This was the last chance for the bottom 37 members of the Giants’ 90-man roster to make their case to move up into the top-53. Friday marks the start of final cutdowns as teams have until Saturday to settle on their “final” 53-man roster. After that teams will continue to tinker as waiver claims come in, but this is the players’ last chance to make an impression on their team as well as the other 31 teams.
So, who (and what) were our winners and losers?
Winner - Paul Perkins
It might be a good sign for Paul Perkins, the Giants’ starting running back at the end of 2016, to get the start this game with a roster spot on the line. Perkins played into the second half and played well. He got off to a rocky start in the first preseason game but turned things around against the Chicago Bears in the second game. Perkins showed good elusiveness (as we’ve come to expect from him), as well as more hard-nosed runs which we haven’t seen from him before this year.
He’s made a strong case for a roster spot.
Loser - Pass Interference
The good news: after rulings from the competition committee we now know what a catch is.
The bad news: Based on some calls this game, we’re not exactly sure what pass interference is after a no-call on a potential Giants’ touchdown by Alonzo Russell in which the receiver’s jersey was torn (which was challenged by Pat Shurmur), it’s tough to know what is and isn’t a pass interference anymore.
Also: What is a legal block anymore?
This is probably going to be a mess this year.
Winner - B.J. Goodson
One of the Giants’ starting linebackers over the last two seasons is now on the roster bubble. It has to be good news that he started the game, picked up five tackles and the Giants’ only sack of the night. Goodson played fast and coming downhill without hesitation. His sack came on an A-gap blitz, showing good timing and a technique
Loser - Alex Tanney
Tanney has been a steady presence for the Giants throughout camp and pre-season. That went away on Thursday night as Tanney seemed off throughout the night. He made some nice throws, but he also committed a number of turnovers and seemed to be pressing.
The Giants might want to keep him to help mentor Daniel Jones, but the play of Tanney and Lauletta might force their hand.
Winner - Sean Chandler
Chandler probably isn’t fighting for a roster spot. But he is jockeying for a spot on the depth chart. Jones played with the Giants ‘starters’ this game and came up with the first turnover of the game. It wasn’t a particularly difficult interception, but it was noteworthy and set up a touchdown for the Giants to take the lead. Those kind of plays could help give the Giants’ coaches the confidence to turn to Chandler on game day.
Winner - Kyle Lauletta
The Giants’ fourth round pick a year ago had himself a night, coming up with a last-second touchdown for a come from behind victory. Whether or not he has earned himself a roster spot remains to be seen, but he deserves one. Perhaps the Giants will work a trade for Lauletta and he will wind up on a roster spot, or perhaps his upside will prove more valuable to the Giants than Tanney’s veteran experience.
Whatever happens from Friday on, Lauletta has put good play on tape.
Loser - Injuries
This is always a bitter-sweet game. Some guys earn the right to live out their dreams in the fourth preseason game, other see their dreams end. But it’s just a downer when a guys’ night — and perhaps career — are ended by injury. The Patriots lost a player, while the Giants lost Ronald Zamort and Scott Simonson was carted off the field with an ankle injury.
You hate to see it, particularly on the eve of cut day.