Rapid Reaction: Jaguars 32, Giants 31
August, 10, 2012
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –- Several New York Giants made solid first impressions in the team's preseason opener Friday night, a 32-31 loss to the Jaguars.
What it means: Nothing really, other than the fact that the Giants finally got a glimpse of several newcomers. We finally got to see what first-round pick David Wilson looks like carrying the ball, and how Martellus Bennett might fit into the offense.
Wilson was the last running back to get the ball. On his first carry, he got smacked by two Jaguars. On his second carry, he exploded up the middle for 26 yards. And on his third carry, he was blown up for a five-yard loss. However, running behind reserves on the offensive line, Wilson definitely showed what he is capable of on that one big gain. Wilson also took a screen pass and delivered two hits to Jaguars defenders, displaying some toughness. If anything, Wilson showed that he can break a big play on any play.
Second-round pick Rueben Randle also flashed his potential, gaining 21 yards on his first reception and catching a six-yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Royal redemption: Prince Amukamara started and had a rough start, giving up a three-yard touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts on the opening drive.
But he redeemed himself by stripping Shorts on an end-around later in the first quarter to give the Giants the ball at the Jacksonville 29-yard line.
It’s still too early to make any assumptions yet, but Amukamara is the guy the Giants want to start in place of the injured Terrell Thomas. So far, he has shown us some good things and some bad things.
Black Unicorn sighting: Bennett made his Giants debut and had three catches for 27 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown catch on a pass thrown by David Carr.
Bennett -- who has referred to himself as "The Black Unicorn" because of his speed and size –- will be counted on for his blocking. But he is off to a great start by showcasing his receiving skills with that TD catch.
Hokie connection: The Giants’ two Virginia Tech rookie draft picks were exciting on special teams.
Wilson gave everyone a glimpse of his speed and big-play ability on the second kickoff return of the game. He took the the ball up the left side, ran across the field toward his right, and took it to the 49-yard-line for a 48-yard gain.
Third-round pick Jayron Hosley had an impressive debut, too, but also made a rookie mistake.
The cornerback had two very good punt returns -- including one on which he turned nothing into a 20-yard gain by dancing all over the field (only to be called back for holding). But he also muffed a fair catch, as the ball bounced off his right shoulder pad, setting up a Jacksonville touchdown right before the end of the first half. Jerrel Jernigan replaced Hosley after that on punt returns, and he later muffed a punt as well.
At the very least, though, Hosley brought some excitement to an area where the Giants really need a boost.
On defense, Hosley had a sack and looked good in coverage, too. If he can limit mistakes like the punt return fumble, the rookie has the potential to be a contributor.
The running backs: If the preseason opener is any indication, the battle for the backup running back spot is going to be fierce. D.J. Ware got the first crack after Ahmad Bradshaw and looked great. He was quick and elusive, rushing for 30 yards and a touchdown on five carries. His two-yard TD run came on a great second effort at the goal line.
Andre Brown got the next crack and gained 19 yards on his first two carries, but was later stuffed on a third-and-1. He finished with 25 yards on seven carries, with one catch for four yards.
Wilson then came in and showed electric potential on a couple of his carries.
The wide receivers: Victor Cruz and Ramses Barden each had a catch. Jernigan just missed making a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch in the end zone in the first quarter. It appeared he couldn’t use his other hand with cornerback William Middleton all over him.
Isaiah Stanback, though, did make a highlight-worthy one-handed touchdown grab over Kevin Rutland on a five-yard pass from Carr.
Et cetera: DE Adrian Tracy had a nice strip sack ... MLB Mark Herzlich looked active and will push Chase Blackburn for the starting job ... Rookie Will Hill saw action as the third safety and delivered some hits ... Thomas, WR David Douglas (quad), WE Domenik Hixon (hamstring), RB Da’Rel Scott (thigh), LB Jake Muasau (hamstring), LB Michael Boley (hamstring), LB Jacquian Williams (hip), LB Clint Sintim (knee), TE Travis Beckum (knee), DT Chris Canty (knee), DT Rocky Bernard (knee), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), DE Justin Trattou (ankle) and LT Will Beatty (back) did not play.
What’s next: The Giants are reunited with the Jets on Aug. 18 at MetLife Stadium. Can Tim Tebow play defense and cover Cruz for Rex Ryan?