We saw only single series from the Giants’ top two quarterbacks in the preseason opener. A “meh” three-and-out from starter Eli Manning and a tantalizing 5-for-5 touchdown drive from quarterback of the future Daniel Jones.
What will we see Friday night?
First, we should see each of them play more. Coach Pat Shurmur indicated during the week that, while he would like all four quarterbacks on the roster to get into the game, Manning and Jones should play more snaps.
Manning could use a productive drive or two after last week’s unsatisfying cameo, if only to slow the roll of the “Jones needs to be the starter now” narrative coming from some corners.
“We want to go out there and get some first downs and move the ball and score some points,” Manning said. “You always want to go out there, perform well, and make good decisions. I think in preseason it’s important for quarterbacks, because things are live now, the rush is live, it’s real, and you’re going to have to throw it in some more awkward situations with your feet not always set and different things. It’s good to get work on that, feel the rush and move it around, and (then) make good decisions with that.”
For Jones, it’s actually the opposite. It would, of course, be great to see him shine again. It would, however, be more interesting in terms of learning about him to see him have some adversity and have to react to it.
Will we see Darius Slayton?
The speedy fifth-round pick excited the Giants with an outstanding spring, then injured a hamstring in the rookie practice before training camp officially opened. He didn’t return to practice until about a week ago.
Slayton, who has the potential with 4.39 speed to stretch the field like no other wide receiver on the roster, could see some much-needed game action against the Bears.
“He’s a fine receiver,” Shurmur said. “He has speed, obviously. Through the OTAs and the time he was on the practice field, he displayed the ability to go down the field and make a catch. We anticipate that he’s going to have a bright future. He just needs to get out there.”
Last week’s preseason opener began with the Giants surrendering a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to Sam Darnold and the New York Jets. Yes, the Giants were sitting in a vanilla 4-2-5 defense and not showing anything special, but it wasn’t a good start for a young, rebuilt group.
There were pass plays of 32 and 28 yards during that drive.
I’m not sure how long starters will play vs. the Bears, but it would be nice to see improvement — a couple of drives where the defense comes away with wins.
Oh, and it would be nice to see a bit of a pass rush.
This one piggybacks on the previous item. Dexter Lawrence, the 342-pound rookie defensive tackle picked 17th overall, played only six snaps vs. the Jets and did not get on the stat sheet. The Giants, who have insisted they believe he is a three-down player and not just a run defender, rotated Lawrence out on passing downs last week.
The debut certainly wasn’t reason to be alarmed. As with the other starters, it was abbreviated by the 59-minute severe weather delay. Still, it would be nice to see Lawrence play more, stay on the field in some pass-rushing situations and make a play or two.
That is something I didn’t think I was going to be writing about just a few days ago. With Johnny Townsend having been awarded to the Giants off waivers from the Oakland Raiders on Thursday, though, that’s what the Giants have.
Townsend hasn’t practiced with the Giants and will be meeting his teammates for the first time Friday night, so I’m not sure if we will see him punt. Riley Dixon is, however, on notice. Dixon wasn’t good vs. the Jets, averaging 38.5 yards on two punts with a 33.5-yard net average.