For those of you who managed to stay awake for the entirety of the New York Giants final preseason game, congratulations. The Giants beat the New England Patriots 6-3 in a game that wasn’t even as exciting as the score indicates.
For those of you who are still snoring, which is how I actually woke myself up in the fourth quarter, you didn’t miss much. Much of the game was sloppily played by both sides. Penalties mounted and the replacement referees didn’t help matters, confusing calls, botching explanations, and making reviews on plays that had already passed their expiration date.
I have withheld my criticism of the replacement referees up to this point. However, after three games these crews should at least have an understanding of the rulebook. They don’t. They aren’t even close on some things.
As for play on the football field, well, there wasn’t much. Andre Brown made a case to make the team with a solid game until a fourth quarter fumble that shouldn’t have happened. It was his second fumble of the game. Luckily for him, Bear Pascoe was there to fall on it at the Giants’ one-yard line. Brown totaled 55 yards on 14 carries, a 3.9 average. He also had two catches for 22 yards.
Ramses Barden continued to make his case as well, catching all four balls thrown his way for 31 yards. He did have an excellent, 9-yard catch that would have been a first down get called back because of a holding penalty on Matt McCants. The Giants settled for a field goal to make it 3-3.
Barden, however, has really come on in the past two weeks. He seemed confident going over the middle and was willing to take a hit if it meant making the catch. Barden might have finally played his way into some playing time in the regular season.
Jerrel Jernigan had a nice catch and run in the third quarter for 25 yards. He made the catch over the middle of the field and juked a defender out to get a few more yards and the first down. However, once again, the Giants failed to make something happen and ended up having to punt.
Defensive end Adewale Ojomo had another good game, recording three tackles and the pivotal sack in the fourth quarter which led to a Brian Hoyer fumble which set the Giants up for the game-winning field goal.
Now for the bad. Running back David Wilson looked awful one week after looking great. He averaged only 1.6 yards per carry, getting 13 yards on 8 carries. He gained 5 of his 13 yards on one play. This was hardly the follow up game he was hoping for after impressing the coaching staff last week against the Chicago Bears.
Isaiah Stanback, trying to make the team as a replacement for Devin Thomas on special teams, had a terrible game, getting called for an illegal block in the back, his second 15-yard penalty in as many weeks.
The Giants offensive line looked terrible. They had trouble clearing running lanes early on, committed penalties late, and David Carr had trouble staying on his feet a good amount of the time.
All in all it was an ugly, boring game which wasn’t helped by the cluelessness of the replacement refs. I’ve seen British comedies that are easier to follow than this Giants game was.
The NFL and referees need to get on the same page and soon.