hausmann on rollouts to the right.
    • QB Mac Jones threw an excellent deep pass beating both CB Adoree’ Jackson and CB Darnay Holmes for the touchdown on a corner route.
    • For a good in-person review of the action, see Wednesday’s camp report from BBI poster “mittenedman.”
    • also provided a camp report on today’s practice.

    The transcript of Joe Judge’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at

    Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at

    The Giants and Patriots will practice together again on Thursday in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

    Oct 132019
    Golden Tate, New York Giants (October 10, 2019)

    Golden Tate – © USA TODAY Sports

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    New England Patriots 35 – New York Giants 14


    Just four nights after the NYG loss to MIN, the Giants found themselves at a windy Gillette Stadium to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The short week combined with a couple of injuries to key players on offense likely contributed to the massive underdog tone going in to this one. However, NYG has had this overlooked-label attached to them heading into a match-up against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and company before.

    NE drove down the field on the opening drive but consecutive stops at the NYG 19-yard line with just 1 yard to go, the second of which being fourth down, gave NYG the initial momentum. As was the case for most of the night, the NYG offense couldn’t respond as they went 3-and-out. They were without Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley against a team that is 12-0 at home against rookie quarterbacks since Belichick took over.

    The two teams traded 3-and-outs before Daniel Jones threw his first interception of the night, this one to John Simon. However Brady, continuing his streak of sub-par play against the Giants in white, threw an interception to Janoris Jenkins on the next play and the messy football we are used to seeing on Thursday nights across the league appeared to be back in full effect.

    NYG was not able to take advantage of their 50-yard line starting field position and the defensive battle continued all the way to the point where the first score of the game came on a “blocked” punt. Linebacker Nate Stupar, the personal protector to punter Riley Dixon, was pushed backwards to the point where the trajectory of the ball was right at his helmet. Rookie Chase Winovich caught the live ball and carried it into the end zone.

    Brady and the NE offense continued to stall because of a quality pass rush by NYG with perhaps a little help from the wind, which made it hard to really force the ball downfield. That wind, and perhaps the best defense in the NFL, had the tough impact on Jones as well. He threw his second interception of the night, this time to safety Duron Harmon, giving NE the ball at the NYG 20-yard line. Five plays later Brandon Bolden crossed the goal line as NE took a commanding 14-0 lead.

    As we have seen multiple times already, Jones showed a short memory by standing tall in the pocket on the next drive while continuing to go through his reads. On the third play, Jones hit Golden Tate for a 64 yard touchdown on a perfectly-thrown deep ball that Tate tipped to himself before outrunning the NE secondary to the end zone. It was the first time NE had allowed a touchdown through the air this season.

    Brady was sacked and fumbled on a hit by Lorenzo Carter on the next drive and the surging Markus Golden scooped it up before returning it for a 42-yard touchdown. All of the sudden NYG had this game tied up at 14 but NE responded with a smooth, steady drive that ended with a Brady 1-yard touchdown. Even though NYG had been out-gained 228-129, Jones had thrown 2 interceptions, and the NE special teams had scored a touchdown on a blocked punt, the game still very much felt within striking distance at halftime.

    The ever-important first possession of the second half ended in Jones’ third interception of the night, this time to cornerback Stephon Gilmore. New NE kicker Mike Nugent missed a 40-yard field goal after a marathon drive and NYG just couldn’t get past midfield. The offense was sputtering all night besides the one deep ball to Tate. On the ground, Jon Hilliman couldn’t get going. Even worse on their next drive, Hilliman fumbled and it was scooped up by linebacker Kyle Van Noy who returned it for a 22-yard touchdown, the Pats second non-offensive score of the night.

    NYG was down 28-14 with the just over 7 minutes left when they were faced with a 4th-and-2 from their own 33-yard line. Would they run? Would they pass? Head Coach Pat Shurmur, owner of a 17-38 record as a Head Coach, opted to punt. NE then scored another touchdown on another 1-yard Brady run while taking off another 3+ minutes of game clock. The night was all but over after that.

    Giants lose 35-14.


    -Daniel Jones: 15/31 – 161 yards – 1 TD / 3 INT / 35.2 QBR. We knew these past 2 games against MIN and NE would be a different level test for Jones when compared to the two teamse started off against (TB/WAS). On a short week; traveling to NE on a windy night; up against a coach that has feasted on rookie quarterbacks; without his number one receiver, number one tight end, and number one and two running backs had the look of near-impossible. Jones did compete and showed plenty of physical and mental toughness, but when evaluating his play, it was poor. Big picture we can talk about this being a learning experience for him, which is fine, but Jones played bad. Three interceptions and another one that was dropped were the lowlights. He looked confused multiple times and at the end of the day, QB play like that against a team like NE makes a loss inevitable.


    -Jon Hilliman: 11 att / 38 yards – 2 rec / -3 yards. Hilliman got his second shot at carries with Barkley and Gallman out and, like last week, it did not go well. His fumble was scooped up for a defensive touchdown and he failed to make an impact otherwise. The all-22 tape showed cutback lanes on three of his carries that he simply didn’t see. Prime example of how important vision is for a back, as Barkley could have taken those 1-2 yard gains and turned them into something huge.


    -Golden Tate: 6 rec / 102 yards / 1 TD. Tate was targeted underneath and intermediate often but the one deep shot he got was turned into a 64-yard touchdown. A week after he subtly complained about not getting enough looks against MIN, he responded. His routes are a thing of beauty and once he, Shepard, and Engram are on the field at the same time, they will be a tough trio to cover on sub-3rd-and-7 situations.

    -Darius Slayton added 3 catches for 32 yards. He was targeted 8 times and if there is one positive to the offensive weapons being hurt, it is more playing time for the gifted Slayton. He was up against a guy who I think is the best CB in the league right now, Stephon Gilmore, a bunch in this one. Good for him to see how hard it is to get open in addition to competing for the ball when a guy like that is on you. Slayton showed some downfield acceleration that is going to be a weapon here once he gets more confident in his reads and routes. He did have a drop and there are some inconsistencies I see play to play, but he is going to be a difference-maker here.


    -Rhett Ellison: 3 rec / 30 yards. Ellison saw an uptick in snaps with Engram out. He gave NYG what he has been giving for a couple years now, limited ceiling across the board but reliability and consistentcy. NE squeezed running lanes from the outside a few times and it was partially the fault of Ellison who just couldn’t get a push as a blocker.


    -While a lot of the difficulties Jones experienced came from quality coverage by the NE back 7 and him simply holding onto the ball for too long, the line was still very shaky. Nate Solder and Mike Remmers each allowed 2 pressures in addition to poor run blocking. Their grades on a week-to-week basis are just above what Ereck Flowers was putting out. While their basements aren’t as low as Flowers was, they need to be more reliable. As much as I want NYG to get a premier pass rusher in next year’s draft, I think OT is going to be offseason priority number one.

    -Inside, Kevin Zeitler had a really good game, the top grade on the OL. Hard to always tell who is playing well when a team can’t get the running game going but he was a bright spot. Jon Halapio had another below average game, leaving just week 1 vs DAL where I came away impressed with his effort. Will Hernandez allowed a pressure and was flagged for a hold. One of the sacks could have been attributed to him as well but Jones should have gotten rid of the ball.


    -If there is one bright spot from this game and recent weeks, the edge play has steadily improved. Markus Golden had a half-sack. That makes 5-straight games with a sack for Golden and he now ranks sixth in the NFL with 5 this season. He also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery caused by a Lorenzo Carter sack, who also added 2 pressures. Carter is still the guy who makes a play every now and then that makes you dream. There is still hope regarding his upside.


    -Dalvin Tomlinson was a solid presence all night, turning in easily his top performance of the year, maybe even the past two years. He made a crucial 4th-and-1 stop on the NE opening drive. Dexter Lawrence remains active and disruptive. He had 5 tackles and a pressure. What’s most impressive lately are the amount of plays he is impacting away from the point-of-attack. He is getting to the sidelines, he is reaching receivers on screens and short passes. Just a really disruptive force on every level you can think of.

    -B.J. Hill put in another quiet night. While I don’t have any legit concerns with him, I do think the expectations got a little high on him because of a 5.5 sack rookie campaign. Just another example why the volume of sacks in one season shouldn’t be considered too heavily when evaluating a player. He is getting a lot of dirty-work done this year so it isn’t easy to see what he is doing well and what he isn’t, but the past two weeks haven’t been quality performances.


    -Huge games for both Alec Ogletree and David Mayo. Ogletree returned after missing time with a hamstring injury and led the team with 12 tackles / 1 sack / 1 TFL /1 pressure. He was all over the field, and like I said last week, having a real ILB in there makes a huge difference. While he is inconsistent, it was nice to see him out there filling lanes, getting off of blocks, and making plays after watching what we had to watch last week against MIN. Mayo also had 12 tackles along with a half-sack. He did get exposed multiple times in zone coverage, however, and he missed 2 tackles. Mayo played his heart out though and he is a really physical player.


    -Janoris Jenkins came out strong for the second week in a row, finishing with 3 tackles / 1 INT / 1 PD. He nearly returned his interception for a touchdown. As he has always been, Jenkins really is amazing with the ball in his hands. I wonder if it is worth trying to give him a touch or two in the return game.

    -Deandre Baker is getting more confident and it is easy to see from the all-22 angle. The balance looks better, there are less false steps, less recovery steps. He is also playing more physically and that is one of the best signs indicating the confidence is increasing. Confidence is not important for a cornerback, it is vital.

    -Grant Haley had 6 tackles, including 1 TFL. He is still having a hard time sticking to the better slot receivers. While a really good nickel is hard to find, NYG is going to have to try out a new body there at some point this season. Teams have been torching the middle of the field for far too long.


    -Jabrill Peppers had 10 tackles / 1 TFL / 1 pressure, but his most notable play was a missed tackle on 3rd down when the score was 14-14. This was the drive after NYG scored a defensive touchdown and the momentum was swinging to NYG. That missed tackle ended up being really costly, as NE scored a touchdown on this possession right before halftime.

    -Michael Thomas also missed a tackle on the play noted above. He finished with 6 tackles on the night, one too short. Antoine Bethea had a quiet game and wasn’t contested much, but still found his way to 6 tackles.


    -K Aldrick Rosas – No field goals attempted.

    -P Riley Dixon: 5 punts / 39.2 avg / 31.1 net. Second poor week in a row for Dixon.

    3 STUDS

    -LB Alec Ogletree, WR Golden Tate, CB Janoris Jenkins

    3 DUDS

    -QB Daniel Jones, RB Jon Hilliman, OC Jon Halapio


    1. Bill Belichick was hired by the Patriots in 2000. This may be the best defense he has put together over those 20 seasons. NE has never had the #1 ranked defense (yards allowed) but they have had two seasons where they allowed the fewest points. They currently rank #1 in both categories albeit against the easiest schedule in the NFL to date. Opponents aside, the defense, and more specifically the secondary, is in a league in its own right now. Combine that with the Belichick brain, they are going to be so difficult to beat this year.
    1. Are we finally starting to see Brady show signs of age? I’m not talking about athletically (he’s never been a good one), but his ball has less juice on it and it just seems the accuracy isn’t what it was a couple years ago. This was the fourth time I’ve seen him this year, and minus the cupcake schedule, he looks off.
    1. One of the most underrated reasons why NE remains competitive year after year is the play of their OL. It is such a rock-solid unit year after year and most fans can’t name 2 of their starters. I remember scouting all of their current starters and the one thing I can say about all of them – they are all gamers. They lack the ideal measurables, but they usually didn’t get beat one-on-one in college, they are blue-collar tough, and they all have high football IQs. The interior of Thuney-Karras-Mason were drafted rounds 3-6-4 respectively. Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon was drafted in the 5th round. They are smart guys who developed within the system. It’s worked out really well for New England.


    1. While NYG did have it tied up at 14, I’m not sure I understand the narrative that this was a good game. Yes, multiple offensive weapons were on the sideline for this one but NE didn’t play a clean game themselves. NYG was 2-of-10 on 3rd down, they were out-gained by 2:1 in total yardage, and they had a punt blocked. This was an all around ugly game.
    1. As I always say, I am slow to criticize coaching. There are far too many factors that I don’t have access to, but there are some simple game-management tactics that I just don’t think Shurmur is doing a good job with. The decision to not go for it on 4th-and-2 in the fourth quarter, down 14 points, was mind-numbing. That screams “unprepared” to me.
    1. I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves in regard to the 2020 NFL Draft, but you guys know most of my time right now is spent scouting that class. And I am going to say this right now… the WR talent coming into the league next year is ridiculous. I may have 10+ grades on receivers that are higher than anyone from the 2019 class. That is not an exaggeration. I think it is important NYG really finds out what they have in Slayton and Tate because there may be a talent that is very tough to pass on in the first 2 rounds next April.
    Oct 112019
    Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (October 10, 2019)

    Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

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    In a game that was closer than many expected for much of the contest, the New York Giants fell 35-14 to the New England Patriots on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants are now 2-4 on the season.

    New York’s defense kept the team in the game for most of the contest and also scored. On the other hand, New York’s special teams allowed a touchdown on a blocked punt and the offense turned the ball over four times, one resulting in a defensive score for the Patriots.

    New England’s first five offensive possessions resulted in a turnover on downs with nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson stuffing the run on 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1, a punt after a three-and-out, an interception by Janoris Jenkins that he returned 62 yards, and two more punts.

    But the Giants had even less success, with their first five possessions ending with three punts, and interception, and a blocked punt for a New England touchdown that gave them a 7-0 advantage late in the 1st quarter. After both teams exchanged punts early in the 2nd quarter, quarterback Daniel Jones threw his second interception, this one returned 27 yards to the New York 20-yard line. Five plays later, running back Brandon Bolden scored from one yard out on 3rd-and-goal to make it 14-0.

    The only points generated by the Giants’ offense on the night came on the ensuing drive. After New York had picked up 11 yards on two plays, Jones connected with wide receiver Golden Tate on a 64-yard touchdown pass – the first touchdown pass given up by New England this season. Even better, the Giants tied the game at 14-14 a few plays later when linebacker Lorenzo Carter sacked quarterback Tom Brady, forcing a fumble that linebacker Markus Golden recovered and returned for a 42-yard touchdown.

    New England responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive right before halftime that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Brady and a 21-14 lead at halftime. This was the only long scoring drive the defense gave up in the first half.

    Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter. Jones threw his third interception of the game on New York’s first drive of the half, turning the ball over at the New England 18-yard line. A clock-killing, 9-minute, 16-play, 60-yard drive by the Patriots ended with a missed 40-yard field goal. The quarter ended with another punt by Riley Dixon after one Giants’ first down.

    The 4th quarter began with the Patriots turning the ball over on downs on a 4th-and-5 incomplete pass. But then disaster struck for the Giants. On 3rd-and-9, running back Jon Hilliman fumbled the ball after a catch. The loose ball was recovered by the Patriots and returned 22 yards for a defensive score, giving New England a two touchdown advantage with just over eight and a half minutes to play.

    On the ensuing possession, the Giants faced a 4th-and-2 at their own 33-yard line with just over seven minutes to play. Head Coach Pat Shurmur decided to punt the ball away. Dixon’s punt only traveled 30 yards. And New England then went on to put the game away by driving 63 yards in seven plays, with Brady rushing for his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game.

    With the Patriots now up 35-14 with just under four minutes to play, New York could only gain one first down before turning the ball over on downs. The Patriots then ran out the clock.

    Minus three of their best offensive players, New York could only gain 10 first downs and 213 total net yards against the NFL’s #1 defense. Jones finished the game 15-of-31 for 161 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Sixty-four of his yards came on his touchdown throw to Tate, who finished the game with six catches for 102 yards. Giants’ backs only gained 52 yards on 16 carries. As stated, the offense turned the ball over four times.

    The Giants’ defense allowed 27 first downs and 427 total net yards, but they kept New York in the game, allowing only two long touchdown drives, one of which came late in the contest. Brady was picked off once (by Jenkins) and sacked three times, one leading to a defensive score. Aside from Carter, the other sacks were accrued by linebacker Alec Ogletree (1), linebacker David Mayo (0.5), and linebacker Markus Golden (0.5).

    Video highlights are available at

    RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), RB Wayne Gallman (concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), TE Evan Engram (knee), LB Tae Davis (concussion), OT Eric Smith, and OT/OG Chad Slade were inactive.

    Defensive lineman Olsen Pierre left the game with a concussion and did not return.

    Before the game, the New York Giants signed running back Austin Walter from their Practice Squad and terminated the contract of quarterback Alex Tanney.

    The 5’8”, 190-pound Walter was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The 49ers cut him in late August 2019 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad.

    Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Tennessee Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). The Giants signed him in May 2018 after he was cut by the Titans. He surprisingly won the team’s back-up quarterback job in 2018.

    Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at

    • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
    • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
    • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)

    Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media by conference call on Friday.