Let’s go through the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ from Sunday’s 22-20 preseason-ending loss by the New York Giants to the New England Patriots.
Kudos to ...
Sterling Shepard — Five catches in six targets for 42 yards. Shepard looks like he’s in midseason form.
Blake Martinez — Because he did this. Nothing else to say.
"MINE!" -@Big__Blake50— New York Giants (@Giants) August 29, 2021
: WNBC/NFL Network pic.twitter.com/AOOtEEGYRm
Dexter Lawrence — A sack, a quarterback hit, and four tackles (one for loss) in a half of work for Lawrence. That works.
Elijhaa Penny — The veteran fullback continued on Sunday to show that he can and should be used as more than just a blocker. Penny had four carries for 35 yards (8.8 yards per carry), including runs of 15 and 14 yards.
Wet Willies to ...
Andrew Thomas — Horrible, disturbing game for the second-year left tackle. He has been pretty good throughout the summer, but coming off an awful rookie the season the 2020 fourth overall pick undid a lot of that work on Sunday evening.
In one half of play, Thomas unofficially gave up 1.5 sacks, two pressures and committed a holding penalty. He seemed off balance at times, and unable to keep pass rushers from bending the edge at other times. It was disconcerting to hear him talk about the same issues — hand placement, setting properly, etc. — that plagued him a year ago.
This was the third play of the game, with Thomas getting manhandled by Josh Uche. It didn’t help that guard Ted Larsen got pushed back into Daniel Jones, but this was bad from the left tackle:
Andrew Thomas absolutely destroyed on the 3rd play of the game, Uche sacks Daniel Jones....— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) August 29, 2021
On the bright side, Jones saw the pressure and protected the football. pic.twitter.com/OZD8DT2YAk
If Thomas can’t be an adequate left tackle this season, Jones and the Giants are in deep doo-doo. Sunday was far from encouraging.
Darius Slayton — A bad drop that cost the Giants a first down at the Patriots’ 25-yard line, probably taking points off the board. A holding penalty. An ankle/foot injury, which just made a bad night worse.
Graham Gano — There was never any doubt that Gano would be the Giants placekicker, but geez, Graham. Did you really have to miss from 41 yards Sunday night?
Kwillies to ...
Daniel Jones — The third-year quarterback did a lot of good things Sunday. He completed 17 of 22 passes. He threw a beautiful 23-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Smith. He scrambled for a first down right before the touchdown throw. He threw a perfect third-and-13 strike to Darius Slayton, that Slayton declined to catch.
And then ... and then ... and then there was the single play that was all too reminiscent of the kinds of plays that bedeviled Jones a year ago. With a third-and-goal inside the 1-yard line, Jones rolled right and threw a pass well behind tight end Evan Engram that was intercepted by D’Angelo Ross of New England.
Maybe Jones expected Engram to stop running. Whatever. Those are the kinds of plays winning quarterbacks just can’t — and don’t — make.