The Kayvon Thibodeaux injury was the scariest. The No. 5 overall pick lying on the MetLife Stadium turf was something on one wanted to see, though it appears before Monday’s MRI that the Giants may have dodged a bullet.
There was also a knee injury to impressive rookie linebacker Darrian Beavers, a concussion suffered by placekicker Graham Gano and a rib injury sustained by C.J. Board.
The flip side of that is that some wonderful moments come out of these games for players who may never get to duplicate them in regular-season NFL action.
Quarterback Davis Webb and wide receiver Alex Bachman shared such a moment Sunday night.
Webb, drafted in the third round by the Giants in 2017, never got a chance in New York — jettisoned by a new regime for Kyle Lauletta a year later. Having followed GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll from the Buffalo Bills back to the Giants, Webb went 22 of 27 for 204 yards and threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as the Giants came back twice in the final 15 minutes.
“He was in pretty good command,” Daboll said. “He’s been in this offense, he hasn’t been in it for six months, he’s done it for years. He has full command of what we’re doing.
“Davis has a full grasp of what we run, how we run it, we know what he likes. There’s time invested. Three years of time invested with a player, that goes a long way.”
Much of Webb’s second-half success came throwing the ball to Bachman, who has spent most of his time with the Giants since 2019 on the practice squad. In all that time, he has only appeared in four regular-season games.
Sunday, Webb targeted Bachman an astounding 14 times in just two quarters of action. The 6-foot, 190-pound 26-year-old responded with 11 receptions for 122 yards, catching touchdown passes of 22 and 15 yards, the latter of which was the game-winner with :35 to play.
Bachman said the 11 catches were more than he had in any game in college at Wake Forest.
“I’m kind of speechless,” Bachman said. “My parents [Leslie and David Bachman] were in the stands. I’m glad they were here. I was just thankful to have some opportunities, for the staff to believe in me.
“They kept calling up plays where I knew Davis was going to feed me the ball.”
Bachman, trying to shake the perception of being a practice squad “emergency” player and make the 53-man roster, also had an 11-yard punt return and a solo tackle on kickoff coverage.
Bachman said he had a lot of “built up emotion” after his time with the Giants.
“It hasn’t always been smooth,” Bachman said of his time with the Giants. “We haven’t won a lot of games since I’ve been here and I haven’t had a lot of opportunities. I’m just a guy who’s always kept his mouth closed and worked, just hoped for an opportunity. That opportunity came tonight.”
Bachman was even more thrilled about the special teams tackle he made after his first touchdown, tackling Bengals’ kickoff returner Kwame Lassiter at the 17-yard line.
“I’ve been waiting for T-Mac [special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey] to let me loose,” Bachman said. “I’ve been on scout team kickoff for three years now.”
Maybe the special night they had Sunday won’t mean anything once the regular season rolls around. It was, though, one of those things we love about the preseason — unexpected heroes getting a moment in the sun.
I don’t want to spoil ‘Kudos & Wet Willies,’ but here are a few quick ‘things I think’ after Sunday’s game.
- I think the news might not be good for Beavers after he undergoes his MRI on Monday, and I know I will feel awful for him if my suspicion is confirmed. He is a nice young man and has been showing signs of perhaps becoming a good player.
- I don’t think any of the Giants’ backup cornerbacks distinguished themselves.
- I think the makeshift offensive lines — both the first- and second-half groups — deserve massive props. No sacks and only two quarterback hits in 54 pass attempts. Amazing, considering what the Giants were working with.
- I think it was fun to watch punter Jamie Gillan kick field goals and extra points, and Julian Love hold for the first time ever, but I hope it never comes to that in a regular-season game.
- I think it was interesting to see David Sills get first-team reps, and catch five passes from Daniel Jones for 56 yards. There is an obvious comfort between the two that can’t — or shouldn’t — be dismissed.