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Giants-Bears film review: It’s all about the hustle

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Some impressions from another look at Friday’s preseason game

NFL: AUG 16 Preseason - Bears at Giants
Dalvin Tomlinson (94) and Oshane Ximines pursue Chicago quarterback Chase Daniel.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I don’t pretend to be a scout. Or, to be able to dissect hand placement and proper or improper offensive line technique. Or, to be able to explain each and every concept used on a particular play.

I do, however, know a few things. Like good football from bad, and what winning effort looks like.

With all of that preamble out of the way, something I like to do occasionally is review games not necessarily for technical nitty-gritty. I will leave that to those who really know how to do that. I like to look for trends, plays or players I notice. Simply, things I think are worth noting or highlighting.

I had a chance to review Friday night’s New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears preseason game. Here are a few of my thoughts.

It’s all about the hustle

We lauded Alonzo Russell for his tremendous hustle in running down Chicago’s Cilfton Duck from behind to prevent a touchdown after Duck’s goal line interception. In taking another look, though, you realize there were several other examples of outstanding hustle by Giants players.

  • Early in the game Janoris Jenkins sprinted all the way across the field to help hold Marvin Hall to a short gain on an end around.
  • On Daniel Jones’ second fumble, the quarterback reacted quickly, making a touchdown-saving tackle.
  • The second-quarter sack by rookie Oshane Ximines wasn’t great pass rushing. It was great effort. When Bears quarterback Chase Daniel broke the pocket, Ximines pursued, diving to trip him up with one hand.
  • When running back Rod Smith fumbled, offensive lineman Nick Gates reacted quickly, diving to beat Chicago defenders to the ball.
  • On first-and-goal at the Giants’ 8-yard line, RJ McIntosh prevented a touchdown by not quitting on a play, wrestling Bears’ running back Kerrith Whyte to the ground at the 1-yard line.

You know what those are? They are winning football plays.

“I thought they played hard and fought hard. We’ve got a little different team than some. I think I mentioned this in the production meeting yesterday, we have a lot of young guys. We have to see if they can take it from the meeting room to the practice field and then play hard out here with emotion,” coach Pat Shurmur said immediately after the game. “I think, in these two outings, I saw a lot of young guys that impressed me who have a really good chance to make this team and make a difference.”

Daniel Jones’ fumbles

The first fumble was just a young kid who isn’t used to taking snaps from under center being in too much of a hurry. The second one was concerning.

Jones had enough time, but his first read on the play wasn’t open. He looked for a second read, but the truly concerning part was that the rookie didn’t really appear to feel the oncoming rush or react well to it. He’s either got to throw that ball away or use his athleticism and run with that. He appeared to really be unaware of how close the rush was.

Nick Gates

In watching closely, I could see why the Giants are intrigued. Gates, playing left tackle, did a lot of good work, especially vs. the run. Scouting reports on Gates indicated that he would be better suited for guard at the NFL level because of an inability to handle outside speed at tackle. That did show up in the third quarter when he was beaten for a sack Isaiah Irving, but overall Gates showed why he could earn a backup job.

A few more thoughts

  • Rough night for cornerback Henre’ Toliver. He was beaten on back-to-back deep throws in the third quarter. Both passes were poorly thrown, however, and fell incomplete.
  • Britttan Golden is probably an odd man out in the crowd at wide receiver. Punt returns of 15 and 20 yards, though, got my attention. So did his 27-yard catch-and-run.
  • The third quarter seam route from Alex Tanney to C.J. Conrad that resulted in pass interference in the end zone is a play I want to see more of with Evan Engram on the receiving end.