In their second contest of this year’s preseason, the Giants defeated the New York Jets, 26-3. Big Blue, from start to finish, dominated the MetLife Bowl and encountered very little resistance from their fellow tenants.
But as every preseason game goes, there were both positives and negatives that came out of the New York matchup.
Here are three ups and three downs for the G-Men in their second exhibition game of 2012:
1. Eli Manning to Victor Cruz
The Giants’ wide receiving corps can be best summed up with the word “uncertain.” With no clear favorite for the No. 3 spot and Hakeem Nicks currently fighting his way back from a broken bone in his foot, the team’s offense must rely on some production from Victor Cruz.
And luckily for Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, Cruz and Eli Manning were definitely on the same page against the Jets this week.
The two connected on five passes for a total of 51 yards on eight targets. One of the five included a 21-yard dart down the middle of the field.
Manning finished with 62 passing yards on a 7-of-14 clip. He failed to get one into the endzone and was picked off by safety LaRon Landry on a pass intended for rookie wideout Rueben Randle.
2. Rueben Randle
Speaking of the LSU rookie, Rueben Randle continues to impress.
Randle, coming off a game where he reeled in two catches for 27 yards and a score, stepped up for a 49-yard reception on Saturday night.
As mentioned above, Randle missed out on his second preseason touchdown after an interception thrown by Manning.
Nonetheless, the 6’2”, 208 lb receiver is making his presence known and is making a fairly solid push for the No. 3 slot on the team’s depth chart.
3. Pass Rush
There’s no doubt the Giants have consistently found ways to get to opposing quarterbacks. Tonight was no different.
The defense chalked up seven sacks and nine quarterback hits. Jason Pierre-Paul and Adewale Ojomo lead the team with two sacks apiece.
Will Hill and Matt Broha also contributed with a sack each while Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora combined for another.
4. Jayron Hosley
Even though he’s the last positive listed, Jayron Hosley and his 77-yard interception return for a touchdown may be the most notable from this game.
The rookie from Virginia Tech stepped in front of a Mark Sanchez pass, picked it off and ran it to the house for six.
Hosley also returned two punts on special teams, running for 10 yards on one and calling for a fair catch on the other.
1. Rushing Game
Not only did the team’s leading running back rush for a measly two yards on three carries, but he left the game with an apparent hand injury as well.
According to sideline reporter Howard Cross, Ahmad Bradshaw had a “compression sock” over a brace on his right hand. Although the injury does not seem incredibly serious at the moment, it cannot feel great for an offense that finished last in just about every rushing statistic last season.
First-round selection David Wilson wasn’t all that impressive either. Wilson ran for just 26 yards on eight carries, averaging 3.3 per.
The Giants finished with 58 rushing yards at a miniscule 1.8 yards per carry.
2. Ramses Barden
Giants fans have been waiting for Ramses Barden for quite some time now. And after tonight, they may as well forget about him.
Barden has yet to take advantage of a golden opportunity during the preseason this year with the third and fourth spots on the depth chart wide open.
Plain and simple, he was a non-factor. Barden didn’t do much against Darelle Revis, missing on two targets.
As Randle and Jerrel Jernigan continue to step up, Barden is now being left far behind.