While the third game of the preseason offers a lot more insight than the fourth as to what you can look forward to in the regular season, we had our eye on a few things as the New York Giants yet again beat the New England Patriots, this time by a score of 6-3 as Tom Brady sat idly on the bench, absolutely terrified to step on the field against the Giants ever again.
Let's take a look at some of the things we were looking for and some things that came looking for us. Here's what we learned last night…and "what we still don't know" (WWSDK), since the fourth preseason game doesn't tell the outside viewer everything he wants to know about his team, all the
Michael Coe and Sean Locklear look the part:
- Cornerback Coe and offensive tackle Locklear are depth guys who've been forced into the starting lineup by injuries. Both guys have held their own the past two weeks: Coe earned praise from Coach Coughlin after the first game and we watched Ryan Mallet look his way and then continue on with his progressions, while Locklear, particularly in pass protection, has appeared totally solid. WWSDK: How long, if at all, the Giants pencil these guys in as starters. And that depends more on the status of William Beatty's back and the lower extremities of Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley than anything, but it's nice for the team to see them looking like they should be able to hold their own if and when called upon.
- David Wilson got extended burn last night and it looks like the Giants are getting him ready for action. Ware will likely hold on to his job as the third down back but Wilson looks ready to be next in line for carries behind Bradshaw. WWSDK: Whether the coaches are ready to turn Wilson loose from the get go. Our gut says much sooner rather than later. There's just one problem…
- It doesn't matter who is running the ball if the offensive line can't get some movement up front. We're not ones to panic over a poor showing in a preseason game, but the Giants run blocking for the four drives with the starters was uninspiring enough to wipe out any progress they made when opened up a bunch of good holes for Wilson last week against the Bears. WWSDK: If the Giants can turn around this scary trend of being unable to open up running lanes. It's unlikely any new personnel is on the way, so they're going to have to figure this one out in the meeting rooms and on the field.
- Andre Brown is one guy who did get decent blocking and made the most of it. He looked really quick, ran hard, fought for yardage and even showed some good hands on two catches. Ostensibly, he's been competing with Da'Rell Scott for the fourth and final spot on the depth chart…but at one point tonight, while Brown was ripping off successful runs as part of a 14 carry, 55-yard performance and DJ Ware was sitting on the bench, Giants announcer Bob Papa wondered aloud whether this was leading down a bad path for Ware. WWSDK: if the Giants have any plans to carry five running backs. And if not, who's the odd man out?
Jury still out on Mitch Petrus:
- This whole paragraph is a WWSDK: if Petrus can get the job done. It's hard to tell from the broadcast but it looked like a rough night for Petrus. Running to the right side (not all Petrus' fault of course) was largely unsuccessful the first four drives and Petrus got beat badly for a sack to end the second drive. Let's put it this way, we're a little more comfortable with Locklear as the swing tackle than Petrus as the swing guard.
Jacquian Williams is healthy, Keith Rivers is deadly:
- Nice to see Williams for the first time really this preseason as we head in to what was supposed to be his breakout season. The arrival of Keith Rivers might push him down the depth chart a bit, but good timing for Williams to get healthy especially with Michael Boley on the shelf. WWSDK: Where exactly Williams fits in, if at all, in the linebacker rotation.
- We've talked about Keith Rivers all preseason and we're going to keep doing it because we just can't get enough. If you recorded the game, go to the Pats last play before the 4-minute mark. He's probably the Giants best all around linebacker at this point. WWSDK: Exactly where he first in when Boley and Mathias Kiwanuka are healthy. Good problems to have.
Adewale Ojomo can play:
- Ojomo and fellow novice DE Matt Broha played with the starters and Ojomo notched another big pressure. He continues to show the ability to get to the QB and added a firm whack on a Patriot running back in the second quarter and a nice play to beat a Patriot running back to the edge while being blocked in the fourth for good measure. WWSDK: Has he played his way onto the practice squad? Has he played his way off of it? Would it be so crazy if he beats out the banged up Adrian Tracy for that fourth defensive end job?
Domenik Hixon is the third wide receiver, Ramses Barden looks like he can be relative productive, and maybe we got ahead of ourselves on David Douglas:
- After some silly talk in the comments section yesterday about Hixon being a surprise cut, we wanted to reiterate that Hixon was lined up as the third receiver and should remain there for at least the early part of the season. WWSDK: How long it will take Reuben Randle to start pushing Hixon for snaps.
- Barden built off of last week's mini-breakout performance with a quiet but productive four catch, 31-yard game. He again showed the ability to use his big body to shield defenders but perhaps more importantly showed that he can use his hands to catch the ball, making a few nice grabs away from the body. He caught all four balls thrown his way. WWSDK: If Barden makes the roster for sure, and whether he can show this kind of production in a regular season game if he does see the field.
- We were ready to pencil Douglas onto the roster last week when he took the first three punts against the Bears. But a host of other players took the punts last night and Douglas was barely on the field. WWSDK: Whether the kid gets a shot at the roster, a job on the practice squad or nothing but a place in the G101 HOF.
Observations from the second team:
- The Giants second team defensive tackles were Dwayne Hendricks and Marcus Thomas. Marvin Austin isn't able to play with the back injury and Markus Kuhn came in with the third team. Make of that what you will. WWSDK: Whether the Giants stick is out with Austin, who is dealing with a back injury and never got the chance this summer to prove he was ready to contribute after two years of not playing any meaningful snaps. That decision will go a long way to defining this unit.
- Spencer Paysinger played outside linebacker with the second team. Greg Jones played the middle with the third unit. WWSDK: Whether Greg Jones will catch on elsewhere.
- Justin Tryon relieved Cory Webster when the second team came on and appears to be the next man up after Coe. Tryon had a rough showing earlier in the preseason leading to some talk he might be in jeopardy of losing his job, but it looks like we can put that to bed. WWSDK: How quickly Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamara can get back from their injuries.
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