Josh Brown kicked a game-winning 37-yard field goal with 43 seconds left Thursday night, giving the Giants a 16-13 preseason victory over the New England Patriots. The victory gave the Giants a perfect 5-0 preseason, and enabled everyone to avoid having to play overtime in the preseason finale.
Let's look at some of what we saw Thursday night.
Well, this was not what the Giants hoped for. The Giants ran eight plays with Eli Manning in the game, gained 23 yards and scored zero points while operating against Patriots reserves.
Manning went 1-for-4 for 0 yards, a line uglier than it should have been. Rueben Randle dropped a pass and pulled up short on a route where Manning anticipated he would run a 'go' route. Kellen Davis caught a pass but got no yardage on a third-and-two.
The best news, other than the fact that Manning did not get hurt, was that new starting guards Weston Richburg and John Jerry appeared to play solidly. Jerry made a brilliant block to help Andre Williams run for 38 yards on 4th-and-1, impressive because Jerry's reputation is that he is a better pass blocker than run blocker. Richburg appeared to hold up well in pass protection and did an excellent job creating a space for Peyton Hillis to dive through for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line. Richburg played into the third quarter. Jerry was still in the game well into the fourth quarter.
Yes, we have to assess the play of the guys competing for playing time at this spot.
Kellen Davis started, but did not impress. He caught one pass, but did not get up the field on a third-and-two. The pass went for zero yards and the Giants had to punt. Davis is in his seventh NFL season. He has to know how to run a two-yard pass route.
Daniel Fells was likely the most impressive of the Giants four tight ends on Thursday. He had a 26-yard reception of a Ryan Nassib pass, was interfered with on another play and appeared to hold his own as a blocker.
Larry Donnell caught four passes for 60 yards, including a 19-yarder. Donnell, however, failed to haul in a slant from Ryan Nassib that would have been a touchdown. Donnell also made noticeable blocks.
Adrien Robinson made a nice third-quarter catch for a first down but killed a Giants drive by fumbling the ball away at the Patriots' 18-yard line. Did Robinson also fumble away his roster spot?
Mario Manningham probably saw his chance to make the roster slip away when he suffered a calf injury early in the game.
Henry Hynoski left the game with a shoulder injury. No word on the severity, but you wonder if Hynoski's injury will open the door for John Conner to make the team.
Peyton Hillis carried 11 times for 40 yards and a touchdown, likely solidifying his place on the roster.
Wide receiver/kick returner Preston Parker had a mixed night. He had a 16-yard punt return. He also muffed a punt and dropped a pass that would have gone for a first down.
Rogers Gaines took over for Justin Pugh at right tackle in the first quarter and went the rest of the game at that spot.
Defensive back Bennett Jackson, the Giants' sixth-round pick, played well in the second half.