It is time for the traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review of Saturday's 24-21 loss by the New York Giants to the New York Jets. Let's see what you think of my list.
Kudos To ...
Marvin Austin: The 2011 second-round pick has been seen as a in jeopardy of not making the 53-man roster. After Saturday night, Austin likely doesn't have to worry about it. Austin was a disruptive force throughout the second half and overtime. He sacked Mark Sanchez once, and drove him out of the game with a devastating hit that caused a shoulder injury. Austin had a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits on the night. This was really the first time I can recall Austin playing the way the Giants expected him to when they made him the 52nd overall pick in 2011.
Terrell Thomas: Statistically, Thomas didn't do anything spectacular. Well, on second thought actually he did. Thomas played 22 snaps. That's a huge accomplishment for a guy trying to come back from a third torn ACL, including back-to-back injuries that knocked him out for the past two seasons. Thomas seemed genuinely happy after the game. I'm happy for him.
The first-team defense: Yes, they were facing a Jets' offense led by a seemingly befuddled Geno Smith. They intercepted Smith three times, however, and held the Jets to 18 yards on 12 rushing attempts. There was pressure from the pass rush, which features a variety of blitzes from differing angles. Defensive ends Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck (who had an interception) appeared to play well. There didn't seem to be any confusion in terms of alignments, or assignments. The defensive tackle rotation is deep and talented. The only negative, and it's a scary one, was the injury suffered by safety Stevie Brown. The loss of the play-making Brown would be a huge blow to the defense.
Mark Herzlich: Seems to have lost the middle linebacker competition to Dan Connor, but isn't going down with a fight. Herzlich didn't play in the first, but made his presence felt in the second and in overtime. He finished with a team-high eight tackles, was credited with a sack for a safety when Geno Smith stepped out of the back of the end zone, had a fumble recovery and added a pass defensed for good measure.
Kyle Bosworth: In my various 53-man roster projections I'v e been wondering how the Giants would find a spot for the former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker. Saturday night we saw the answer. Bosworth played ahead of Aaron Curry at strong-side linebacker in the second half, compiling seven tackles and two quarterback hits. He played 31 defensive snaps and 17 on special teams, compared to 12 and five for Curry.
Prince Amukamara: Gave up one 32-yard completion, but had an interception when he ripped a ball away from Jets' receiver Ryan Spadola and a pass defensed.
David Wilson: It was just one play, but his 84-yard touchdown run was the kind of explosive play the Giants need from Wilson.
Wet Willies To ...
Overtime in the preseason: Are you kidding me? I don't blame Tom Coughlin for having Josh Brown kick the game-tying field goal late in regulation, that was a good test for Brown and I know you want to try to win. But a league that is so conscious of player safety allowing overtime in a meaningless preseason game? Dumb.
Jim Cordle: I don't know what the final grades for Cordle will be, but he appeared to struggle in his first start at center. The Jets were able to get pressure up the middle and Cordle admitted after the game that there was some confusion because the Jets showed defensive looks he had not seen before.
Eli Manning: Yes, it's preseason and it's hardly time to get all worried about Manning. He hasn't been sharp in the preseason, however, and 8-for-20 for 83 yards is not good enough. He missed an open Hakeem Nicks in the end zone, though it's hard to tell if it was Nicks or Manning who mis-read the play. Maybe it's working with new receivers, maybe it's the jumbled offensive line. maybe it's nothing. To me, though, Manning has not looked comfortable in the three preseason game.
Da'Rel Scott: Scott might have played his way off the roster Saturday night when he fumbled at the beginning of the overtime session. That was his only carry of the night.
Kwillies To ...
If you aren't familiar with 'Kwillies,' they are a combination of 'Kudos' and 'Wet Willies.' In some respects, guys who managed to help both teams.
Jerrel Jernigan: He caught a team-high five passes for 66 yards, and made some nice plays. His best was a 20-yard catch-and-run when he was tightly covered. He left a few plays on the field, however. Jernigan appeared to drop a couple of catchable balls.
Curtis Painter: Completed five straight passes at one point while leading the Giants on a 71-yard drive that resulted in a field goal. Overall, though, 13-of-29 for 140 yards might not be good enough for him to overtake David Carr for the No. 2 quarterback role.
Your turn, gang. Who did I leave out? Who on my list do you agree/disagree with? A quick note: I have not had the benefit of being able to re-watch the game, and won't be able to do that today. So, these are first impressions.