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Giants vs. Jets: Who helped, or hurt, themselves in the final preseason game?

Roster spots were up for grabs against the Jets tonight

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants
Tommy DeVito
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants fell to the New York Jets 32-24 in the third and final preseason game.

The outcome of the game doesn’t really matter. The preseason is like the “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” of the NFL, where the everything’s vanilla and the scores don’t count. But while the final outcomes might not count, the games certainly matter. And the final preseason game is the last chance for many players to state their case for making a 53-man roster.

So which players helped — or hurt — themselves in their pursuit of the Giants’ final roster?

Tommy DeVito - Helped himself

The UDFA out of Illinois (and Syracuse) has been impressive throughout the preseason.

After the first preseason game, I said that he was fun and I thought he was worthy of taking Davis Webb’s spot on the practice squad as the emergency third QB — and that he could well become the backup quarterback once Tyrod Taylor’s contract was up after this season.

(At the time, Ed told me I was getting “way ahead of myself”)

I haven’t seen anything to shake that belief and his improvement over the last two weeks has been remarkable. He’s showing a great feel for the offense as well as the opposing defense.

I still don’t think DeVito makes the Giants’ 53-man roster, though I do think the Giants will have a certain amount of heartburn between when he’s cut and when he gets signed to the practice squad. There are probably teams around the league for whom DeVito could compete for the backup quarterback job right now.

Matt Peart - Hurt himself


The story on Peart through the first two preseason games is that he was “good until he wasn’t”. Unfortunately, Peart was just not good against the Jets. It didn’t matter whether he was going against a starter, second-teamer, or depth player; Peart struggled. The left side was leaky throughout the game, giving up pressure that resulted in disrupted plays, sacks, and contributed to the Jets’ pick-six.

Peart’s saving grace might be that the Giants don’t have many options on the roster for a swing tackle. Tyre Phillips played well in relief of Evan Neal last year, but that’s only one roster spot. However, Peart might be in the position of competing against every other offensive tackle who could get cut over the coming days.

Carter Coughlin - Helped himself

Coughlin got on the field (on defense, not just special teams) early in the game, and that’s usually good news for a player who might be on the roster bubble.

Coughlin’s special teams acumen is well known and he’s been a core special teamer since being drafted. He was active throughout the first and second quarters, making plays against the Jets’ first and second teams. Coughlin was all over the field in the first half of the game and disruptive behind the line of scrimmage. He’s always been more athletic than he was given credit for, and looked good as an off-ball linebacker and when playing downhill.

He played all of six defensive snaps in 2022, and a solid showing in the final preseason game doesn’t mean that he’ll be a defensive stalwart. However, it would give some confidence to the defensive coaches that he could contribute on defense if called upon. That, and his special teams play, could be enough to keep him in blue for another year.

David Sills - is David Sills

Isn’t this the way it’s been for David Sills? Sills is consistently good throughout camp and flashes brightly in the preseason, but struggles to carry that through to the bright lights. He has generally played well against depth players but fades against second or first-teamers. And this game was more of the same, with Sills failing to catch a pass from Tommy DeVito that led to the Jets’ pick-six.

(Granted, the pass was influenced by pressure let through by Matt Peart.)

But then Sills picked it up later in the first half and into the second half. He had several good catches, very nearly had a fantastic back-shoulder catch, and was a consistent contributor on special teams. Sills is the type of player who seems to tease us. He flashes the upside to be a regular contributor on Sundays, but then struggles when he gets the type of competition he will regularly see on game days.

Will Sills be one of the Giants’ best 53 players? He certainly builds chemistry quickly with his quarterbacks, but he just doesn’t consistently deliver when it counts. I can’t say he helped or hurt himself, because he is who he has been: A player who gives his all, is better than other teams’ backup DBs, but might not have the juice to make the jump to Sundays himself.

Alex Cook - Helped himself

Safety Alex Cook is a favorite of draft analyst Emory Hunt, and this game made it pretty easy to see why. Cook is another player who was seemingly everywhere in the first half of the game. The UDFA rookie safety from Washington played well coming downhill and had a couple stops for minimal gains, and was in on a combined six tackles. He also played some special teams (and had a tackle), which is important to players on the fringes of the roster.

Things could get particularly interesting and Cook could be a surprise Giant if Bobby McCain winds up being cut. The numbers game surrounding the Giants’ defensive secondary is going to be very tight. It’s more likely that Cook is waived and then signed to the practice squad, but he certainly bears watching.

Eric Gray - Helped himself

James Robinson and Jashaun Corbin saw the field a fair bit in the first half of the game, which should bode well for them. However, rookie running back Eric Gray was active at the same time. He seems to have the return job locked down and looked pretty good on offense in the first half.

Gray isn’t a particularly explosive runner or receiver, but he has very good field vision and solid quickness. He might well have become the Giants’ third running back behind Matt Brieda and Saquon Barkley. The bigger question might be whether Gray has done enough that the Giants feel comfortable keeping just three running backs, or if Jashaun Corbin, James Robinson, or Gary Brightwell make the final roster as well.

Injuries ... Complicated things

*sigh* Damn injuries...

The last thing anyone wants to see in preseason is injuries. Unfortunately, the Giants suffered a lot of injuries in this game:

  • OL Wyatt Davis (ankle)
  • WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton (knee)
  • TE Chris Myarick (hand)
  • CB Zyon Gilbert (hamstring)
  • CB Gemon Green (shoulder)
  • S Bobby McCain (concussion)
  • S Gervarrius Owens (hamstring)

Davis was one of the first offensive linemen off the bench and as a former third-round pick, he has upside. He’s a natural interior offensive lineman but had cross-trained at offensive tackle. Myarick could have been in line to be Daniel Bellinger’s backup after Tommy Sweeney’s medical incident. Bobby McCain is a veteran defensive back with starting experience at safety and has previously been a cornerback.

Each of those players could have pushed for a roster spot, and their injuries certainly complicate matters.

We know that Joe Schoen looks for every opportunity to improve the roster, and we could see them being very active on the waiver wire.