But while the Bears didn’t want to give us a starter-on-starter match-up, we were still able to get a look at a lot of Giants and find more than a couple winners, as well as a couple “losers.”
Winner: Eli Manning
It seems that we might have to hit “pause” on the brewing quarterback controversy. Eli Manning once again had a short night, but unlike week one’s three and out, Eli engineered a touchdown drive to open the game. While the Giants undoubtedly benefited from the Giants playing their starters against the Bears’ backups, but he can’t do anything about who the opposing team put on the field against him. But even so, we saw an aggressive, accurate, and efficient Eli Manning, and that’s a good thing.
Then that was it for Manning as the Giants gave him the benefit of a small sample size.
Loser: Ball Security
Daniel Jones had a pair of fumbles, one on a mishandled QB/RB exchange and another when he didn’t secure the football and got too focused downfield and never saw pass rusher closing in for the strip-sack.
Chase Daniel let a snap go right through his hands, resulting in a safety, and the Bears had a pair of forced fumbles in the second half as well.
This was definitely pre-season football and at times it was pug-fuggly. But, this is also pre-season football and exactly the time for players and teams to make these mistakes and grow from these lumps.
Winner: Ryan Connelly
The Giants’ rookie linebacker would be counted a winner simply for starting in place of injured Alec Ogletree. Connelly didn’t embarrass himself with the starters, playing fast and decisively. Perhaps more importantly, he was active in the pre-snap communication, which is important for an aggressive, multiple defenses like the one James Bettcher runs.
Winner: Paul Perkins
Perkins’ 2019 season got off to a rocky start with a fumble and not much else last week.
Perkins went a long way to erasing his first impression with the Giants’ coaching staff. He carried the ball six times, picking up 35 yards (5.8 yards per carry) showing both his trademark quickness and agility, but also hard, physical running. Perkins also caught both of his targets for 30 yards, most of which came on a great 26-yard catch and run on a screen pass in the Giants’ two-minute drill to set up Daniel Jones’ touchdown pass.
We don’t yet know how the Giants’ running back depth chart will shake out, but Perkins made the most of his opportunity with Wayne Gallman sitting out the game with an ankle i
Loser: Run defense
For the Giants’ starting defense didn’t have too many troubles handling the Bears’ second-string offense. While they still didn’t get as much pressure as we would have liked to have seen, they handled their business for the most part.
But while the Giants got some push up front, there were also breakdowns in discipline on the ground that kept the chains moving and the Bears on the field.
The coaching staff will want to make run defense, particularly on the edges, a point of emphasis over the coming week.
Winner: Julian Love
Love continued to play with the starters with Sam Beal and DeAndre Baker still dealing with injuries. He showed growth from the first game, playing both corner and safety and showing sound coverage at both positions. Love made some mistakes in the first preseason game but has appeared to make some definite strides in his second game as a Giant.
The Giants got plenty of looks at Love, who was getting snaps into the fourth quarter. The preseason isn’t about any one snapshot of a player, but rather their growth and improvement over the course of the four games as they get ready for the regular season. The arrow is definitely pointing up for Love.
Winner: Alonzo Russell
Hustle matters. That’s true for the guys at the top of the depth chart, but an absolute lifeline for the players fighting for a roster spot.
Alonzo Russell only had one catch in week one, which just so happened to be a 39-yard bomb from Alex Tanney. But against the Bears Russell jumped off the tape with a couple high-hustle plays that had an impact. The first was to turn on the afterburners and prevent an interception from turning into a pick-six. The second forced a punt return to go for negative yardage, setting up a forced fumble and recovery for the Giants’ defense.
Between Russell’s hustle, size (6-foot, 218 pounds), and the wheels he showed running down the interception return will probably earn him opportunities in practice and in the next pre-season game.
And if he keeps up that level of effort in his play, it will definitely get the coaches attention and factor in to the numbers game at final cutdowns.
Loser: Matt Nagy
How are we supposed to get a good read on the state of the Giants if the opposing team is more interested in preserving the health of their starters than giving us a good game!? And then challenges not one, but TWO plays? In preseason?
After a 20-minute first quarter I thought we were in for a quick night, but I was wrong...