New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not play as expected, and the first-team offense played just two series. Beckham was not the only notable Giant missing from the action on Thursday.
William Gay, Donte Deayon, and Curtis Riley all did not dress due to injury. Riley is currently listed as Big Blue’s first-string free safety on the team’s unofficial depth chart.
The Giants gave up three scores, including two touchdown passes to Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Of course, Giants fans won’t read too much into Big Blue’s first preseason outing, but as Eli Manning noted during the game, it only helps the team determine areas where they need improvement, via New York’s team website.
"“I think it’s always great to be back out there, get on the field, going against a new opponent. And I think after the first game you see a lot about things you need to improve on. There’s things guys need to settle down and get comfortable with everything, but I thought there were some good things, got a scoring drive, but definitely after watching, I think you can see a lot of things we need to improve on.”"
The Giants clearly showed they have plenty of work to do ahead of their regular season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9. Head coach Pat Shurmur said after the game that “There were moments and stretches in the game that were positive.”
There were also plenty of moments that gave New York Giants fans similar feelings to last year, particularly giving up big plays on the defensive side of the ball.
It is just the first preseason game. Yet the Giants still likely learned more about themselves tonight than they have so far in training camp. It’s nice to make plays in practice, but making plays when it counts is what truly matters.