I’m a big proponent of not starting a team’s big stars in the preseason, as they could get injured in a game that is relatively meaningless to them. The Giants didn’t start Eli, Odell Beckham, and Brandon Marshall in the 1st preseason game, so I thought they would follow suit here. They didn’t. And now there appear to be injuries to Odell Beckham AND Brandon Marshall. Beckham seemed to walk off the field just fine, but as it turned out he had an ankle sprain. All Giants fans can hope for is that Beckham starts Week One. The same can be said for Marshall, who left the game with a shoulder injury. However, Marshall posted a tweet with a flexed muscle after the x-rays, so he appears to be alright. So when all is said and done, the injuries weren’t the thing that really concerned me as a Giants fan (besides, that hit on Odell was perfectly legal). The thing that concerned me was that my team wasn’t doing a thing you need to do to win in this league: Score touchdowns.
Don’t believe me? Through the first two preseason games, the Giants haven’t scored ONE touchdown. That’s 8 quarters of offensive ineptitude. The starting offensive line looked terrible in run blocking, as for a while, I had more rushing yards than Paul Perkins. He had one rush for 16 yards, but his other 5 rushes went for -6 yards. While the starting offense was out there, the Giants had one first down in three drives (Evan Engram caught the one first down). Part of this I believe is because the Browns defense is a real sleeper candidate to become an above-average unit, but it’s also because the Giants offensive line has basically become 5 turnstiles.
This article isn’t all negativity, as the Giants looked good on defense (as per usual). Jason Pierre-Paul had an interception off a batted pass from Brock Osweiler, proving that he can still make catches despite what happened with the firework accident. Though he already did prove that last year, against… the Browns of all teams.
Anyway, another good sign from the Giants defense was middle linebacker B.J. Goodson, who had seven tackles and one sack against Cleveland. The 2016 fourth round pick was mentored from a Giants middle linebacker of the past, Antonio Pierce, and could finally end the Giants’ carousel of starting middle linebackers.
The Giants offensive struggles have actually allowed us to really see who should win the battle for starting kicker. The Giants appear to want to start undrafted rookie Aldrick Rosas, who has been a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals this preseason. and has booted a 52-yarder and a 47-yarder. Veteran kicker Mike Nugent is also 3 for 3 on his attempts but has made them from lesser distances. Additionally, he missed six extra points last season for the Bengals, which is a permanent stain on your resume if you’re a kicker in the NFL.
The Giants QB depth looked bad as usual, as Geno Smith threw another dumb interception, and Josh Johnson definitely couldn’t lead a two-minute drill. I thought the Giants would finally score a TD after the Browns fumbled the ball away, setting the Giants up in the red zone once again. And then rookie Wayne Gallman proceeded to cough the ball right back up. What I want to see is rookie QB Davis Webb. I know the Giants aren’t planning to start him for a few years, but I want to see more from him, and not the clowns that are currently backing up Eli. I also want to see a touchdown. That would be nice.