With the Giants first preseason game now over, it is time to reflect and pick out the top performers, and some underachievers.
Victor Cruz-This is probably the easiest thing to pick out. Cruz finished the night with six catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns. He made some tremendous grabs, with a one-handed catch from Jim Sorgi the highlight. Cruz showed excellent hands and body control. While he was going against lesser talent, it seemed like he would grab anything that came into his area. He also showed good speed and some nice route-running.
Linval Joseph-He didn’t have many big plays, but he seemed to get a consistent push and played the run well. He showed great power and a constant motor. While Pierre-Paul had the sack, I was much more impressed by Joseph’s play on the day.
Ahmad Bradshaw-We’ve come to expect big plays by Bradshaw, but it was nice seeing he could still do it following his injury. Unlike Jacobs Bradshaw is a home-run threat in the backfield and his ability to change direction on a dime has not been affected. I am looking for big things from him this season.
Rhett Bomar-I thought he looked dreadful last season. Last night, however, he played great. I would have no problem moving him ahead of Jim Sorgi on the depth chart. He showed good feet and a strong and accurate arm. He was 6-7 for 67 yards and a touchdown in his limited time, not to mention a run fr 23 yards.
Antrel Rolle-He gets on the list solely for his interception. Other than that he had a solid night and a definite improvement over Brown and Johnson from last season.
Matt Dodge-Wow do I miss Jeff Feagles. The blocked punt probably was not his fault, but all the line-drive punts were. This kid has a strong leg, but he has to learn how to punt in the NFL. At this rate I would not be surprised if the Giants picked someone up before the season.
The Starting Offensive Line-The entire unit was painfully bad. There were no lanes for the running backs and Eli got very little time. Hopefully this will improve with Chris Snee back and more time.
Ramses Barden-For all the talk during training camp, he was unremarkable last night. I was really expecting him to break-out, and dropping an easy catch on a slant to start the game is not the way to do that. He has three more chances to impress this preseason so hopefully he can show something.
Jason Pierre-Paul-I guess we just have to be patient with him. While he showed great athleticism, he did not look like he belonged on the same field as the Jets players. He may have gotten a sack, but I blame that more on the Jets. He was manhandled a lot and showed absolutely no technique. I know he has little playing experience, but for the 15th overall pick I was expecting more than that. At this rate I would be hesitant to play him even in a reserve role during the season.
While Tuck didn’t play poorly I was expecting more from the team leader. He really did not have an impact in this game at all. He wasn’t manhandled, but did not look like a pro bowl player.
I was impressed by the play of the linebackers. For the weakest position on the team the Giants have good depth. Wilkinson had a solid game, as did Sintim in a starting role, and I liked what I saw from Dillard in his first game day experience.
For all the talk before the game Terrell Thomas played just ok, and took a terrible angle on a third down play when in pursuit of Tomlinson. No way should he have gotten that first down.
Unfortunately I was unable to get a feel for new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. I guess I won’t really be able to know how good he is until the regular season starts.
I guess overall there were some bright moments, but not a lot of good things from the starters. Also the Giants seemed a little sloppy. a 12-man penalty, and Eli’s debacle kind of highlight that. Hopefully they correct those things next week. For a team that was embarrassed last season I was really expecting a stronger performance.