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14 things we learned from Giants vs. Bengals

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Daniel Jones isn’t made of glass, and more

New York Giants v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Here are some of the things we learned Thursday night as the New York Giants edged the Cincinnati Bengals, 25-23, in preseason NFL action.

Daniel Jones can take a hit — We knew we would see him take a big hit eventually, and he will take bigger ones than he did from Cincinnati’s Carl Lawson on Thursday. Impressively, though, he got up, stood in the pocket on the next play and gave Darius Slayton a chance on what turned in a 27-yard pass to the Bengals’ 1-yard line.

Pat Shurmur didn’t want overtime ... but Zac Taylor didn’t care — After the Giants pulled within a point, 17-16, with 8:34 left, Shurmer went for two points, trying to eliminate the possibility of preseason overtime. The fact that the Giants converted, via a pass from Kyle Lauletta to Alonzo Russell, was nice but really beside the point. Later, when the Bengals pulled within two with 2:42 left, Cincinnati’s first-year coach, Zac Taylor, went for two. Rookies! Thank goodness the play failed.

Shurmur, incidentally, has a question for draft analysts. “You can ask me all you want about why I like him [Daniel Jones]. I think it’s time to start asking the people that didn’t like him what they think.”

Hey, I know that place. This probably meant nothing to anyone but me, but I perked up when Bob Papa said on the broadcast that Bengals’ backup QB Jake Dolegala is from Hamburg, NY. That’s because my son lives there and played soccer at Hilbert College, which is located there. In case you care, that’s just a couple miles from New Era Field, home of the Buffalo Bills.

There is intrigue at tight end — I have been saying for weeks that C.J. Conrad is my pick as the undrafted free agent most likely to make the roster. Conrad had one late-game catch for 11 yards, but barely played. Garrett Dickerson (two catches, 30 yards) and veteran Scott Simonson took most of the second-half tight end snaps. Are the Giants hiding Conrad, or is he in jeopardy of not making the roster? I really don’t know, but I think the Giants would end up regretting letting him go.

Wide receiver is interesting, too — I’ve predicted that the Giants will keep six wide receivers, and my list of guys who make it has not included Brittan Golden, Alonzo Russell and Reggie White Jr. All of those guys, though, keep making plays. Russell, keeps doing it with sheer hustle. His lead-blocking work on Golden’s punt return touchdown was beautiful.

Dexter Lawrence can make a play — Big Dex, shut out on the stat sheet in 20 snaps over his first two games, had a tackle and batted down a pass on Thursday.

Stupar was in a stuporNate Stupar missed four tackles. Yes, four! He made exactly zero. Terrible.

Kerry Wynn loves preseason — Or maybe he just loved being lined up against Brian Mihalik. Remember how good Wynn was in preseason for the Giants last year? Well, the ex-Giant blew past Mihalik for a sack of Alex Tanney on Thursday night.

Everybody hates preseason field goals — The Giants passed up on two opportunities, going for it on fourth downs. The Bengals did the same, bypassing a pair of field goals to try fourth-down conversions.

The Giants need DeAndre Baker ... maybe Sam Beal, too — As good as Corey Ballentine is, Ronald Zamort, Henre’ Toliver and Terrell sinkfieeld are not NFL cornerbacks.

Punter competition? A 30-yard shank by Johnny Townsend was enough to make you think he won’t be taking a job away from Riley Dixon.

Evan Engram is alive — Well, I knew that because I have seen him at training camp. It was, however, nice to see him get some snaps and make a catch Thursday night.

Darius Slayton can be a weapon — One really nice catch for 27 yards on a go route was enough to see that.