The New York Football Giants got aggressive on defense. Perry Fewell called blitzes more often than he had all season... Maybe put together. It just didn't matter as the Giants dropped their third straight.
They suffered a defeat that might have crushed their season, and a pair of injuries to Prince Amukamara and Weston Richburg that they probably couldn't afford.
All that being said, some good might have come out of this game.
One of the running complaints among Giants fans was the distribution of snaps among the players. First and foremost, the number of snaps that Robert Ayers wasn't playing. Against the Colts he played better than 60% of the defensive snaps. Ayers cemented his argument that he should be a starter by posting a monstrous game, harassing Andrew Luck all night long, from both the tackle and end positions.
Although whether that becomes the reality remains to be seen.
Robert Ayers wasn't the only new Giant to see an increased role and make a contribution in Monday night's loss
The Young Guns
Damontre Moore - Perry Fewell said that everyone wanted to see sophomore defensive end Moore get more snaps on defense. And against the Colts' high-volume passing attack, Moore got his chance to make his presence felt. He was in on most of the Giants' pass rush packages. In those opportunities, he was credited with a combined 5 tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a quarterback hit (on Robert Ayers sack/fumble).
Moore could have had a larger role in the defense, but the game got out of hand for the Giants by the middle of the 3rd quarter. With the Colts switching to a largely run based offense, Moore didn't see as much time on the field in the second half.
Devon Kennard - With Jon Beason's re-injury, and Jameel McClain's subsequent move to middle linebacker, rookie linebacker Devon Kennard became the starting strong side linebacker. Kennard had a quiet night, however. Though he was the starter, this was a match-up that mostly dictated the use of nickel packages, limiting Kennard's time on the field. He did make an appearance on the box score, with a combined four tackles and a tackle for a loss.
Jay Bromley - Yet another young player Giants' fans were waiting to see get significant snaps on defense was third-round defensive tackle Jay Bromely. Like Moore, he got his chance Monday night, and like Moore, it came in primarily pass-rushing situations. Bromely was in on most of the Giants' pass-rushing packages next to Robert Ayers, though he also saw some time in the base DT rotation.
Despite not having much impact on the box score -- only one assisted tackle -- Bromley played well in his first real action. He showed improved power and technique since the pre-season, proving to be a handful for the Colts' interior linemen. At times he collapsed the pocket, contributing to some of Andrew Luck's errant throws, and at others he showed quickenss and athleticism on stunts and twists.
Odell Beckham - This isn't exactly new. The rookie wideout has been an every-down player for the Giants since the loss of Victor Cruz against the Eagles. Despite not getting into the end zone, this was easily the most impressive game of Beckham's young career. He showed his quickness, agility, route running and speed as the only Giants receiver to actually get separation from defenders.
Corey Washington - The Giants' other rookie wide receiver got his first significant action this week as well. Though it was in garbage time, Washington caught four of six targets, including his first NFL touchdown. More than that, he played with a physicality and aggression the Giants are largely lacking on offense, hitting defenders rather than being hit.
The Giants' loss to the Colts was a deflating one. The offense was ineffective for long stretches, and the Giants lost Prince Amukamara in the middle of the best season of his career -- as well as future starting center Richburg.
That being said, the game also saw increased roles for a number of young players and if this season is truly a lost one, then those snaps are an investment in the development of the Giants young core of players. With the injuries that have ravaged the Giants roster, they might have no choice but to continue playing these young players. Though the Giants should still be trying to win every game, games like these -- minus the injuries -- could have a good return on the Giants investments before long.