The New York Giants made their preseason debut last night and lost 32-31 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. To me, preseason is less about the win or the loss and more about staying healthy and evaluating your players. No major Giants players got injured and some of their younger talent showed. Here’s what I liked and what I didn’t from last night.
What I liked:
The Rookies: You can see why David Wilson and Rueben Randle were drafted where they were. If Randle had had a quarterback like Andrew Luck throwing to him in college last year, he may not have been there for the Giants pick in round two. Randle made a great leaping catch on a fade route for the touchdown and had another catch for good yardage. Wilson showed off his speed on some runs but also got stopped on some others but as the saying goes, he can build on this.
QB Pressure: Anytime you can get six sacks in a game, its a good one. It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason or not. Even the secondary got into the act when Jayron Hosley got a sack. The Giants are a team built on pressure and seeing this kind of pressure early is a good sign.
What I Didn’t Like:
Punt Returns: It looks like the Giants wont have many happy returns again this year. Hosley and Jerrel Jernigan each muffed punts, something Coach Couglin will not be pleased with. The Jags turned each punt into ten points which helped them eventually win the game late. I think the answer may be Dominik Hixon, however I don’t believe he will be back there right away coming off of two torn acl’s in two years. The Giants had Aaron Ross last year returning punts, but he signed with Jacksonville in the off-season.
Penalties: The Giants committed 11 penalties last night. Replacement officials or not, that is way too many. Look for the Giants to cut that number down in the coming weeks getting ready for when it really counts.
Rushing Defense: The Giants gave up 156 yards rushing and five yards per carry. Way too many. The Jaguars had one more yard passing then they did rushing. When you run the ball you get the ball more time of possession and the Jags had a nine minute advantage in that department which helped them get the win.
We’ll see what kind of adjustments the coaching staff makes for the game next Saturday night. I expect things to tighten up. You can’t go crazy after week one of the preseason. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.