Aug 292022
 
Share Button
Austin Calitro, New York Giants (August 28, 2022)

Austin Calitro – © USA TODAY Sports

QUICK RECAP

The NFL’s decision to knock the four-game preseason schedule down to three a year ago is easily one of the best they’ve made under Roger Goodell. The next time we watch NYG football, we will be in the regular season. The fact they get the extra week of preparation and recovery time is another feather in the cap. Before NYG moved onto TEN, they first had to face off against the cross-town rival New York Jets just three days following their joint practice together. Most of the NYG starters did not step on the field after the team warm-up period and Jets Coach Robert Saleh opted to give his ones some snaps in the first half. To each their own.

The Jets, led by their likely Week 1 starter, 37-year-old Joe Flacco, put together a solid drive to start off the game. On a 3rd-and-10 short pass to running back Michael Carter, the second-year back made it to the sticks, but rookie linebacker Micah McFadden knocked the ball loose, which was recovered by fellow linebacker Austin Calitro. NYG responded with a 3-and-out, but at least it allowed the field position battle to go back into NYG’s favor somewhat. The two offenses traded scoreless possessions before Greg Zuerlein nailed a 49-yard field goal through the uprights to make it 3-0.

Ryan Santoso, signed as Graham Gano recovers from a concussion, hit a 36-yard field goal on the ensuing drive as the second quarter got under way. Calitro then took part in his second takeaway of the game, this time an interception from Flacco, and turned it into six points as he made his way into the end zone. Talk about an ascent from camp body / special teamer to a guy that who proven he should be a part of the ILB rotation.

Backup QB Mike White came in for NYJ and engineered a touchdown-scoring drive that ended on a pass to Braxton Berrios, a big part of the NYJ offense and special teams. After two scoreless drives by NYG, White led the offense on a 2-minute drill with just 1:06 remaining from their own 35-yard line. It took just under :40 of game clock to get another touchdown on the board, this time a pass to Calvin Jackson on a 19-yard play. NYJ went into the half with a 17-10 lead after scoring 14 straight points.

Up until the start of the second half, NYG felt a little overmatched in terms of who they were putting on the field vs. what NYJ’s approach was. Once the third quarter began, however, the teams were playing on an even playing field. 2nd, 3rd, 4th stringers hoping for a spot on the roster, practice squad, and/or another team. Davis Webb, who came in the game earlier than expected because of a Tyrod Taylor injury, led the team on a beautiful drive to start it off. 12 plays, 75 yards, two third-down conversions, and one on fourth down eventually led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Jashaun Corbin.

Then on the opening play of the fourth quarter, Webb found rookie tight end Austin Allen for an 18-yard score and NYG was back on top by seven. The two teams traded 3-and-outs before Chris Streveler, who has been the catalyst to some highlight-reel late game plays for the Jets in the preseason, threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Denzel Mims. Mims, a 2020 second-round pick who has recently requested a trade, went off in what may have been his final action in a Jets uniform.

With the game tied up at 24, Santoso came back on the field and hit a 49-yard field goal just over 2:00 remaining. Streveler engineered yet another fourth-quarter drive that resulted in a touchdown, this one on a pass Calvin Jackson again (his second of the day). NYG was down four with under :30 left. Webb did have a shot at the end zone on a late Hail Mary pass, but it fell to the ground. Preseason over.

NYG loses, 31-27.

QUARTERBACK

-Tyrod Taylor was injured on the 9th play of the game. He took a brutal hit from rookie freight train Michael Clemons. He was on the sideline afterward. My guess, without seeing an update at the time of this writing, was a back injury that will not be serious.

-Davis Webb: 30/38 – 202 yards / 1 TD – 0 INT / 97.6 RAT

Webb essentially played the entire game with Taylor coming out early on. He capped off an incredible preseason. Tell you what, if this was a rookie that had been putting him these kinds of numbers, the excitement generated would have broken the NYG internet. Even though most of his action has been against backups and players who will be cut, he did what he was supposed to do. Webb got the ball out fast, he knew where to go with the ball, and he set up his receivers well for after-catch yardage. The funny thing? I think he should be cut and signed to the practice squad. How come? I don’t want to use a 53-man roster spot on him, and I don’t think an opposing team will scoop him up for their own active roster. I am impressed with Webb this time around, much more so than his first time with the Giants. His arm angles are changing, he is throwing better balls, and he appears to be comfortable with the speed and urgency one needs at QB.

RUNNING BACK

-Jashaun Corbin was the most used back. He carried the ball 6 times for 23 yards and a touchdown in addition to catching all 5 targets for 33 yards, most of which came after the catch. Corbin showed enough for a practice squad spot. His best trait stems from balance, body control, and lower body strength which created several missed tackles.

-Gary Brightwell, Antonio Williams, Matt Breida, and Sandro Platzgummer split the remaining snaps. Williams fumbled but it was recovered by NYG. Platzgummer had a 15-yard catch. This position group will not carry a fullback as of right now, so it could enable the team to keep five running backs. This will be interesting to watch. I lean toward keeping four on the 53-man roster with both Corbin and Platzgummer on the PS. If they need an extra PS spot, the latter gets the boot.

WIDE RECEIVER

-It was interesting to me that David Sills, Darius Slayton, and Richie James all played under 15 snaps. From the outside, it looks like this position group is very much up in the air and this game could have been the final piece of information needed for the tough decisions. Slayton is likely to be traded, thus it made sense to keep him off of the field. But seeing Sills and James stay on the sideline tells me those two are definites for the 53.

-Alex Bachman, an easy guy to root for but may not have a spot open for the roles he fills on an offense, led the team with 6 catches for just 27 yards.

-Wan’Dale Robinson had a catch for 4 yards and a carry on a reverse that gained 11 yards. Three preseason games and we finally got to see a successful gadget play for the rookie who I do think will be a big part of the offense. Jaylon Moore had a drop and will likely join Keelan Doss and Travis Toivonen on the cut-list by the time this is published. Impressive one-handed catch by Toivonen, but he was only brought in to take up snaps, not compete for a job.

TIGHT END

-Rookies Daniel Bellinger and Austin Allen both caught all of their targets for a combined 77 yards (7 rec). Allen had his best game the preseason, hauling in a 18-yard touchdown, showing excellent ball skills near the sideline. The height really is something, there aren’t many who measure in like him and he does have accurate hands + timing.

-I still believe this will be the position group that adds someone who shakes free over the next 24-48 hours. There are plenty of teams with over-crowded tight end rooms. BAL, BUF, DEN to name a few that I have been keeping my eye on. Bellinger is the only one who I feel has a very secure hold on a roster spot.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-Daboll smartly held most of the starters out of this one despite NYJ marching out their starting group of talented defensive linemen. It did produce some muddy action early on, but it was good to see who could hold their own. Devery Hamilton did allow a TFL but otherwise played a very solid game. His lack of a power game got him walked back a bit but he stays connected to the defender and he can move his feet in a hurry. He is going to be an important 6th-7th lineman this season.

-The two worst grades of the day were Will Holden and Eric Smith. Both were added after training camp began and I had positive remarks about both from separate practices. They were roasted in this game. Smith allowed 3 pressures and was abused by Bryce Huff (an EDGE who I like a lot). Holden was flagged for a false start and allowed 2 pressures. Both get good initial contact, but the reaction time and sustainability were poor. I suspect both will be gone.

-Jamil Douglas and Max Garcia are veterans with starting experience. There is some value in that, but don’t overreact to it. I think there is a shot Daboll keeps both for the 53-man roster if Lemieux is out for extended time. If I had to choose between the two, I would go with Douglas. He did allow a sack and a pressure in this one but graded out much higher than Garcia in the running game.

-Josh Rivas allowed 2 pressures but was effective in the running game. He is not ready for pro ball but he is worth a PS spot.

EDGE

-Jihad Ward is an interesting guy. Just about 10% of his 1-year deal is guaranteed. The team could save $1 million by cutting him loose. Not that they are going to be in need of the money, I struggle to see the role for him here. The multi-front scheme and Martindale’s experience with him should land him a spot, but I do think this defense will not need him at edge. I also think keeping Ryder Anderson is essential. Looking at the numbers along this DL, Ward would be my choice to cut loose. He played 16 snaps and besides setting the edge, he does not offer much.

-Oshane Ximines will likely keep his spot unless Kayvon Thibodeaux, Elerson Smith, and Azeez Ojulari all come back healthy and ready for Week 1. Will be interesting to watch. We have seen him play a lot of football here and his performance against NYJ was more of the same. Some physical play against the inside run, but inconsistent setting the edge, feeling blocks, and rushing the passer despite seeing 39 snaps.

-Quincy Roche and Tomon Fox both had quiet games even though they saw a lot of time. The pass rush was very poor in this one with neither of these guys stepping up. Fox is destined for the PS and Roche is the one I would keep around over the two names mentioned above. Martindale may not see enough size, however.

DEFENSIVE LINE

-David Moa and rookie D.J. Davidson both played a solid game, finishing with 4 tackles and stuffing inside running lanes. This regime just brought in Davidson; they did not bring in Moa. Those are the two strong reasons why I think the former will stick around with Justin Ellis and Dexter Lawrence inside. Ellis played some in the first half, making 2 tackles including one on a screen that brought him all the way outside the numbers. Impressive short area burst.

-Ryder Anderson made a tackle at the line of scrimmage and missed a TFL by inches. His tool set, combined with nifty hand work to get off blocks, is impressive. He needs to finish on the 53-man roster if you’re asking me. I would keep him over Jalyn Holmes, Jihad Ward, and Nick Williams without hesitation if it were up to me.

LINEBACKER

-Blake Martinez and Tae Crowder saw some action early. They are the unquestioned leaders for starting positions in this defense.

-Micah McFadden and Austin Calitro saw most of the snaps otherwise. They were all over the field and combined for 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, and 1 INT. If you don’t have the time to watch other teams trust me on this: Martindale creates production from linebackers as well as any defensive coordinator in the league. 1st rounders, UDFAs, veterans who have been cut. They all do well under him, and he knows how to find the right fit. Calitro and McFadden do tend to get burned to the sideline and may not impact the opposing passing game, but these two are tacklers. They excelled between the tackles, and they blitz well. This is a solid quartet of inside linebackers.

-With that said, I think Carter Coughlin’s spot is in jeopardy as Cam Brown will be kept around for special teams. Coughlin did add a pressure in this game, but the past regime drafted him, he was hurt for most of camp, and there isn’t much he does better than any of the others to put it simply.

CORNERBACK

-Maybe the most hectic position on the team in terms of who is sticking around and where they fall on the depth chart. Again, this is a VERY important position in the Martindale scheme. Zyon Gilbert and Olaijah Griffin missed tackles and were beat in coverage multiple times. Khalil Dorsey was flagged for a pass interference that led to a NYJ touchdown late in the game and Harrison Hand allowed a touchdown. It was a rough day for the roster hopefuls.

-Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, and Aaron Robinson are the top three, no question. The former two did not play and Robinson finished with 3 tackles and a PD to go along with a missed tackle. Cor’Dale Flott was just drafted, and Rodarius Williams is a second-year player who fits the scheme well. I believe it will be Darren Evans who sticks while the others are cut loose or put on the PS. Remember, Julian Love can play the nickel if needed.

SAFETY

-Nate Meadors was the only defender to play every snap. He led the team with 12 tackles and had an interception negated by a Griffin pass interference. He may have played his way into a PS spot, but I don’t see room for him on the 53-man roster even with rookie Dane Belton recovering from a collar bone injury. Trenton Thompson, however, continued to flash against the run. He pursues well and tackles well in space. He had 4 tackles total and will be a key special teamer.

-Yusuf Corker was cut while I started writing this. He will end up on the PS unless another team wants to bring him onto their 53, which is possible. He was very sought after following the NFL Draft. He finished with 5 tackles, but missed 2 others. That was a problem for him in college.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Ryan Santoso: 2/2 (made 36, 49)
-P Jamie Gillian: 5 punts / 55.6 avg – 44.8 net

3 STUDS

-LB Austin Calitro, QB Davis Webb, RB Jashaun Corbin

3 DUDS

-OT Will Holden, OT Eric Smith, CB Olajiah Griffin

3 THOUGHTS ON NYJ

1. I admire General Manager Joe Douglas from afar as much as any GM in the league. While his regime may fully rest on the shoulders of Zach Wilson, his approach to building a roster from the trenches is a breath of fresh air. I think this team will be competitive this season, right around .500, and playing meaningful football in December. The biggest reason is what they have along the OL and DL. Free agent signings, draft picks, waiver adds, and financial commitments have been spot on here. I think they are going to get multiple trade offers for their DL.

2. Rookie Michael Clemons (the one that hurt Taylor) is a guy you can’t help but stare at both in person and on film. He is massive, he plays angry and powerful, and he has first round-caliber plays here and there. There are some character issues here but if this coaching staff keeps him dialed in, he will be an impact player on this team. He wins with hustle and power more than quickness and burst, but this scheme can use that better than others.

3. Is there a template NYG can take from NYJ when it comes to roster building? The one thing I take is very macro-level. And it is the fact that the GM and Head Coach speak the same language, they have the same vision, and they want to build the roster a specific way. Time will tell if Daboll and Schoen are on the same page, but many signs point toward that being the case. That alone is a major positive this franchise has seemed to miss out on since the Coughlin-era.

3 THOUGHTS ON NYG

1. The more we see this offense operate under Kafka/Daboll, the more I am confident they will get the ball out faster than we have seen possibly ever. While the best offenses can do both, this will help cancel many of the negative plays. Even the urgency Daboll wants from his running backs will add to this positive difference. Step one to fixing that side of the ball is getting rid of plays where the chains go backward. I am very confident we will see that in 2022.

2. Speaking of the offense and Kafka/Daboll, I am curious who they will choose to call plays. Daboll was the play-caller in BUF and he does not need to manage much (if anything) defensively. I would feel better about him calling the plays this season. Allow Kafka to take in more from a game-planning and observation role to pick up any differences / similarities to what he saw in KC with Andy Reid, the best offensive mind in football.

3. NYG was put through the wringer with injuries throughout the first half of camp and preseason. It does seem they are in a good enough spot for the start of the season though. The OL injuries appear very minor, Thibodeaux should be ready by Week 3 at the absolute latest, the best defensive players are a full-go, and the receivers + Barkley are ready to rock. All in all, things appear just fine on the injury front.

EXTRA

Below is my 53-man roster projection with a TE waiver claim. This is SO fluid with cuts from other teams and the injury situations (couple of these guys could be put in IR and come back in October), but based on my time watching the game films and multiple practices, here it is:

QB(2)

Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor

RB(4)

Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Antonio Williams, Gary Brightwell

WR(6)

Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson, David Sills V, Richie James

TE(3)

Daniel Bellinger, Chris Myarick, Waiver Pick-Up*

OL(10)

Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal, Devery Hamilton, Joshua Ezeudu, Ben Bredeson, Jamil Douglas, Max Garcia

EDGE (5)

Jihad Ward, Azeez Ojulari, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Elerson Smith, Quincy Roche

DL (5)

Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Justin Ellis, Ryder Anderson, DJ Davidson

ILB (5)

Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder, Micah McFadden, Austin Calitro, Cam Brown

CB (6)

Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson, Cor’Dale Flott, Rodarius Williams, Darren Evans

S (4)

Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, Trenton Thompson, Dane Belton

SPT (3)

-Graham Gano, Jamie Gillian, Casey Kreiter

Aug 282022
 
Share Button
Austin Allen, New York Giants (August 28, 2022)

Austin Allen – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK JETS 31 – NEW YORK GIANTS 27 …
In an entertaining preseason finale, the New York Giants lost the lead in the final moments of the contest, falling 31-27 to the New York Jets. The Giants finish the 2022 NFL preseason 2-1.

The Jets played their first-team starters into the 2nd quarter. On the other hand, the Giants sat most of their key starters on both sides of the football. The Jets held significant advantages in first downs (26 to 19), total net yards (431 to 307), and net passing yards (342 to 221).

The Jets received the ball to start the game and were able to drive to the Giants’ 39-yard line in eight plays. However, on the 10th-play, inside linebacker Micah McFadden forced a fumble after a reception that was recovered by fellow inside linebacker Austin Calitro.

After both teams exchanged punts, quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw an ill-advised pass on 3rd-and-13 that was intercepted by the Jets at the Giants’ 48-yard line. The Jets were only able to gain 17 yards, but it was enough to set up a successful 49-yard field goal. Jets 3 – Giants 0.

On Giants’ next possession, Taylor was knocked out of the game with a back injury on a play where he connected with tight end Daniel Bellinger for 25 yards. Davis Webb would play the rest of the game at quarterback for the Giants. Big Blue continued to move the ball on this drive and place kicker Ryan Santoso kicked a 36-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 early in the 2nd quarter.

The Giants took the lead on the Jets’ ensuing drive when quarterback Joe Flacco threw the ball right to Calitro, who returned the interception 35 yards for a touchdown. Giants 10 – Jets 3. The Jets responded with an 8-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike White to wide receiver Braxton Berrios. The game was now tied 10-10.

The Giants punted twice and the Jets once before the Jets quickly drove 65 yards in five plays and 38 seconds at the end of the half to take a 17-10 halftime lead. White connected with wide receiver Jeff Smith for a 19-yard score.

The Giants received the ball to start the second half. Behind Davis Webb and running back Jashaun Corbin, the Giants managed to drive 75 yards in 12 plays. Corbin finished off this possession with a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 17-17.

The Jets gained a couple of first downs and then punted. The Giants put together a 9-play, 61-yard drive than ended with a well-executed 18-yard touchdown pass from Webb to tight end Austin Allen. The Giants regained the lead 24-17 early in the 4th quarter.

After exchanging punts, the Jets tied the game at 24-24 when they drove 80 yards in seven plays. Quarterback Chris Streveler hit wide receiver Denzel Mims for the 29-yard score. With 7:19 on the clock, the Giants began a field-goal drive that took five minutes off of the clock and moved the ball 44 yards in 10 plays. This set up Santoso for a 49-yard field goal that gave the Giants a 27-24 advantage near the 2-minute warning.

However, in dramatic fashion, the Jets were able win the game with a 10-play, 76-yard drive in one minute and forty seconds. The game-winning touchdown pass came on 4th-and-goal from the 5-yard line when Streveler hit wide receiver Calvin Jackson with 22 seconds on the clock. The Giants were only able to reach midfield before a last desperate Hail Mary pass fell incomplete to end the game.

Webb finished the game 30-of-38 for 202 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. The leading receivers were wideout Alex Bachman (6 catches for 27 yards) and Corbin (5 catches for 33 yards). Corbin was also the leading rusher with six carries for 23 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Giants gave up over 400 yards and did not accrue a sack. They did force two turnovers, one resulting in a score.

Video highlights are available on YouTube.

HEALTHY SCRATCHES AND INJURY REPORT…
QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, OG Mark Glowinski, OT Evan Neal, OT Andrew Thomas, OT Roy Mbaeteka, DL Leonard Williams, DL Dexter Lawrence, CB Adoree’ Jackson, CB Darnay Holmes, S Xavier McKinney, and S Julian Love were healthy scratches from the game.

WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles’), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring?), WR C.J. Board (ribs), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OG/OT Joshua Ezeudu (unknown), OC/OG Ben Bredeson (elbow), OL Garrett McGhin (unknown), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), OLB Elerson Smith (ankle/foot), CB Rodarius Williams (unknown), S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone), and PK Graham Gano (concussion) did not play.

QB Tyrod Taylor (back) left the game in the 1st quarter and did not return. DT Jalyn Holmes (concussion) and TE Daniel Bellinger (concussion) left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
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 Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by Zoom on Monday.

Aug 272022
 
Share Button
Tomon Fox, New York Giants (August 21, 2022)

Tomon Fox – © USA TODAY Sports

THE STORYLINE:
Outside of the injury situation, the New York Giants have made a lot of progress this summer in Year #1 of the team’s latest rebuilding plan. Make no mistake about it, this team has a ton of warts and it will probably take another 1-2 years of new player acquisition to get this roster into playoff-contention shape. And if you are in the camp that this team needs a new quarterback, that timeframe could shift to 2-3 years. But the VERY early returns are that the offense at least looks functional and the defense has potential to be one of the league’s better units. Combine that with a pretty weak schedule, and the Giants may win more games than expected by most. At the very least, they will be far more competitive. This coaching staff is professional grade, something that has been lacking since the team “fired” Tom Coughlin.

The fly in the ointment right now is the team’s never-ending injury nightmare. A slew of injuries can wreck even the best team’s in the NFL (see the 2021 Baltimore Ravens). So when injuries hit a very thin, rebuilding club, the outcome can be devastating. Yes, injuries are part of the game. No team is immune. Yadda, yadda, yadda. But every freaking year, the Giants are one of the hardest hit teams in the NFL. Coaches and players have come in gone in waves, but nothing changes. We’re not even out of August, and injuries have curtailed the season or development of more than half the 11-player draft class. It has caused significant issues at left guard, center, wide receiver, and outside linebacker. Psychologically, it just wears you out. Players are now getting hurt running sprints after practice. It’s too late to do anything about it this year, but the franchise had better figure this out. You can’t compete if you have a 1/5 of your roster on the sideline and are signing guys off of the street to replace them.

THE INJURY REPORT:
WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles’), WR C.J. Board (ribs), LG Shane Lemieux (foot), OG/OT Joshua Ezeudu (unknown), OC/OG Ben Bredeson (elbow), OL Garrett McGhin (unknown), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), OLB Elerson Smith (ankle/foot), CB Rodarius Williams (unknown), S Dane Belton (broken left collarbone), and PK Graham Gano (concussion) will not play.

WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring?), WR Darius Slayton (unknown), and OLB Jihad Ward (unknown) are questionable for the game.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
Shhhh. Daniel Jones has looked pretty good the first two preseason games. This despite this being his third head coach and fourth offensive coordinator entering his fourth season. No, this doesn’t mean Jones has proven anything. And the odds are still stacked against him. But the early returns have been promising, especially after all of the doom-and-gloom coming out of training camp reports.

The Giants seem to be developing an interesting offense. Yes, the team has finally updated their offense philosophy to the current NFL standard. But teams that tend to be more pass-centric (and I think the Brian Daboll/Mike Kafka offense fits into that category) don’t usually run the ball very well. That said, this team IS running the football better than the Giants have done in years. Most running plays are gaining yardage. Backs are not being met in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage on almost every play. What’s weird about this is the Giants are doing this despite a plethora of injuries on the offensive line that have taken out starters and primary back-ups. Talent? Coaching? Too small a sample size? We shall see. Just keep in mind that the New York Jets have a really good defensive front. Things may not look as sharp this week, especially with four offensive linemen already ruled out, and the Giants may not wanting to risk Andrew Thomas and Jon Feliciano in a somewhat meaningless game.

So what to look for?

  • If he plays, can Daniel Jones put together another positive outing?
  • Can Tyrod Taylor rebound from a disappointing game?
  • Was Davis Webb’s fantastic performance against the Bengals a mirage?
  • We haven’t seen Matt Breida yet in the preseason, but the belief is he is the #2 back on this team. Meanwhile the other backs have all had their moments. Who sticks?
  • Can Daniel Bellinger build off his somewhat stronger performance last week? Did the Giants find at least one tight end off of the waiver wire in Tanner Hudson?
  • I am under the strong impression that the Giants are hiding Wan’Dale Robinson. This was confirmed to be by Daboll saying he was a healthy scratch from the joint practice. We won’t really know what we have there until the games count. Aside from him, how many wide receivers and which ones make this team? The uninspiring Kenny Golladay and injury-prone Kadarius Toney (questionable for game) and Sterling Shepard (not playing) are expected to make it. Collin Johnson is done for the season. Meanwhile, journeymen David Sills and Alex Bachman have fans excited. What about Darius Slayton (questionable) and Richie James? Are the Giants really going to use a roster spot on C.J. Board (not playing)?
  • Finally, but perhaps most importantly, can the offensive line continue to look functional despite all of the injuries? We learned this week that Shane Lemieux won’t be returning anytime soon. Unfortunately, his primary back-up, Joshua Ezeudu, is out this game and has missed too much valuable practice time. Ben Bredeson, who was a leading contender for back-up center and guard, will not play. The guy to watch here is Devery Hamilton, who has come out of nowhere and may now be the team’s opening day starter at left guard. Meanwhile, the depth situation, which for once had appeared better, is now shaky again due to injuries. The fear here is someone who should be sitting in the last preseason game is going to get hurt simply because they don’t have the bodies right now.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The Giants entered training camp with outside linebacker looking like a team strength. But injuries have dramatically depleted this group in just a few weeks. The problem is not only the quantity of injuries, but who has suffered them, and the nagging type of injuries that could affect player performance in the regular-season. Starter Kayvon Thibodeaux has a sprained MCL. Starter Azeez Ojulari has a sprained calf. Quasi-starter Jihad Ward has been out for a while now with an unidentified injury. Elerson Smith, who had been flashing, has been in a walking boot for a couple of weeks. The only healthy players at outside linebacker are Quincy Roche, Oshane Ximines, and Tomon Fox (all three have flashed this preseason). Daboll admitted that the team may be forced to play Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown outside until reinforcements arrive.

Meanwhile, Darrian Beavers is done for the season. It appeared he was on the verge of stealing a starting spot inside. Another bad break for a thin team. The guy to watch now Micah McFadden. Can he steal time with the #1s?

Two rookies flying underneath the radar right now are defensive linemen D.J. Davidson and Ryder Anderson. Both have a legitimate shot to make the final 53-man roster. To be honest, I was not expecting Davidson to flash as much as he has. The Giants may have a steal there. I really would not play Leonard Williams or Dexter Lawrence much in this game. They are both ready for a big season. The final questions here surround which vets stick, with the candidates being Justin Ellis, Jalyn Holmes, and Nick Williams.

Not counting the injury situation at outside linebacker, the team’s biggest potential hole on defense is cornerback. Adoree’ Jackson looks primed for his best season. But Aaron Robinson has yet to prove he can survive on an island in Wink Martindale’s system. And depth at outside corner is a major question mark. I’m pretty certain that Achilles’ heel of this defense this year is going to be corner. That won’t likely be fixed until next offseason.

The big news this week at safety was the release of Andrew Adams. No, Adams wasn’t some stud. But he was a steady, reliable veteran who was playing with the first-team defense in three-safety packages. His release suggests that Dane Belton may be back soon, plus growing confidence in fellow rookies Yusuf Corker and Trenton Thompson. Just keep in mind, when you go with youth, there will be growing pains. Especially in blitz-heavy defenses.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
One of the things that has bugged me this week is a lot of Giants fans seem to have forgotten how good Thomas McGaughey has been as a special teams coach. There is a reason why he was on the staffs of Tom Coughlin, Pat Shurmur, Joe Judge, and now Brian Daboll. His specials have annually been strong in punt and kickoff coverage. So I’m not overly worried right now. A bunch of rookies are being used to determine who can play on teams.

Graham Gano is out. Ryan Santoso will be the kicker this week.

The two big questions on special remain: (1) do the Giants want the Scottish Hammer to be their punter?, and (2) who will be the primary punt and kickoff returners once the games count? What’s frustrating is the Giants haven’t had that one guy who excels in the return game for years. You’d probably have to go back to Dwayne Harris. I’m not really sure why the Giants haven’t signed or drafted a return specialist since 2017.

THE FINAL WORD:
The Giants have won their first two preseason games in dramatic fashion. It has been fun to watch. But at this point, I’m more concerned about just getting out of the preseason finale without another major injury to a key contributor. My gut tells me that the Giants got enough quality work in on Thursday in the practice against the Jets. I would use this game to make final roster decisions on the bottom half of the roster.

The Giants need to get to the 53-man roster by 4PM on Tuesday. Given the fact that the team has already picked up seven players off of waivers or immediately after they have been cut, I expect next week to be nuts. Don’t be shocked to see half a dozen new faces on the team.

Jun 072022
 
Share Button
Leonard Williams and Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (June 7, 2022)

Leonard Williams and Kayvon Thibodeaux – © USA TODAY Sports

JUNE 7, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS MINI-CAMP REPORT…
The first day of the New York Giants 3-day, mandatory mini-camp was held on Tuesday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. No live contact is permitted during the mini-camp, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

“Really it’s just an extension of the OTAs is really what it is,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. “Had an extra walk-through. Everything else is pretty much the same. One thing we’ll do different is watch practice after since we got a little bit more time after this practice. But the structure of practice, that will all be the same… It really is an extension of what we’ve been doing with a little bit more time meeting and an extra walk-through.

We’ve been at it for a long time with the extra (mini-) camp. We’ve had two. Guys have had great attendance. Feel very good about where we are at in terms of the spring and what we’ve got accomplished. Thrown a lot at them. The guys have come in every day with really blinders on ready to work and get better and taking it day by day. Great appreciation for the work ethic that those guys have put in and the coaches. Long way to go, but we’ve got a lot accomplished this spring.”

INJURY REPORT…
Players wearing red jerseys because of injury issues included WR Kenny Golladay, WR Kadarius Toney, WR Sterling Shepard, LT Andrew Thomas, OC Nick Gates, OT Matt Peart, ILB Blake Martinez, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, CB Aaron Robinson, CB Darnay Holmes, and CB Rodarius Williams, among others.

I’ll probably be pretty vague most of the time,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll when asked for injury updates.

Thibodeaux participated in walk-thru drills, Golladay participated in individual drills, and Robinson participated in individual and team drills. Thomas also participated in some drills early in practice.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • Officials were present for practice.
  • First-team offensive line: LT Joshua Ezeudu, LG Shane Lemieux, OC Jon Feliciano, RG Mark Glowinski, and RT Evan Neal.
  • Second-team offensive line: LT Devery Hamilton, LG Ben Bredeson, C Jamil Douglas, RG Marcus McKethan, and RT Matt Gono.
  • Third-team offensive line: LT Roy Mbaeteka, LG Josh Rivas, C Ben Bredeson, RG Max Garcia, and RT Korey Cunningham.
  • With all of the injuries at wide receiver, the first-team receivers were  C.J. Board, David Sills, and Richie James. Rotating in with this unit was Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Travis Toivonen. Toivonen was active catching the ball.
  • First-team defense included DL Leonard Williams, DL Dexter Lawrence, OLB Azeez Ojulari, CB Adoree’ Jackson, S Xavier McKinney, and S Julian Love.
  • Jihad Ward and Elerson Smith also received many first-team reps at outside linebacker as did Michael Jacquet at cornerback and Dane Belton at safety.
  • When the Giants went with a 3-man line, the other lineman was usually David Moa or Justin Ellis.
  • A blitzing defensive front got good pressure on the quarterbacks for much of practice. The defense clearly looked ahead of the offense.
  • In full-team, 11-on-11 drills, S Dane Belton blitzed twice and probably would have “sacked” the quarterback.
  • QB Daniel Jones would have also been “sacked” on back-to-back redzone plays later in practice. By one account, he was not terribly accurate, finishing 13-of-21.
  • When the offense did make a play, it usually involved RB Saquon Barkley catching the ball.
  • WR Richie James was also active catching the football.
  • CB Aaron Robinson broke up one pass from QB Daniel Jones. CB Cor’Dale Flott also flashed in coverage when Jones was at quarterback and broke up a pass.
  • CB Zyon Gilbert broke up a QB Tyrod Taylor pass.
  • LB Carter Coughlin broke up a pass.
  • By one account, QB Tyrod Taylor finished 8-of-13.
  • RB Matt Breida caught a few passes from QB Tyrod Taylor.
  • Catching touchdown passes were RB Saquon Barkley (from QB Daniel Jones), RB Matt Breida (from QB Tyrod Taylor), and RB Antonio Williams (from QB Davis Webb).
  • TE Jordan Akins caught a couple of passes from QB Davis Webb.
  • Practice ended with QB Davis Webb picking up a bad snap and hitting WR Alex Bachman in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

    HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
    The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

    THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
    Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

    GIANTS AND JETS TO HOLD JOINT PRACTICES DURING TRAINING CAMP…
    Head Coach Brian Daboll revealed on Tuesday that the Giants and New York Jets will hold joint practices at the Giants’ Quest Diagnostics practice facility in August during training camp.

    “Yeah, plan is right now we’re going to do it,” Head Coach Brian Daboll said. “I think it’s good to practice with the guys from down the street, play in a different conference. I know Jets Coach (Robert) Saleh. He’s a really good coach. We’ve had some good talks. I think it’s a good chance to come out here and be competitive against some other players that you’re not practicing against throughout the summer as long as you do it the right way. We want to treat those guys that they’re just like our teammates when you’re practicing. So, I think that coach and I have had some good conversations and looking forward to it.”

    Aug 172021
     
    Share Button
    Sandro Platzgummer, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

    Sandro Platzgummer – © USA TODAY Sports

    QUICK RECAP

    For the first time since August of 2019, the Giants played a preseason game to remind everybody just how ugly football is when the lower-level players get involved. If anyone doesn’t understand the gap between NFL players that make a 53-man roster and those that just miss out, tell them to watch preseason Week 1. Games this time of year are not very entertaining, nor do they need to be watched very closely by the public. Nothing about them means very much and the reactions to them are often misguided and, to be honest, just flat out asinine. With that said, there are things to look for and note for future reference and that is exactly what this review will be mostly about.

    The Giants sat the majority of their starters on both sides of the ball. The offensive line, however, marched out their top group to start the game off protecting backup quarterback Mike Glennon and paving paths for backup running back (and potential week 1 starter) Devontae Booker. They were outclassed to start off the game as the offense went three-and-out, the third play being a sack allowed by second-year tackle Matt Peart.

    The Jets marched out their shiny new toy, quarterback Zack Wilson. He, along with a productive running game, marched down the field with some aid from missed tackles by the Giants’ defense. Wilson looked sharp and confident with their timed-based throws against the vanilla Giants defense that didn’t show much complexity. Cornerback Isaac Yiadom came up with a 3rd-and-3 stop on a pass attempt to the newly-signed Corey Davis. The Jets settled for a 30-yard field goal by rookie kicker Chris Naggar. That 3-0 lead would stick until the last 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter.

    The Giants’ offense did wake up a bit on the next two drives in the first half, as they crossed midfield on both possessions. Andrew Thomas and Will Hernandez made key blocks on big Corey Clement rushing attempts that gained solid yards multiple times. Clement, however, fumbled on a 1st-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line. It was a major blow that, had this been a regular season game, would have been a major black-eye for the offense.

    On the positive side, the Giants’ defense did perform consistently following the first drive. A 4th-and-1 stop by Danny Shelton, a 3rd-and-1 stop by Reggie Ragland, and another 3rd-and-1 stop by Austin Johnson were high points early on. If the Giants are going to be a credible contender in the still-weak NFC East, it will ride on the back of the defense. And with the way injuries mount up in the NFL these days, the defense will at least somewhat ride on the back of the ability of second/third stringers filling in when their respective numbers are called. Shelton and Ragland were very good.

    Speaking of backups, the second-, third-, and fourth-stringers were on tap from the midway point of the second quarter-on. Roster hopefuls were hoping to get their opportunities on both sides of the ball. David Sills came down with a 37-yard catch inside the 2-minute warning, sparking some hope that the Giants would get rid of the zero on the scoreboard. The following three plays were incomplete pass, sack, incomplete pass. The second half yielded similar results early on.

    The Giants offense went three-and-out on their first two possessions of the second half while the Jets added their first touchdown via a four-yard run by La’Mical Perine. That was three plays after a 3rd-and-18 conversion in which second-year receiver Denzel Mims broke three tackles on his way to the first down that put them inside the 10-yard line. It was an ugly display of tackling, a theme that this defensive staff must be sure to end before Week 1.

    The fourth quarter began with the Giants starting an offensive possession near midfield. Thanks to a pass interference by former Big Blue corner Corey Ballentine, they were 1st-and-10 in Jets territory. Thorson missed an open Damion Willis downfield that could have been an easy score before two more incomplete passes that weren’t even close.

    The Giants’ defense held on and even created a scoring opportunity themselves, as rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams picked up a fumble and returned it 29 yards to the NYJ 17-yard line. Three plays later, Thorson hit a wide-open Willis this time, beating Ballentine, on a broken down play. The sore was 10-7, Jets up, with 7 minutes remaining.

    The Jets bled the clock down a to under 2 minutes, but they pinned Thorson and the Giants offense down inside the 10-yard line for the second time of the half. On the first play, Thorson was rocked by a hard hit in the end zone, resulting in a safety that put the Jets up 12-7. The Jets then took a knee when they got the ball back and the game was over.

    Giants lose, 12-7.

    QUARTERBACK

    -It is crystal clear that Mike Glennon is going to be the backup to Daniel Jones this year. He played 38% of the snaps, while Thorson picked up the remaining. Glennon is an extremely lethargic mover, as there may not be a signal caller in the league with feet as heavy as him. That always makes me nervous when it comes to a backup quarterback. A guy who can’t move without a superior arm doesn’t inspire confidence should the team ever have to turn to him.

    -Thorson was really poor. We can’t make a huge deal about a third-string quarterback, but there is no denying his poor performance. He went 5/16 for 72 yards. The touchdown to Willis on a broken down play makes the stat line look much better than it really is. He did make a great throw to David Sills in the first half, though. He was inaccurate on all levels and the timing throws were too late. Late in the game, Thorson was rocked on a sack and needed to be helped off the field.

    RUNNING BACK

    -Giants fans need to prepare for Saquon Barkley being on the sideline for the first couple weeks potentially. Even if he is back for live action, he will probably have a pitch count he needs to stay under. It will likely come down to newly-signed veterans Devontae Booker and Corey Clement to pick up the slack early on. They combined for 44 yards on 8 carries. Clement was more impressive, as he is known for a no-nonsense style between the tackles. That is the kind of back who will work best to complement a fully-healthy Barkley down the road. The issue with him? It popped up in the 2nd quarter when he fumbled inside the NYJ 5-yard line. The one black eye on his game centers around that, as he has fumbled 6 times in under 100 carries since the start of 2018.

    -Sandro Platzgummer rattled off the biggest play of the night for the NYG offense, a 48-yard run up the sideline from the NYG 1-yard line.

    -The best blocker of the bunch appears to be Booker and I would include Barkley in that discussion based on what we have seen the past two years. Booker is stout but more importantly, his footwork and sustainability look natural and easy. That is going to be a plus-factor this year.

    WIDE RECEIVER

    -David Sills has been having a strong camp and it appears the coaching staff wanted to give him as many snaps as possible to make his case for the final WR spot on the roster. He led the group in snaps, catches (3), and yards (49). Those 49 yards were more than the rest of the pass catchers combined. Sills has excellent ball skills, he always has. The issue with him is a lack of top-gear speed. His release looked really good, however. If he wants any shot at making the roster, he needs to prove he can get open on all levels of the route tree. If he can, he can make it happen.

    -C.J. Board got the ball a lot. He had a carry on a jet sweep that resulted in a 12-yard gain and 4 returns (2 punt / 2 kick). He dropped a pass, however. Board’s route to making this team will revolve around special teams but if the receiving skill set isn’t there, he will have a hard time fighting off some of the other options.

    -Damion Willis is an interesting name. He started a couple games in 2019 with CIN and they were excited about him. He has good size (6’3/209) and a wide catch radius with a bendy frame. He came down with a touchdown and could have had another one if Thorson had thrown the ball inbounds.

    -Dante Pettis, another roster-bubble name, had three targets but didn’t come away with any catches. He still looks like the best combination of skills + talent among these back-end guys.

    TIGHT END

    -Kaden Smith got the start with Kyle Rudolph out. More of the same from him with quality blocking in the trenches and limited separation as a route runner. He will be the unquestioned number 2 guy here until Kyle Rudolph is ready.

    -Cole Hikutini had a solid game as a run blocker. He sustained an injury in the 3rd quarter to his hip, so we didn’t get to see a lot of him. They are already thin at the position, as Levine Toilolo is out for the year with an Achilles injury.

    -Rysen John added 3 catches. He is someone worth keeping an eye on from a Practice Squad-perspective. He is obviously lacking in traditional body-type and overall power when it comes to the traditional Y-Tight End the Giants use, but there is something about the way he goes after the ball with loose and athletic limbs that could be useable down the road if NYG needs more options in the passing game. He has twitch that the other guys at this spot don’t.

    OFFENSIVE LINE

    -The starting offensive line (minus guard Shane Lemieux) was on the field for three drives. Andrew Thomas and Will Hernandez both played well in the limited time. If those two take a big step up, this entire offense is going to benefit in a big way. Hernandez looks slimmer and more comfortable moving as a lateral run blocker. He wasn’t tested as much in pass protection from an adjustment perspective, the other glaring hole we have seen over the past three years. Thomas did a nice job against NYJ ‘s newest pass rusher Carl Lawson, who has been tearing it up at camp.

    -Matt Peart, the third component to this offensive line that is needed for this offense to operate smoothly, didn’t play well. Nothing about this needs to be analyzed too deeply yet, as this was the first real live action for him and others in a long time. He allowed a sack and a pressure in 18 snaps.

    -Kenny Wiggins got the start at left guard and came back in the game following the injury to third-stringer Kyle Murphy. He had a poor game. He allowed 2 pressures, 1 TFL, and 1 sack as he played a team-high 41 offensive snaps.

    -The backup group as a whole had an up and down night, very inconsistent. They did sustain pass protection for above-average time on multiple occasions, but they were leaky at times and didn’t get a push in the running game. Center Brett Heggie look overmatched athletically and Chad Slade continues to play with poor balance. The only one who I would have had a positive grade on would have been Jake Burton. I liked his hand violence and footwork.

    DEFENSIVE LINE

    -Nose tackle Danny Shelton is going to be a factor here. He had several dominant snaps where he took on multiple blockers and still impacted the play. He had a TFL on a 4th-and-1 and factored on another 3rd-down stop. Depth along the defensive line is key, and Shelton will be a big part of that. B.J. Hill and Austin Johnson were solid as well.

    -Look out for Willie Henry as a potential roster surprise. He is really active and quick in pursuit and may have played with the most violence of all the linemen. He finished with 4 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 pressure while playing just over a third of the snaps.

    -Rookie Raymond Johnson III is another guy I think will be a factor in 2021. Maybe not right away but when injuries pop up, his versatility and explosive first step are traits that transition well in the NFL. He finished with 2 pressures.

    LINEBACKER

    -Watch out for Carter Coughlin. As stated above, I am very careful to not overreact in either direction early in preseason. That said, Coughlin had a few eye-opening moments in 2020 and he has picked right up where he left off. He was the “defensive player of the game” in my eyes, finishing with 5 tackles and a sack. The college-edge defender is the ultra-hybrid front-seven Swiss army knife who look both comfortable and capable in multiple roles.

    -Reggie Ragland played under half the snaps and there is some tightness in his hips as a pass defender, but I liked what he brought to the table. He had a big hit that jarred a ball loose on a 3rd-and-1 conversion attempt. He will be the top ILB backup, something I think we should be happy about because it is a substantial upgrade over what NYG has had in that role lately.

    -Tae Crowder missed 2 tackles and Devante Downs had 1. They both pressured the quarterback once each. That spot next to Blake Martinez is going to be very interesting to watch in the coming weeks.

    -I liked what I saw out of the edge defenders. Lorenzo Carter didn’t play, but 2nd round rookie Azeez Ojulari did, and he flashed. His pass rush repertoire lacked variety, but the juice out of his stance is noteworthy. That is going to be a factor this year. His run stuff where he got off the big/bad/overrated (and overrated) Mekhi Becton proved this guy is going to be more than a pass rusher as much as that can be proven Week 1 of preseason.

    -Niko Lalos and Ifeadi Odenigbo had standout efforts. Lalos was disruptive and active, a true hustler. Odenigbo is a hidden gem, I think. Not a starter, but the ever-important rotational pass rusher who makes his name know later in the year. His footwork and twitch looked very good. Remember, he had 7.5 sacks in 2019.

    CORNERBACK

    -With James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson out, it was a good opportunity to get looks at Isaac Yiadom and rookie Rodarius Williams. Yiadom showed good coverage on Corey Davis. We know what we have in him, a solid but limited veteran who can get the job done for the most part. If he is the team’s number three or four corner, they’re in a good spot. Williams got beat multiple times early on, giving up two 3rd down conversions on the first 2 drives. He played nickel, something I don’t see being an ideal fit for him, but it is possible they just wanted to see him in live action. He bounced back well after a rough start. I liked what I saw out of him.

    -Madre Harper led the defense in snaps. He missed 3 tackles on the night and appears to be a few steps behind mentally. I didn’t see it with him last year and still don’t. He was flagged for a pass interference and was roasted in coverage throughout the second half.

    SAFETY

    -The top three safeties didn’t play (Ryan, McKinney, Peppers). Julian Love and Quincy Wilson are both hybrid defensive backs who saw time in this one. The latter finished with 7 tackles and a couple big hits.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    -K Ryan Santoso: 1/1 XP.

    -P Riley Dixon: 6 punts / 43.3 avg / 41.0 net

    3 STUDS

    -OG Will Hernandez, WR David Sills, LB Carter Coughlin

    3 DUDS

    -QB Clayton Thorson, OG Kenny Wiggins, DB Madre Harper

    3 THOUGHTS ON NYJ

    1) I liked what I saw out of Zach Wilson under center. Look, anything you watch in Week 2 preseason needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but there are still things that can show you the arrow is pointing up. Wilson showed a really nice release, he was quick to get the ball out, and he was accurate. That is a good place to start.

    2) The Jets have a similar edge-rusher anxiety to NYG. The best player on either team, at that position, may be a 2020 undrafted free agent. Bryce Huff flashed last year in limited time and there have been whispers growing louder and louder from people I respect from that organization that this kid is going to break out. He looked excellent at multiple levels. He finished with 3 tackles / 2 sacks / 1 pressure.

    3) I really do like the direction NYJ is heading in. It is mostly about the leadership and support staff they have in place, both on the coaching staff and in the front office. They have extra picks, they’re emphasizing the right things when it comes to personnel, and they have plenty of available money. They are gonna have a solid 4-5 year window coming up. I think they finish at or near .500 this season.

    3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

    1) I’ve hinted at this a few times, but wanted to get it out here as well. If there is ONE game that fans need to remain seated with their mouth shut afterward, it is Week 1 of preseason. That is both for positive and negative reviews. The game plans are vanilla, the players are rusty, and the goals this coaching staff have within these games is too deep for many to understand. Don’t get worked up about anything you saw in this one.

    2) Should Daniel Jones be playing? My opinion is yes. Year 3 is THE year for a young quarterback. Sure, the fear of injury is alive and well in preseason but it is important he continues to gain experience with the scheme and timing in live action. I think he should be playing at least 4 drives in each of the next 2 games.

    3) I have a really good feeling about the NYG defense. Not because of what I saw in this game, but because of what I saw last year and who was added to the unit. Also add in continuity and the fact I think they will be much deeper than a year ago, I think we are finally going to see a top 7-8 defense in the league.

    Aug 152021
     
    Share Button
    Reggie Ragland, New York Giants (August 14, 2021)

    Reggie Ragland – © USA TODAY Sports

    NEW YORK JETS 12 – NEW YORK GIANTS 7…
    In a game that the New York Giants treated more like a gloried scrimmage, the New York Jets won 12-7 in the preseason opener for both franchises on Saturday evening at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Aside from the offensive line, the Giants sat most of their starters and the bulk of the game was played by third teamers.

    The Giants back-ups on defense did a decent job against the Jets’ first-team offense, which played into the beginning of the second quarter. While the Jets out-gained the Giants in first-half yardage 177 to 101, the Jets only led 3-0 at the half.  Those points came on the Jets’ first offense possession of the game, as they drove 52 yards in 12 plays to set up a 30-yard field goal.

    The defensive highlight for the Giants in the first half was defensive linemen Danny Shelton and B.J. Hill stuffing the Jets on 4th-and-1 at the Giants’ 42-yard line early in the second quarter. The Giants’ biggest offensive play of the first half was a 37-yard pass from quarterback Clayton Thorson to wide receiver David Sills. The Giants also had one first-half drive end inside the 10-yard line when running back Corey Clement fumbled the ball away at the Jets’ 3-yard line. Nevertheless, the Giants were held to only eight first downs in the first half, gaining 58 yards on the ground and only 43 through the air.

    The Jets went up 10-0 on their second drive in the 3rd quarter, moving the ball 68 yards in 11 plays, culminating with a 4-yard touchdown run. The two offensive highlights for the Giants in the second half were a 48-yard run by running back Sandro Platzgummer and a 21-yard touchdown pass from Thorson to wide receiver Damion Willis, cutting the score to 10-7. The later was set up by a fumble forced by linebacker T.J. Brunson and recovered by cornerback Rodarius Williams.

    But any notion of a late-game comeback was snuffed out when Thorson was sacked in the end zone for a safety with less than two minutes to play.

    Quarterback Mike Glennon only completed 3-of-7 passes for 20 yards with Thorson completing 5-of-16 passes for 72 yards. The Giants did rush for 105 yards, with Platzgummer and Clement accruing 83 of those yards on nine carries. The leading receiver was Sills (3 catches for 49 yards).

    Defensively, linebacker Carter Coughlin had the team’s only sack. Brunson forced a fumble that Rodarius Williams recovered.

    Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

    INJURY REPORT AND HEALTHY SCRATCHES…
    RB Saquon Barkley (knee), RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring), TE Kyle Rudolph (PUP – foot), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), OC Jonotthan Harrison (unknown), LB Lorenzo Carter (calf), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), CB Aaron Robinson (PUP – core muscle), CB Sam Beal (unknown), CB Jarren Williams (unknown), and S Chris Milton (unknown) did not play.

    Regarding Toney, Head Coach Joe Judge said after the game, “I’m not gonna disclose any person’s individual injury at this moment, but we hope to get him out there this week… You know, he’s been dealing with it for a little bit. Something was aggravated in practice towards the tail end of this week, so he was unable to play tonight.”

    OG Kyle Murphy left the game late in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return. TE Cole Hikutini left the game in the second half with a hip injury and did not return. LB T.J. Brunson injured his knee late in the game and did not return. QB Clayton Thorson was injured on the play where he was sacked for a safety late in the game.

    Others who did not play include QB Daniel Jones, WR Sterling Shepard, TE Evan Engram, OT Nate Solder, OL Ted Larsen, DE Leonard Williams, DE Dexter Lawrence, LB Blake Martinez, LB Oshane Ximines, LB Ryan Anderson, CB James Bradberry, CB Adoree’ Jackson, S Jabrill Peppers, S Logan Ryan, S Xavier McKinney, S Montre Hartage, and PK Graham Gano,

    POST-GAME REACTION…
    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 Giants.com:

    WHAT’S UP NEXT…
    Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media on Sunday.

    Aug 132021
     
    Share Button

    THE STORYLINE:
    Perhaps I’m reading too much into the few clips I saw of the “Fan Fest” at the Meadowlands on Wednesday, but from the players to Head Coach Joe Judge, there seemed to be genuine joy at finally being able to play football in front of a live crowd again. Players danced around like little kids and Coach Judge couldn’t hide his huge grin. Remember, Judge and the players (many of them new Giants added to the team in the last 18 months) were cheated out of a regular, normal season last year. We fans were subjected to the NFL’s version of the “laugh track” as fake fan noise was pumped over TV broadcasts to hide the fact that 22 players were eerily smashing into each without anyone watching in person. The NFL and networks tried to make it seem normal, but we all knew it wasn’t.

    Fast forward to August 2021. There are still oddities such as the Giants not allowing fans to attend training camp in person, but then permitting 30,000 fans to intimately congregate in the lower deck of MetLife. But we’ll take what we can get. After all, the NFL knows there are $$$ at stake. It’s why the League decided to add a 17th regular-season game. In order to appease the corrupt NFLPA, they threw the players a bone an eliminated one preseason game. Player development takes yet another hit. And so much the concern for “player safety.” Again, $$$.

    But enough with the negative waves. Football is back. In front of actual fans. The Giants are perceived by many as an up-and-coming team in a division filled with question marks. Many fans feel Joe Judge is the right man to bring the team out of its longest dark age period since the 1970s. It’s a time for optimism.

    THE INJURY REPORT:
    Filling out this section without an actual official injury report is an exercise in futility. Right or wrong, Coach Judge and his medical staff appear excessively cautious in playing anyone with a boo boo. Fans have had to be accustomed to new injury list terminology such as “workload maintenance.” Athletes are now electronically tracked and decisions are made to sit players when the data tells them to do so. Welcome to 2021.

    I will mention a few injuries that are at least a bit disheartening. Something seems to be going on with Kadarius Toney that the team is not telling us. Despite being the first player to be activated off of the COVID List, Toney is the one guy who still seems to be very limited in camp. Could COVID be affecting him differently than the other COVID players who have since come off the list? Sure. But Toney was oddly limited throughout the OTA period too. Something reeks of another underlying injury issue. Pure speculation on my part.

    Also, TE Kyle Rudolph is still on the PUP and doesn’t appear close to returning. OLB Elerson Smith has missed almost all of camp with a hamstring injury. CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) hasn’t practiced and is far behind because of offseason surgery. WRs Kenny Golloday (hamstring) and John Ross (hamstring) are both hurt (again) and that’s got to be at least somewhat worrisome to management. WR Austin Mack’s hamstring injury has probably knocked him out of contention for a roster spot.  After a promising early return by OLB Lorenzo Carter (Achilles), he has missed a lot of time with a calf injury. While he is back now, LG Shane Lemieux lost valuable practice time with a knee injury. RB Gary Brightwell has also missed time with an unknown ailment.

    That all said, the team is pretty darn healthy at this point. The only serious injury of note was losing 3rd-string TE Levine Toilolo for the season.

    NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
    Joe Judge made the odd decision to not play Daniel Jones. He said he is going to treat this first preseason game as teams used to play the final preseason game. If true, that means a lot of starters won’t play. However, Judge also later indicated that expected most players to play. So who the heck knows who will play and for how long? Without the starting quarterback, RB Saquon Barkley, WR Kenny Golladay, and TE Kyle Rudolph playing, combined with the fact that the first preseason games are almost always ugly, don’t expect to come out of the first game feeling good about the offense.

    So what to watch? Obviously the offensive line. All eyes will be on Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez, and Matt Peart. If they play. The Giants could still sit Lemieux and the others may not play much. The Giants are still where they planned to be at tackle. Thomas and Peart starting with Nate Solder backing up both (and Solder has had a good camp according to Judge). But inside depth took a huge hit with the retirements of Zach Fulton (the Giants were counting on him for insurance for Hernandez) and Joe Looney (quality depth behind Gates). If Lemieux and/or Hernandez struggle, the Giants don’t have a lot of fallback options on the roster. Kenny Wiggins has been playing with the first team with Lemieux out, so keep your eye on him. The rest of the second-team OL has really struggled in camp. There really isn’t a decent #4 tackle or guard on the team right now. Expect the Jets to run around these guys with ease. Another reason why Saturday night may be ugly.

    What else to watch? The battle behind Saquon Barkley for the #2 running back spot. Devontae Booker has received most of the reps, but Corey Clement has been pressing him. At receiver, the Giants will likely go with Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Kadarius Toney, but a whole slew of players are vying for the #5 and #6 spots, including John Ross, David Sills, C.J. Board, and Dante Pettis. This is a very big game for these guys. TE Cole Hikutini has a chance to make the team now with Toilolo done for the year. Lastly, the performance of Mike Glennon is more important than many realize. Daniel Jones has yet to complete a full season without getting hurt.

    NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
    Most of the defense seems settled except for the all-important outside linebacker spots. Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence will lead the defensive line up front. The big question here is can Austin Johnson and Danny Shelton adequately replace Dalvin Tomlinson at nose tackle? Depth is provided by B.J. Hill but Raymond Johnson and David Moa have been making some noise at camp. Keep an eye on them.

    At inside linebacker, I would expect Blake Martinez and Tae Crowder to start with Reggie Ragland and Carter Coughlin (who can also play outside) providing depth. Outside is more of a mess because of the injury question marks with Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines, and Elerson Smith. Is Smith now at risk for being redshirted this year? The good news is that Azeez Ojulari has received a ton of first-team reps and seems primed to take a starting spot sooner than later. But with so many other guys missing, Ifeadi Odenigbo has become more important than expected and some guys who we assumed were not long for the team (Niko Lalos and Trent Harris) remain in the picture. The one guy who I am very curious to watch is Cam Brown. It seems like he is making a play in every practice. There are a lot of bodies here and not many roster spots.

    The secondary appears deep and talented. I love the situation at safety with Jabrill Peppers (admittedly an up-and-down player), Logan Ryan, Xavier McKinney, and Julian Love. The studs at cornerback are James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson. An underreported absence has been CB Aaron Robinson. Perceived by many as a 1st-round talent, his loss has been ameliorated by the play of CB Rodarius Williams. Still, this team will be much better when Robinson is available and forces Isaac Yiadom and Madre Harper further down on the depth chart. (Though I am curious to see what the Giants have in Harper). CB Darnay Holmes appeared to have a rough start to camp but has been making a lot of plays lately. He’s in a battle with Love for playing time at nickel corner.

    NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
    Kickers are set even though Ryan Santoso has impressed to the point where the Giants may want to showcase him in the preseason for a possible late-round draft pick. The questions remain in the return game. The Giants unofficial depth chart has John Ross and Jabrill Peppers as the primary kickoff returners and Peppers and Adoree’ Jackson as the primary punt returners. Kadarius Toney is listed #3 in both spots. I wouldn’t want to see the Giants use Peppers or Jackson in the preseason.

    FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
    Head Coach Joe Judge on the first preseason game: “So right now we haven’t talked to players about who will be in the game, won’t be in the game and the amount of plays, so I’m not going to go into specifics on each player. We expect the majority of our players to play. There are a couple guys we’ve decided for one reason or another, all different reasons, they won’t play in this game, but we’ll talk to the players later today and make sure they know.

    THE FINAL WORD:
    I say this every year, but don’t make too much out of the first preseason game. Also, the Jets always take this game much more seriously than the Giants. It’s a weird pride thing for them.

    I will say this, the depth situation on the interior of the offensive line is a cause for concern. If Fulton and Looney were there, it would be better. But they aren’t. Guys who will be receiving major playing time up front include Brett Heggie, Chad Slade, Kyle Murphy, Jake Burton, and Jackson Barton. Who? What? Oh boy.

    Nov 122019
     
    Share Button
    Darius Slayton, New York Giants (November 10, 2019)

    Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

    New York Jets 34 – New York Giants 27

    QUICK RECAP

    This “battle for New York” had a lot less to do with bragging rights, a lot less to do with potential playoff spots, and more to do with where these two bottom feeders were going to land in the 2020 NFL Draft order. When this game was scheduled, this one had the look of a lot of potential. Two young QBs. The number 2 and number 3 pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, I could go on. But let’s call this for what it really was: a game that had about as much excitement surrounding it as their annual preseason match-up, a game that meant nothing for either team when it came to the 2019 playoffs.

    The Giants were without Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram in addition to two starting offensive linemen, Mike Remmers and Jon Halapio. Even with that, they were the “road” favorite against a Jets team that has some of the worst football on tape in the NFL this season. They have a QB who had 10 turnovers in 5 games. They have a head coach who seems in way over his head. They have a depleted secondary and one of the worst group of pass rushers you can find. This was slated to be a win, right? Ha, come on now, these are the 2019 New York Giants you are talking about.

    NYJ began the game with a 13-play, 75-yard drive touchdown scoring drive after they converted a 3rd-and-11 and also a 3rd-and-1 via an offsides penalty by Markus Golden. The Giants responded with a 3-and-out on their initial drive, with the last play being a sack allowed by Saquon Barkley (his third of the season) and fumble by Jones that did not end up as a turnover.

    The Jets then scored a second touchdown in as many drives, this time making veteran leaders Alec Ogletree and Antoine Bethea appear to be stuck in mud as Jamison Crowder ran right by them and into the end zone. It is a hard sell to convince anyone they were actually stuck in mud however, because well, they were playing on turf and it hadn’t rained in a few days. No, they weren’t stuck in mud, they were simply outclassed. NYJ took a 14-0 lead in the first 13 minutes of the game. NYJ came into this game averaging 12 points PER GAME and ranked dead last in offensive yards. This was the third time in four weeks that NYG allowed two touchdowns in the 1st quarter. To be honest, that is hard to do.

    Even though it was still considered early in the game, NYG had a sense of urgency on the next drive. Thanks to poor defensive back play and a couple of NYJ penalties, NYG was able to push the ball and score their first touchdown of the game, a pass from Daniel Jones to Darius Slayton. After a statement-drive on defense, NYG had the ball back at their own 39-yard line. Left tackle Nate Solder left the game with a concussion, making it now the majority of the offensive line on the sidelines. NYG was faced with a 4th-and-4 and this was a turning point in the game. Jones found Slayton on a quick slant where he showed elite-level footwork that actually caused the cornerback to fall similar to what Allen Iverson did to defenders with his crossover in the hardwood. Slayton caught the uncontested pass and then used his 4.4 speed in combination with poor pursuit angles by NYJ to make his way to the end zone for a 39-yard score. A poor snap caused the PAT attempt to turn into punter Riley Dixon chucking it into the end zone, thus the Giants remained down 1.

    The half ended on a NYJ missed 54-yard field goal attempt and then Daniel Jones getting sacked on 3rd-and-4 from midfield. It was a back-and-forth half between two bad teams and the margin was a one-point deficit for NYG.

    The opening drive of the second half, the drive that many coaches say is the most important of the game, lasted three plays. On 3rd-and-1, Jones was sacked by Jamal Adams at the hands of Barkley yet again but this time Adams stripped the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Another lost fumble for Jones, his league leading 10th of the year. Another allowed sack for Barkley, his fourth of the year which also leads the league for backs.

    The Giants were able to take advantage of poor NYJ secondary play yet again, as they turned a wide receiver screen to Golden Tate into a 61-yard score on 3rd-and-9. If we didn’t know any better, it almost appeared both teams were putting in their best effort to lose. That notion was strengthened after the score, as Tate was called for pass interference on the 2-point attempt which forced NYG into going for the extra point. That extra point attempt was missed by Aldrick Rosas, his third miss of the year, a season after he missed just one FIELD GOAL last year.

    The NYG offense stayed hot, as they put another touchdown on the board via a 15-yard pitch-and-catch to Tate. The Giants offense was hot and the momentum was clearly on their side. They lengthened their lead to 27-21 on a successful 2-point attempt to Bennie Fowler from Jones. The momentum didn’t last long, however.

    The Jets put 3 points on the board on their next drive and forced NYG into a 3-and-out as the battle in the trenches was becoming more and more laughable. The Jets then got to the 1-yard line thanks to a Deandre Baker 33-yard pass interference, his second penalty of the day. Le’Veon Bell powered his way into the end zone and just like that, the lead turned into a 4-point deficit.

    The NYG offense continued to sputter, punting the ball back to the 32nd-ranked offense in the league, just to see that 32nd-ranked offense in the league march downfield and put another 3 points on the board. It was 34-27 with just over 7 minutes left. The Giants offense couldn’t even think about being aggressive, as the offensive line completely fell apart and Jones could barely reach the end of his drop back before having to evade pressure. The defense did get the ball back twice via stout run defense but it didn’t matter.

    Giants lose, 34-27.

    QUARTERBACK

    -Daniel Jones: 26/40 – 308 yards – 4 TD/0 INT – 121.7 QBR. Jones added 20 yards on 3 carries. When looking at the passing numbers, one could argue this was the top performance have seen out of Jones this season. He, however, did fumble 2 more times, losing one. The lost fumble resulted in a NYJ defensive score. Jones is hard to truly evaluate right now because the offensive line is so poor and the running game is non-existent. He is making all of the simple throws, and I am not undermining that. He is doing so consistently, rarely does he miss, and I would peg “simple throws” at about 80% of the NFL’s passing plays and there are QBs that struggle with them more than you think. Jones’ toughness on his 3rd-and-10 run and in the pocket against the NYJ physical front 5 stood out. A nice game for him but man, those damn fumbles.

    RUNNING BACK

    -Saquon Barkley: 13 att / 1 yard – 5 rec / 20 yards. That isn’t a typo, by the way. Barkley, the supposed foundation of this offense, the 2018 Draft’s 2nd overall pick, the 2018 Rookie of the Year, accrued 1 yard on 13 carries. He had defenders at his feet the instant he touched the ball on almost every carry, he was hesitant when was able to reach the line of scrimmage, and he couldn’t break any tackles. This running game is a complete mess on every level and they tried to throw the ball in space for him one time. The result? A 22-yard gain. Barkley allowed two more sacks and a pressure. We can now rightfully say he is a liability in pass protection. Just terrible.

    WIDE RECEIVER

    -Darius Slayton: 10 rec / 121 yards / 2 TD. If there is one bright spot of the 2019 season, it is the Jones-to-Slayton connection. Slayton looked like a complete player out there and it is fun to see his fast-track progression. His route running made a cornerback fall on two occasions and he forced two penalties with his explosion out of his breaks. He also showed strength and presence when attacking the ball with a defender on his back twice. Excellent game from him and he looks like a keeper at this point.

    -Golden Tate: 4 rec / 95 yards / 2 TD. The more I see Tate, the more I want him around. I know, easy to say after a 2-touchdown game and there are limitations to his game. But I think it is important to have a guy who can make adjustments and quick decisions on the fly. He knows the game exceptionally well, just a really good situational player who plays and thinks fast. He should never be a number one or even a number two target for a team in the passing game, but if he is your three or four, he can be big time.

    TIGHT END

    -Rhett Ellison: 3 Rec / 42 yards. A quiet game for Ellison, but he did have a 31-yard reception. I also wanted to note he had a few key blocks that resulted in big plays and/or touchdowns. He is really effective in space as a blocker, but not so much in the trenches.

    -Kaden Smith, an UDFA who was signed off the SF practice squad, was on the field for 41 snaps to help with the blocking, but he didn’t perform well there. He allowed a TFL and a pressure. Smith graded out as one of the top run blocking TEs in the draft last year and it goes to show the jump in levels it takes to handle NFL defenders from college kids.

    OFFENSIVE LINE

    -I want to start with the undrafted right tackle Nick Gates, who was in for the injured Mike Remmers. If you have been reading my reports, you know that I have been down on Remmers and don’t think he belongs on the field as a starter even on a bad team. Gates, grade wise, wasn’t any worse. He is notably more athletic with more twitch and initial pop. He did allow a sack and a pressure and got pushed around as a bit in the running game, but it wasn’t anything different that what we have seen from Remmers. Let the kid play there the rest of the season.

    -Nate Solder went down early with a concussion. He was replaced with Eric Smith, formerly of the Jets practice squad. He never played a snap at left tackle in practice. Smith has been here since early September and he entered the game as the backup left tackle. I repeat, this coaching staff hasn’t given him one snap at the position in any of the practices. Not one. And he was in charge of protecting the blind side of their rookie QB. Smith allowed 3 sacks, 1 TFL, and 1 pressure. Awful game and yes, he is worse than Solder.

    -Inside was a mess too. Spencer Pulley, who Pat Shurmur has called a “starting center in this league” multiple times over the past two years, played awful. If there was one culprit for Barkley gaining 1 yard in this game, it was Pulley. I had a hard time believing what I was seeing when it came to how hard it was for him to maintain blocks. He allowed a TFL, a pressure, and a sack. He also forced Barkley into changing his direction in the backfield upon getting the ball multiple times. He doesn’t belong in the league.

    -Guards Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler, the two best lineman on this team, didn’t have their best games. Hernandez is not progressing. He hasn’t gotten any better from his rookie season. He allowed 2 TFL and had a sack wiped off his stat sheet because of a questionable Jets holding call in the secondary. Zeitler was the only player on this line who was above average grade wise, but even he wasn’t getting a push in the running game. Too much give.

    EDGE

    -Solid game for Markus Golden besides his bonehead offsides penalty and one missed tackle. He finished with 4 tackles / 2 TFL / 1 sack / 2 pressures. This has been another bright spot considering what they got him for contract wise. But every sack he gets will make him more expensive to bring back.

    -Youngsters Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines were quiet, finishing with a combined 6 tackles but also 1 pressure and 0 plays behind the line of scrimmage. Ximines has made a few mental mistakes against the run this year but he was more disciplined and active this week.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLES

    -Dalvin Tomlinson seems to have more urgency and desire in his play. Maybe the Leonard Williams trade put him on notice that if he wants a long term deal from this team, he better step up. Step up he did. Tomlinson led the team with 9 tackles while adding a sack. He was all over the field, making hustle plays downfield while also being stout in short-yardage situations. This may have been the best game of his three-year career.

    -Speaking of Williams, he was really disruptive. He had 3 tackles, and 5 pressures. That is the most pressures of any NYG defender in one game over the past 3 years. Now, some can say that is a good thing but a pro personnel scout I talk to on a regular basis sent me this text after the game, “Always finds a way to get there, never finds a way to finish. Been a step too slow since day one.” He is going to be a tough guy to figure out over these next 2 months because the narrative is that he oozes talent, but doesn’t seal the deal. We saw more of that in this one.

    -Dexter Lawrence can be a maddening player at times. He is definitely making an impact beyond the naked eye and we are seeing more pass rush from him than anyone thought he could bring to the table, but I saw him in a couple different key short-yardage moments just get drilled off the ball. I am hoping he shows more consistency over the second half.

    LINEBACKER

    -Alec Ogletree had 7 tackles and a pass break up. He really looks thick and choppy out there. I’m not sure if he’s still hurt or his athletic days are simply behind him. The lack of speed and agility at LB has hurt this team more times than I can count. The game is changing and these inside guys just can’t hack it anymore. Davis Mayo added 4 tackles but remains an issue on filling lanes and reaching sidelines.

    CORNERBACK

    -Deandre Baker’s up-and-down, but more down, season continues. He was flagged twice, one of which was a 33-yard pass interference that put NYJ on the 1-yard line. He had a few plays where he was sticky in coverage, but I was most annoyed on a big play where he showed no urgency in pursuing the soon-to-be 32-year old Demaryius Thomas after the catch. It resulted in a big play and it was inexcusable from a kid whot has hurt this team more than helped.

    -Janoris Jenkins quietly had a really good cover game and added 4 tackles.

    -Good to see Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine out there. Beal only got in for 10 plays but it was the first time we’ve seen him since NYG took him in the Supplemental Draft two summers ago. Ballentine was targeted early on third down and even though the quicker slot matchups aren’t ideal for him, he didn’t allow a lot of separation and I liked how fast he reacted to the ball once in the air and after the catch.

    SAFETY

    -Jabrill Peppers is looking better and better each week. There may not be a guy on this team who competes as hard as him play to play, week to week. He finished with 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD, and 2 pressures. He has been a terror when they use him downhill and if this defense can get another 1 or 2 guys like him at LB, the difference would be enormous overall.

    -Antoine Bethea finished with 5 tackles and a pass breakup. He also missed 2 tackles, he leads the team in that category, and was outclassed on the Crowder touchdown athletically. I just don’t see a guy with enough reaction speed and I think the game is simply too fast for him.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    -K Aldrick Rosas: No FG attempts. Rosas missed an extra point and is now 19/22 on the year. He is one of 3 kickers in the league with 3 missed extra point attempts.

    -P Riley Dixon: 6 Punts / 53.5 avg / 45.5 net

    3 STUDS

    -QB Daniel Jones, WR Darius Slayton, S Jabrill Peppers

    3 DUDS

    -OC Spencer Pulley, OT Eric Smith, CB Deandre Baker

    3 THOUGHTS ON NYJ

    1. I’ve seen a lot of Jets football in recent years because of the fact they are a local team and a lot of my cross-scouting coincidentally has had me get their game tapes as well. They, as of right now, are so close to the situation that NYG is in that it is almost scary. Young QB on a rookie deal. A piss-poor offensive line. Average at best pass catchers. A really good running back who can’t display even 50% of his potential. Minimal pass rush with no real difference maker there. A do-it-all safety. A young TE who has a high ceiling but has a hard time staying on field. A coach who is hard to trust. Tons of money to spend but a lack of assurance that it will be economically spent. All that and I bet these two will be picking near each other in the draft and will be targeting the same guys.
    1. The Sam Darnold vs. Saquon Barkley debate will be there for as long as those two are in the league. Giants nation was split down the middle whether or not they should take Darnold, widely considered the top QB of the 2018 class and he was available. Well here we are about a year and a half into Darnold’s career and we can agree that he has not been good. Sure, he had a solid stretch in December in no-pressure situations but he has started 19 games and has 27 turnovers. Not much more needs to be said because if he keeps that up he won’t be a starter a few years from now.
    1. I am intrigued to see what General Manager Joe Douglas does this offseason when it comes to building their roster from a pro personnel perspective. It was confirmed that, if he was going to trade star safety Jamal Adams, that DAL was going to have to give one of their top OL Zack Martin or Tyron Smith in return. I liked hearing that, as I still believe no matter what that a team absolutely has to avoid poor offensive line play and it needs to be priority A if the group ever falters. They are going to buy a free agent or two in the offseason, no question. And I think that is the best possible approach.

    3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

    1. You know when your own wife, who doesn’t know too much about the details of the game, makes a comment about the QB never making passes on the move unless he is scrambling for his life, that the offense may be too predictable and easy to defend. Jones has proven to be an athletic threat and he has proven he can throw on the move. Why, with this offensive line, do you constantly have Jones sitting in the pocket? It doesn’t work. And while we’re at it, why aren’t you making every effort to give Barkley the ball in space? Traffic runs aren’t working with this offense. Stubborn and lack of innovation and adjustments.
    1. The question with this defensive line is, is there enough room to keep both Tomlinson and Williams long term? Williams will likely demand a much bigger contract because even though the stats aren’t overly impressive, the analytics crowd likes him and they are becoming more and more prominent within personnel circles. I think Tomlinson has value though. I know it is easy to say after what may have been the best game of his career, but there is a lot he can do within different schemes. He is a professional. Works hard, always tries to get better. We want more guys like this around. If I had to choose one because of economics, I am going with Tomlinson.
    1. Would it make sense at some point to shut Barkley down for the rest of the year? He limps off the field every week since he has been back from the ankle injury, he now has a bum shoulder, and it looks like this situation is actually making him a worse running back? I’m not opposed to it if we see more of the same the for another 2-3 weeks.
    Nov 102019
     
    Share Button

    The Giants found their destiny.

    NEW YORK JETS 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 27…
    In a crapfest game to determine which team is the worst in New Jersey, the New York Giants earned that “honor” by falling to the New York Jets 34-27 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Giants have lost six games in a row and are now 2-8 on the season.

    The Giants quickly fell behind 14-0 in the 1st quarter. The Jets drove the ball the length of the field on their opening drive, going 75 yards in 13 plays and finishing with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sam Darnold. After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Jets marched 50 yards in nine plays with Darnold throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

    The Giants got back into the game in the 2nd quarter. The team drove 75 yards in eight plays on their second drive of the game, aided by a 15-yard pass interference penalty on 3rd-and-10. The possession ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton. After forcing a punt by the Jets, the Giants scored again. On 4th-and-4 from the Jets’ 39-yard line, Jones hit Slayton over the middle on play that went the distance for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the extra point attempt was botched. Jets 14 – Giants 13.

    Neither team scored the rest of the half. The Jets went three-and-out. At the 2-minute warning, Pat Shurmur decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 from his own 39-yard line. Jones was stuffed, turning the ball over on downs. However, the Jets could not take advantage of the Giants’ futility as they failed to pick up a first down and then missed the 54-yard field goal attempt. The Giants then went three-and-out and the half ended.

    The Giants received the ball to start the 3rd quarter, but that ended with disaster when on the third play, safety Jamal Adams ripped the ball out of Daniel Jones’ hands and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. Jets 21 – Giants 13.

    The Giants quickly cut into that lead. On 3rd-and-9, Jones threw a screen pass to wide receiver Golden Tate who broke the play for a 61-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty on Tate. Place kicker Aldrick Rosas then missed the extra point. Jets 21 – Giants 19.

    For a brief moment, it looked like the Giants may pull the game out. The defense forced a three-and-out. The offense then drove 64 yards in nine plays, with Jones throwing his fourth touchdown of the game, this one from 15 yards out to Tate on 3rd-and-3. The 2-point conversion attempt to wide receiver Bennie Fowler succeeded and the Giants were up for the first time on the day, 27-21.

    The Giants’ defense started to falter again, first giving up a 9-play, 46-yard drive that ended with a 53-yard field goal. The Giants now led 27-24. Not to be outdone, the Giants’ offense now came up small, going three-and-out. It only took the Jets three plays to travel 70 yards, the big play being a 33-yard pass interference penalty called against cornerback Deandre Baker. On the next play, running back Le’Veon Bell scored from one yard out. The Jets were back up for good, 31-27.

    The Giants picked up one first down and then punted on 4th-and-2 from their own 44-yard line. Aided by a 47-pass play, the Jets got into field goal range and extended their lead to 34-27 on a 35-yard field goal with about seven and a half minutes remaining in the game.

    Again, the Giants picked up one first down but were forced to punt. The Jets went three-and-out and the Giants got the ball back at their 12-yard line with 4:17 left to go. Pass protection was eroding and the Giants went three-and-out, punting on 4th-and-19 from their own 3-yard line. The Jets did not pick up a first down, but by the time the Giants got the ball back, there was only 18 seconds left in the game. The game ended with a fumble by Tate.

    Offensively, Jones was 26-of-40 for 308 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. He was also the team’s leading rusher with just 20 yards. Jones’ fumble led to a defensive touchdown and he was sacked SIX times and hit 10 times. Running back Saquon Barkley was held to ONE yard rushing on 13 carries as the Giants only rushed for 23 yards as a team. Jones’ leading target was Slayton, who caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

    The defense allowed 27 points (three touchdowns, two interceptions) to a team that had struggled to score most of the season. The Jets rushed for 76 net yards and passed for 218 net yards. Nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and linebacker Markus Golden picked up sacks. But the defense did not force a turnover.

    On special teams, the Giants failed on two extra point attempts.

    Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

    INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
    Inactive for the Giants were WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (foot), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), QB Alex Tanney, OT/OG Chad Slade, and LB Chris Peace.

    Left tackle Nate Solder and cornerback Janoris Jenkins both left the game with concussions.

    EVAN BROWN ADDED TO 53-MAN ROSTER, OLSEN PIERRE WAIVED…
    On Saturday, the New York Giants signed center Evan Brown from the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for Brown on the 53-man roster, the team waived defensive end Olsen Pierre.

    The Giants originally signed Brown as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. While he made the team, Brown was never on the active, game-day roster in 2018. Brown has experience at guard and center.

    The Giants signed Pierre as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in March 2019. The 6’5”, 293-pound Pierre originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Chicago Bears after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Bears cut him in August 2015 and he then signed with the Cardinals. In three seasons with the Cardinals, Pierre has played in 24 games with eight starts, accruing 42 tackles and 5.5 sacks. This year, Olsen played in nine games with the Giants with no starts, being credited with eight tackles and two sacks.

    POST-GAME REACTION…
    Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

    WHAT’S UP NEXT…
    Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Monday. Select players will be available to the media on Tuesday.

    Nov 082019
     
    Share Button

    Game Preview: New York Giants at New York Jets, November 10, 2019

    THE STORYLINE

    In the 1981 so-bad-it’s-a-classic movie “Clash of the Titans”, Zeus told his bastard son Perseus “Find and fulfill your destiny!”

    In football, we often talk about measuring sticks or litmus test games against quality opponents. In a perverted, ass-backwards sense, the Giants will face a different kind of litmus test against three of their last seven opponents. The 1-7 Jets, 1-7 Dolphins, and the 1-8 Redskins. I am firmly convinced there is a element of the New York Giants fan base who are refusing to accept just how bad their beloved team has become. More importantly, I am especially convinced that New York Giants ownership and management can’t or won’t see it.

    These three “Clash of the Titans” games, starting with the Jets on Sunday, could be quite shocking to these people. To use another movie analogy (“Planet of the Apes”), “Don’t look for (your destiny)… You may not like what you’ll find.”

    THE INJURY REPORT

    • WR Sterling Shepard (concussion – out)
    • TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
    • OC Jon Halapio (hamstring – out)
    • RT Mike Remmers (back – doubtful)

    NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE

    The Giants just never could get the band all together in 2019. Golden Tate was suspended the first four games. When he came back, Sterling Shepard was lost due to two concussions, missing all but four games. Saquon Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain, missed three games, and hasn’t looked right since he’s been back. Now Evan Engram is hurt again. He already missed a game earlier this season and will be out this Sunday and possibly longer. Those four ARE the team’s best play-makers. The team’s starting running back and best player, the team’s top two wide receivers, and the team’s top tight end. All missing extended time and never being on the field together as one unit. Pathetic and sad.

    In hindsight, the 5-year, $43 million contract given to Shepard this past offseason was a big mistake. So was not trading the injury-prone, poor-blocking Evan Engram before the trading deadline despite reports that the Giants has seriously good offers for his services. But these are the types of mistakes that poorly-managed teams keep making. And the Giants have been an atrociously-managed team for years now.

    It’s also become apparent that John Mara hired the wrong coaches to lead this team. Again. Pat Shurmur doesn’t appear to be an offensive guru, lacking any sort of imagination about getting Saquon Barkley in space in the passing game. His game management skills are pathetic as well. Shurmur is now 17-41 (.293). That would be a good batting average, but you can’t do much worse in terms of a W-L percentage. Reports of players-only meetings and Shurmur telling his team this week that it is “make-or-break time” just highlights his futility. And don’t get me started on James “let’s play only two defensive linemen against the Cowboys” Bettcher.

    The Giants offense is going to suck again on Sunday, struggling to score even 20 points. (The team is averaging 19.5 points per game). I will be curious to see if Spencer Pulley and Nick Gates cause an uptick in performance on the offensive line, though Gates obviously will go through a lot of rough moments due to his inexperience.

    What would I consider a win on Sunday? If Daniel Jones doesn’t fumble. This is what we’ve come to.

    NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE

    James Bettcher has them fooled. He looks and sounds the part. And the defenses associated with his name performed well in Arizona. But the guy is a clown. He has press corners playing off in coverage. He doesn’t use the high-value assets the Giants have given him up front to his defense’s advantage. The Giants have now allowed 27 points or more in all but one of their games this year. Five times, they have allowed 30 points or more.

    I keep repeating myself: the Giants can’t stop the run, they can’t stop the pass, and they don’t force turnovers.

    Sam Darnold has looked like dog shit for the Jets the last few games. But expect him to get well against the New York Giants. They all do.

    (And oh by the way, Dave Gettleman should have traded Janoris Jenkins before the trade deadline too.)

    NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS

    Aldrick Rosas has now missed two extra points. Time to start worrying.

    FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH

    Head Coach Pat Shurmur on his job security: “I’m built for this.”

    THE FINAL WORD

    The 2-7 Giants versus the 1-7 Jets in the nation’s largest media market! “Clash of the Titans” indeed.

    The Giants score less than 20 points per game. Their opponents score about 30 points per game. The Giants lead the league in turnovers with 22. They have only forced 12. Do the math.

    The sad question is this: is it better or worse for the Giants to win this game?

    Good times.