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Giants vs. Steelers: 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review

It's time for our 'Kudos & Wet Willies' look back at Giants-Steelers.

Rashad Jennings after his 73-yard touchdown run
Rashad Jennings after his 73-yard touchdown run
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Who played well and who did not Saturday night when the New York Giants defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-16, in a preseason game? Let's turn to our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review for some thoughts on that.


Curtis Painter -- Painter entered the game with slightly more than 10 minutes left and the Giants trailing 16-13. He promptly engineered a game-winning 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive culminating with a 3-yard pass to Corey Washington. Painter went a perfect 7-for-7 for 68 yards on the drive.

Corey Washington -- For the second straight week Washington showed why his 6-foot-4, 214-pound frame could be valuable to the Giants. You almost knew when the Giants lined up on third-and-3 from the 3-yard line late in Saturday's game that the fade to Washington was coming. It came, and Washington made an excellent catch of the pass from Painter to give the Giants the victory.

Washington made a 73-yard touchdown reception against the BillsHe has impressed Painter with his ability to make contested catches.

"He's a big target. It's easy for quarterbacks to throw to guys like that," Painter said. "He does a great job of being physical and going up and getting balls that are thrown to him."

Kendall Gaskins -- With David Wilson having been placed on IR and Peyton Hillis sitting out with an ankle injury Gaskins got some extra reps Saturday night. He took advantage of them. Gaskins carried 10 times for 46 yards and caught three passes for 19 more yards. He showed some quickness and ran decisively.

Rashad Jennings -- Jennings provided the one highlight of the night for the Giants' starting offensive unit, a 73-yard run for a touchdown. Jennings finished with five carries for 85 yards

Damontre Moore -- The second-year defensive end continued to be much more noticeable than he was a season ago. He had four tackles, including one for loss, and had a quarterback hit. Moore's improved effort to play the run is perhaps the best sign of all.

Steve Weatherford -- Punted six times and averaged 47.2 yards per kick. More impressively, his net average was 45.8 yards, which is a credit not only to his punts but to the Giants' punt coverage. You recall that last season the Giants were among the worst teams in the league in that department. That does not appear to be the case this season. Weatherford dropped two punts inside the 20-yard line.

Jay Bromley -- The third-round pick made three tackles and forced a holding penalty by pressuring Pittsburgh quarterback Landry Jones.

Markus Kuhn -- Kuhn continues to show development in his third NFL season. He had a sack, a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss. Mike Patterson missed a second straight game with a shoulder ailment, and Kuhn has taken advantage of the extra snaps.

Wet Willies

First-Team Offensive Line -- This group has undergone massive changes, and will take time to gel. The middle of the line did a great job on Jennings' touchdown run. Other than that the performance was shaky. Eli Manning had little chance to throw the ball. The Giants left the starting line in the game until the two-minute warning in the first half. "They need to play," Tom Coughlin said. Charles Brown surrendered a sack. Brandon Mosley and Geoff Schwartz committed holding penalties. The Giants got good work against Pittsburgh's blitz-happy 3-4 defense, but there is lots of room for improvement.

Jayron Hosley -- The cornerback was awful against the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame Game. He continued his shaky preseason with two penalties on Saturday, one a 37-yarder on which he was badly beaten. Forget the fact that Hosley is suspended for the first four games of the season. He might be playing his way off the roster entirely.

Jerrel Jernigan -- On the Giants' first play Manning threw what appeared to be a back-shoulder fade to Jernigan, and the wide receiver didn't come back for the ball. Whether that misread was on Manning or Jernigan isn't clear. One thing is clear, however. Jernigan, 5-foot-8, 189 pounds, is not really an ideal outside receiver. He is a slot guy. The Giants need Odell Beckham Jr. desperately.

Charles James -- The second-year cornerback got a chance to return punts in the second half, with disastrous results. He muffed a punt that turned into a Pittsburgh recovery deep in Giants' territory. James never got under the ball, trying to catch it while running.

The Young Tight Ends -- Larry Donnell played the first half. He had two short catches, but missed a chance to haul in a seam route from Ryan Nassib that would have gone for a big play. The ball was thrown high and glanced off Donnell's fingertips, but Donnell has made more difficult catches in practice. More distressingly, Donnell appeared to get pushed around on some of his run-blocking efforts. Adrien Robinson played the fourth quarter and dropped a short pass from Nassib. The performances make you wonder if the Giants' No. 1 tight end is currently on someone else's roster.


Ryan Nassib -- Things were good for Nassib until his very last play, the second week in a row Nassib has done many good things and one mystifyingly bad one. His throw to Michael Cox, ruled a lateral, turned into a Pittsburgh touchdown that nearly cost the Giants the game. Whether it was backwards or not is debatable. Whether it should have been thrown is not. There was a Steelers' defender in the path of the throw and the play had disaster written all over it as soon as Nassib let the ball go.

Preston Parker -- For the second straight week the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver/kick returner got heavy work returning kicks. It's debatable whether he actually did enough with the opportunity. He returned a punt 12 yards and appeared about a step from breaking that for a big gain. He averaged only 18.5 yards on a pair of kickoff returns. The best news, though, was that he handled the ball cleanly all night.

Who did I leave out? Which 'Kudos' or 'Wet Willies' do you agree/disagree with? The floor is yours, Giants fans.