Well, Giants Preseason Game 2 against the Colts was not exactly what I had hoped for. While I certainly don’t worry a great deal about wins and losses during preseason, I still hope to see progress in all key areas. I am still just kind of sitting here shaking my head. It’s clear, I’ve become a realist. The Giants have quite a bit of work to do if we are to become a championship team in 2013.
The one thing that came from last night on the very positive side: I am fairly certain it will take an act of God for anyone else to be the 3rd running back other than Rookie Michael Cox. He showed nice versatility tonight, running, receiving and returning kicks – how nice to know that we may not have a guy for kick returns whose name isn’t Wilson (I’m big on saving his energy for the running game if possible).
Ironically, on the somewhat positive side, the running game was better than last week all around. Hopefully we continue in that positive direction.
Do I have any other positives about last night’s game? Nothing significant. There were flashes of light early in the game, but we couldn’t convert in the Red Zone, so does it really matter? It was nice to see Hakeem Nicks out there and he had a couple of good catches, but I expect that when he’s playing, and he seemed a bit lacking in energy.
A couple comments on some people I mentioned in my pre-game notes: the battle for a roster spot between Adewale (Ojomo – 71)and Trattou (69) is on. Both brought something to the table – again. I think Ojomo had 5 (team leading) tackles and Trattou had a sack (the only one of the night). Still, the numbers are limited at DE, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the Game 3 and 4. There was nothing of note from Tyler Sash, or really any of the DBs (except for the one Jayron Hosley INT, and Prince Amukamara was fairly solid). Linebackers brought a little more to the table than last week, and early in the game were better able to stop the run, so we will see how that progresses.
Meanwhile, allow me to now cover the not quite so positive…
MAN! We have some work to do! The protections on the QB were terrible. Prior to the game, I mentioned I was looking for depth at OL. Frankly, I’m looking for ANYONE right now. I was surprised Eli and Carr made it out of the game on two feet. It was like the Colts’ Defense ran right through our line, and the QBs had no time to do anything right. I’m not removing all the accountability from the QBs – frankly, Eli and Carr were hardly at their best and far from it. But I would be interested to see how this game would have played out with a stronger offensive front. And I hate saying this out loud – because I just love the guy, he is a lifer Giant, and he looks like he worked really hard in the offseason – but Dave Diehl just didn’t play well last night. Did anyone notice Chris Snee playing last night? He does admit he’s not yet playing full force. By the way, for anyone who thinks playing on the Offensive Line isn’t a sexy role – last night’s game proved just how critical a role it is! A strong Offensive Line can make or break what happens in a game.
Meanwhile, I think I said something before that game about wanting to see a solid game from anyone who thinks they should play Center? No offense to Jim Cordle (who came in early, played more snaps than anyone on the OL and did ‘fine’ – there’s that word ‘fine’ again – after the knee hit on Baas), but, um, with Baas injured (they say it’s minor, but how minor can a knee sprain really beat this point for him), I think I may start a petition to bring Sean O’Hara out of retirement.
Discipline was off – it was something I felt relatively good about last week. And Tom Coughlin (who was himself singled out as an example by the refs when he was penalized 15 yards for unsportmanlike conduct under the new NFL rules about field encroachment from the sideline coaching box) cannot be too happy when there’s a breakdown in discipline. Too many penalties.
Energy was low. I was ridiculously disappointed to see a couple guys on defense coming off the bench after a horrible (and quick) offensive drive, with looks of ‘what a hassle’, or ‘I don’t feel like going back in’ on their faces. THAT will not do when the regular season arrives folks. All I can say is this: Antrel, get yourself well because your energy is clearly contagious and you team needs to infect them.
By the way, I learned this morning (on Sirius NFL Radio) that every playing in the NFL makes in the area of $1700 only per preseason game. They don’t start making their real salaries until the regular season begins. Explains quite a lot – why would most guy risk getting hurt when they’re not making their real paycheck yet?
I really hope this QB risk was worth it. I know he’s young and has to learn the game at the NFL level, and we’ll need to develop someone to be #2 next year… but if Ryan Nassib was projected as a round 1 draft guy, at the moment, in the infamous words of Teddi Bruschi (private joke to myself and a few other people), “I’m not feeling it.” I am having a hard time stomaching that someone better will lose a spot on the team because we plan to take up a roster spot with a 3rd QB playing at this level.
I know. I’m mean. I’m being too negative. Nope. I’m a realist. I believe when the results aren’t there, one must identify the issues, and work to fix them. What I saw tonight isn’t going to cut it. Are the Giants capable? ABSOLUTELY they are capable. Do the Giants have a LOT of work to do before they get to the regular season? AFFIRMATIVE.
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