Although all 4 NFC East teams are technically capable of winning the division, I would have to say the Giants are our most concerning opponent. They have returned much of the talent they had last year, while adding a wide array of talent through the draft this year. I was curious to see what we are up against this year, even though I don't put too much stock into preseaon games, so I decided to watch a little bit of their game against the Panthers tonight.
Game Summary: The Giants defense is still as good as advertised, from what I gathered. Their pass rushers were putting a lot of pressure on a shaky Carolina offensive-line. While the defense was good, their first offense stole the show. Remember the early half of the Giants schedule last season, when the entire team was clicking, and they were running through defenses like they didn't exist? Well, for the brief amount of time that their first offense was on the field, they looked exactly like that. Again, I have to repeat my disclaimer that preseason games should be taken with a grain of salt, but for the sake of conversation, let's take a look at what some of their more "interesting" players accomplished tonight.
Eli Manning: (2-3, 31 yards): I know, I know....three passing attempts means this is too small a sample to gather any conclusions from, but he did look solid and poised in the pocket. His passes were on target and efficient.
Brandon Jacobs ( 4 rushes, 31 yards): Still a bruiser. He was plowing into the secondary on almost every touch, and even then it took excessive manpower to take him down, but really that isn't anything new is it?
Ahmad Bradshaw (5 rushes - 35 yards, TD, 17 yards receiving): Easily the star of the night. He lit up the field on almost every touch, with quick cuts and acceleration. He could be very dangerous this year.
Danny Ware (12 rushes-21 yards, 2 rec.-43 yards, TD): Although he is their third running back, he was more of an exceptional receiver in this game. His TD came on a 36 yard passing play. I really hope this guy doesn't turn into another Westbrook, because we are supposed to have him on OUR roster, and his name is LeSean McCoy.
Mario Manningham: Maybe Giants fans will finally get something out of this guy. He had a nice 21 yard punt return, as well as making a difficult catch on a bad pass.
Osi Umenyiora: Doesn't look like he's lost a step. Recorded a sack and a forced fumble, but hey that's business as usual. Let's hope our O-line gets some semblance of stability before we face the Giants pass rush.
Clint Sintim: A lot of people were raving over this draft pick, and it's easy to see why. He showed tremendous bursts of power and quickness, and even recorded a sack.
Ramses Barden (1 rec - 20 yards): Although he only recorded one reception, he is so big that he looked wide open on almost every play. This guy is so huge, that it could be very difficult to get him covered. He doesn't look like the second-coming of Plax quite yet, but definitely one of the guys I've been keeping a cautious eye on.
Domenik Hixon ( 2 rec - 23 yards): He looked solid, with most of his yardage coming from a nice screen pass courtesy of Eli.
Hakeem Nicks (1 rec - 9 yards): Nicks didn't really contribute at all, which is good news for us. There was a deep ball that looked catchable, but he dropped it. Again, too little information to draw any wide conclusions, but what I saw didn't look spectactular.