The Giants returned home to MetLife Stadium after opening their preseason schedule in Canton, Ohio in order to host the Steelers Saturday night.
It was the first preseason game on the schedule for Pittsburgh, which played quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just one series. But the Giants kept their first-team offense in for the entire first quarter and into the second, giving Eli Manning four drives to try to work out some kinks in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new system. The results — as they were against the Bills last week — were questionable at best.
But we did get a glimpse at some pieces on offense and defense which may give us a clue as to what this team will look like come Sept. 8.
Metro looks at three things we learned from the Giants’ second preseason game:
1. Still running
The running game still appears to be light years ahead of the passing game in McAdoo’s new offense. It was rookie Andre Williams who tore up the Bills last week, while free agent signee Rashad Jennings did the duty against Pittsburgh. Jennings busted off a 73-yard touchdown run on the first play of theteam’ssecond series. He finished with five carries for 85 yards. Williams took a back seat due to the explosive run by Jennings, but he still finished with an impressive seven carries for 35 yards. The Giants’ 171 rushing yards showed they have plenty of depth not just at running back, but also along the offensive line.
2. Boy meets world
Rookie undrafted receiver Corey Washington had his second straight impressive game. When he won a jump ball and took it into the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown last week it was just a nice play by a guy very unlikely to make the roster. But when he makes another nice play on a jump ball — as he did on a goal-line toss against the Steelers — you have to stand up and take notice. Maybe he could make this roster after all. While Marcus Harris, last week’s fellow wideout surprise, crashed back to earth with zero catches on two targets, Washington pulled a repeat performance. The 6-foot-4 wide receiver is giving the Giants a dimension to their offense no one else provides. If the Giants aren’t going to have a big-bodied tight end for red-zone catches — and they don’t appear to have a receiving tight end period — Washington might be more than just a spare part for the practice squad.
3. New power generation
The secondary continues to battle the new emphasis on illegal contact, like most teams, but Prince Amukamara looked impressive in his time on the field. With Terrell Thomas gone, Amukamara has no safety net behind him. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be the top corner, but very few teams nowadays don’t have two legitimate threats at wideout. The fourth-year cornerback appears ready to finally make the next step in his career after missing much of last season due to injury. He did a nice job of fighting off a block on a third down and tackling LeVeon Bell on a screen pass to force a punt on fourth and short on Pittsburgh’s second series. Amukamara, who said he prides himself on his physical play, ended up with four tackles in the game.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.