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Giants-Bears “Kudos & Wet Willies” review — praise for Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

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It’s not a game without a “Kudos & Wet Willies,” right?

NFL: Preseason-Chicago Bears at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants won their second straight preseason game on Friday, defeating the faux Chicago Bears, 32-12. ‘Faux’ because Chicago didn’t play a single starter. Still, “Kudos” to the Giants as a whole for doing what they should have done under the circumstances.

“I don’t really care who they play. (Bears head coach) Matt (Nagy), that’s his team, and I would never tell another man how to coach his team. He knows what he wants to do, and he knows what his team needs,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. “He has a much more veteran team that whatever he’s doing with them, works for him. We have enough young guys out there where they need to play. I think when you play like we did and you don’t have injuries, that’s a good thing.”

Let’s review the game in our traditional style, handing out some “Kudos & Wet Willies.”


Kudos to ...

Eli Manning — The 16-year veteran rocketed a 20-yard completion to Cody Latimer on his first play, kicking off a 10-play, 79-yard scoring drive. The drive ended with Manning finding Bennie Fowler for an 8-yard touchdown. That’s exactly what Manning and the Giants’ starting offense were supposed to do to Chicago’s backup defense, and it was a welcome sight.

Daniel Jones — If this were a regular-season game I might have to give Danny Dimes (sorry, couldn’t resist) a “Kwillie.” His two fumbles weren’t good. I was bothered a bit by the second one because it looked like he had time to throw or space to run, and didn’t really feel the defender bearing down on him. I like the touchdown-preventing tackle, though, and how Jones played during his final two drives, which netted 10 points.

He finished 11-of-14 for 161 yards and a touchdown on this pretty throw:

Alonzo Russell — This is called hustle.

Fourteen Giants had catches Friday and Russell wasn’t one of them, but hustle like this will get you noticed by coaches.

Russell also forced a fumble while covering a punt.

Pass rush — First-half sacks from Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines and Olsen Pierre were welcome signs. The Giants will need production from all three of those players during the regular season.

Run blocking — Yes, run blocking. Almost unbelievable to give “Kudos” to the Giants for run blocking. Rod Smith (10 carries, 42 yards), Paul Perkins (6-35) and Jon Hilliman (16-56, 1 touchdown) all had nice nights. Credit to them, but also to the fact that there were places to run.

Look at what C.J. Conrad (47), Chad Slade (62) and Malcolm Bunche (66) do to the Bears on this play:

Giants’ wide receiversCody Latimer had two catches for 60 yards, Bennie Fowler had two grabs for 25 yards and a score and T.J. Jones had three catches for 32 yards and a TD. Da’Mari Scott had a tremendous 38-yard catch and Brittan Golden had a 27-yard reception and averaged 17.5 yards on a pair of punt returns. Good work from the whole group.

Wet Willies to ...

Matt Nagy — The Bears coach didn’t dress a single starter, telling you what the game meant to him. He did, however, slow the proceedings down by throwing a pair of challenge flags.

Dexter Lawrence — I’m hating myself as I type this, but somebody has to get a “Wet Willie.” The 17th overall pick played 14 snaps this week and didn’t get his name on the stat sheet for the second straight week. Lawrence pushed the pocket a bit and held his own against the run, he just didn’t make any plays.

Nathan Stupar’s hands — Again, maybe this is harsh but I have to hand out a couple of ‘Willies.’ Stupar had what could have been a Pick 6 go right through his hands.