Only during the preseason can a loss really be called a win. The final score of Friday night's game does indicate that the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants, but it can't be ignored that the first-team Big Blue squad took care of business, earning a 17-7 "victory" heading into halftime. Rookie running back David Wilson, the Victor Cruz/Domenik Hixon of this August, stole headlines (and deservedly so) with his play, so I instead wanted to focus on three different things that I took from New York's next-to-last warmup before the meaningful games begin.
Get here soon, September 5.
The hope, at the beginning of summer, was that this fall would be when Prince Amukamara establishes himself as a mainstay in the New York secondary. What has been an up-and-down August for the second-year cornerback went way down in a big way on Friday night, when he was carted off the field while flashing a "I know this is very bad" look on his face. Both player and team got a bit of good news when the injury was announced to be a "moderate right high ankle sprain" and nothing worse, but that's still a problem that could keep Amukamara sidelined for up to two months.
With Terrell Thomas currently out for the foreseeable future, the Giants were already thin at DB. The New York pass rush has been in midseason form throughout August, but that unit will now have to be even better during the team's first several games of the regular season. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Giants make a roster move or two over the next few days to boost the team's secondary. Corey Webster can only cover so much ground himself, after all.
3 thoughts on New York Giants losing to Chicago Bears: A big night
Three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown may not, on paper, seem like a reason to gush over any wide receiver. For Ramses Barden, though, those three catches could prove to be a relaunch of sorts for a career that hasn't yet really gotten off the blocks. Nobody can deny that Barden has the physical gifts to play pro football, but the 26-year old WR has failed to earn significant playing time with the Giants. He looked like a true starting NFL wide-out on Friday, beating Chicago CB Charles Tillman on two occasions, the second time for an 11-yard touchdown grab.
One thing Giants fans have gotten used to is quarterback Eli Manning "making" teammates. I'm not suggesting that players such as Kevin Boss and Mario Manningham aren't talented. I'm merely pointing out that Manning helped those two guys make a bit of money once they left the Giants. Barden, reportedly playing for a job with the team this summer, showed real chemistry with his QB during a drive that put points on the scoreboard. Preseason or not, Barden took several steps in the right direction on Friday.
Rookie WR Rueben Randle has looked like the real deal this summer, Hakeem Nicks is looking to return to action next month, and Victor Cruz appears to be headed toward another banner year. None of that means that Barden doesn't have a spot in this team. Just imagine Manning having Nicks, Randle and the Barden that we saw on Friday night as red zone targets during the regular season.
That could be fun.
3 thoughts on New York Giants losing to Chicago Bears: Elite
The score was 10-7 in favor of the Giants early in the second quarter, and some fans posting on Twitter were complaining about how the New York offense had played during the first 19 minutes of the game. Then began the Eli Manning show, a ten-play drive that included Manning going seven-for-seven and hooking up with Barden for his only touchdown pass of the contest. The two-time Super Bowl MVP didn't throw a home run ball during that drive, nor did he need to do so. He picked the Chicago defense apart with pinpoint passes, and he reminded fans and critics alike that he has the ability to take a game over in just a few minutes.
One breakthrough performance from a first-year man does not erase the fact that the Giants are one injury away from being very weak at the running back position. If that happens, Manning may need to have a career year to take his team back to the postseason. From what I've seen during New York's three preseason games, I'd say that's very possible.