The first New York Giants’ preseason game of 2016 is in the books, a less-than-stellar 27-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Let’s review in our own unique “Kudos & Wet Willies” style.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve been all over Williams and have made my preference for Orleans Darkwa clear. Let’s give credit where it’s due, though. Williams was excellent Friday night. Leaner and seemingly quickly after losing 10-15 pounds he ran nine times for 41 yards, including a 16-yard run. He found holes, made good cuts and punished defenders. Consider me quieted. For now.
First-team defensive line
The dream scenario for Giants fans is to spend the season watching Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon meet at the quarterback on passing downs, while Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins stonewall anyone who dares run at them. Friday night, those dreams became reality. All four of those guys did what the Giants pay them to do. Miami did not get a first down until midway through the second quarter, long after the starting quartet of linemen had called it a day.
The Giants have been hoping Odighizuwa, in his second season, would become a dynamic addition to their defensive line rotation. Friday, rushing from both tackle and end, Odighizuwa was outstanding, He finished with two sacks and three quarterback hits.
The first-round pick acquitted himself quite well. He recovered a fumble on special teams, made a nice open-field tackle to prevent a first down after a third-down completion and seemed to be where he was supposed to be while he was in the game. A good beginning for him.
The undrafted free agent defensive tackle did not get into the game until midway through the second half. He made the most, however, of his limited opportunity. Milhouse had four tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit and consistently pushed his blocker backwards. He probably earned himself earlier playing time next week against the Buffalo Bills.
Are you serious? Delaying the start of a preseason game for nearly an hour thanks to severe weather? Nobody wanted that, unless you really wanted to watch the A-Rod farewell ceremony. The only saving grace for me personally is that I chose to stay home rather than risk the 2.5-hour trip from Troy, N.Y. to East Rutherford — and back — with my still-aching back.
Nassib can be a free agent after this season. Anyone looking for a quarterback in 2017 certainly won’t be inclined to put the Giants’ backup at the top of their list of players to chase after Friday’s debacle. After watching this film they might, in fact, cross him off their list of possibilities.
Nassib was atrocious. To be fair, let’s understand that he did play the second and third quarters with struggling backup offensive linemen and that contributed to the mess the offense turned into. Nassib, though, wasn’t good. His stat line — 7-for-15, 62 yards, two interceptions, one fumble tells part of the story.
There were far too many off-target throws, too much indecision, too many balls coming out late, too much lack of awareness/ball security when he was running around.
This was not a night that could make the Giants feel good about their chances if something were to happen to Eli Manning.
Rainey fumbled the ball a ridiculous eight times in just 56 touches last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He showed Friday night that he and “The Duke” don’t have a real solid relationship. He fumbled one punt, then bobbled another. He mishandled a kickoff that he was only able to return to the 11-yard line. He took a bad angle in punt coverage that led to a 28-yard return.
In a crowded backfield where some experienced players are going to be cut loose, Rainey did not do himself any favors.
Reserve offensive linemen
Remember those 53-man roster projections where I keep leaving a spot for “an offensive lineman to be named later?” Friday night was why. Once the Giants took their starting offensive line out of the game, their offense completely shut down.
The Giants had six first downs in the first quarter, then only seven the rest of the game. After a nine-play opening drive, the Giants never had possession of the ball for more than five plays again. In the second half the best they could muster was one four-play “drive” that netted 11 yards.
Adam Gettis surrendered a sack when he whiffed while the Giants were trying to set up a screen. He also committed a pair of holding penalties.