The Giants and Jets competed their annual preseason “Snoopy Bowl” this past Friday night which saw a 22-16 win by Big Blue. With this being the third preseason game, this was usually seen as the main tune up for the regular season.
If this was the main tune up for the regular season, then the Giants went in to a gun fight without all the bullets in the gun. The Giants sat Odell Beckham, Sequan Barkley and kept Eli limited in the third exhibition game to make sure no injuries occur. Nothing wrong with this decision as Coach Shurmer is protecting the teams investments.
Beckham has not played a snap during the preseason as he has been recovering from last season’s surgery and ESPN has been reporting that their has been progress on his contract extension. I am putting two and two together after Odell did suffer a pre-season injury against the Browns last season.
Coach Shurmer stated that Odell was just not ready. “Just not quite ready yet. We want to be safe with Odell. He’s doing a lot of great things, and just wasn’t quite ready.”
Barkley on the other hand tweaked a hamstring back on August 13th and Coach Shurmer felt that it would be better to just let him rest and keep him ready for opening day against the Jaguars.
Eli Manning stated that having Barkley available and engaged is very important for both him and the team. “That’s something he’s got to do and hopefully he knows the plays and knows what’s going on. I think he’s done a good job staying in there and asking questions about what the play was or what the call was, the coverage, and different things. I think he’s been good these past few weeks, even though he hasn’t been practicing, of knowing what’s going on and being sharp in his assignment still. Hopefully this week he’ll get back out there and be ready to go.”
Media members asked Coach how do you game plan with out your main two stars. “We’ve got a lot of runs on the card and got a lot of passes, then I guess as a play caller you want to start finding things that get you (what you want). You want to make yards and you want to move the football, and we found a way get some chunks throwing the ball and also complete the ball and extend drives, so as that’s working, you just kind of lean on it a little bit, don’t get away from the run, but just kind of work towards what’s working. ”
Hunter Sharpe Makes His Mark
Hunter Sharpe had an amazing opportunity back on December 31st as he caught a touchdown pass from Eli Manning against the Redskins. In my opinion this gained him an invite back to camp this season and he is now showing what he could do with the opportunity.
During the opening quarter of Friday’s game, Sharpe was on the punt return team and showed his magic yet again. After a Jets possession Sharpe ran back a 55 yard punt for a touchdown. Sharpe being a team guy credited his teammates. “You can kind of like, I don’t know, show that it’s punting one way, and punt it the other way. You kind of got to jump on it. My return team just set up a great wall. I had great blocks the whole way, and kind of just convoyed me into the end zone.”
Sharpe had been struggling through the week and needed a moment and this was exactly what he needed. “It’s been a concentration thing. Got to keep my head in the game. The more work I get, the easier it gets.”
Evan Engram Update
Giants second year tight end Evan Engram suffered a concussion during the first half on Friday. Coach Shurmer gave an update during the post day conference call with reporters. “No, he’s in the protocol. We’ll just see where he’s at. I really don’t want to add anything to that, but nothing’s really changed from last night. We’re moving him through the protocol. ”
Eli Back to Being Elite?
After last season’s drama, Eli Manning has been anxious to show all of his doubters that he can still be a difference maker in this league and help bring the Giants a fifth Super Bowl ring. Against the Jets in limited time Eli’s stat line was 17-23 for 188 yards but no touchdowns. There is a good chance Eli will not play against the Patriots.
Eli was happy with his team’s progress. “I thought there were some good things. Obviously, took some shots down the field and hit a bunch of them, missed on a couple, but I thought there was definitely some good things. Obviously, we want to score more when we get into the red zone, get touchdowns down there, but I thought there were a lot of good things and (we) moved the ball pretty well.”
The Giants return to the practice field today and will finish up their pre-season schedule this Thursday night against the Patriots.