Oct 312023
Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (October 29, 2023)

Kayvon Thibodeaux – © USA TODAY Sports


-Tyrod Taylor was the starter for the third straight week as Daniel Jones still had not been cleared for contact until shortly before the game because of his neck injury. Taylor, himself, only lasted until about the halfway point of the second quarter. He completed 4/7 for 8 yards and gained 33 yards on 5 carries. He was quick to evade the pocket twice where he had more time to hang in there, and he made a poor throw on a third down that had potential for more. Taylor suffered a rib injury as he fell on the ball when tackled at the tail end of an odd play where the ball slipped out of his hand before re-catching it himself. At the time of this writing, I do not have a full report on his injury but it could very well a punctured lung, which happens on specific rib fractures/displacements. Ironically, this would not be the first punctured lung of his career. He suffered one in 2020 when a team doctor inserted an injection too deeply on the sideline.

The Giants did not have a Justin Herbert on the sidelines. Instead, undrafted rookie and Don Bosco Prep graduate Tommy DeVito ran onto the field for his first taste of NFL regular season action. The talk will center around the decision to keep the training wheels on his game. He threw 7 passes, 2 were completed, and the result was -1 passing yards. He was also sacked twice (losing nine more yards) and threw two-near interceptions. Forgotten by many is the fact DeVito was the lone Giant to score a touchdown in this game. He made an excellent read on the ball fake to Barkley and exploded into the end zone. This was a tough tape and situation to fully evaluate, but DeVito showed his lack of experience on two occasions and did not make the throws that were there. I will touch on this situation more below.


-Saquon Barkley: 36 att – 128 yards / 3 rec – 0 yards

With Jones on the sideline and Taylor injured early, this offense hopped on the shoulders of Barkley on this rainy day in the northeast. His 36 carries were a career high. The last time we saw anything close to this took place last year. He carried the ball 35 times in their home win over the Texans in the team’s 9th game of the year. He followed that with his worst game of the season (15 att – 22 yards) and he did not break the 87-yard mark the rest of the way. Barkley was the definition of “workhorse” in this game. He ran into crowded boxes against a physical defense that knew where the ball was going. He found ways to pick up extra yards and first downs as the game plan became bleeding the clock (and nothing else) once they took the 10-7 lead in the third quarter. There was one blunder, however. Barkley’s lack of situational awareness and questionable competitive nature showed up again. On first and ten with 1:26 left in the fourth quarter, Barkley found a cutback lane and darted upfield. He could have easily run past the first down marker, but he instead dove forward. The Jets then stopped the Giants offense on the next two plays. Had Barkley gained that first down, the Giants could have run out the clock with no field goal attempt needed. Barkley made a poor decision, and it overshadowed the gutsy performance he had all afternoon. Not the first time this has happened with him.

-Matt Breida gained 13 yards on 5 carries and added another 4 yards on one catch.


-This won’t take long for obvious reasons. Darius Slayton (2) and Wan’Dale Robinson (1) were the only receivers to have the ball thrown their way. The former caught one of his for a loss of one yard. The latter made two plays in the running game with gains of 10 and 7 respectively. Jalin Hyatt played 25 snaps but was not given any opportunities for obvious reasons. Isaiah Hodgins played nearly double the snaps because of his blocking prowess.

-Punt returner Gunner Olszewski was added to the roster after their return game debacle last week. He had 6 returns (averaging 9.3 yards) while fair catching 2.


-In an offense that, no matter what, was going to be run-heavy, the Giants entered the game with two tight ends. Darren Waller (more WR than TE) was obviously one of them. He left the game early with a hamstring injury just when we thought that was in the rear-view mirror after a few weeks of issues earlier this season. Daniel Bellinger was the backup, a guy who has not yet proven he can be even an average blocker. This situation would fully show where that part of his game has evolved. It was a complete fail. Bellinger allowed 3 TFLs and a sack, and was flagged for a holding penalty that created 1st-and-20 from the NYG 15-yard line instead of 2nd-and-8 from the NYG 27-yard line on the team’s first play in overtime. In that offensive situation, it all but destroyed any shot of them moving the ball past the chains. Bellinger’s lack of impact as blocker is a significant problem on an offense that already has a below average blocker in Waller on the team.


-Justin Pugh and Tyre Phillips remained the tackles. In a game where the play-calling was nearly allergic to dropping back to pass, these two escaped potential nightmare scenarios considering their opponent. Even with the limited looks in that department, Pugh allowed 1.5 sacks and Phillips 3 pressures and a TFL. He was also flagged for a false start. When it comes to the running game, Pugh made a couple things happen on the move when the blocking scheme got more creative up front. That gives some hope that he can play left guard once Andrew Thomas is back. Phillips had a hard time getting push with his high pad level.

-Inside we saw Mark Glowinski with another solid game in the run game. Once again, when the blocking scheme had these guys pulling laterally it seemed to catch the NYJ front seven out of position. That is great, but meaningless if the blockers don’t get clean contact. Glowinski was making heavy hits and staying attached at both the second level and point-of-attack. He allowed a half-sack and a pressure in pass protection.

-John Michael Schmitz returned for the first time since Week 4. The rookie excelled in gap blocking and was a key component to a couple of the big NYG runs. He ended up on the ground often, however, and looks heavy footed when matched against pure speed, allowing a TFL and a pressure. That will be an issue for him that I do not see going away, not this season anyway. But there was some good cohesion up front, and I want to believe it was a result of him being back. Ben Bredeson got the nod at left guard and he allowed a TFL and rarely got an upfield push in the running game.


-The Kayvon Thibodeaux breakout performance was coming. He was heating up for a few weeks straight and exploded against the Jets tackles. He finished with 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pressure, and 1.5 TFL. This was a fast, physical performance that saw him empty the tank yet again. He made several hustle plays during his 9-tackle performance, the second most of his career. He was on the field for all but three snaps, once again showing the reliability and gamer mentality. An area of progress I see when it comes to the pass rush comes from his timing of double moves. He’s been late there often. But his footwork and positioning are a notch quicker and it stems from the decision when to make his move. If he gets the corner/edge, he is hard to catch up to. His inside arsenal has always been solid, but it can be used at a higher level now that he seems to be presenting less time for tackles to respond. The offsides penalty on that final drive was an absolute killer, though. It gave NYJ an extra timeout in a situation where NYG was one second away from a win.

-Jihad Ward had another quiet game despite 52 snaps, 37 of which were rushing the passer. He did recover the fumble created by Thibodeaux, but all he did was add one tackle from there on out. While there is some truth to the dirty work he does that will not show up on the stat sheet, he is quite the ineffective player. Boogie Basham played just 5 snaps and added 2 tackles.


-The Jets have had their own share of offensive line injury woes, inside in particular. Three different centers were rotated in because of injuries and their second-round rookie (Joe Tippman) was already out and they lost their top OL (guard Alijah Vera-Tucker) last week to an Achilles injury. No matter who was in front of Dexter Lawrence, it simply did not matter. He was a one-man wrecking crew, finishing with 13 pressures, 3 of which were QB hits, and added a sack. I have not charted a single defensive pass rush performance like this since grading Giants players on game day. He also added 2 tackles and was disrupting the NYJ running game inside and outside. Humans this big and strong never move this fast. He is an anomaly who is doing things we have never, ever seen from a nose tackle.

-Leonard Williams added 5 pressures, a season high. I will touch on the trade below. As for this game, his disruptiveness was not as important and impactful as Lawrence, but the fact he was getting through as well exacerbated the NYJ pass protection to a point they could not function on several occasions. When these two are on like this, they can crush any passing game in the league without too much outside help. He added a tackle and a pass break up.

-A’Shawn Robinson is another player who seems to be heating up weekly and it does soften the blow of losing Williams to Seattle. He had 2 tackles, one for a loss and one being a stop on 3rd-and-1. He also added a pressure for the second straight week, and it looks like his response to more playing time is exactly what this defense needs post-trade.

-Rakeem Nunez-Roches and D.J. Davidson both played under 10 snaps and did not move the needle in either direction.


-Similar to Thibodeaux, Bobby Okereke played another excellent game and has been proving to be worth every penny that the Front Office spent on him this past offseason. He finished with a team-high 10 tackles, and 2.5 TFL. He was the one who stopped NYJ quarterback Zack Wilson in the fourth quarter dead in his tracks on a long-winded scramble near midfield just a few yards shy of the first down marker. While we know that did not help much with the outcome of the game, it was an underrated play that we see many defenders screw up around the league. His biggest gaffe, and he was not alone, was the complete whiff on Breece Hall’s touchdown. Okereke had Hall right where he wanted him, but he hesitated and was shook out of his cleats, not even making contact to slow Hall down. That touchdown did not seem as big at the moment, but what a miss it ended up being.

-Micah McFadden is another defender who has grown a lot this season. I seem to be saying that often but then again, this defense has averaged just 11 points allowed per game over the past three weeks. This guy is one of the reasons for the improvement on that side of the ball. He added 4 tackles and a fumble recovery along with 2 pressures. His heavy contact downhill sent shockwaves to NYJ lead blockers. He did miss two tackles, including one on the Hall touchdown as well, adding to his season total of 10 which is 9th most among NFL linebackers.

-Isaiah Simmons saw 26 snaps, all but two of which were at outside linebacker. He had one pressure and one tackle, but also missed one in space.


-Garrett Wilson, Terry McLaurin, Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, D.K. Metcalf, and Brandon Aiyuk. Those are receivers rookie Deonte Banks has faced off against over the past six weeks alone. Talk about being thrown into the fire right away and I like how he has responded. This game was not one of his better ones, however. While I do like the athleticism he showed in coverage against Wilson, one of the best at getting open in the NFL, he added 2 more penalties to his state sheet (1 of which was declined). He also missed two tackles. He had a pass break up and added 3 tackles. Banks has been flagged six times this season, tied for third-most among players in coverage.

-Cor’Dale Flott is yet another young, emerging player this team needs to keep feeding opportunities to. He broke up a team-high three passes and appears to be playing up to speed now. He always moved well enough, but the questions were anticipation and instincts. The physical presence on his contact will never be good, but the other traits are coming along and weigh a lot more for corners.

-Adoree’ Jackson was torched in big moments. While he did get thrown at a ton in this game and his overall coverage grade was solid, those key plays are where a guy like him needs to step up. The pass interference penalty that set NYJ up for the game-winning field goal was a result of him being tricked on a route by an undrafted receiver. That cannot happen from that kind of player. Jackson is a solid cover man, but his level of play has been inconsistent and seems to degrade in key moments and against key players. Not ideal from your number one corner.


-The every-snap streak lives on for the Jason Pinnock / Xavier McKinney duo. They combined for 9 tackles and Pinnock added both a QB hit and pass break-up. His missed tackle on the Hall touchdown was by far the worst play of the sequence and one could argue the worst play of the game for NYG. No wrap up attempt and, to honest, a half-ass soft attempt at a player who was running downhill. This surprised me from Pinnock, who plays anything but soft. A play like that in a game against a team that cut you? Major blemish.

-Nick McCloud and Dane Belton saw rotational/sub package duty but neither made an impact.


-K Graham Gano: 1/3 (Made 31, Missed 47, 35). The first game in a Giants uniform Gano has missed two field goal attempts in a game, and first time since a 2017 Week 17 loss at Tampa Bay when he was with Carolina

-P Jamie Gillan: 13 punts (42.2 avg – 40.7 net).


-DT Dexter Lawrence, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, CB Cor’Dale Flott


-K Graham Gano, TE Daniel Bellinger, CB Adoree’ Jackson


1. Even without Aaron Rodgers, the Jets are one of the most interesting teams in the NFL. Whether they are playing the best or worst the NFL has to offer, they keep it close. This all comes back to their defense and how this team is built. Head Coach Robert Saleh and Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich came over from SF and the NYJ defense ranked dead last in both yards and points allowed year one. A season later? 4th best. They have wins against BUF and PHI along with a 3-point loss to KC. They then have a loss to NE and a close win against DEN. This is life of a team that is built on defense. I am still old school in thinking that this is the proper way to do it, but I will admit it is more difficult to do than build an offense because of the amount of personnel moves and picks you need to get right.

2. Speaking of getting it right. What a whiff they made at quarterback. Here is an excerpt from my final report on Zack Wilson in 2021 “…There is a bit too much ‘backyard football’ that I’m not sure will work in the NFL…Is he tough enough to handle the New York market?…He hasn’t exactly faced a lot of adversity in his life.” Wilson was a late 1st/early 2nd round grade on my sheet, like Daniel Jones. Just another one of those guys who just did not show enough to warrant the high pick but when you’re against a wall and in need of the quarterback, it is hard to pass on the upside. I fully expect Wilson to be elsewhere following the 2024 season.

3. The Joe Douglas-led front office is going to be in a very tough spot. If Rodgers comes back, and I consider it a big if, he still needs to consider the long-term future of the franchise. That is his job, more than anything. Do you use another pick on a QB? This class is going to be a deep one at the position. But will Captain Rodgers approve of using a premium pick on a guy that plays his position? That is what I can’t wait to see. The Jets coaches and players were almost embarrassingly giddy every time Rodgers threw a nice ball in practice. It is a poor way to act because of how sensitive older players can be physically. More cheerleader than coach. Does Douglas have the decision-making power to use a premium asset on a win-now player? AKA not a quarterback. I can’t wait to see.


1. There are two “Monday Morning Quarterback” components to the offensive situation that led to this loss. One, did Daboll/Kafka pull back the reins too much for a quarterback who as in this system for months? Two, should the team have signed another quarterback with veteran experience? I can understand not having three quarterbacks on game day ready to run the (almost) full offense. Most teams in the league would say the same. But Jones was still on the sideline and NYG knows they’re one play away from the next man up coming in under center. If DeVito, the low-graded rookie undrafted free agent could not run the offense to anything near full capacity, how is he logically the number one backup at the most important position in the game?

2. Building off that point, the question can be asked about the mentality and overall ethos of this coaching staff. Have they gotten to the point where they are afraid to lose more than they are trying to win? I have seen this over the years, notably in year 2/3 of coaching regimes. The honeymoon phase is over, expectations grow, adversity hits, and the pressure changes everything about the way a team played that made them originally competitive. If Barkley runs for the first down or Gano hits the field goal or Thibodeaux does not get called for offsides – if any of those happen – perhaps we are calling this a coaching masterpiece and a gritty win that alters the direction of a season that felt loss. But here is the truth. They won the turnover battle for the third time in four weeks, and they won the penalty yardage battle for the third time in four weeks. That combination will net wins in over 85% of games in the NFL. They won 25% of them. The truth is, despite the injury bug, this team has been in position to win games. But they lost some identity. Culture is not created during good, easy times. It is created when adversity hits and the response is conditioned. This coaching staff needs to be better. Daboll in particular.

3. The trade deadline is at 4PM on Halloween. I was going to write up the three names who I feel have value around the league and what they could net for NYG. I am not including Saquon Barkley, as I just do not see ownership signing off on giving away the one high-ticket player on this team, and one who had some public turmoil against the franchise recently. The first name was Leonard Williams, but I thought at the most he would net a 3rd rounder. NYG getting a 2nd and future 5th for him is a huge win and it opens the door for more playing time for both Jordon Riley and D.J. Davidson. A’Shawn Robinson playing well helps soften the blow. Next up is Adoree’ Jackson, a credible corner (with limited upside) who is almost sure to be gone in 2024. Like the defensive line, it fully opens the experience door for Tre Hawkins and Cor’Dale Flott. Jackson would likely net a 5th or 6th rounder for a defense that needs a number three/four corner. Lastly, and this may not be popular, is Xavier McKinney. A free agent in 2024 on a team that will need to make some difficult money decisions on guys like this, McKinney would likely draw some mid-round interest from teams that need to upgrade the position. While his career to this point has not been anything special, McKinney is a solid player who could start on 20+ teams in the league.

Oct 292023
Graham Gano, New York Giants (October 29, 2023)

Graham Gano reacts to missed 35-yard field goal – © USA TODAY Sports

In an incredibly ugly football game, the New York Giants snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, losing 10-7 in overtime to the New York Jets. The Giants also lost another quarterback with Tyrod Taylor leaving the game with a rib injury that required him to go to the hospital. At 2-6, any playoff aspirations are all but officially over.

A combination of a very strong New York Jets’ defense, bad weather, and the Giants having to play an undrafted rookie at quarterback for most of the game led to a horrific Giants’ offensive performance. Even before Taylor left the game, however, the offense was dreadful. The Giants were held to 70 total yards of offense, including -9 passing yards. Five of the team’s 12 first downs were due to penalties on the Jets. The Giants had 17 offensive possessions. Thirteen of them resulted in punts. Two resulted in missed field goals, which was the difference in the game.

The Giants’ only points in the first half were completely set up by the defense. On the Jets’ first possession, outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaxu sacked quarterback Zach Wilson on 3rd-and-5. Wilson fumbled and the loose ball was recovered by outside linebacker Jihad Ward. The Giants had the ball at the Jets’ 19-yard line, but were forced to settle for a 31-yard field goal and an early 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense was playing very well in the elements against a beat-up Jets’ offensive line and the shaky Wilson. The Jets had 10 first-half possessions, seven ending with punts and two ending with fumbles. The Jets were held to five first downs and were 0-of-8 on third-down conversion attempts. However, there was one very costly breakdown when running back Breece Hall caught a short pass and weaved his way for a 50-yard touchdown after some terrible tackling attempts.

There were also two missed opportunities for the Giants’ offense in the second quarter. Place kicker Graham Gano missed a 47-yard field goal early in the quarter after Head Coach Brian Daboll passed on going for it on 4th-and-1. Then with 2:28 left before halftime, inside linebacker Micah McFadden recovered a fumble at the Jets’ 41-yard line. Despite gaining six yards on first down, the Giants ended up losing four yards on this possession and punting.

At the half, the Jets led 7-3. Combined, the Giants and Jets were 0-of-18 on third down with 15 punts.

Aided by two unnecessary roughness penalties by the Jets’ defense, the Giants took the lead on their first drive of the third quarter. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 40 yards on his first two carries of the drive. The Jets were flagged with one of the roughness penalties after a 2nd-and-10 incompletion by Tommy DeVito. Barkley picked up six yards on 3rd-and-6. Then came the other penalty which kept the drive alive after the Giants were stopped on 3rd-and-10. Three plays later, DeVito ran for a 6-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-goal.

Most of the rest of the second half was the Jets struggling to generate any offense against the Giants’ defense and the Giants’ coaching staff not putting DeVito in position to lose the game. The Jets punted the ball four consecutive times, gaining just two first downs. The Giants also punted the ball four consecutive times after the touchdown, gaining four first downs.

Then came the pivotal moments that would decide the game. With 2:19 left in the game, Thibodeaux sacked Wilson for a 10-yard loss. Three plays later, on 4th-and-10, Thibodeaux got to Wilson again, this time for a 15-yard loss. With 1:26 left in the game, the Giants had the ball at the Jets’ 26-yard line. Barkley gained nine yards on three plays, moving the ball to the 17-yard line. On 4th-and-1, Daboll decided to have Graham kick the 35-yard field goal. He missed.

Nevertheless, the Giants were still up 10-7. The Jets had the ball at their own 25-yard line with just 24 seconds left. The defense could not hold. Wilson completed back-to-back 29-yard passes. He spiked the ball with one second left. The 35-yard field goal was good with no time left on the clock.

In overtime, the Giants won the toss and received the ball first. Predictably, the Giants went three-and-out, actually losing 11 yards. The Jets began their first drive of overtime at their own 39-yard line. They gained 46 yards in six plays, converting on 3rd-and-10 with an 11-yard completion. The real killer came on 3rd-and-5. Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was flagged for a 30-yard pass interference penalty down to the 15-yard line. The Jets immediately kicked the game-winning 33-yard field goal. Despite being tipped by defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the kick was good.

Taylor was 4-of-7 for eight yards, being sacked twice. DeVito was 2-of-7 for -1 yard, also being sacked twice. The leading receiver was Barkley who caught three passes for zero yards. No other player had more than one catch or four yards. Barkley carried the ball 36 times for 128 yards.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 12 first downs and 251 yards of offense. They held the Jets to 2-of-15 on 3rd down and 0-of-1 on 4th down. The defense recovered two fumbles and was credited with four sacks, one by nose tackle Dexter Lawrence and three by Thibodeaux. However, the three long pass plays, including the two in overtime, dampened the performance.

On special teams, the usually very reliable Gano cost the Giants the game with his two missed field goals.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants placed RB Gary Brightwell (hamstring) on Injured Reserve and signed WR/Returner Gunner Olszewski to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. The Giants also activated (standard elevation) QB Tommy DeVito and OLB Oshane Ximines from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (neck), LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring), RT Evan Neal (ankle), RB Deon Jackson, DL Jordon Riley, S Bobby McCain, and S Gervarrius Owens.

QB Tyrod Taylor (ribs) and TE Darren Waller (hamstring) left the game in the first half and did not return. Taylor was taken to the hospital and will remain overnight for further observation.

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:

Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Oct 272023
Victor Cruz, New York Giants (December 24, 2011)

Better Times – © USA TODAY Sports

In last week’s preview, I said the Giants-Commanders game would give us an indication of just how deep the abyss for the 2023 New York Giants would be. The good news is not only did the Giants win, but despite significant number of important players still missing due to injury, they dominated the game. The bad news is they almost handed the contest to the Commanders with key mistakes on offense, defense, and special teams.

Stating the obvious, at 2-5, the Giants remain in desperate straits. There is no margin for error if the Giants want to get back into playoff contention. After the “home” game against the Jets, the Giants face three consecutive road games, one against the Cowboys who already crushed the team 40-0. This is as close to a “must game” as there is, with the difference between 3-5 or 2-6.


  • QB Daniel Jones (neck – out)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (elbow – probable)
  • RB Gary Brightwell (hamstring – out)
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee – probable)
  • TE Darren Waller (hamstring – questionable)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring – doubtful)
  • RT Evan Neal (ankle – questionable)
  • OC John Michael Schmitz (shoulder)
  • OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee – questionable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (neck – questionable)
  • PK Graham Gano (knee – probable)

There is a lot going on here, with implications for 2023 and beyond. Before getting into longer-term issues, let’s address the immediate concern of the game against a very good New York Jets defense.

On paper, this side of the ball looks like a clear mismatch. Despite all of their issues on offense, the Jets are still only allowing under 20 points per game. Meanwhile, the Giants are scoring a league-low 12 points per game (somewhat inflated by a defensive score). And the strength of the Jets is a strong (and deep) defensive front against a patchwork NYG Giants offensive line. The Giants’ OL was an utter disaster for first five weeks of the season. It has been a little less so for the last two weeks. As I talked about last week, the improvement has been mainly due to fewer mental breakdowns because of the veteran presence of Mark Glowinski, Ben Bredeson, and Justin Pugh rather than the greenhorns who had been out there previously. It looks like Justin Pugh will start at left tackle again, where he has struggled. Tyre Phillips may start over Evan Neal one more game. Expect issues on the outside. John Michael Schmitz may be back, which likely will cause Ben Bredeson to shift back to guard with Mark Glowinski.

Given the Jets’ own offensive issues, the game has the feeling of the classic mantra “the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.” Both offenses don’t put a lot of points on the board (Jets averaging just under 20 points per game). The Jets’ defense has also thrived off of turnovers (4th in the NFL will 13 takeaways). This will probably be one of those games that the better part of valor may simply not to take too many risks and punt the ball. Field position will be important, suggesting it might not be wise to take a lot of 4th-down chances. Don’t pass up sure points either when in field goal range.

Oddly, the Jets (135.2 yards per game allowed) have only been slightly better in run defense than the Giants (137.3). It suggests the team should stick with Saquon Barkley running the ball with an occasional chance for Tyrod Taylor (the risk with the latter is if Taylor gets hurt, the Giants are screwed). Continued use of the quick, short passing game with an occasional deep shot to Jalin Hyatt and Darius Slayton should also continue. The Hyatt-Sauce Gardner match-up was a fun one in the preseason.

Let’s turn to the elephant in the room. Regardless of what Brian Daboll says publicly, there is a quarterback controversy. Sometimes quarterback controversies involve two good quarterbacks (see the Phil Simms/Jeff Hostetler knockdown fights by fans in 1991 and 1992). Most of the time when there is a quarterback controversy, it’s an indication that the team really doesn’t have a quarterback. Last week I talked about Jones only having 10 games left to change public (and perhaps organizational) opinion on him. With Jones out again, we’re down to nine games and counting. And as I wrote last week, “Tyrod Taylor is one good performance away from sealing Jones’ fate.” Taylor may not be lighting it up, but there has been no noticeable downturn in quarterback production with him playing. In fact, some have argued the opposite. Throw in a $40 million contract and questions about a potentially career-affecting neck injury and we’re in a far different place than we were just two months ago.

There are three sides to the quarterback situation. Apologists for Daniel Jones. Those who think Daniel Jones kills puppies. And those still sitting on the fence. Regardless of your particular category, one cannot ignore the reality of the situation. The Giants cannot go into 2024 assuming Jones can be the quarterback for this team. The neck injury and any further games missed only exacerbate the situation. If Taylor can get this team to start scoring more points, support for Jones will dwindle, perhaps even in the locker room. You might not like it, but that’s where we’re at. The problem long term is Taylor is an undersized, injury-prone, 34-year old quarterback. Unless we’re looking at another Geno Smith situation, the Giants are going to have to draft quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Jets game is huge, but there are bigger issues now at play from an organizational perspective.

The defense continues to trend in the right direction. Much of this is due to young players gaining experience as well as improved tackling by the linebackers and defensive backs. It also helps when the quality of your opponent decreases. Regardless, the glaring hole that can’t be fixed until the offseason is another edge rusher, a task made more difficult now by the team needing another quarterback.

Look, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to break down this game. The Jets would be a serious Super Bowl contender if it were not for three things: (1) they don’t have a quarterback, (2) their offensive line stinks, and (3) questions about the maturity level of the head coach. Assuming the NYG offense is going to struggle gain, particularly against the NYJ defense, it is obvious that the pressure will be on the NYG defense to respond in kind against a suspect NYJ offense. The ability or inability to create turnovers will also prove decisive.

When you have a suspect quarterback and offensive line, a good running back, and are facing a team that has struggled to defend the run, the game plan for both sides becomes obvious. The Jets will want to run the ball; the Giants will want to stop the run. Whichever side prevails will most likely win the ball game. The Giants want to get Zach Wilson into long down-and-distance situations and attempt to confuse him like they did with Sam Howell last week. The Jets will want to keep Wilson and their offensive line out of these situations.

The two main threats are wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall. Big time match-up here for Deonte Banks against Wilson.

Sy’56 pointed this out in his game review, but Jamie Gillan is quietly becoming one of the better punters in the NFL. He’s currently third in the NFL in net average (45.3 yards).  Meanwhile, Graham Gano, who has been battling a knee issue, missed a 42 yarder last week. They need a strong game from him.

All eyes will be on the punt returner. Eric Gray is on IR. Sterling Shepard muffed a return last week that could have cost the game. Newcomer Gunner Olszewski may be elevated from the Practice Squad. However, he has eight career fumbles on punt and kickoff returns.

Wink Martindale on the Jets: “The biggest challenge that we’re going to have is that running back (Breece Hall) because he’s special.”

The Giants have painted themselves into a corner. Three of the next four games are “must win” games or the season is likely over. While the team is playing better, critical players are still out with injury or affected by injury. This includes Thomas, Schmitz, Barkley, and Waller. Opinions vary on the losses of Jones, Neal, and Ojulari. There is a big difference between 2-6 and 3-5, especially when you consider the latter would mean a 2-game winning streak. Tell me who wins the turnover battle and I can make a pretty good prediction on who wins this game.

Aug 282023
Eric Gray, New York Giants (August 26, 2023)

Eric Gray – © USA TODAY Sports


-Daniel Jones did not play, giving Tyrod Taylor his second start of the preseason. He stayed on the field for just 9 snaps. He was under pressure quickly, as the NYJ starting defense faced off against the backup NYG offensive line. He threw two deep balls up the right side to rookie Jalin Hyatt. One was inaccurate, landing out of bounds and the other was broken up by Sauce Gardner. Both were underthrown.

-Tommy DeVito: 19/29 – 210 yards / 1 TD – 1 INT / 84.0 RAT

DeVito played nearly the entire game. He is right up there with the league’s leaders in snaps by quarterbacks this preseason and has been one of team’s top pleasant surprises. The interception resulted in a pick-six for the Jets. It was a play that showed his inexperience. The Jets defense did not bite on a play fake, leaving multiple defenders in the intended passing lane to the backside. DeVito did not have his plan B on demand. He stared down the intention, hesitated before getting it out, and threw where he shouldn’t have. Sills did not run a great route either. Beyond that play, he put together another impressive performance. I went back and looked at some of my college summaries on him and found a couple of interesting parallels.

“…DeVito plays the position with unusual competitive energy. He needs to control it on the tempo throws that need to be layered over levels of the defense…he will struggle to make multiple reads from within the pocket… DeVito projects as a roster-hopeful but will likely bounce around practice squads because of the intriguing arm, but lack of development in his overall skill set”.

This kid has developed the skill set more than I thought he would at such an early stage. The issues are still there, but when I consider some of the recent third stringers NYG has employed (Davis Webb, Clayton Thorson, Kyle Lauletta), I look back at DeVito and come away with the fact this kid needs to be kept around. The question is, will it need to be on the 53?


-James Robinson, who did not make the final 53, saw the most action in a game since week 9 of last year while he was with the Jets. He had an impressive 55 yards on 10 carries including 41 yards after contact. He broke 5 tackles and ran with tremendous pop and pad level. He will be on a roster at some point this year. This was an important game for him.

-Eric Gray had another quiet game on the ground but his 48 yards on 4 catches (two of which he displayed ability to get to the ball away from his frame) were key. His hands were something I noted during the pre-draft process, very underrated component to his game. Throw in the fact they trust him on punt returns, this is where I think most of his value will be early on. But I did not see enough as a ball carrier as it looks like he hasn’t adjusted to the speed of the league yet.

-Jashaun Corbin’s final attempt to make an impression for the 53-man roster was quiet. He had just 6 yards on 6 carries and 2 catches for another 11 yards. The numbers game will likely land him on the practice squad, but he showed enough to warrant a spot if an injury pops up at running back.


-Jalin Hyatt got the start and was matched up against Sauce Gardner two times on plays where he ran deep routes. He was targeted both times, however both passes were not placed where they needed to be. But the positive I took from it was the fact he clearly had 2+ steps on the All-Pro corner on the first one. He then had a step on Gardner the second time, but he did not lengthen the separation because he had to gear down to track the underthrow. Gardner also got away with a little hold on that second one too. Hyatt won’t face a corner better than that, thus I took it as a significant positive.

-David Sills led the team with 81 yards and 6 catches, including a touchdown. He really is an impressive player during preseason, and he does a lot of the little things right. His ball skills are outstanding when it comes to framing the ball and getting through traffic. The issue, and it pops up every time he plays, is he can’t separate. The speed and quicks simply are not there and that is why he won’t ever be more than he is; a backup who gets stashed but will provide locker room and practice value.

-Jamison Crowder and Jaydon Mickens added 2 catches apiece. Crowder also got a look as a punt returner, reminding us there is some extra value he can add if he squeezes onto the roster. Wan’Dale Robinson’s end to the PUP list will likely coincide to Crowder being shown the door. That will likely happen this week.


-Lawrence Cager, who truly moves like a big wide receiver, caught all three of his targets for 24 yards. This is still a guy who is hard to peg in relation to the 53-man roster. He is a unique talent and I cannot imagine a scenario he where remains on the practice squad if he is placed there. Multiple teams will want him. The depth at receiver and lack of blocking impact may leave him off the roster though.

-Chris Myarick saw 11 snaps but was forced to leave early due to a hand injury. This opened the door for PS-hopeful Ryan Jones. He was on the field for 56 snaps. He added 2 more catches but also dropped one.


-With Tyre Phillips still unable to play as he rehabs his injury, Matt Peart and Korey Cunningham played the entire game. Peart started off as bad as it gets and ended with a line of 2 sacks, 2 pressures, and 2 penalties. The Jets pass rush is one of the best in football. What he put on tape over the first few drives is what I expect to see during live games if either Andrew Thomas or Evan Neal were to go down. The more I watch, the more important their health as a pair is vital to this team’s success. Peart did settle down after the first three drives; however that was against the third and fourth stringers. 147 of 148 preseason snaps were at left tackle, none were at right tackle. Does that really sound like the team’s swing tackle plan? I don’t think so. Cunningham on the other hand split time between right guard and right tackle. He allowed 2 pressures. I trust him as a backup more than I do Peart. The difference in balance, overall footwork, and sheer hustle is easy to see.

-Julién Davenport, who has 19 career starts in the league, appears to be near the end of his career. He showed terrible bend, inaccurate feet, and JV-caliber strength. He allowed a sack and a TFL in addition to 3 pressures. He was simply brought in to be a camp body and was the worst OL on the field in this game.

-This was a big game for Shane Lemieux. He had a solid start to preseason in week one, however the shift to OC in week 2 produced some ugly tape. He returned to guard and looked much more comfortable. I think he still has enough to offer at that spot. Does the fact he looks so much worse playing center significantly hurt his chances? NYG has a starter in Schmitz. They have a capable number two in Bredeson. Considering the lack of established depth inside, I still think it is worth keeping him around a bit longer. But it is safe to say, the four year starter at guard in college simply cannot be depended on to start plays with the ball in his hand. That could force him out.

-Marcus McKethan saw his first live game action against another team for the first time since being drafted in 2022. His size and strength were notable, but the two issues I had with him in college are still there. First, he plays way too high. The lack of knee bend at his size in combination with the lack of recovery quickness is going to make life very difficult as a zone blocker in the running game. He was slow to get across defenders laterally and the lack of consistency in his footwork created multiple early losses. He did settle in a bit and the upside he presents is worth keeping around, but part of me thinks he should be kept on the practice squad for the time being. He is not game-ready, not even close.

-Wyatt Davis was taken off the field on the cart with an ankle injury and Josh Ezeudu played just 8 snaps. I believe that will be the last we see of the former.


-Tomon Fox is going to be the number one backup on the edge for this team. He brings the power presence and versatility that the others do not. While he does not seem overly fluid in space, his hand-fighting and sheer power gets him a lot of wins initially. He had 2 tackles and 3 pressures. If he had just a little more juice, he could be a credible threat off the edge. But at the very least he can set the edge and grind his way to applying pressure. He still has some more to chew off when it comes to his upside too.

-Did any of Tashawn Bower, Oshane Ximines, or Habakkuk Baldonado show enough to warrant the final depth job at outside linebacker? Simply put, if they need another body outside, they will need to look at the cuts from around the league. Once cuts become public, I will write up a few suggestions. Ximines has the inside track because the staff did get some quality football out of him a year ago. He had a QB hit in this game, but we know what he is by this point. The depth can be better. Bower and Baldonado are practice squad options at best, as neither stood out in this game.


-Watching Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and A’Shawn Robinson stand next to each other on the sideline was a nice reminder. NYG will have the biggest starting defensive line in football.

-None of the above played, rightfully so. Rakeem Nunez-Roches got his first live snaps in the first quarter. He had one pressure and a tackle. He is a high energy, hustler type. It was not enough to fully evaluate his game but that is fine. We know what NYG has in him based on his previous years with Tampa Bay and he is here for depth. Speaking of depth, Jordon Riley played early on and was taken out to keep him fresh for week one against Dallas. Between him and starting a 6th rounder at outside corner, I can’t say I saw this coming at all. Snap your finger and NYG all the sudden is loaded with depth along the defensive front. If they all stick and stay healthy, the rewards that stem from that will be huge.

-Once again, the trio of Kevin Atkins, Donovan Jeter, and Brandin Bryant failed to maintain gap integrity against the run, and none made an impact as a pass rusher. Kobe Smith added 2 tackles and is the one I want to see kept on the practice squad.


-While he only played 6 snaps, the story of the night was the newly acquired Isaiah Simmons. The 8th overall pick from the 2020 defense was purchased for a 7th rounder in next spring’s draft. I will touch on this more below, but this move could change the defense in a big way. He had a pressure and a missed tackle, spending most of his time lined up on the line of scrimmage.

-Carter Coughlin may have had a job secured on the 53-man roster before camp, maybe he did not. His play through the three games stood out to me, especially in this one. He had 2 TFL where he displayed excellent diagnosing and reaction speed. The angles to the ball carrier, the power presence upon contact with his target, and ability to finish were all impressive. Throw in his special teams prowess, he is a near lock to make this team.

-Game two for Darrian Beavers ended with just one tackle and some struggle to get to the action clean. He appears to be just a step slow post-snap and throw in some hip tightness; he just can’t get to point B fast enough yet. His contributions will be on special teams early, but he does have some potential as a package defender when they want to use the blitz on passing downs. Remember, he played all over the defensive front seven in college.


-This game was the final effort for several back-end corners to potentially swallow up the last spot on the cornerback depth chart. This is the one huge question mark on this entire team that many I have spoken to on the outside are focused on. Some NYG fans are excited about the future of the first rounder Deonte Banks and the surprise of camp, Tre Hawkins. Perhaps they will be cornerstone players down the road. 2023? The fact they are so easily put into starting roles should easily tell us something about the position group as a whole.

-Gemon Green, Darren Evans, and Amani Oruwariye all allowed 100+ passer ratings. As a trio, Jets passers went 15/19 for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns against them. Oruwariye likely gets the nod (if any of them) because of his veteran experience, and he continued to show he is the best tackler and most physical of the three. Zyon Gilbert left the game early with an injury after struggling against NYJ first stringers as well.

-A razor thin group of corners with not one but TWO rookies starting is about as risky as it gets in today’s NFL on the back end. Darnay Holmes played in the first half and will likely keep his spot as a rotational nickel. The staff still likes the 2024 free agent.

-Remember – NYG made two pickups off the street/waivers (Fabian Moreau / Nick McCloud) around this time last year. I get a sense we will see that kind of move again.


-I was looking forward to seeing some more Bobby McCain against the starting Jets offense. He took a cheap shot from Randall Cobb that left him concussed, thus playing just 2 snaps.

-Rookies Alex Cook and Gervarrius Owens played most of the game on the back end. They finished with 6 and 5 tackles, respectively. Owens added a QB hit. There is something about him I see that is different, to be blunt. This is always a dangerous thing to say in any sort of scouting assignment. But looking at his snap alignments through 3 games (23 snaps on the line, 41 in the box, 56 at FS, 23 outside the box), zero missed tackles, just one allowed reception, and just the gut feeling I have. Owens is going to be a big part this defense at some point.


-K Graham Gano: 3/3 (made 57, 40, 56)
-P Jamie Gillan: 5 punts / 49.2 avg / 44.0 net


-WR David Sills, LB Carter Coughlin, K Graham Gano


-OT Julién Davenport, CB Germon Green, DT Brandin Bryant


1. We’ve seen this before. Preseason hype around the Jets because of offseason acquisitions. We’ve even seen it with a future Hall of Famer coming to town from Green Bay when Brett Favre arrived in 2008 (they went 9-7 and missed the playoffs). Intra-city rivalry aside, I think this time is different for two reasons. Favre in 2008 had one of the worst seasons of his career and the supporting cast just wasn’t there. He did go on to MIN the next year, winning a playoff game. They had a top 5 defense and an All-Pro running back, however. Bring that back to Rodgers. He won the MVP in 2020 and 2021. He is on a team with a top 5 defense and the 2022 Offensive AND Defensive Rookies of the Year. Running back Breece Hall would have been a contender for that award that Garrett Wilson (man I wanted him in the ’22 draft) won. Point is this situation is set up well for Rodgers coming to NY. This team is going to the playoffs.

2. What is the one factor that can easily derail my projection? Like most teams, the offensive line. The issue they have, that several others do not, is the fact this group is not established yet. Everyone knows this is where they are potentially weak. Everyone knows this is how you minimize the benefit of adding Rodgers to the offense. Mekhi Becton is the NYJ version of Evan Neal. If he does not step up (and stay healthy) – the path to the peak is going to be filled with roadblocks.

3. Garrett Wilson. I am not huge into fantasy football, but I am very much aware how big of a market it is. For those who play (and have not drafted yet) – I am looking at him the same way I look at Justin Jefferson right now. I said it back when NYG was drafting #5 and #7 in 2022, and I am saying it now, this kid is going to be a production machine.


1. The cornerback and edge group need help. Isaiah Simmons may alter my opinion a bit, but because of the hybrid-ness to his role, I still think the front office will need to try and find another guy who can factor out there. Does a blitz-heavy scheme make it less than vital? Sure. But let’s keep in mind what this team is doing at corner. It would be a huge deal to find a pass rusher who shakes loose in the coming days. And as I said earlier, this corner group is an injury away from playing guys that do not belong in every down duty. If you think you’re a contender to win 10-11 games, that needs to be addressed.

2. The Isaiah Simmons trade. I said back in 2020 that whoever drafts him needs a specific plan. Not to force him into roles, but force roles around him. Be patient, develop. Hide the weaknesses (he has a few), exemplify his strengths. After watching the current NYG coaching staff work for a year-plus and knowing some behind the scenes things about the ARI organization, this move can be an absolute game changer or the team. I see a Derwin James type more than a Micah Parsons. Not the same caliber (yet), but the same kind of role. It will take a few weeks, but at the very least this kid can impact the pass rush. I’ve always wanted to see him rush the passer more. He has 239 rushes over his career with 32 pressures. The rate of 13.4% would be right up there with the top 20 edge rushers in football if sustained for a season.

3. My prediction for the 2023 season is 11 wins. The increase in weapons for the offense and year two of one of the top coaching staffs in football are the two key reasons. They have a kicker who will win games in close matchups. They have a better offensive line than what was put out there in 2022. Their best player is hungry on a prove-it deal. They have year-2 players (where we see the biggest gains in margin in guys) playing key spots. They have a credible inside linebacker who the scheme needs. Their depth is twice as good as it was a year ago. And most importantly I expect a step up a notch by the quarterback being in the same system with real talent and innovative minds calling the shots. They’re not on par with the Eagles yet, but they’re gaining ground and the entire organization is hungry. It feels different.

Here is my prediction for the 53:

QB (2): Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor
RB (4): Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Eric Gray, Gary Brightwell
WR (6): Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, Paris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt, Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson
TE (3): Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Tommy Sweeney
OT (4): Andrew Thomas, Evan Neal, Tyre Phillips, Matt Peart
OG (4): Mark Glowinski, Ben Bredeson, Joshua Ezeudu, Marcus McKethan
OC (1): John Michael-Schmitz

EDGE (4): Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Jihad Ward, Tomon Fox
DT (6): Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, A’Shawn Robinson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Jordon Riley, D.J. Davidson
LB (5): Bobby Okereke, Micah McFadden, Darian Beavers, Carter Coughlin, Isaiah Simmons
CB (5): Adoree’ Jackson, Deonte Banks, Tre Hawkins, Darnay Holmes, Cor’Dale Flott
S (6): Xavier McKinney, Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton, Bobby McCain, Gervarrius Owens, Nick McCloud
ST (3): Graham Gano, Jamie Gillan, Casey Kreiter

PUP: CB Aaron Robinson

Key Cuts:

WR Jamison Crowder
OT Korey Cunningham
OG Shane Lemieux
TE Lawrence Cager
RB Jashaun Corbin
ED Oshane Ximines
DL Ryder Anderson
LB Cam Brown

Aug 262023
Isaiah Simmons, New York Giants (August 26, 2023)

Isaiah Simmons pressures Aaron Rodgers – © USA TODAY Sports

The Jets took this game far more seriously than the Giants and the outcome was reflected on the scoreboard as the Jets defeated the Giants 32-24 in the preseason finale for both teams. The Giants finished the preseason 1-2.

Almost all of the Giants starters and many of the primary back-ups did not play while the Jets played their starters for a couple of series on both offense and defense. For the Giants, after a couple of series, the second teamers gave way to the third teamers, who were then playing against the Jets’ second teamers.

The most significant result from this game for the Giants was on the injury front with seven players leaving the game due to injuries (listed below in the injury report). Also, recently acquired linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons played a few snaps and almost sacked quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

With Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, the Giants’ first two offensive series resulted in one first down and two punts. Meanwhile, starting Aaron Rodgers at quarterback for the first time this preseason, the Jets’ first offensive possession picked netted 13 yards and a punt. However, the Jets began their second possession near midfield. And on 3rd-and-4, cornerback Amani Oruwariye was flagged with a 22-yard pass interference penalty. Two plays later, Rogers threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Garrett Wilson against cornerback Gemon Green.

Tommy DeVito then entered the game at quarterback for the Giants. He helped to move the ball from the Giants’ 17-yard line to the Jets’ 38. However, his errant pass on 2nd-and-10 was picked off and returned 67 yards for a defensive touchdown, making the score 14-0 with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.

Zach Wilson entered the game at quarterback for the Jets, who gained one first down before punting. DeVito and the Giants then put together a 14-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Jashaun Corbin. After a three-and-out by the Jets, the Giants cut the score to 14-10 after an 8-play, 36-yard drive set up a 57-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano.

For the second series in a row, the Jets went three-and-out. The Giants responded with another field goal drive, gaining 55 yards in 10 plays to set up Gano again, this time from 40 yards out with five seconds left on the clock.

At the half, the Jets led 14-13.

The Jets received the ball to start the third quarter and extended their lead to 17-13 after a 10-play, 64-yard drive set up a 29-yard field goal. The Giants responded with a field goal drive of their own. Despite gaining just 37 yards in 10 plays, it was close enough for Gano to kick a 57-yard field goal. Jets 17 – Giants 16. The Jets gained a couple of first downs and punted on their second possession as the third quarter drew to a close.

The game got away from the Giants in the fourth quarter. A 10-play, 64-yard possession by the Jets ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass. The successful 2-point conversion made the score 25-16. After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Jets took a commanding lead after an 8-play 66-yard drive ended with another touchdown pass, making the score 32-16 with 2:55 left to play.

The Giants made the score more respectable with a 6-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass from DeVito to wide receiver David Sills with under a minute to play. The onsides kick went out of bounds however and the game ended.

Taylor finished the game 2-of-4 for five yards. DeVito completed 19-of-29 passes for 210 yards. He was sacked four times and threw one touchdown and had one interception returned for a touchdown. Sills caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Running back Eric Gray caught four passes for 48 yards. The Giants rushed the ball 32 times for 125 yards with James Robinson carrying 10 times for 55 yards.

Defensively, the Giants did not force a turnover and only had one sack by linebacker Ray Wilborn.

Video highlights are available on YouTube.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), TE Tommy Sweeney (unknown), OL Jack Anderson (unknown), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (unknown), and S/CB Nick McCloud (unknown) did not play.

S Bobby McCain (concussion), CB Zyon Gilbert (hamstring), TE Chris Myarick (metacarpal fracture in his hand), WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton (knee), and OL Wyatt Davis (high ankle sprain) all suffered injuries in the first half and did not return. S Gervarrius Owens (hamstring) and CB Germon Green (shoulder) were injured in the second half and did not return.

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:

Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by Zoom on Sunday.

Aug 252023
Tommy DeVito, New York Giants (August 18, 2023)

Tommy DeVito – © USA TODAY Sports

The final preseason game is usually a ho-hum affair but this Giants-Jets contest has the air of a circus due to the team in green that suffers from a chronic inferiority complex playing their latest “savior.” The sooner this game is over, the better.

Indications from practice this week suggest that many of the Giants veteran starters will not play. We will probably see rookie and second-year starters or valuable back-ups get some playing time in the first half.

The Jets are most likely looking to make a statement. Yawn.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson (ACL) and CB Aaron Robinson (ACL) remain on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

RB Gary Brightwell (unknown), TE Tommy Sweeney (unknown), OL Jack Anderson (unknown), DL Ryder Anderson (triceps), LB Cam Brown (unknown), CB Cor’Dale Flott (unknown), and S/CB Nick McCloud (unknown) did not practice this week and are unlikely to play.

Do not expect much from the Giants’ offense on Saturday. The Jets’ backup defensive linemen have been terrorizing opposing offenses this preseason. If their starters play, it could get ugly for the Giants, particularly if guys like Andrew Thomas, Daniel Jones, Darren Waller, and Saquon Barkley sit.

Really there are two things the Giants can get out of this game on both sides of the ball:

  1. Continue to provide valuable game experience to the youngest starters/important role players in anticipation of the regular season.
  2. Acquire more information on players fighting for a 53-man roster spot or place on the Practice Squad.

Thus, we may see center John Michael Schmitz and right tackle Evan Neal play against a very talented defensive front. I would expect Joshua Ezeudu to play and possibly Ben Bredeson and Mark Glowinski if all three are still fighting for two starting spots. Beyond the six obvious offensive linemen who will make the roster (Thomas, Neal, Schmitz, Bredeson, Glowinski, Ezeudu), the team also must determine who the last three reserves will be. Thus, this is a really big game for Matt Peart, Korey Cunningham, Marcus McKethan, and Shane Lemieux. Complicating matters is that Tyre Phillips missed the the first two preseason games and we do not know for sure if he is playing in this one since he just returned from injury. Jack Anderson will likely not play.

The other unsettled area on this team is wide receiver. Barring injury, Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Jalin Hyatt will be on the final 53. Wan’Dale Robinson will also be on the 53-man roster sooner or later. But his return date complicates matters. Do the Giants activate him from the PUP before opening day in two weeks? That’s possible. It’s also possible the Giants keep him on the PUP for the first month of the season. The Giants are likely to keep six or seven receivers. So depending on Robinson’s return, there could be two or three openings left for Sterling Shepard, Cole Beasley, Jamison Crowder, Collin Johnson, and Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Coming off a very serious injury, Shepard has had a surprisingly strong camp. Beasley was impressing before he got hurt. Johnson’s knee injury sabotaged his camp and his best hope may be the Practice Squad. Whether he and Bryce Ford-Wheaton can make it through waivers unclaimed remains questionable and he could have special teams value that keeps him on the 53.

We know that Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger are the top two tight ends. But things got a bit more complicated this week when Tommy Sweeney suffered an unspecified medical incident while not practicing this week. Sweeney missed 2020 with myocarditis. We’re talking about potential career-threatening stuff here. How long will the medical staff want to keep him away from the playing field? Sweeney is the second-best blocker at the position on the team. Lawrence Cager is more receiver than blocker. Chris Myarick’s stock may have just gone up.

Running back has generated a lot of fan attention, but Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, and Eric Gray are going to be the top three backs on this team. If one gets hurt, someone will be pulled off of the Practice Squad. Gary Brightwell has missed almost all of camp and the question now is can the Giants waive him without an injury designation. (An unclaimed player who is waived/injured can be waived off of IR with an injury settlement, but he can’t be re-signed until later in the season). Jashaun Corbin has flashed in the preseason and ideally suited for the Practice Squad if he can make it through waivers. James Robinson really hasn’t done much.

Finally, Tommy DeVito gets one more chance to show if he worthy of future development as Tyrod Taylor’s eventual replacement, possibly as early as 2024.

The trade for Isaiah Simmons really overshadows this preseason finale. There are those who are overhyping Simmons while others who are minimizing it far too much. As is usually the case, the truth lies in the middle. Simmons will likely not be a classic “starter” by definition. But he can have a big impact on this defense as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none-type. That’s usually a pejorative, but not necessarily in a Wink Martindale defense. Though he is not an overly physical player, Simmons is at his best attacking the line of scrimmage as a run-and-hit player if you can keep big bodies off of him. He has legit sub 4.4 speed and can chase down anyone on the field. He also can cover, as long as you are not asking him to cover quick, little guys. Simmons immediately is one of the best pass rushers on the roster and the fastest coverage linebacker. For a 7th-round pick and $1 million salary? No brainer.

Before getting into the game, one other comment. The Giants REALLY have upgraded their overall team speed this offseason on both sides of the ball. Parris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt, Darren Waller, Bobby Okereke, Isaiah Simmons, Deonte Banks, and Tre Hawkins make this a much faster team at THE key positions where speed is an asset. Combine these guys with Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, Kayvon Thibodeau, Azeez Ojulari, Adoree’ Jackson, and Jason Pinnock and this is a very fast team now. Defensively, the Giants have also added a lot of length (height + arm length) to those who will cover passing targets.

I would not expect to see many of the core defensive players to play in this one. Guys like Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Bobby Okereke, and Xavier McKinney will probably sit. This should enable Aaron Rodgers and the Jets faithful to feel good about themselves for a night. Again, we will probably see the youngsters who need experience such as Deonte Banks, Tre Hawkins, and Micah McFadden. I’m not sure if we will even see Jason Pinnock, who is coming off an injury that caused him to miss some practice time.

Up front, Giants fans still have not seen our two primary back-ups and occasional starters – A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches – play. Thus, they have largely been forgotten. They shouldn’t be. Both are significant additions who will play important roles against run-heavy teams like the Eagles, Cowboys, and Commanders. Do they play on Saturday or will we have to wait until September? Meanwhile, other than Tre Hawkins, the biggest surprise of training camp has been Jordon Riley. What a tremendous additions both players have been for such low draft picks! Ryder Anderson’s injury has sabotaged his whole camp and he is in the same boat as Gary Brightwell in terms of cutting him with possibly an injury designation. On the flip side, D.J. Davidson returned to practice this week and actually received some first-team reps. He has a lot of rust to knock off. My personal preference is for the team to carry six defensive linemen (Lawrence, Williams, Robinson, Nunez-Roches, Riley, and Davidson).

At linebacker, outside we know Thibodeaux, Ojulari, and Ward will be on the team. The presence of Simmons now as another dynamic pass rusher makes predicting other spots more difficult. Simmons can not only blitz up the middle, but he can rush from the outside. Tomon Fox, Oshane Ximines, and Tashawn Bower are all fighting for a roster spot. Habakkuk Baldonado’s best chance is probably still the Practice Squad. This is a very important game for all four players. Inside, again, Simmons helps but also makes predicting final roster spots tough. We know Okereke, McFadden, and Beavers will make it along with Simmons. Is there room for someone like Carter Coughlin? Cam Brown has missed most of camp and may have to be waived/injured too, complicating any potential Practice Squad plans.

I’ll feel a lot better when Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins have gotten their snaps and are out of the game healthy. The reserves will be undermanned with Cor’Dale Flott and Nick McCloud not playing due to injury. McCloud’s camp has also been sabotaged and one wonders if he still has a roster spot despite a very strong spring.

Dane Belton appears to have the third safety spot nailed down. The Giants will likely keep five safeties. Six is possible given some CB/S flexibility with McCloud and Bobby McCain. I wouldn’t think the team would want to expose Gervarrius Owens to waivers, but it’s a number’s game right now at the position. The top three corners are obviously the two rookies and Adoree’ Jackson. With Aaron Robinson still on the PUP and no word on his return, one would expect him to miss at least the first month of the season. Darnay Holmes and Flott should both make the 53-man roster. That’s five corners. Big game for someone like Amani Oruwariye and Zyon Gilbert.

The Eric Gray experiment continues.

The Jets are going to take this game much more seriously than the Giants. Please don’t get bent out of shape over this one. Just get out of the contest healthy.

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

Austin Calitro – © USA TODAY Sports


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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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:


Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor


Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Antonio Williams, Gary Brightwell


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


Daniel Bellinger, Chris Myarick, Waiver Pick-Up*


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
Austin Allen, New York Giants (August 28, 2022)

Austin Allen – © USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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:

Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by Zoom on Monday.

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

Tomon Fox – © USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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
Leonard Williams and Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (June 7, 2022)

Leonard Williams and Kayvon Thibodeaux – © USA TODAY Sports

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.”

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.

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.

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

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

    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.”