The New York Giants may have opened their 2012 preseason with a 32-31 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, however a big part of the preseason is first impressions and as expected there were some bright spots worth giving attention to. There was also some light shed on questions that will be answered going forward as the Giants put together their team for the regular season opener in September.
The Giants running attack will have a different look to it this season as Brandon Jacobs has moved on to the San Francisco 49ers. Ahmad Bradshaw now has the spotlight as the Giants will use the preseason to determine who else fills out the backfield. D.J. Ware received the first chance at backing up Bradshaw and he looked impressive when called on to carry the ball. Rookie and first round pick David Wilson had a team high 43 rushing yards on 7 carries and looked explosive at times. The battle for the backup running back spot is going to be fun to watch.
Eli Manning completed four of eight passes for 60 yards.
What stood out to me in the passing game for the Giants was solid play from their new tight end Martellus Bennett.
Bennett has the size, the speed, and the potential to be an impact player in this offense. The flipside to that is he also had that potential in Dallas. A change of scenery might be just what Bennett needs to maximize his potential. He’s off to a good start so far, catching 3 passes for 27 yards including a 12-yard touchdown catch from backup quarterback David Carr.
The first-team defense looked shaky in the beginning as the Jaguars seemed to move the ball with ease on them in their opening drive.
One key position to watch for will be at cornerback.
Prince Amukamara is getting a chance to step up because of the injury to Terrell Thomas. Amukamara was burned on the Jaguars opening drive when he gave up 3-yard touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts. However, he showed that he could shake that off and redeemed himself later in the 1st quarter when he stripped Shorts on an end-around which led to a Giants recovery.
Head coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t pleased with how his punt return game looked out there and who can blame him? Misplays by rookie Jayron Hosley and receiver Jerrel Jernigan led to Jacksonville points that definitely contributed to the ultimate outcome of the game. If there is one thing that will bring Coughlin to angry levels, it’s turnovers and mental mistakes.
The Giants were in control of this game and mistakes and lack of execution at critical times cost them. However, training camp and the preseason is for fixing those problems before they come up again in September when the games do count and the Giants begin defense of their Super Bowl championship.