New York Giants 4-0
The New York Football Giants emerged with a 35-24 victory over the Jets on Friday evening at MetLife Stadium. Indeed, the Snoopy Bowl trophy is now firmly in their grasp, and the Giants incredibly sit at 4-0 despite a multitude of media defined shortcomings and “issues”. It was once again the second and third unit offensive pieces that lit up the scoreboard (28 2nd half points).
But how did the supposed ‘week one regulars’ fare in preseason week #4’s dress rehearsal performance?
The Giants offense managed only 4 first downs on their initial five drives. On the Giants 6th series — beginning at the 1:55 mark of the first half — Eli Manning orchestrated an 11-play 91-yard touchdown march. And what do you know, Rueben Randle actually worked back to the football.
Manning played the entirety of the first half, completing 12/21 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. He fumbled twice against front line pressure, both recovered by the Giants. Manning also threw an apparent interception on a forced “non-throw away” that was overturned by replay review.
Victor Cruz finally got his name into the stat ledger, hauling in a nine-yard reception on the opening play from scrimmage. He caught three more balls for 52 yards on the scoring drive and was able to achieve decent separation.
After getting overpowered by Muhammad Wilkerson (for the umpteenth time in less than two quarters) LG Geoff Schwartz couldn’t get up. The cart was brought out, and it was later announced that Schwartz dislocated his toe, a considerably painful injury. Depending on the extent, a toe injury can turn into a lingering issue. Rookie Weston Richburg replaced him along the line.
Jason Pierre-Paul hurt his leg early in the proceedings. He walked off the field under his own power — and would later return — but the Giants medical staff could still be seen examining him on the sidelines. He’s nursing an “apparent” leg injury. Enlightening.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie blanketed the (still) raw Stephen Hill and beat him to the spot on a crossing route. Later in the half DRC would go airborne to wrestle the rock away from Eric Decker in the end zone. Rodgers-Cromartie moves free and easy and often finds himself in good position to make a play, but the strutting after every target needs to stop.
Speaking of Giants defensive backs, the illegal contact calls continue to rack up like wildfire. If Walter Thurmond III doesn’t adjust to the new rules he’s liable to lead the league in five-yard penalties.
Defense of the screen pass has been high school quality this preseason. A balance between aggressive up-field pursuit and assignment discipline needs to be found.