The New York Giants have played one preseason game and the expected has occurred. The team looked rusty and they loss the game 20-10 to the Carolina Panthers. It was a gloomy game for both teams playing in the rain. Though the sky was dark and cloudy with rain pouring there were a few bright spots on the field. These are the things that need the most attention during the pre-season.
The Brightest of all was wearing blue and the number 90. Jason Pierre-Paul seemed more than ready to play that first pre-season game against Carolina. He had 2 sacks in 1 quarter of play for the Giants. He looked every bit as good as the coaches have said so far during training camp. The Defensive Line doesn’t seem like it’s going to be an area of concern for the team. Osi Umenyiora is practicing this week which makes the Giants even stronger. Just think Umenyiora, Chris Canty, Justin Tuck, and Pierre-Paul rushing the quarterback. There will be plenty of sleep deprivation going on in the hotel rooms of quarterbacks before the game. Who knows maybe the D-Line will get a few cheap sacks just on fatigue. One thing we know for sure though is there will be plenty of quarterbacks being slammed to the ground.
Another area of concern before the game seemed to be wide receiver. The team knew someone needed to step up after the departure of Steve Smith and failed acquisition of Plaxico Burress. It turns out there was one amongst the few that was ready to do so. That one person was 7 year veteran, Dominik Hixon, who had been out the entire season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee. He looked sharp in his first game back since his injury occured during last years training camp. He caught 5 passes for 86 yards. His route-running was superb and his hands looked as good as ever. Though it’s still early it looks as if he could wind up as the slot receiver. His main competitor for the position Victor Cruz caught one pass for 10 yards. This is a healthy competition amongst teammates that will only make them better.
An area of concern which still remains is the tight-end position. Travis Beckum is currently out with a hamstring injury and what remains on the roster is a group of unproven players trying to make the team. Someone has to step up or the team may need to search the waver wire once teams start to cut players.
Special teams play was sporadic. The team alternated between punters Steve Weatherford and Matt Dodge. They both punted pretty well but the punt coverage was horrible. Also, Lawrence Tynes was injured during a field goal try as Carolina’s Sean Ware ran into his leg and caused a thigh bruise. Me personally, I don’t care to have Lawrrence Tynes on the team. He doesn’t have superior leg strength and he isn’t that accurate. So maybe it’s time for an upgrade.