(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
I've finally returned from my month-long hiatus (i.e. shoulder surgery), to deliver some initial impressions from the Giants preseason showdown with the Carolina Panthers last night. It was, without a doubt, a highly entertaining game and came down to a thrilling finish.
I know what you're thinking, this article is about a preseason game, preseason is pointless, so why should I care? Well, if you consider yourself a hardcore fan of the G-Men, then this one is for you. I've compiled a list of what we as fans should take away from our team's first preseason performance.
Consider this if you will, to be a bite-sized, ADD-friendly analysis:
My overall thoughts of the Giants after just one preseason game are very positive. The defense looked sharp, and the defensive backs were flying all over the field. It's nice to see the quality depth we have now at the cornerback position with Terrell Thomas, Stoney Woodson, DeAndre Wright and Kevin Dockery filling out the roster behind the starters.
I noticed that there seemed to be an emphasis on screen passes in the offense to counter a blitz, and I was impressed with what I saw. It reminded me a lot of what the Eagles do with Brian Westbrook.
David Carr looked pretty bad in my opinion but Andre Woodson was absolutely horrendous. Woodson was only able to muster a pathetic quarterback rating of 19.1, completing only 5 passes on 11 attempts. He also forced a pass to Ramses Barden which got picked off. Basically, it was quite apparent that he was nervous and overwhelmed.
Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware looked outstanding and proved that they will be a worthy duo to take over if Jacobs falls prey to injury.
The wide receivers didn't seem to really stand out.
I think Ramses Barden, if given some more opportunities, is going to flourish into a star. Hakeem Nicks seemed almost invisible and I can tell he's been hindered by his absence in training camp.
Lawrence Tynes needs to be cut immediately.
He always has excuses for why he blatantly misses field goals and this year in particular, the Giants need a dependable kicker. His kickoffs were okay, but his field goal kicking is atrocious.
Clint Sintim looked spectacular and appeared to be virtually unstoppable as he brought pressure to the opposing quarterback almost every time he was on the field. I was thoroughly impressed with him.
William Beatty also played pretty well at left tackle. I was a little surprised. I think he'll probably replace McKenzie next season if the coaches work with him a little more.
Sinorice Moss is simply not the answer as a punt returner.
He was trying to juke and jive way too much as opposed to just tearing it up downfield much like Mario Manningham was doing.
Offensive line depth is sorely lacking.
The running game began to falter and the sacks started to pile up when the inexperienced back-ups entered the game. That's very discouraging.
Also, one last thing, the poor playcalling consisting of:
First down: run (gain of two yards)
Second down: run (gain of one yard)
Third down: pass (incomplete)
This really needs to stop. The playcalling was decent for the most part, but there were definitely some head-scratchers. But that's just a staple of Kevin Gilbride.
I think Woodson and Tynes definitely need to go. But overall, judging the whole team, I was very pleased with the stellar performances all the way around. I'm as giddy as a school girl.