Damontre Moore aka “DaMonster” – The Giants third round pick announced himself to Giants fans, and the rest of the NFL, in a big way last night. Moore looked explosive and was disruptive throughout the game. The 6’5, 250lb, defensive end out of Texas A&M was dubbed a steal by many on draft day and has been living up to the hype early on in training camp. Once believed to be a possible top ten draft pick, Moore slipped during the pre-draft process due to maturity concerns and poor workouts at the NFL draft combine (12 reps at the bench press being one). Giants General Manager, Jerry Reese, snagged the free-falling Moore with the 81st overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Moore jumped onto the screen, literally, early in the game last night with one of the most impressive punt blocks I have ever seen (he blocked the ball with his midsection which is just ridiculous). He ended up finishing the game with 4 total tackles (3 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, 1 QB hit, and multiple QB pressures. I really liked what I saw from Moore, especially since a lot of his production came against the Steelers starter at right tackle, instead of back-ups. If he can keep this up, he might have a bigger role this season than many initially believed he would in just his first year.
Victor Cruz – There was much written about Cruz, and most of it not good, as he went through his contract dispute with the Giants that caused him to miss OTA’s. However, it seems that his missed time didn’t affect his chemistry with Giants quarterback, Eli Manning, and their penchant for connecting on big scoring plays. Although he only finished with one catch, it was a 57 yard touchdown which should put Giants’ fans at ease. I, for one, am glad that Cruz will be keeping his salsa dancing with big blue for years to come.
Special Teams – Throughout the years the Giants special teams unit hasn’t always been a strong suit of the team. Well, besides the missed 38 yard field goal by Josh Brown, the unit had a very strong night. Brown was able to hit on three other field goal attempts (23, 30, and 47 yards) and his strong leg on kickoffs was able to produce two touchbacks (a rarity by former kicker Lawrence Tynes). Throughout the night the special teams unit put the Giants in great position, whether it was Moore’s blocked punt that gave the Giants the ball on the Steelers five yard line, or Tyler Sash’s fumble recovery on a muffed point which gave them the ball on the Steelers 28. Lastly, Giants punter, Steve Weatherford, had a fine night as well, including a punt that pinned the Steelers inside of their own five which eventually led to a safety for the Giants.