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Giants-Browns ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review

Who deserves praise, who doesn’t after Giants-Browns preseason game

NFL: New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
Brian Lewerke
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

If read Sunday evening’s ‘Things I think’ column after the New York Giants preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns you might have a decent idea what today’s ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ are going to look like.

Let’s get to the ‘K&WW’ and see how many things I telegraphed.

Kudos to ...

Oshane Ximines — The third-year edge rusher, coming off a 2020 injury and having missed considerable time in this camp with another injury, had the exact kind of game he needed to solidify his roster spot. Ximines had a sack and three quarterback hits. With Lorenzo Carter, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Azeez Ojulari and others at the edge Ximines is going to have to earn his snaps. Sunday was a big step in that direction.

Devontae Booker — Show me. That has basically been my attitude when it comes to Booker and why the Giants were in such a rush to sign him in free agency. Sunday, for the first time, I began to understand. Booker was really good both running and receiver vs. the Browns.

Matt Cole — Cole’s World. That’s what Cole jokingly called the area he was responsible for in pass coverage Sunday. To be honest, it’s a pretty appropriate description for Cole’s overall game. He excelled Sunday as a punt gunner. Handled a kickoff return. Played cornerback for the first time since high school, and managed to not embarrass himself. The Giants have a lot of options when it comes to the final few spots on the 53-man roster, but Cole needs to get serious consideration.

Elijhaa Penny — Penny is getting a number of opportunities to handle the ball this preseason and is making the most of them. Sunday, he had two carries for 16 yards and a 6-yard reception.

Mike Glennon — The veteran backup quarterback went 10 of 13 for 86 yards on Sunday. He was accurate, and played turnover-free football.

Brian Lewerke — Gotta give it up for this guy. Lewerke played really well for a guy who only had three days of practice.

Cam Brown — On the surface, it seems crazy to use a 6-foot-5, 233-pound linebacker as a punt gunner. Brown, though, is crushing the role. He had two tackles Sunday, including one that saved a long return.

Offensive line — Have you got any complaints about the way the Giants’ backups played on Sunday? I don’t. Granted, they played against Cleveland’s backups, but it was certainly an encouraging performance.

David Sills — Aside from his offensive pass interference penalty, this was another good day for Sills. Three catches, 58 yards, a touchdown, a 19-yard catch.

Wet Willies to ...

Giants run defense — No, the Giants starters did not play. There were, though, a whole lot of players in the game along the front seven who will be relied upon to play at various times throughout the 17-game season. So, it was disconcerting to see the Giants consistently give up the edge on running plays. Cleveland averaged an unacceptable 6.5 yards rushing the ball, gaining 163 yards on 25 carries.