There is good and bad in every performance, even in the carnage of an awful game for the New York Giants like their 21-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. Thus, let’s review with our traditional “Kudos & Wet Willies” assessment of the game.
Kudos to ...
Jonathan Casillas — The veteran linebacker was very active with four tackles, one for loss, and a pass defensed in 24 snaps. He combined with Landon Collins to stop Tyrod Taylor on a scramble at the goal line. Casillas has solidified his starting spot.
Bobby Rainey — A 67-yard run by Rainey in the fourth quarter was the Giants’ only real offense of the entire game. Rainey also had a 25-yard punt return.
Landon Collins — The second-year safety saved a touchdown twice in the first quarter. First, he combined with Casillas to knock a scrambling Taylor out of bounds at the 1-yard line. On the next play, he forced a turnover by knocking the ball away from tight end Jerome Felton for a fumble before Felton could score. Collins appears to be playing much more instinctively in his second season.
Romeo Okwara — The undrafted free agent defensive end from Notre Dame was a force with three tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pair of quarterback hits in 32 snaps. NOTE: Ishaq Williams had seven tackles and Greg Milhouse had two, one for loss, in late-game cameos. Unfortunately, I can’t give either of them “Kudos” because I really didn’t see either of them. I was writing and then heading to the locker room. I will probably have more to say about them after reviewing the game further.
Donte Deayon — A second-quarter play illustrated why the 5-foot-9, 158-pound Deayon has a chance to make the team. From the Giants’ 35-yard line, Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel lofted a pass toward the corner of the end zone for Greg Little. The wide receiver had just enough separation to haul the ball in. Deayon, though, fought the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Little for the ball, eventually ripping it out and forcing an incompletion. That was one of Deayon’s two passes defensed.
Starting defensive line — The starting defensive line did what the Giants expect it to do. Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins combined to make it impossible for Buffalo to run up the middle as the Bills had only 23 first-half rushing yards on 18 carries. Olivier Vernon took advantage of Buffalo second-team left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio for a sack and a quarterback hit.
Wet Willies to ...
First team offense — The numbers for the first-team offense were pitiful. Eli Manning went 4-of-9 for 44 yards and was sacked once. The Giants got one first down in 16 plays, and totaled a miniscule 48 yards (3.0 per play). The run-blocking of the first-team line was particularly atrocious as the Giants ran 8 times for a measly 10 yards.
Reserve offensive linemen — With the exception of Bobby Hart, who started at left guard and played right tackle for a good chunk of the second half, all the play of these guys did was stifle the offense and show why the Giants need to aggressively seek veteran help when teams begin to trim their rosters after the third preseason game.
Ereck Flowers — Two holding penalties and a sack allowed for the second-year left tackle. Not good. As I wrote Saturday night, you desperately want to believe Flowers can be the long-term left tackle. He isn’t, however, showing the progress you would hope for.
Tom Obarski — The placekicker is a late addition. Obarski had one shot to show the Giants they might want to take a closer look at him as a Week 1 replacement for the suspended Josh Brown. He blew it, shanking a 28-yard field goal wide left. That’s a kick NFL kickers have to make every time. The takeaway is that the Giants’ Week 1 placekicker is not on the current roster.