Upon Further Review: Preseason Week 1. Steelers 20 Giants 12 by Vincent Zahler
Finally, the long wait is over. Blue jerseys have graced the gridiron again. Even if it's just preseason, it's enough to almost pacify the typical Giants fan. Even without the likes of Eli, OBJ, and JPP, there was still plenty to be interested in. Across the team, there were a handful of notable performances. Starting with the offense. ....
It was fine night for the Giants tight ends. Newcomer from Minnesota, Rhett Ellison showed some pass catching ability to go along with his solid blocking early on. Jerrel Adams also followed up a decent rookie season with a few flash plays. And of course, we got a single glimpse of Evan Engram's freakish athletic ability with an impressive 11 yard catch and run. Unsurprisingly, the running backs left something to be desired. Outside of decent consistency from Orleans Darkwa, no one stood out. Even Paul Perkins struggled to get past the line while rookie Wayne Gallman just struggled in general. We were able to watch the clear competition for the back up quarterback. While the statistics don't show a clear leader, the offense appeared to be more efficient with Geno Smith once he stepped in for struggling Josh Johnson. Johnson showed happy feet and lack of real pocket presence while Geno, despite some expected poor decisions with the football, looked the part of a solid backup plan for Eli.
This brings us to the deservedly much talked about offensive line. Still unable to get much of a push in the run games which takes some of the blame for the run game, raising concerns as the season approaches. After some early struggles against TJ Watt, Ereck Flowers gathered himself and noticeably improved as the game went on. Backup tackles Chad Wheeler and Adam Bisnowaty showed that they have a long way to go before a starting spot is even remotely considered despite glowing camp reports.
Onto the Defense.... Landon Collins predictably opened up the game by making stops via punishing hits as he prepares to build onto his breakout 2016. BJ Goodson had an average game for the most part. While he did make a few tackles, he appeared to struggle with defensive reads and thus allowed some preventable runs. He will have to improve in that department to make his mark as the expected starting MLB. The free safety battle seems to be in full effect. Andrew Adams made is presence known with a few plays while coach's pet Nat Berhe got burned yet again.
A special shout-out to the defensive line. Everyone from Jay Bromley, to Devon Taylor, to Dalvin Tomlinson to especially Kerry Wynn made play after play after play. Showing that while the starting line is still what it is, the depth is nothing to sneeze at.
Onto the kicking battle. At this point, it's fairly obvious that Aldrick Rosas is the front runner over veteran Mike Nugent. Drilling a 50+ yard field goal goes a long way en route to winning a kicking job.
Now that the first preseason jitters are off, we can move forward and hope for more Giants to step up and impress as well and those struggling to improve by the time the regular season kicks off.