It may be the first game of the preseason, but the first team of the Giants looked in midseason form. The Giants beat the Panthers 24-17 on Monday Night Football. Ahmad Bradshaw started off the scoring with a 19 yard touchdown run midway through the first, giving the Giants a 7-0 lead. After a Carolina safety on a blocked punt, the Giants responded with a 36 yard screen pass to Danny Ware, who took it to the house, for a 14-2 lead heading into halftime.
Lawrence Tynes netted a 46 yard field goal. The Panthers added a touchdown in the third quarter, on a 14 yard run by Mike Goodson. Carolina tied the game late on a 31 yard touchdown pass to Jason Cherry from Hunter Cantwell. With about 10 seconds left, Tommie Hil picked up a fumble and ran 18 yards for the touchdown and the win. Preseason games are usually dull, but this finish was spectacular, with the Panthers marching down the field to tie it, and the play by Hill to win it.
Since there’s no real flow in preseason games, and the preseason is all about winning training camp battles, backups, special teams, and starters getting sharp, we’re going to do “Who Played Well”, and “Who Didn’t”
Who Played Well:
Eli Manning: The QB was efficient, going 2-3 for 31 yards. His throws were accurate and avoided pressure well.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw might’ve been the star of the game. He rushed for 35 yards on 5 carries, and a touchdown, and added 17 yards receiving.
Brandon Jacobs: He looked like Jacobs tonight; 4 rushes for 31 yards. He’s still bruising.
Mario Manningham: Manningham showed a lot that will make Giant fans happy. He had an impressive punt return, and made a nice catch on a high pass.
Danny Ware: Ware was more impressive as a receiver, with 43 yards on two catches, including the 36 yard touchdown. His running was not great, but he was playing with the 3rd team line.
Tutan Reyes: Reyes solidifed his spot on the team, with some outstanding blocks on the Giants first touchdown drive.
Osi Umenyiora: Osi looked sharp in his return to the football field, showing explosiveness and burst. It was good to see.
Stoney Woodson: The 7th round pick has been turning heads in camp, and he did so again in the game. Woodson had an interception, and looked strong in run support.
Bruce Johnson: The rookie free agent is really pressing DeAndre Wright. Johnson was everywhere, batting down passes, and stopping the run. Really impressive
Clint Sintim: He showed a tremendous pass rush ability. Explosive. He’s going to help the Giants a lot. Jon Gruden was singing his praises all night.
Terrell Thomas: Like Johnson, he was everywhere, batting down passes, strong on run support.
Tommie Hill: He did nothing the first 59 minutes and 50 seconds, but his fumble recovery and touchdown gave the Giants the win. Good on him.
Domenik Hixon: Hixon had a nice run after the catch on a bubble screen .He had 2 catches for 23 yards.
Ramses Barden: He had one catch for 20 yards, but he was open a bunch of times, and the QB missed him. He’s a huge target. Teams are aware of where he is at all times.
Sinorice Moss: Moss got nothing done on punt returns, and had one catch for 9 yards, and felt non-existent. Not good for someone trying to make the team.
Will Beatty: He didn’t give up a sack, but he was getting mauled by Everrette Brown.
Andre Woodson: I don’t know if it was the 3rd team offensive line, but Woodson did not look good. He was 4-9 with one INT. He got sacked a bunch of times too.
Hakeem Nicks: Nicks did nothing tonight. 1 catch. Dropped a deep ball that was somewhat catchable. He was not a factor at all.
Derek Hagan: Hagan had been playing well in camp, but dropped two passes tonight. His downfall in Miami was his inability to hold onto the ball.
David Tyree: He had one catch negated by a penalty. That was it.
This Giants team looked really strong. The defense was putting on a lot of pressure on the Panthers. The first team offense looked really good, and Ahmad Bradshaw was explosive all night. Giants fans, even with a bunch of injuries, your team still looks like it did at the beginning of last year. This a team that has Super aspirations, and rightfully so. It will be a fun ride.