Jonathan Casillas – © USA TODAY Sports Images
MIAMI DOLPHINS 27 – NEW YORK GIANTS 10…
The Ben McAdoo era began with a 27-10 preseason defeat at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Friday night. McAdoo decided not to play quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham. Quarterback Ryan Nassib struggled in Eli’s place. But the starting defense played well and the offense did just enough to help New York take a 10-0 advantage in the first quarter. However, aided by four turnovers, the Dolphins scored 27 unanswered points to win an unexciting contest.
The Giants drove 74 yards in nine plays on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. The drive was highlighted by a 19-yard run by running back Shane Vereen and a diving 24-yard catch by rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-6. Two plays later, running back Rashad Jennings scored from three yards out. The Giants were fortunate, however, in that Miami was flagged with two costly penalties on this drive, including a botched shotgun snap on 3rd-and-11.
Meanwhile, the Giants defense did not allow a first down on Miami’s first five offensive possessions. The defense stopped the run and pressured the quarterback. Late in the 1st quarter, linebacker Jonathan Casillas intercepted quarterback Matt Moore at the Dolphins 30-yard line and returned it to the 11-yard line. Despite setting up a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Giants offense could not punch it in and New York settled for a 20-yard field goal to go up 10-0.
The failure to score from the 1-yard line was a bad omen. After the first drive where the Giants gained five first downs, the team did not gain more than one first down on any drive for the remainder of the game. In their final 13 possessions, the Giants gained seven first downs. Nassib was dreadful, only completing 7-of-15 passes for 75 yards. Two of his his deep throws were underthrown and intercepted. He also carelessly fumbled the ball away, setting up the Dolphins at the Giants 5-yard line. Nassib was lucky a couple of other throws were not picked off.
Nassib’s three turnovers led to 17 second quarter points by the Dolphins, one touchdown coming off of a fluke 51-yard pass where the intended receiver tipped the ball to another receiver who scored. In the second half, the Dolphins scored again on a short field after a fumble by running back Paul Perkins at New York’s 25-yard line.
New York finished the game with only 69 net yards passing (the Dolphins had 192). The Giants did out-rush the Dolphins 158 to 104. The second- and third-team players on the Giants offensive line struggled.
Some defensive highlights included:
- Two quarterback hits by DE Olivier Vernon.
- Three quarterback hits and two sacks by DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
- One sack by DE Stansly Maponga.
- An active game – including four tackles – by DE Romeo Okwara.
- Four tackles and one sack by DT Greg Milhouse.
- Seven tackles and two tackles for a loss by LB B.J. Goodson.
- An aggressive game by CB Eli Apple, including a solid tackle short of the sticks.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.
Not playing were WR Victor Cruz (groin), DE Kerry Wynn (groin), LB Keenan Robinson (groin), LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring/PUP), and DT Jay Bromley (ankle/PUP).
CB Eli Apple (lower leg strain), WR Sterling Shepard (groin strain), WR Geremy Davis (hamstring), and TE Will Johnson (burner) all left the game and did not return.
Head Coach Ben McAdoo did not think the injuries to Apple, Shepard, or Davis were serious.
“I’m feeling fine,” said Apple. “It’s just a lower leg strain, it’s gonna be fine.”
“I feel good,” said Shepard. “It’s just sore from practice, but it’s all good now.”
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com: