At the start of this game I was very worried that head coach Tom Coughlin allowed his starters to play in Wednesday night’s 6-3 preseason victory over the New England Patriots. Not only did some of them start, including franchise quarterback Eli Manning, but some even played into the second quarter. It is expected that most if not all veteran starters do not play in the final preseason game. It seems a little dicey when there is a huge risk of injury with one week left until the games start to count.
Besides the fact, everyone came out of the game healthy and fresh, including star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who played the first to series as he got his first game action of the preseason. Nicks did not show any sign of slowing down due to his foot injury he suffered in spring, and he should be ready for next Wednesday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
The biggest thing to take from this game is the performance by the backups who are all fighting for roster spots. The Giants must trim their roster to 53 on Friday by 9 p.m.
The offensive line issues continue for the Giants as Chris Snee, James Brewer and Will Beatty all sat due to injury. Their backups could not get anything going and struggled throughout the game. Mitch Petrus started at RG in place of Chris Snee and struggled mightily. Petrus may have lost a spot on this roster because of such a horrid performance throughout the preseason. He was beaten badly by Jermaine Cunningham and allowed Manning to be sacked. The running game picked up in the third quarter, but mostly due to the physical running of Andre Brown.
The running back competition seems to be over. David Wilson got the start on Wednesday due to Ahmad Bradshaw nursing his bruised hand. Wilson did not factor much and finished with 13 yards on eight carries, but he made his case last weekend against the Chicago Bears. Andre Brown and Da’Rel Scott were both given looks in the second half of the game. The team opted to give D.J. Ware some third down rushes when Brown was starting, but they took a longer look at Brown and Scott. It seems as if the Giants want to carry five running backs including FB Henry Hynoski. This means one has to go. As of right now, it seems as if Ware looks to be the one on the outside looking in.
The defensive line continues to impress throughout the preseason. Adewale Ojomo has secured his roster spot and this may put Adrian Tracey’s future up in the air. Ojomo has done nothing to deserve being cut. Ojomo had another sack forced fumble, and looked good against the run. Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard continue to perform at a high level and have been favorites to watch this preseason. The Giants should expect more from their defensive tackles this year against the run and pass. The only problem is depth. Chris Canty and Shaun Rogers are both injured. Both Bernard and Joseph need to continue their already impressive preseason and play at a high level during the season.
Steve Weatherford has another fantastic night. He must love punting against the Patriots. He consistently downed punts inside the 20 yard line.
The next step for the Giants is to trim their roster from 75 players to 53 on Friday. The season finally begins next Wednesday when the Giants start their title defense against the Cowboys.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Stapleton
Ridgewood, New Jersey