On Friday night, the New York Giants played better than they did in the preseason opener. Here are some major takeaways from the Giants’ 30-17 win over the Detroit Lions in their second preseason game.
Kerry Wynn will get a lot of snaps in the regular season
Wynn made several impact plays for the Giants in the game. He recorded one sack, had several quarterback hits, and made a few special teams tackles. The fifth-year veteran will be a valuable player for the Giants because he is versatile and plays hard. Wynn may not start, but he will certainly get plenty of snaps all across the defensive line and on special teams every week.
Alec Ogletree will continue to struggle in coverage
The veteran linebacker has not played well in his first two games with the Giants. In the opener, Ogletree was beaten by Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku for a long touchdown. Against the Lions, Ogletree was unable to cover running back Theo Riddick. Riddick ran a shake route and was able to gain 40 yards after running away from Ogletree.
Ogletree’s struggles in coverage will hurt the Giants in the regular season. There isn’t much the Giants can do at this point because the regular season starts soon. The team will have to make sure he works on his technique in practice for the next two weeks. If he does not improve, good quarterbacks will continue to find wide open running backs and tight ends for huge gains.
The Giants will bring the pressure
New defensive coordinator James Bettcher was not joking around when he said that he ran an aggressive defense. On Friday, the Giants front seven consistently got after Lions quarterbacks and disrupted the Lions offensive game plan. Wynn and Olivier Vernon each recorded a sack, and B.J. Hill, Kareem Martin, and a few other players recorded quarterback pressures.
The Giants secondary, for the most part, played better in Week 2 than they played in Week 1. Detroit’s top wide receivers and tight ends did not make any big plays against the Giants first-team defense. Despite the good performance, the Giants cannot always count on the secondary to shut down opposing receivers. The performance of the front seven and the play-calling of Bettcher are the most important factors that will determine whether the defense will be successful in 2018.
Aldrick Rosas will be the team’s starting kicker
Rosas had a great night on Friday. He made all of his kicks, including a 55-yard field goal. He hit the net with his kick, which means he probably could have made it from 60 yards out. In addition, Rosas’s challenger, Marshall Koehn, missed an extra point. Rosas has said that he has learned from the mistakes he made as a rookie. So far, he has proven that he can do what he needs to do to help the team win games.
There is still hope for Davis Webb
To put it lightly, Webb did not make a good impression on the new coaching staff in the Giants preseason opener. He was clearly too energized for the game, and, as a result, he threw many high passes that sailed past his receivers.
On Friday, Webb had a much better feel for the offense, and he was able to contain his emotions. He was 14-for-20 with 140 passing yards and one touchdown (his first career professional touchdown pass). His 27-yard pass to wideout Sterling Shepard on a 3rd-and-17 in the first quarter was particularly impressive. The fact that Webb led a nine-minute touchdown drive against the Lions first-team defense has to give the Giants hope that he could become starter at some point in his career.
The Giants have put an emphasis on red zone efficiency
The Giants have done a great job of scoring touchdowns when they have gotten into the red zone. On Friday, they scored touchdowns on all four of their red zone trips. Running back Wayne Gallman had two touchdowns (one receiving, one rushing), quarterback Kyle Lauletta had a highlight-reel rushing touchdown, and running back Robert Martin increased his chances of making an NFL roster by scoring a rushing touchdown.
Red zone efficiency was not a strength for the Giants last season, as the team scored touchdowns on less than half of their red zone trips in 2017. It has been good to see the team cash in on their opportunities in the preseason.
Bettcher will lose his voice at some point this season
Bettcher is an energetic coach. Throughout the game, TV cameras panned to Bettcher, who was loudly applauding the efforts of his defense. At some point this season, Bettcher will lose his voice while celebrating with the team after someone makes a big play. No one knows exactly how well (or poorly) the Giants will play this year, but everyone would be wise to bet on Bettcher losing his voice at some point in the middle of the season.
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