Here are some quick observations and postgame notes from the ugly loss to the Ravens:
Eli Manning said he felt fine and his forehead injury didn’t hold him back at all despite the fact that he was rusty in his return to action after a one-game absence.
Manning completed 9-of-18 for 63 yards and one interception that should have been caught by Steve Smith.
He did miss a wide open Smith on a deep route but was under pressure and had to reset himself before throwing.
“I guess I felt a little rusty,” Manning said. “A couple of throws I made were tough. I want to look at the film. We have room for some improvement. The preseason is all about getting our rhythm back. We’ll be ready.”
Running back Brandon Jacobs didn’t start but he gained 41 yards on six carries with 29 of them coming on one long run off the right edge.
After the game, Jacobs was quoted on the Ravens’ post-game quote sheet as saying that the team needs a lot more work and that he’s “just trying to make the team.”
While we clearly don’t see Jacobs being in any danger of not making the team, the running back’s role will likely be a bit different this season. Ahmad Bradshaw appears to be the starting running back and while the two backs will share carries, the smaller Bradshaw was used three straight times when the Giants needed a yard for a first down at the Baltimore 15-yard-line in the first quarter. Jacobs had just gained 29 yards on a run two plays earlier.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” Jacobs said about the offense’s play overall. “We had a lot of things that we were confused among a few guys in certain groups. We can certainly get better.”
“We need a lot of work,” he added. “We’ve got 11 days, I think, so we’ve got to get better within that timeframe to get ready for the Carolina Panthers. Right now, I’m just trying to make the team.”
Rookie wide receiver Victor Cruz probably solidified his roster spot on Saturday night even though it was probably secured with his Monday night explosion against the Jets in the preseason opener.
Cruz had four receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a 35-yarder from Rhett Bomar.
The Giants must cut the roster down to 75 on Tuesday and then 53 on Sept. 5.
Sinorice Moss, who did not play due to a groin injury, could be in danger since the Giants will have to figure out who to keep after Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. With Cruz pretty much on the roster, the Giants still have Derek Hagan, Moss, Tim Brown, Duke Calhoun, and Nyan Boateng on the depth chart.
Rookie linebacker Adrian Tracy, who had been playing well, suffered a dislocated right elbow according to Tom Coughlin.
His arm was in a sling right after the game.
Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson had to leave the game with a cramp in his groin but said he is fine.
Right tackle Kareem McKenzie did not start due to a migraine.
LB Keith Bulluck said he played at least 30 plays and had his endurance tested because of the Ravens' no-huddle offense. He said he felt good afterward and that Clint Sintim was supposed to start ahead of him but Sintim didn't see much action early because of the no-huddle offense and the fact that the Giants defense was in nickel with two linebackers most of the time early... Manningham was the starting punt returner with Aaron Ross out.