EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- At first glance and without the benefit of reviewing the game film, a look at which New York Giants were up and which were down in Friday’s 20-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium in the preseason opener.
Not surprisingly, there weren’t many offensive players in the “up” column in a game where the Giants allowed seven sacks and didn’t score a touchdown.
S Landon Collins: The All-Pro picked up where he left off last season. It didn’t take him long to make his presence felt. Collins made tackles on the first two plays of the game and showed his range running across the field on another later in the first quarter. In case anyone forgot, Collins reminded everyone he’s a difference-maker. He led the Giants with five tackles, including one for a loss, on Friday night.
RB Orleans Darkwa: He was the Giants’ most effective runner, with three rushes for 18 yards. This is an extension of what Darkwa has done this summer. He’s run hard and effectively. It has even earned him some first-team reps at training camp. He might have begun the summer on the roster bubble, but with Shaun Draughn having not practiced and Wayne Gallman being eased into the action, Darkwa has slowly solidified his standing, and possibly worked himself into the playing rotation.
DT Jay Bromley: His quest to earn the starting spot next to Damon Harrison was aided by a strong performance. Bromley was in the backfield on more than one occasion. There was one play in particular when he beat the Steelers guard, burst upfield and met the running back in the backfield for a tackle for loss. Bromley built off a strong start to training camp with a quality performance in the preseason opener.
DE Kerry Wynn: How about this stat line for a defensive lineman in limited preseason snaps: three tackles (two for a loss), one sack, one quarterback hit and one pass defended. Wynn seems to be the forgotten man in the defensive end mix. But whenever he receives an opportunity -- even in practice -- he makes plays. This should serve as an eye-opening game for Wynn. He proved capable of being a solid contributor on the line.
WR Roger Lewis: He had a dropped touchdown (although it was a fairly tough play) and saw a score negated because he ran out of the back of the end zone. This isn’t the way to impress the coach.
“Not run out of bounds before you catch a touchdown would be a good start,” coach Ben McAdoo answered to a question about how to convert red-zone opportunities into touchdowns.
Lewis is in a fight for a roster spot. He’s dropped a bunch of passes at practice and now this. He once again flashed ability to get open, but consistency remains a problem. He’ll need to pick up his game to stick.
CB Valentino Blake: His coverage was shaky and he was beaten for a long touchdown by Steelers wide receiver Cobi Hamilton. Blake also appeared to be the beneficiary of a penalty that negated another touchdown. This won’t help his case for the fifth cornerback job, even though he did managed a gift interception in the first quarter.
CB Dontae Deayon: The second-year corner also is in the mix for the fifth cornerback job. In order to win that spot, he needs to contribute on special teams. A muffed punt that was recovered by the Steelers isn’t the way to get that done. It left a bad taste in McAdoo’s mouth.
“We wanted to get a good look at him, but he’s got to take care of the ball,” McAdoo said. “That’s what stood out to me.”
OT Chad Wheeler: Welcome to the NFL, young man. He had some poor snaps at left tackle, and when you have poor snaps at left tackle, your quarterback feels the pain. Wheeler allowed a pair of sacks in his first NFL action.