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Giants-Jets ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review

Who deserves praise and who does not after Saturday’s preseason opener

NFL: New York Jets at New York Giants
David Sills
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Football is back! The New York Giants are back! Thus, ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ are back! Here are my ‘K&WW’ thoughts from Saturday’s 12-7 loss by the Giants to the New York Jets.

Kudos to ...

David Sills — I’m rooting hard for this young man to make the 53-man roster. Sills is having his second straight excellent training camp. Saturday night, he caught three passes for 49 yards, including a 37-yarder. He also drew a pass interference call that gave the Giants a first down at the Jets’ 7-yard line.

Carter Coughlin — Still adjusting to the off-the-ball linebacker spot, Coughlin was a wrecking ball in the second half. He ended up with five tackles, one for loss, and a strip sack. He also drew praise from coach Joe Judge.

“Carter plays with a motor. He’s got good athleticism, he has good play strength, he shows some instincts,” Judge said. “he’s definitely a guy that showed up tonight to play and made an impression.”

Matt Cole — Cole did exactly what an end-of-the-roster player hoping to become more than that needed to do. He made plays, and it didn’t hurt that those plays came at a position where the Giants are trying to find answers.

Functioning as a punt gunner, Cole tiptoed the goal line and batted a Riley Dixon punt back into the field of play, enabling teammates to down it at the 9-yard line. He also had a tackle on a Dixon punt.

Cole was impressive enough that he got an opportunity to return a kickoff which, unfortunately for him, went as a touchback. He earned praise from Judge.

“I thought Matt Cole showed up,” Judge said. “He was a guy we were looking for in some of the kick covering stuff right there.”

Sandro Platzgummer — The former Austrian star who is in his second year with the Giants via the International Player Pathway Program ripped off a 48-yard run in the fourth quarter. He wound up leading the Giants in rushing with 51 yards on four carries.

Danny Shelton — The Giants are paying the 350-pound Shelton to stop the run. That’s what he did Saturday. On third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 plays in the first half, Shelton crashed through the line of scrimmage and blew up running plays. If he can do that in the regular season, he will be a good free-agent signing by the Giants.

Wet Willies to ...

Clayton Thorson — The thing about watching third-string quarterbacks get extended playing time is they usually show you why they are third-string quarterbacks. Thorson did that Saturday. He threw a couple of nice deep balls, but missed some open receivers, made some questionable decisions, threw a simple pass to running back Alfred Morris straight into the turf and finished the game just 5 of 16 for 72 yards.

Matt Peart — The Giants’ first “drive” ended on its third play when Bryce Huff of the Jets blew past Peart to sack Mike Glennon. An ugly rep, and not a good beginning for Peart.

Kwillies to ...

Kenny Wiggins — In his 10th NFL season, the backup guard did not play well on Saturday. He gave up far too many pass pressures and missed a blocked that led to a 4-yard loss by running back Alfred Morris. Thing is, Wiggins played 41 snaps, 85 percent of the offensive plays. That is far more than a 33-year-old entering his 10th NFL season should have to play in a preseason opener.

Wiggins started at left guard in place of Shane Lemieux, whom the Giants were not willing to subject to game action yet as he works back from his training camp knee injury. he finished in place of Kyle Murphy, who left in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

Corey Clement — This is a guy who has been generating some media buzz during camp. He had a couple of nice runs Saturday, and finished with five carries for 32 yards (6.4 yards per attempt). Clement, though, cost the Giants points by coughing up a fumble inside the Jets’ 5-yard line. That’s been a bug-a-boo throughout his career, as he averages a fumble roughly every 33 touches. That’s not close to cutting it.

Rodarius Williams — The rookie cornerback had an up-and-down night. He gave up a number of completions, but did nearly score after recovering a fumble. He is going to get endless grief from his teammates for being “tackled” by Jets quarterback James Morgan, who managed to graze him as Williams ran by, resulting in Williams losing his footing.