John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Preseason games are usually dull, and this game was no different. The Giants had more points at the end of this one (18-13) thanks to one play: a 57-yard TD pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz. Other than that, the game was as unaesthetic as they come.
What I liked…..
DL Cullen Jenkins, the Giants’ top free agent signing this past spring, had a key sack of Ben Roethlisberger.
On the next play, Rookie DE Damontre Moore blocked a punt. All this while making his presence known on defense. He is being called “Damonster” by beat reporters and fans. Moore was virtually unblockable tonight. He will really make a difference on that Giant line if he plays with this energy going forward. This kid can bring the pressure….
WR Rueben Randle made a nice catch and run in the first quarter before the Cruz play. He continues to impress. You can see Eli trusting him more and more each game.
As for Cruz, it was nice to see him get behind the defense again. The play was reminiscent of the one that beat the Redskins last year. He makes it look easy. He did a half-salsa after he scored. Maybe because its preseason…
The Giants did not commit a penalty until the fourth quarter. The secondary also looked better. The longest pass play went for only 14 yards.
LB Spencer Paysinger looks like a different player this year. More confident. The Giants will need that. Jacquian Williams cam in on nickel packages and had a key bat down on Roethlisberger in the first quarter.
RB Michael Cox had runs of 11 and 12 yards in the fourth quarter. He could be a solid performer in the Giant backfield sooner than expected.
CB Charles James showed why the Giants should keep him. He plays corner with some spunk and even got a sack tonight. He is also valuable on special teams.
S Tyler Sash played a solid game, too, recording four tackles and was credited with a safety. DE Adewale Ojomo got pressure on several plays and had 1 1/2 sacks.
What I didn’t like….
WR Kris Adams left the game on cart and Xrays revealed a fractured left leg. OL Chris DeGeare may have sustained an MCL.
The rush defense was back to it’s bend-but-don’t-break philosophy. Did not like the way the Steelers were able to move the football on the ground vs the first team. Looked like a gap control problem….again.
The first team RBs did not get untracked. David Wilson did not get loose. Andre Brown moved the ball but fumbled in an awkward exchange with QB David Carr.
The QBs were not as sharp as expected. Eli struck paydirt with the strike to Cruz, but the others could have been better, especially on third down. Ryan Nassib got off to a nightmarish start but then righted the ship to show some poise. Still, that first series will be hard to get past.
The offensive line after the first quarter was nothing to brag about. They allowed too much pressure. The run blocking was inconsistent overall.
K Josh Brown went 3/4 on FGs, but missed a 38 yarder.