I just wasted a Saturday night.
I don't remember ever being so disgruntled and disgusted after a preseason game.
I won't question the team's desire, but it often looked like the players wanted no part of tackling or blocking Bears players.
Quickly, lets take a look at the players that impressed.
Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware all ran hard and again looked in mid-season form.
Jacobs showed off his hands, catching a couple of passes and looking like a natural receiver. This new wrinkle could make Jacobs even more dangerous.
Add Brian Urlacher to the list of players that Brandon Jacobs has poster-ized. Jacobs made one of the league's best linebackers look like a Raggedy Anne doll.
With that said, I'd like to see them back off on pounding Jacobs as much as they do. I know he needs to get his work in, but he's the team's most important offensive player outside of Eli Manning, and he has had a problem staying healthy. I hold my breath every time he gets the ball.
Danny Ware looked excellent on kick returns. I suggested during the offseason that Ware might be a good option for kick returns, and so far the initial returns (pun intended!) have been positive.
Jonathan Goff plays with good instincts and fundamentals.
Gerris Wilkinson made a couple of nice plays. He could be fighting for a roster spot, but he has impressed me these last couple of games.
Nice job by CC Brown to cause a fumble. He could be a big contributor this season as a third safety.
Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks found pockets in the defense for one nice receptions each. These were basically the only positives for the passing game.
Four quick Bears notes:
1. The view of Soldier Field with Chicago in the background is awesome.
2. I may not be going out on a limb here, but this will be the season that Matt Forte becomes a household name (for those of us who play fantasy football, he is already a household name). Giants defenders whiffed at him all night (or for the quarter and a half he actually played).
3. Jay Cutler has maybe the strongest arm in the league (but you knew that already). He also shows good mobility and pocket awareness. He sliced through the Giants defense on all of his drives, quieting his critics for one week.
4. Cutler to Devin Hester could be a deadly deep threat combination.
And now a letter to the New York Giants' Offenseive Linemen:
Dear Offensive Linemen,
Your job is to protect the quarterback.
With the absolute lack of any form of blocking from the offensive line, it's hard to get on any of the quarterbacks. But that won't stop me from pointing out Andre Woodson's uninspiring play.
Woodson is a very talented player and it is clear that he had all the tools to be a successful college quarterback. Maybe he can even be a solid NFL backup one day. But his lack of awareness and his propensity for missing open receivers makes it clear that he will not be helping this team this year.
He is a long-term project and the win-now Giants don't have time to spend letting him develop when it might stunt the development of their young wide receivers, especially with a franchise QB signed long term.
Woodson's inability to manage the offense just makes it impossible to evaluate any of the wide receivers. It's just a waste of valuable preseason time spent on the Woodson experiment. Maybe I'm being too hard on him, but personally, I'd rather spend that time on Rhett Bomar. At least he has more upside.
Woodson missed a wide open Hakeem Nicks in the 4th quarter on what would have been a big gainer. He constantly looked overwhelmed by the defensive pressure (although I can't really blame him for this, the offensive line was a turnstile).
Speaking of Nicks, what is Coughlin doing not playing Nicks and Ramses Barden earlier? I really don't understand how they can fairly be evaluated if they are not given a chance to play any meaningful, non garbage-time minutes.
Nicks and Barden need to get time with the second team so that they can show whether or not they can contribute this season. Playing them with 3rd stringers against college-level competition doesn't seem like a good way to gauge their NFL readiness.
Other players who failed to impress were Michael Johnson (who looked like a seventh round pick today), Stoney Woodson (ditto), DeAndre Wright (ditto again, although he was a sixth round pick) and David Tyree (not standing out on special teams means getting cut).
Worst of all was having to see defensive tackle Jay Alford go down in the third quarter. Alford was having a great camp and was one of my picks to have a breakout season.
The initial diagnosis is a sprained knee, but my gut is that it's worse than that. There's no way they can know if there is any ligament damage that soon after the injury.
I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not holding my breath on Alford playing again this season (I have no medical training, but the 2009 New York Mets have taught me to always prepare for the worst).
Overall, an absolutely putrid performance. I'm sure Coughlin will chew the team out all week, and it is well deserved. It's time for the Coughlin of old to rear his ugly head. This is the kind of performance I have not seen from this team in years, and I'd be very happy to not see it again this season.
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