Though he hasn't had much time in the pocket, Ryan Nassib's struggled in his first career preseason games.
Eli Manning was intercepted, Aaron Ross turned a surefire pick into an acrobatic touchdown for Reggie Wayne, and a trove of key starters were injured as the Giants bumbled through a Sunday night bout with the Colts. Praise to the preseason gods that New York's Week 2 loss didn't matter.
The lull of summer is hard for every football fan, but those loyal to Big Blue should feel particularly antsy as their team slowly workshops its identity. And while you can't put much stock in one preseason stinker, Sunday's performance certainly won't cut it come fall, when the Giants will work to return to the playoffs in a crowded NFC.
Wednesday marked New York's final training camp practice, and roster cuts are on their way as the Giants head into their annual rivalry game with the crosstown Jets. Who needs to step it up in the final two weeks, and who has already hurt their stock for 2013? Here are five disappointments of the preseason.
As Ahmad Bradshaw paced the opposing sideline, his successor struggled in the Giants' backfield. David Wilson touts the speed and cut moves to be a home run threat, but his preseason outings have been less than impressive thus far. Through Week 2, Wilson's averaged a paltry 3.8 yards per carry and was outdone in pass-blocking by competitor Andre Brown.
The Giants have called for just seven more passes than running plays so far, surprising for an offense that hasn't been heavy on the ground in recent years and lost its starting running back from last season. You can't sweat Wilson too much right now, but it's not been the most favorable of starts to the second-year player's campaign for feature carries.
We'll remember the bobble that led to Wayne's improbable touchdown grab, but Aaron Ross was bad the entire first half against Indianapolis.
Ross allowed catches to Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey while being flagged for a facemask call in the second quarter. While fellow corner Jayron Hosley looked just as sloppy, getting lost in space on a touchdown reception from T.Y. Hilton. He redeemed himself on the next defensive series with a pick of Matt Hasselbeck.
Though a viable option as the nickel corner, Ross won't do New York's shaky secondary any favors if he plays like he did on Sunday. To be fair, the returning Giant has received rave reviews during practice, but his struggles in actual preseason games land him on this list. Laugh for now, but time to step up come September.
Between two solid starters and strong backups in Mike Patterson, Shaun Rogers and Johnathan Hankins, Marvin Austin has an uphill battle to remain a Giant. His first half of the preseason has turned that hill into a mountain.
Austin's been invisible thus far, not doing anything to shake that dreaded bust label. Perhaps it's time for the Giants to part ways with their failed UNC project, but if Austin wants any shot at the final roster, he'll produce more than the combined one tackle he's registered through Week 2.
Not looking good right now.
David Diehl had a nightmarish 2012. Fans knew he'd need a big preseason to retain his starting job, as Justin Pugh breathed down his nick at right tackle all summer. So much for that.
Diehl was gassed by Robert Mathis on the edge Sunday before enduring a thumb injury that will keep him shelved for six weeks. It stings more with David Baas injuring his MCL the same week. Pugh has received the starting spot with little fanfare now, and the Giants are suddenly suspect on the line after producing the second-ranked unit in football last season.
Not all of it is his fault, of course, but Diehl's absence hurts depth. James Brewer could get more involved as a backup and in jumbo packages.
Ryan Nassib's looking much more like a fourth-round pick than a projected top quarterback in his draft class. Introduced to the NFL to the tune of four sacks, a 30 percent completion rate and a 59.2 quarterback rating, the Syracuse alum has Giants fans appreciating Eli Manning's durability more than ever. David Carr's got him beat for the backup job as well so far.
Nassib's going against third-string defenders, and one big outing this summer will do wonders for his confidence. Of course, the preseason stats are thrown out once opening day arrives. For now, though, let's hope to see something a little more encouraging.