By Marquita Quinones //@Latinlove729
Although the New York Giants preseason opener resulted in a 20-10 loss against the Cleveland Browns, there were some positive takeaways to consider, even with the newness of the team.
Keep in mind the Giants had a major turnover of personnel, so there is obviously going to be some fine tuning that will need to happen throughout the season. Also keep that in mind New York fans shouldn’t have expected them to come out in their first preseason game looking like the Super Bowl champs of 2012.
One thing to consider in that preseason game is the fact that the best player, Odell Beckham Jr, didn’t play and most of the starters were only seen for a few downs. The biggest impact was running back Saquon Barkley and his explosive start. Managing to get 39 yards on his first touch is a feat that the New York Giants have not seen in a few years. It does look as though the void of a running back has been filled.
I don’t remember the last time I saw a Giants RB run more than 20 yards in one play. #Saquon
— Sal (@Smilone07) August 9, 2018
— Jonathan Schwartz (@JSBullseyeStrat) August 10, 2018
RB Wayne Gallman also had a pretty decent night has he continues to show his game awareness and toughness. Let’s also not forget backups Jalen Simmons and Robert Martin who both effectively ran the ball.
Back up quarterback Davis Webb didn’t seem to be ready for prime time, well not at this moment anyway. Head coach Pat Shurmur even sent in some more simplified crossing patterns to assist Webb, but it didn’t seem to calm him down. Most of his attempts were overthrown or his timing was off so he finished with a 9 for 22 performance. So unless his performance improves, we may see more of Kyle Lauletta
Defense had a lackluster night as well; much to the dismay of new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Giants still can’t cover the tight ends which was evident in their attempt to stop David Njoku. In fact, the Cleveland Browns were able to move the ball for 333 passing yards.
You do have to remember that the Giants were without two important defensive backs Curtis Riley and William Gay, but the defense just didn’t seem to make the connection. Linebacker Alec Ogletree is known to be a monster in the box but his coverage leaves much to be desired.
The Giants were able to stop the run game thanks to Damon Harrison, aka “Snacks”, who was controlling the middle of the defensive line. Harrison, along with linebacker B.J. Goodson, left no room in the middle of the field for the Browns to run the ball.
The defensive backups gave a good performance that was equally effective. The Browns only managed 50 yards on 33 attempts and that was all due to the accuracy of the defense in the middle. The ends, linebackers and corners strung things out, and the safeties effectively filled the gaps. Maybe the impressive run defense led to lapses in defending the pass. This will have to be worked out before the season gets started.
Another important takeaway was the performance of punter Riley Dixon. His performance was far better than his predecessor, Brad Wing. Dixon was required to punt 10 times and that resulted in a 44.2 average. I believe the switch to Dixon was the correct move.
All in all I think there is some potential there for a successful season.
Follow Marquita on Twitter at @Latinlove729