2011 Preseason Game 1: Giants vs. Panthers, Game Notes

August 14, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants lost to the Carolina Panthers last night 20-10 in their first preseason game. The Giants defense scored the lone touchdown within the first two minutes of the game on a interception by LB Michael Boley. That was the highlight of the game in North Carolina as far as I’m concerned. The Giants defense had four sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles in the game. Not a bad night at all except the also gave up 20 points and 342 total yards of offense. I saw some things I liked and things I didn’t like about this group but the G-men were certainly giving up a lot of big plays. DE Jason Pierre-Paul was the defensive MVP last night by getting 2 sacks during his limited playing time. LB Michael Boley could also be in that discussion for having a 56 yard INT for a TD. Panthers QB Cam Newton looked very good in his first game (8/19 – 134 yards) and I’m sure the kid will be a star at some point.

The offense did not look very good at all. There were a few big plays but the majority of the game was played sloppy and out of sync. During the first quarter, the Panthers were able to get a ton of penetration through the offensive line and knocked QB Eli Manning down more then once. It was clear to me that Eli was not relaxed at all and seemed to be playing nervous football. Manning is a guy who is known for keeping his cool and playing smart football, so it was a bit unnerving to see him rattled like that. He also cannot properly slide when he takes off running and I would advise against him ever doing that again. The offensive line only gave up 2 sacks but the pressure they allowed was evident the whole game. The offensive MVP was WR Domenik Hixon, who provided the team with a spark when they were down. The Giants could not buy a first down for most of the game (3-16 on 3rd down) and managed to get 298 yards of total offense.

The darkest news about the team comes from the special teams. I was truly convinced that this group of guys would be twice as good as they were last year. GM Jerry Reese carefully selected players and coaches that we all felt would improve the special teams play. We were all wrong. Granted, it is the first preseason game and there was a lot of rust to work off but man were they bad last night. K Lawrence Tynes missed two FG’s (55 and 37 yarders) and had one blocked going 1-4 on the night, P Matt Dodge was unsensational in his punting and the players were missing tackles and blocks all over the field. I have no idea what coach Tom Quinn is doing with this group but he needs to make changes and fast. We are less then a month away from the regular season and at this rate, the Giants might have the worst special teams in the NFL.

Let’s take a look at some of my game notes from last night.

QB Eli Manning – Easy Eli did not have a good game with his limited playing time going 4-9 for 36 yards, 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP is the talk of the town after getting 2 sacks and looking extremely comfortable in a starting role.

LB Michael Boley – Boley had a nice game and of course, the only touchdown for Big Blue on a 56 yard INT in the 1st quarter.

WR Domenik Hixon – It was good to see Hixon back on the field after last seasons injury. He lead all WR’s with 86 yards and had a good game.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw had a few nice plays and finished the game with 21 yards on 5 carries.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had a nice 14 yard catch but saw limited playing time. He will be a force this year.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi did not look comfortable playing LB and I wish they would cease using him in that capacity. The man is a DE.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes had a very bad game. Fans can excuse the missed 55 yard FG attempt but missing the 37 yarder is inexcusable.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Brandon had a decent game on short time with 16 yards on 3 carries.

WR Jerrel Jernigan – The rookie did not have a very good night as a returner. However, I think he can and will improve. Seeing him wear No.12 was a bit weird.

LB Mark Herzlich – Undrafted rookie and fan favorite Herzlich had a good game and seemed to be anxious to make plays. He also had a forced fumble in the game.

P Matt Dodge – Dodge has not shown me anything different from what he was doing last season. Strong leg with no accuracy.

What did you think about the Giants performance in the game last night?

RD – nygreporter.com

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