Nov 282023
Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants (November 26, 2023)

Jalin Hyatt – © USA TODAY Sports


-Tommy DeVito: 17/25 – 191 yards / 1 TD – 0 INT / 103.9 RAT

Add another level to DeVito’s ascending performances this season. Add another level to DeVito’s comfort and responsibility within this offense. And add another level of trust that DeVito has earned in the eyes of both coaches and fans. The fun ride continues and it feels like he (and the team) have found the exit inside a dark tunnel. That light is still far away but it has at least been located and the team is inching toward it. Without getting too ahead of ourselves, I just want to break down a few elements of his game that credibly mean something. One, his ability and confidence to progress through reads as he reads the coverage. His internal clock is improving with each week. Two, his release and accuracy on downfield passing are notable. He is comfortable and confident as he throws the deep ball. He hit Jalin Hyatt near the sideline for gains of 41, 29, and 22 yards. Zero hesitation, pinpoint placement, and repeatability. And last, footwork and ball fakes. DeVito’s mechanics for the position look outstanding. It does not mean everything, but it means something. Everything he is doing right now looks clean. An undrafted rookie who looks like this on a team that has been losing like this? Hard to remember seeing anything that resembles what he is doing in the league.


-Saquon Barkley: 12 att – 46 yards / 1 rec – 6 yards

40 of Barkley’s yards came in the first half on 8 carries. Two of those runs came in the first quarter that gained 33 yards. Overall, it was a quiet game for him with a congested point-of-attack and inconsistent run blocking inside. The big runs were to the right side where the crease was big enough and there long enough for him to burst through. Barkley had two negatives on the day – an allowed sack and a drop. Those show up too often.

-Matt Breida added 6 yards on 2 carries and a 10-yard gain in the passing game. He was on the field for just 10 snaps.


-One of the best traits DeVito has shown is the ability to spread the ball out to his pass catchers. He knows what his guys are good at, and he knows where to use them the most. Enter Jalin Hyatt. A career-game for the rookie who has been frustrating to watch for no reason other than lack of usage. He caught 5 passes for 109 yards. Three of them were explosive plays (20+ yards) and all three were high-level plays. I have been saying it since the beginning of the season, Hyatt has a few special traits that are hard to find together. We can see the speed and acceleration. But the plays on the ball he made near the boundary with the combination of coordination and footwork can make him a lethal weapon. And I mean, absolutely lethal. The move he put on J.C. Jackson after the catch was not something I expected to see either, as the short area change of direction and hip fluidity were a bit of an unknown with the ball in his hands.

-Wan’Dale Robinson was used underneath over and over, totaling 26 yards on 4 catches with one drop. The average depth of target was just 2.8 yards. That will often be the case. His usage (and frame) are similar to Zay Flowers from Baltimore (Flowers is a tier or two higher with what he can do downfield) in that you will often see games like this, an average-per-catch that looks like what you see out of a running back who had a good game on the ground. The explosive plays will come, though. Just wait.

-Isaiah Hodgins scored the lone touchdown of the game for NYG on a 12-yard pitch and catch where he used his pure strength on a stiff arm to finish off the play into the end zone. Sterling Shepard had a catch for 6 yards and a drop, and Parris Campbell caught one ball that resulted in a 2-yard loss.


-Daniel Bellinger played the majority of the snaps with Lawrence Cager occasionally showing up on the field. Mike Kafka used 11 personnel for most of the game. Bellinger caught his one target for 8 yards and performed as usual in blocking roles. He was solid in the trenches, but he struggled to get across the face of his man when he needed to cut off the backside. It caused a TFL on one play and a stop at the line of scrimmage on another.


-Left tackle Andrew Thomas is human after all. He allowed 1.5 sacks on plays where he lost the initial angle and was unable to recover. He usually shows enough lower body adjustment to put himself back into the right position to make a save, but it appears his anchor is not 100%. Even though it was not his best day, those truly were his only losses of the day.

-Tyre Phillips and Ben Bredeson were the ones who paved the way on the best running gains we saw on the afternoon. Bredeson also did a fine job as a pass blocker, albeit against a low-level group of interior pass rushers. This is where Phillips struggled. He allowed 1.5 sacks and 3 hurries. His lockout game is a difference maker as a run blocker because of his length and heaviness. But in pass protection, where swifter footwork is necessary and the ability to react is more important, this is where he struggles. He did receive help from the tight end on occasion and it made a big difference. Considering Bellinger is not much of a threat in the passing game, I do feel that this is a better role for him. Help out then run a short-delayed route for dump-offs.

-Rookie center John Michael Schmitz allowed a pressure and a TFL. I am seeing a repeated problem with his outside zone blocking. He gives a bit too much ground (in an effort to get more downhill momentum) but the guy he is assigned to beats him to the spot and out-leverages him, creating more lost ground. Combine the two and the running back is multiple yards behind the line of scrimmage when he has to make his first adjustment. Schmitz gets the job done when he does not need to move far from the starting point, but he continues to struggle when he gets further away from it.

-Justin Pugh allowed 2 pressures and a TFL as well. He was the one getting pushed around when NYG tried to run left and did not have success. He is the one getting displaced and even though he can recover well, the point still remains. He is not getting enough movement at the point-of-attack.


-As I have said in previous reviews, there are always things to keep an eye on when it comes to the team and future. This was the first game Kayvon Thibodeaux has been on the field without Dexter Lawrence. Leonard Williams was traded weeks ago. So how did Thibodeaux respond to being the one guy on this front who needed to be schemed against? He finished with 5 tackles, 2 TFL, a half-sack, and a forced fumble. I thought it was some of the best run defense we have seen out of him and the reaction speed to screens (which NE ran a ton of) was excellent. Combine that with what I read about his preparation + leadership shown during the week, and I would say that is nearly as good as you can expect for Thibodeaux without Lawrence on the field.

-Jihad Ward and Azeez Ojulari essentially split reps. While they don’t exactly play the same role and alignments, Ward was on the field for 40 snaps, Ojulari 38. Ward is the one who played the better of the two and it was by a sizable margin. He finished with 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks. One of those came on a 3rd down in the fourth quarter, a big play in a big moment. It is the first time Ward has had more than 1 sack in a game over his 8-year career. Ojulari had a QB hit early on, but was shut down the rest of the game again.

-Benton Whitley, just recently signed off the Vikings practice squad, played three snaps and made an impressive play on a pass break up. He’s bounced around a few different practice squads since 2021. He is a heavy-handed, vertical threat with the straight-line burst to put some pressure on a tackle. He will also factor on special teams.


-A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches were the starting interior defenders with Dexter Lawrence sitting out with a hamstring injury. Nothing against these two but what a difference it was to not have #97 in there. Robinson can hold his own and he plays an active game. He finished with 5 tackles and Nunez-Roches added one pressure.

-D.J. Davidson and Jordon Riley rotated in, and while they struggled to get off blocks in the passing game, I thought their stoutness against the run was solid. Where they currently struggle is shedding the blocks and making plays on the ball carrier. Riley missed two tackles.


-Bobby Okereke had another high-impact game. He had 8 tackles and added 3 pressures. He missed a tackle on a play that would have resulted in a sack. Mac Jones threw an interception right to him. He took possession of the ball inside the red zone and returned it 55 yards giving NYG the ball on the NE 26-yard line. This is the drive they ended up scoring the lone touchdown, further strengthening how big of a play it was.

-Micah McFadden added 6 tackles (with one miss), including one TFL on a play where he read the screen in a blink of an eye and broke on the receiver instantly.

-Isaiah Simmons had 2 tackles and a miss on a third down that resulted in a first down. His untouched pressure led to the Okereke interception. When McFadden missed a few snaps with a hand injury suffered by friendly fire, Simmons played the inside linebacker role. I noticed there and other alignments as well that he is simply late. That is the way to describe his game. Big-time athlete who can do a lot – but he is almost always late. Late to recognize, late to see, late to react.


-Adoree’ Jackson returned and remained outside with Deonte Banks on the other side and Cor’Dale Flott in the slot. I’ve always felt this has needed to be their trio of starters at the position. Jackson did miss two tackles, but he was steady in downfield coverage. Banks intercepted a pass in the first quarter near the sideline. Nice catch, good awareness and read. Banks has cleaned up some of his footwork in zone coverage and it is encouraging to see him advance throughout his rookie year. He had to offer a public apology for, you guessed it, a social media mistake. That really isn’t worth addressing here but I am glad he came out and played a solid game with a big play in a defensive battle. Banks does need to shore up some of his run-defense habits. They are borderline atrocious.


-Xavier McKinney is on a hot streak and it hit the climax on one of the better interceptions you are going to see a safety make in this league. It was a thing of beauty – the way he tricked Mac Jones into thinking he was dropping deep, knowing the route concept, breaking back down at the exact right moment so Jones had no idea, and then finishing the play off by coming down with the ball. Oh, and he led the team with 10 tackles and broke up another pass. While he was not perfect in coverage, he kept things in front of him and showed a good feel for what the Patriots were doing.

-Jason Pinnock played all 68 snaps and added 6 tackles, 1 of which went for a loss. With the number of screens and quick passes New England used, Pinnock did a nice job of getting to the action and disrupting. That quick trigger means a lot for this defense and even though he finds himself on the wrong side of blocks at times, he is getting the job done.


-K Randy Bullock: 1/1 (Made 42)
-P Jamie Gillan: 8 Punts / 45.4 avg – 40.3 net


-S Xavier McKinney, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, WR Jalin Hyatt


-OT Tyre Phillips, EDGE Azeez Ojulari, RB Saquon Barkley


(1) Mac Jones is up there with the worst starting quarterbacks in the league. While the situation around him leaves much to be desired, it is hard to see where the future is. From my summary in 2021: “The upside is where I lose it a bit with him. He will be solid, but I don’t ever see him being great”. Remember this was after an all-time season with Alabama and there were rumors San Francisco was going to take him #3 overall (they opted for Trey Lance). He’s been yanked multiple times, he has gone backwards after a solid rookie season, and there simply isn’t anything to his game that stands out in a league where you need to have a trait or two that stand out.

(2) There is smoke surrounding Head Coach Bill Belichick. He’s been there since 2000 (the year Kerry Collins led NYG to the Super Bowl, Ron Dayne’s rookie season). He is 264-117 as the Head Coach for NE and he’s won 6 Super Bowls and 9 AFC Championships. But this team has gone 27-34 since Tom Brady left town. He has made several odd, head-scratching decisions involving the offense,  including operating without a true offensive coordinator in 2022, cutting Bailey Zappe in the preseason, and playing games with Jones’ status as the starter. Add in some odd draft decisions on that side of the ball that would have been harshly lambasted in any other city and it appears to be time. Would that be the end? Or does the 71-year old get another crack with a win-now team? Looking at you, Chargers.

(3) There is a good chance New England winds up with the first or second pick of the draft. Because they currently have no hope at quarterback and a pretty awful roster (especially on offense), one has to think they will press the restart button and draft one of the top 3 quarterbacks: Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels. Does Robert Kraft bring back someone he loves in Josh McDaniels (for a third time)? Or does he go after the hottest name in the league in Bobby Johnson from Detroit? NYG fans should want that because you don’t want him calling the shots in Washington.


(1) The Giants head to their bye week with a 4-8 record (somewhat still in playoff contention by the way) before the final five games on the schedule. They have two matchups against the Eagles and three games against 5-6 teams (Packers, Saints, Rams). Three of the five are at home. Take away your desire for a high draft pick for a moment. What do you want to see out of this team? What can they use over those five games to help build the future? First of all, it is DeVito or bust the rest of the way. Each game that comes is another opportunity to answer a key question for the 2024 season. Who is the backup quarterback moving forward? Tyrod Taylor can come back to be second string, a nice security blanket. But DeVito has played better. He simply presents more upside and carries some unknowns with him. We know what Taylor is. That is the component that needs to be figured out.

(2) I’m not sure if “turnaround” is the right word for where the Giants are right now since their November 12th 49-17 loss in Dallas. But they have won two in a row and are +13 in turnover margin since week five. By the way, that ranks NUMBER ONE in the NFL. It is the BIGGEST margin of any 8-game span in the league all year. Yes, since October 8, NYG leads the NFL in turnover margin, one of the most sure-fire stats to impact wins and losses. Criticize the coaching staff all you want, but the truth is, they have steadied the ship. On both sides of the ball.

(3) The offensive line cannot be considered a strength, but like the team overall, it has become a reliable-at-times unit. Andrew Thomas being on the field means a ton. It cannot be understated. But watching them on tape, the unit simply looks cleaner. The first half of the season was full of defenders getting free runs to the backfield. We had blockers running into each other. And we had whiff after whiff. It is clear NYG will need to add a body or two in the offseason, that fact will not change. But can any of these guys be brought back to provide depth? Possibly even a starter spot? Chemistry means a lot and we cannot just assume they can fill these spots with a rookie or journeyman free agent. I do not believe spending big will be in their budget plans.

Nov 262023
Jason Pinnock, New York Giants (November 26, 2023)

Jason Pinnock celebrates – © USA TODAY Sports

In an ugly football game played by two bad football teams, the New York Giants prevailed 10-7 against the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 4-8.

Like last week’s game against the Washington Commanders, the Giants came up on top because of turnovers. New York won the turnover battle three to one, with two interceptions setting up both scores by the Giants. The game was secured when the Patriots missed a 35-yard field goal with three seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime.

Overall, New England out-gained the Giants in first downs (18 to 10), total net yards (283 to 220), net yards rushing (147 to 58), and time of possession (34:06 to 25:54). The Giants did pass for more net yards (162 to 136).

The Giants and Patriots each had seven first-half possessions. The results:

  • Giants: Fumble, punt, punt, punt, punt, touchdown, punt.
  • Patriots: Punt, punt, interception, punt, interception, punt, end of half.

The Giants actually drove deep into Patriots’ territory on their first possession, with quarterback Tommy DeVito throwing a 29-yard deep pass to wide receiver Jalin Hyatt. But two plays later, New York fumbled the ball away at the New England 26-yard line. After four consecutive punts, cornerback Deonte Banks intercepted a deep pass from quarterback Mac Jones at the New York 43-yard line near the end of the 1st quarter. However, following a 19-yard run by running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants were halted again and punted.

After the Patriots and Giants exchanged two more punts, inside linebacker Bobby Okereke intercepted Jones at the New York 19-yard line and returned the interception 55 yards to the New England 26-yard line. DeVito threw a 12-yard pass to Hyatt on 3rd-and-8 to the 12-yard line. Then on 3rd-and-10, DeVito found wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins for the 12-yard catch-and-run for the score.

Both teams exchanged punts again in the final two minutes of the first half. At the break, the Giants led 7-0.

The Patriots benched Mac Jones at halftime with Bailey Zappe now playing at quarterback to start the 3rd quarter. New England proceeded to tie the game on their first possession of the second half, driving 60 yards in 11 plays, including a 4th-and-1 conversion. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson scored from seven yards out.

In the first half, the New York offense generated eight first downs and 155 yards of offense. In the second half, the Giants only managed two more first downs and 65 more yards, with 20 of those wiped out due to penalties. Not counting the final kneel down, the Giants had four possessions with three ending in punts. The second and last “scoring drive” was a 7-play, 8-yard possession that resulted in a 42-yard field goal by kicker Randy Bullock after an interception by safety Xavier McKinney. The Giants went ahead 10-7 with just over eight minutes to play.

Both the Patriots and Giants exchanged punts before the Patriots had one final chance to tie or win the game. Starting at midfield, New England kept the drive alive by converting on 4th-and-4. Then a 13-yard run by Stevenson reached the New York 22-yard line. The Patriots gained five more yards on the next three plays, setting up a game-tying, 35-yard field goal attempt. However, kicker Chad Ryland missed wide left with three seconds to play. Giants win.

DeVito completed 17-of-25 passes for 191 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He was sacked six times. His leading target was Hyatt who caught five passes for 109 yards. Barkley was held to 46 yards on 12 carries.

Playing without nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, the defense held the Patriots to just 283 yards, but surrendered another 147 yards on the ground. The Giants intercepted three passes and generated two sacks (1.5 by linebacker Jihad Ward and 0.5 by linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux). McKinney was credited with 10 tackles, two pass defenses, and one interception. Okereke had eight tackles, two passes defenses, and an interception.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants activated RB Eric Gray off of Injured Reserve. Gray was placed on IR last month with a calf injury.

Inactive for the game were RT Evan Neal (ankle), NT Dexter Lawrence (hamstring), RB Jashaun Corbin, OLB Boogie Basham, and S Gervarrius Owens.

DL Jordon Riley (finer) and ILB Carter Coughlin (hip) left the game with injuries.

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

General Manager Joe Schoen, Head Coach Brian Daboll, and select players will address the media on Monday.

Nov 242023
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (November 19, 2023)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

As addressed previously, we’re in a weird dynamic right now where the games are a distant secondary to the upcoming offseason. This has pretty much been the case ever since the Giants lost heartbreakers to the Bills and Jets in Weeks 6 and 8, respectively. So now the Giants stand at 3-8, with two of the team’s three wins coming against the Washington Commanders. What makes matters even more depressing is that the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys continue to demonstrate on a weekly basis the huge gap that lies between them and the New York Giants. The Cowboys have already swept the Giants by a combined score of 89-17. The annual bitch-slapping by the Eagles will occur in Weeks 16 and 18.

Giants vs. Patriots? It used to have a special meaning. But those days are long gone.


  • RB Eric Gray (ankle – questionable)
  • WR Darius Slayton (neck – doubtful)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (hip – probable)
  • OC John Michael Schmitz (finger – probable)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (knee – probable)
  • RT Evan Neal (ankle – out)
  • OT Tyre Phillips (knee – probable)
  • NT Dexter Lawrence (hamstring – doubtful)
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson (back – probable)
  • ILB Bobby Okereke (hip/rib – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (concussion – probable)
  • CB Tre Hawkins (shoulder – probable)
  • S Bobby McCain (illness – probable)

Despite the team’s record, these remaining games are important for many players, and one of those guys is Tommy DeVito. Midnight may be approaching for the Cinderella story, undrafted rookie free agent who won “Rookie of the Week” honors for his performance against Washington. Instead of throwing three touchdowns this weekend, he is just as likely to throw three interceptions. But the Jersey kid seems to be having fun and making the most out of his opportunity. Despite being sacked nine times last week, DeVito did something Daniel Jones has not been able to do in four years, that is, throw three touchdown passes in one game. Now he has six touchdowns on the season. Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor have combined for four. What if DeVito has another strong performance? Do the Giants stick with him after the upcoming bye week, or does Daboll turn back to Taylor, if the latter is healthy? DeVito could make the decision easy or difficult for Daboll based on how he plays against the Patriots.

DeVito and the offense had a 24-point “explosion” against the 29th-ranked defense last weekend. The 16th-ranked Patriots will be a tougher test, especially given their top-10 run defense. Bill Belichick has a knack for taking away the opposing team’s best offensive threat so I anticipate him focusing the defense’s complete attention on Saquon Barkley as a runner and receiver (Barkley is coming off an impact game as a receiver). I also expect him to do a better job of confusing the rookie quarterback by more effectively disguising his coverages. Can DeVito and the coaching staff adjust? Complicating matters is that another favorite target for DeVito, Darius Slayton, appears to be battling a stinger injury.

The book on DeVito coming out of school was a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. His emphasis on looking for bigger chunk plays down the field paid off against Washington and stood in stark contrast to Daniel Jones, but it also led to nine sacks. Another day like that and DeVito has a good chance of getting hurt with Matt Barkley entering the game. While I am dying to see DeVito take a couple of deep shots to Jalin Hyatt, he also needs to use the short passing game more when coverage and/or the pass rush dictates that response.

Speaking of pass rush, the Giants’ offensive line continues to disappoint. While not all of the nine sacks were on them, it’s astounding that a team that was winning the turnover battle 5-0 had to rely on the sixth turnover to seal the victory. The nine sacks and shoddy first-half run blocking were a big reason why. Andrew Thomas, despite playing injured, is still clearly the best OL on the team. John Michael Schmitz is battling injuries and still learning on the job. Justin Pugh, Ben Bredeson, and Tyre Phillips are not playing well and likely are not NFL-calibre starting material. I find the decision to start Pugh over Glowinski more than a tad curious. I also wonder if Schmitz wasn’t so green that we might be seeing more of Marcus McKethan, but the coaches have already alluded to the benefits of Schmitz being flanked by two veterans. Regardless, the offensive line ONCE AGAIN needs massive work in the offseason. Evan Neal’s wasted year has been devastating.

Assuming the Patriots take Barkley out of the game, someone else needs to step up. Wan’Dale Robinson? Daniel Bellinger? Jalin Hyatt? Will anyone answer the bell?

One last item to note. With the bye coming up after this game, the Giants may be getting some reinforcements back in December such as Tyrod Taylor, Darren Waller, and Evan Neal.

The defense’s six turnovers won the game for the Giants last week. But that was clearly an anomaly. What is absolutely driving me nuts is Wink Martindale’s horrific run defense. I don’t get it. With the Ravens, in a very tough division, his run defenses were ranked 4th, 5th, 8th, and 1st the four years he was defensive coordinator. With the Giants? 27th and 28th. 2022 made more sense given the lack of quality and injury issues on the defensive line and inside linebacker. What’s the excuse this season? Wink’s defense is allowing 135 rushing yards per game. It just gave up 174 rushing yards to the Commanders. You can’t win consistently allowing these kind of numbers, and this is happening with arguably the best nose tackle in the game and an inside linebacker who is near the league-lead in tackles. It doesn’t make sense. I’d prefer the Giants to not change defensive coordinators this upcoming offseason, but Wink has a lot of explaining to do.

On the flip side, I was impressed at how well the Giants rushed the passer last week. I’ve harped on this for a couple of weeks, but the departure of Leonard Williams really hurt the team’s ability to get after the quarterback. The Giants’ two best pass rushers right now are Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence. Opposing teams know it and concentrate the blocking on these two as no one else is picking up the slack. Azeez Ojulari has returned from injury, but thus far, he has been a complete non-factor. Don’t be shocked when the pass rush completely disappears against better offensive lines. The Giants don’t have the numbers to make other teams really sweat. It’s why as much as the Giants need to address quarterback and the offensive line in the offseason, pass rush is right up there too.

As for the Patriots, they are struggling this year because their quarterback play has been awful. It’s not clear who will even start against the Giants and we may see multiple quarterbacks play in the game. The Patriots are also not rushing the ball well, being limited to less than 95 yards per game. However, if Dexter Lawrence does not play or is limited, things could get really ugly in terms of the run defense and pass rush.

I do think the Giants signing developmental prospect Cade York off of Tennessee’s Practice Squad a few weeks ago was a bit of a red flag. While York was waived this week and re-signed to the Practice Squad, his presence in addition to the signing of Randy Bullock makes me wonder if Graham Gano’s knee injury has the Giants concerned beyond 2023. That would be bad news, not only because Gano is one of the NFL’s best, but because the Giants had just re-signed him to a 3-year, $16.5 million contract. This is something to note moving forward.

The special teams finally contributed on the field last week with a forced fumble that was recovered by the Giants. This is the type of play I talked about last week that was missing. Good job.

I find myself rooting for the Giants but worrying about losing draft position. I can’t help it. I know we still need that quarterback. The Patriots do too. So you can see where my mind is going here. Is a win really a win? Is a loss really a loss?

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.