Giants fall to Browns in Week 2 of preseason: 6 takeaways

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The New York Giants fell to the Cleveland Browns, 17-13, in their Week 2 preseason game in Cleveland on Sunday.

Here are six takeaways from the game.

No need to risk the starters

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Joe Judge could have trotted out some of his starters in this game to shake the rust off of them but decided to save that for next week against the New England Patriots.

"It really went back to the quality of practice we had. With the volume and intensity of the work we had, we thought that it was best for the health of those players, especially with a quick turnaround and one day off in between," Judge told reporters after the game.

"As we get these guys ready to go next week, we know it’s going to be a hard work week that simulates a regular season week and having a competitive practice session with Patriots. It was the best thing for the health of the team and it also gave us an opportunity to really evaluate a lot of guys on the roster. We have to make sure that we have as clear a picture as possible to give them a fair evaluation."

Solid quarterback play

AP Photo/David Dermer

Daniel Jones stood on the sidelines and watched his backups -- Mike Glennon and Brian Lewerke -- handle the quarterbacking duties. Glennon played the first half and Lewerke the second. Both led the Giants on scoring drives. Glennon went 10-of-13 for 86 yards for a QB rating of 93.8. Lewerke hit on 11 of 19 passes for 10 for 108 yards with a TD and an INT. Bottom line, Jones' job is safe but both players showed the ability to spark the offense.

Matt Cole - Everyman

AP Photo/David Dermer

The Giants found out a few things about their massive secondary force. One of their best defensive backs might just be Matt Cole, their recently acquired special teams ace. With the starting secondary sitting out, a few injuries left the Giants short of corners. Enter Cole, who filled in without a hitch in the second half. Judge said the decision to play Cole on defense was not a spur of the moment one.

"The decision was made [Saturday] so we got him before we went into the final meetings for prep," Judge said. "We brushed up the best we could. (Patrick Graham) did a great job of communicating with him on the field in terms of the technical signs on a play-by-play basis. We kind of had a 10-man huddle, and Matt had a personal tutor on the sideline, but he did a good job."

Sills shines again

AP Photo/David Dermer

One of the top players in camp and now in the preseason is wide receiver David Sills, the college quarterback prospect who is making his name as a wideout in the NFL. Sills caught three of five targets for 31 yards and a touchdown, which he wrested away from a Browns defender in the end zone.

Barkley and Rudolph

Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Kyle Rudolph (PUP) did not play again and their status for the season opener remains cloudy. Judge said he wouldn't "eliminate any possibilities" when it came to Barkley, who is rehabbing from an ACL tear, playing next week against the Patriots. It doesn't appear that Rudolph is ready just yet, although he has been running routes and catching passes. Perhaps things take a positive turn this week. "He had a good week this week at rehab," said Judge. "When I talked to him with the medical team, it’s optimistic that there may be a chance coming up to get off. Again, that is an individual basis so we will see what the medical team says on that and see if we can get him out there with the team working."

Some defensive reserves make a stand

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Linebacker Trent Harris and lineman David Moa made the best of their opportunities against the Browns on Sunday. Both will be serious roster candidates cone cutdown day. "I think our entire roster got better this week," said Judge. "We had great quality work. I thought our practices are exactly what we needed to come out here with high intensity, high volume, building our conditioning and our fundamentals at a competitive rate. "I thought seeing those young guys play in competitive situations throughout the entire game – for 60 minutes – gives a really good extended view of these players, not only early or in some small glimpses but extended – how they make adjustments in games, how they respond to situations, four-minute for the defense, two-minute for the offense. You can see a lot of players elevate their game this entire week. There is definitely a lot of push on the roster. There are positions like Trent, Moa and other guys."

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