Ten Random Notes From Last Night's Giants Game
I was thinking of writing a game recap and an overall analysis of what transpired on Monday night. But I realized that would be rather pointless, and decided to shorten it to a 10-part slideshow of little (and random) things I noticed.
In what started out as an exciting affair, the game took a turn for the worse with sloppy plays and a plethora of penalties. Although there is much good to be taken out of the first preseason game, there are definitely going to be aspects in which Coughlin is pulling his hair out.
Hopefully this slideshow won't make you do the same.
Jeff Feagles, No. 17 Again
Is it me or did Jeff Feagles put on some weight?
If he did, it sure didn't hold him back from making a very athletic play (for a punter) to bat the ball out of the end zone and essentially save five points. I don't want my Pro Bowl punter doing that in the preseason, but that's the way Jeff Feagles plays I guess.
And now my Plaxico Burress jersey is valuable again. All I need is a big strip of tape to put over the Burress and replace with Feagles.
My Fanhood Is a Tad Rusty
Am I the only one whose immediate reaction to seeing a No. 94 on the defensive line was that William Joseph was starting at defensive end and was about 60 pounds lighter?
I know Mathias Kiwanuka changed his number to 94, but for some reason, I just can't shake the memories of Willie J away.
Why can't I just forget about this guy already?
Nice Going, Rookie
The much-renowned habit of the defensive backs picking up the ball even when it is ruled down has made its way from Albany down to Giants Stadium.
When a ball dropped just in front of Stoney Woodson, he circled around it, pounced, and ran a few yards with it.
I guess Bill Sheridan has really drilled in his point to his defensive players. And now, Woodson will likely be in the center of some laughter in the film room today.
At Least Coughlin Didn't Give Him the Tom Cable Treatment
All I heard this offseason was that Bill Sheridan would be calling games from the press box and this season would be nothing but a disaster.
Then about halfway through the game, ESPN puts a camera on an unfamiliar place and identifies him as the Giants' defensive coordinator, Bill Sheridan.
Coughlin admitted that this was his prerogative to ban Sheridan from the press box. It's an un-Coughlin-like move, so I'm guessing certain members of the leadership council played a major role in this.
A Change Of Pace On Punt Returns
The Giants have arguably been the most conventional punt returning team in the league throughout the Coughlin regime.
Their philosophy? Have a sure-handed guy field the punts, and 5-7 yards would be a bonus.
This could all change this year.
With R.W. McQuarters on the chopping block, the Giants seem to be fielding a two-player tryout for the right to return: Sinorice Moss and Mario Manningham.
Each predicate their game off speed and elusiveness. And each are very unexperienced.
We saw the benefits of the speed on Manningham's first punt return. We also the problems, when Manningham inexplicably spun as soon as he caught the ball and gained merely a yard.
Interesting to see how that battle turns out.
Rock Bottom Already
There had better be no injuries on the starting offensive line this year.
Even though both guards were out, the offensive line was very effective in the first quarter. It's tough to get a true gauge for how well they played because the Panthers were running very vanilla defenses.
However, the second-strings got absolutely manhandled by the Panthers' front seven. Both tackles were mediocre on their best plays, and William Beatty was unfortunate enough to be placed under the ESPN microscope because of his matchup against rookie second-rounder Everette Brown.
The line play was pitiful as soon the the substitutions began. Hopefully the unit shows some pride and rebounds this Saturday.
Forever a Mystery?
There was much anticipation for the debuts of rookie receivers Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden.
Neither of them lived up to the hype.
And it wasn't solely their fault. Due to the poor offensive line play, Andre Woodson had very little time to throw the ball down the field.
Nicks' only highlight was a nice catch on a slant.
Barden's only claim to fame was the longest successful curl route I've ever seen.
If they don't play with the first string offense, we may never get an idea of what those two can do on the field.
Don't Blame Woodson On His Final Overthrow
For one play, it all appeared to be working out.
Barden got behind the secondary, Woodson had a pocket to step into, and Woodson made the right read.
Except it was overthrown enough that Barden couldn't get his long arms on it.
I don't think it was a bad throw by Woodson, but rather a product of disrupted timing.
Right as Nicks and Barden broke into their routes, they bumped into each other. This prevented Barden from getting to Point B at his normal speed, which could have been the difference from it being a long completion and an incompletion.
Running Game Domination
This running back corps has as much talent as I've ever seen one have.
Obviously, Jacobs is the starter, but I can't distinguish who is the better of Bradshaw and Ware. Bradshaw deserves the edge due to his experience and resume, but I am so impressed by Ware's running.
Bradshaw does have me worried every play because of his greatest asset: his feistiness. On the 11-yard run where he carried defenders for five or six yards, I feared it was only a matter of time before the ball would pop out.
All it takes is one mistake to lose a game. And hopefully my fears aren't realized.
Additionally, I feel like this group would be able to survive a Brandon Jacobs injury this year. Unlike Derrick Ward, I feel like Bradshaw and Ware are capable of maintaining success without Jacobs wearing out opposing defenses.
Wow, This Is One Fast Defense
On one of the first plays of the game, the Panthers ran a screen in which two Giants defensive linemen came full throttle in the direction of Delhomme.
Delhomme got the ball off in the flat, but the receiver was promptly taken down by two more Giants defenders.
Typically, when a quarterback experiences a rush of that magnitude on those screens, the receiver will have room to run. But this Giants defense is so fast the play attained very little success.
Barring injury, this will be one of the fastest defenses in the league this year. Especially with the seemingly infinite defensive line rotation.