NFL preseason games may not count, but they do matter -- quite a bit.
Who plays and how much they play matters almost as much as how well a player plays. Preseason snap counts can give us an idea of how the coaches feel about a player. Guys who get more snaps are generally either being rewarded for good play or are a player from whom the coaches want to see more.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at who played and who didn't play for each position group.
After not playing in the first preseason game, Eli Manning got 19 snaps with the first team offense before being replaced by Ryan Nassib (30 snaps). Manning's mechanics looked crisp and his release looked as snappy as ever after scanning the field and going through his progressions. However, he also appeared a bit out of step with his receivers, with a couple overthrows, including one that could have been a touchdown to Odell Beckham.
Second year player Bobby Hart lead the whole offense with 36 snaps, coming from both the left guard and right tackle position. Hart was forced into the left guard role when Justin Pugh was sat with a sore shoulder, then moved to his customary right tackle when the second string offensive line took the field. Ben McAdoo said that there is definitely a competition between Hart and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle, though Hart hasn't seen any appreciable reps there with the starters at that position.
The rest of the starters, Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, and Marshall Newhouse, all played 26 snaps, while Weston Richburg played 23. Guard/tackle Emmett Cleary also played 23 snaps.
Andre Williams lead the Giants' crowded backfield with 16 snaps, followed closely by rookie Paul Perkins who had 13 snaps. At the other end of the spectrum, Bobby Rainey, Marshaun Coprich, and Orleans Darkwa picked up the rear with five, four, and four snaps respectively.
With the Giants' struggles along the offensive line, it was difficult to evaluate the running backs. They rarely had anywhere to go, and were too often met in the backfield by defenders.
Will Tye had the most snaps of any Giants' tight end at 21, recording two catches for 14 yards. Larry Donnell was close behind Tye with 18 snaps, but his poor blocking performance could well cost him playing time against the New York Jets in Week 3.
Matt LaCosse got 10 snaps while rookie Jerell Adams received nine. If Donnell slides down the depth chart one of them could receive his a share of his snaps, as well as Will Johnson.
Journeyman Tavarres King had by far the most snaps of any wide receiver, and his 32 snaps were the second-most of any offensive player. Roger Lewis was second in snaps with 24. Lewis is shaping up to be a favorite to make the final roster, and his snap count seems to point to that conclusion.
Elsewhere, Darius Powe, Myles White, Odell Beckham Jr., and Sterling Shepard all received 16 snaps. Beckham and Shepard probably stand a good chance of making the final roster, but Powe and White are part of a heated competition for what could be the lone open receiver spot.
Surprisingly, the most defensive line snaps went to starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, who both got 34 snaps. They proved to be a formidable duo, standing up well in the running game and dangerous as pass rushers. JPP showed his trademark burst off the ball while Vernon slipped blockers almost at will.
Undrafted rookie Romeo Okwara almost tied the starters with 32 snaps, including a memorable tackle that knocked Cardale Jones' helmet off. Owamagbe Odighizuwa continued his dynamic play with 30 snaps, coming from both defensive end and defensive tackle. He continues to be a handful for both guards and tackles, creating havoc and pressure almost whenever he his on the field.
John Hankins and Damon Harrison lead the defensive tackles in snaps with 30 and 25, respectively. Jay Bromley got 24 snaps in his first action since being activated off the PUP list. Montori Hughes got 24 snaps, while Louis Nix III got 16.
Undrafted rookie Greg Milhouse only got 10 snaps, but was very active in those snaps. During the game, Bob Papa and Carl Banks speculated that Milhouse was being held off the field because the Giants have already seen enough from him. Another option why the impressive rookie hasn't seen the field is that the Giants are trying to hide him from other teams in case they need to try to sneak him to the practice squad -- as well as other players like Coprich or Anthony Dable.
Rookie B.J. Goodson was all over the field, Saturday afternoon and lead the linebacking corps in snaps with 33 snaps. Goodson might not be ready to start yet, but he shows the signs of being a player. Keenan Robinson was second in snaps, notching 31 from the WILL and MIKE positions.
Always embattled Mark Herzlich played 25 snaps at SAM linebacker as well as 13 special teams snaps, while undrafted rookie Ishaq Williams got 29 snaps, third among linebackers.
Rookie Donte Deayon lead all defensive players with 38 snaps, including a fantastic play where he denied Greg Little a touchdown despite getting beat and giving up nearly 60 pounds.
Nat Berhe was right behind Deayon with 35 snaps as he tries to cement his status as the Giants' third safety, while the increasingly dynamic duo of Darian Thompson and Landon Collins played 34 snaps. The two play well together, each reinforcing the other's strengths, playing fast and physical.
Backup corners Trevin Wade and Leon Hall were on the field for 30 and 25 snaps respectively, while Justin Currie played 28 snaps. He was the first safety off the bench when Mykkele Thompson went down with a concussion after being hit by a flying Nix. Cooper Taylor played just 12 snaps, but came away with an interception.