By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
After the Giants first pre-season game and win against the New England Patriots 23-21 there were some bright spots and some concerns. Again, it’s only one game, but we need to take notice at a few glaring concerns and bright spots as the Giants get ready to face the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. Here are my top 3 Bright spots and Top 3 concerns entering game 2:
- Inside Linebacker (ILB): Beavers and McFadden are looking to start alongside Blake Martinez by opening day and they both took the 1st steps towards accomplishing that with their solid performance in game one. Beavers and McFadden displayed solid positioning and reactions during their snaps; and in my opinion, current projected starter Tae Crowder days are numbered.
- Collin Johnson (WR): Johnson was the best WR for the Giants in game one and aside from his fumble; which was a great play by the defender; Johnson played nearly flawless. Johnson has definitely improved his chances on making the roster and if he continues his fine play; he will not only make the roster, but will be considered a more reliable target once the season begins.
- Giants Offensive line/RB: The offensive line collectively performed well as the Giants ran for 177 yards against the Patriots. From the 1st unit to the 3rd unit, the offensive line dominated in the running game and held their own at pass protection. Saquan Barkley, Gary Brightwell and Antonio Williams all ran well and showed great decision making and burst through the hole.
- Aaron Robinson (CB): Where do I start! Robinson had a game that I’m sure he wants to forget as he was consistently picked on and beaten. Robinson failed to play physical especially when he played up on the receiver at the line of scrimmage. Allowing the receiver, a clear release should never be permitted.
- Kenny Golladay (WR): Golladay showed no explosion off the line and couldn’t create separation from the cornerback. Once the ball was thrown to Golladay, he failed to catch the ball; especially the 1st drive drop on 3rd in the red zone that could have extended the drive and only resulted in a field goal for the Giants.
- Backup Cornerbacks: After Robinson underperformed during his time at CB, backups Darren Evans and Zyon Gilbert both failed to impress the coaching staff by allowing too many easy catches either in front or behind them. The cornerback position was a concern of mine and now it’s apparent that it’s the weakest position on the defensive side of the ball.
Again, we still have two more pre-season games to play, and we should see some improvement from the players/position mentioned above. Of course, injuries could determine roster moves and the fact that the Giants had the most injuries in 2021 and currently have three players on PUP (Shepard, Gates & Peart) and 19 currently injured at this time. Make no mistake, if this trend continues expect GM Joe Schoen to be aggressive and make the necessary moves to re-enforce the roster at certain positions.