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Eight Things We Learned From Giants-Steelers

Let’s take one more look back at Friday’s preseason opener

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants
Giants’ quarterbacks took a beating Friday night.
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — What did we learn from Friday’s 20-12 loss by the New York Giants to the Pittsburgh Steelers? Well, lots of stuff. Here is some of what we discovered.

Geno Smith, Josh Johnson Both An Adventure

Smith had a better night than Johnson, but neither was terrific. Johnson went 5-for-10 for 31 yards. He was unsure of himself in the pocket, leading to the three sacks he took. Smith made some nice throws, but threw a bad interception in the third quarter. He also had an interception wiped out at the end of the first half by a Pittsburgh penalty.

Protect The Duke, Young Fellas!

Undrafted free agent Travis Rudolph fumbled a kickoff. Donte Deayon muffed a punt. Both resulted in turnovers. Neither play will help either of the young men make the 53-man roster. Rudolph did have a nice 31-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.

Backup Cornerback Help Wanted

If we didn’t know the Giants need some veteran help here, we should know it now. Valentino Blake had an interception on a horribly thrown ball by Joshua Dobbs, but spent most of his night getting torched. He gave up a 28-yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton, and had a second touchdown pass wiped out by a Steeler penalty. Everybody loves Donte Deayon, but the guys he was trying to cover were open too often. Oh, and Deayon had that muffed punt.

Kickers Aren’t Giving Ground

Aldrick Rosas had field goals of 27 and 52 yards. Mike Nugent answered with makes from 30 and 45 yards. Touche!

Offensive Line Still A Work In Progress

Whether you think Ereck Flowers was responsible for the two sacks by T.J. Watt isn’t the point. That’s been debated and no one is changing their mind. The point is that the play of the offensive line, starters and reserves included, wasn’t good enough.

The Giants surrendered seven sacks. Center Weston Richburg got pushed back into Josh Johnson on the first pass play of the game, helping to create one of the Watt sacks. Rookie tackles Chad Wheeler and Adam Bisnowaty both had their share of struggles — Wheeler more than Biz, but neither was impressive. Starting guard John Jerry got knocked so far into the backfield on one running play that he slammed into Evan Engram, who was never able to get to his man to seal the edge. Backup center Brett Jones had a bad shotgun snap, leading to a busted play.

It still wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants scour the waiver wire for an experienced swing tackle.

The Giants Did Vary Their Offense

I tried charting how many times the Giants used 11 personnel (3 wide receivers, one tight end, one back) but that proved futile. It was obvious, though, that the Giants varied personnel groupings more than last season. A fullback was used quite a bit, with Shane Smith getting the first-team reps. The Giants also appeared to use the two tight-end set quite a bit.

Johnathan Who?

I have been saying for months now that I didn’t really think the Giants’ defense would miss Johnathan Hankins, who bolted for the Indianapolis Colts in free agency. I will be absolutely right on that if Jay Bromley and Dalvin Tomlinson continue to play as well as they did on Friday night.

Birth Of A Facebook Star

Most of you probably don’t know who Dan Berkman is. Dan is a little-known member of the Big Blue View staff who has been managing our Facebook page for the past couple of years — a God send for me since it has meant I don’t have to spend time doing it.

Until Friday night, Dan was just some anonymous guy making sure there was activity on our Facebook site. Then we made Dan and his Trump hair get in front of the camera and run a Facebook Live session after Friday’s game. This happened:

Doing some post game chat and answering some questions

Posted by Big Blue View on Friday, August 11, 2017

Our Facebook brethren are clamoring for more, so Dan will be doing one of these after each Giants game this season.

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