They preserve calling it the ultimate gown rehearsal, but when the main man doesn’t have nearly all of his main supporting actors with him on stage, what significant recommendations and corrections will be gleaned out of this run-through?
The present should go on, and, irrespective of who Daniel Jones at present has on the market with him to throw to and hand the ball to, the curtain goes up for actual in two weeks. That’s when the critics in earnest get to evaluation the handiwork the Giants put collectively within the offseason.
Because the Giants close out their preseason Sunday evening towards the Patriots at MetLife Stadium, in what will probably be Jones’ first look in a preseason recreation this season, there isn’t a motive to consider, based mostly on the proof introduced up to now this summer season, they are going to be prepared or capable of throw a 30-point recreation on the Broncos on Sept. 12. Can they get to 27, or 24, and even 21? There is no such thing as a indication the reply is leaning towards the affirmative.
The thrust ever since 2020 ended with a document of 6-10 was to improve the expertise and playmakers round Jones, permitting your complete Giants group to see what the 24-year-old quarterback, coming into his third NFL season, will be with a stronger solid of characters round him.
Tall goal Kenny Golladay was signed in free company. Elusive slot receiver Kadarius Toney was taken within the first spherical of this yr’s draft. Veteran tight finish Kyle Rudolph, potent as a red-zone menace, was added. John Ross, a speedster seeking to fulfill his promise after a wasteful expertise with the Bengals, was given a shot.
These newcomers, blended in with returning receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton and tight finish Evan Engram, could be manna from heaven to Jones, permitting him to flee the desert of final season’s parched offense, which ranked thirty first in scoring.
However wait, there’s extra. The return of running back Saquon Barkley, coming off reconstructive knee surgical procedure, would inject the assault with a particular high quality to take your complete operation to a better degree.
All of it sounded great. The grand plan went awry this summer season and, in preseason recreation No. 3, not one of the new or therapeutic offensive weaponry will probably be on the sphere with Jones. Kudos to the wholesome holdovers, Shepard and Slayton, for grinding out a whole coaching camp unscathed.
They are going to be on the market for the Giants, as coach Joe Choose desires to play his starters on each side of the ball not less than via the primary half. Golladay, Toney, Ross, Rudolph and Barkley is not going to be, although. Their absence on this recreation will probably be long-forgotten so long as a few of them could make it to the sport that counts in 14 days.
“I do know these guys are working arduous to get again,’’ Jones mentioned. “We’re centered on bettering as a gaggle and preparing for Week 1.’’
It might prove that Week 1 options an offensive that appears an excessive amount of just like the group that ended the 2020 season. Golladay, out since Aug. 3 with a strained hamstring, has not but returned to apply. Toney, out since Aug. 13 with a hamstring problem and in addition coping with post-COVID-19 reconditioning, has not but returned to apply. Ross, out since Aug. 9 with an injured hamstring, has not but returned to apply. Rudolph, coming off foot surgical procedure, participated for the primary time in particular person drills Wednesday within the first joint apply with the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Barkley on Aug. 9 was taken off the bodily unable to carry out listing and was given his first snaps in a group drill Thursday.
Which of those offensive threats will probably be prepared in two weeks? Greatest guesstimate: Golladay, although he had little or no time to develop a lot chemistry with Jones. Barkley (for restricted reps). Rudolph will not be anticipated to be a go on opening day. Ross may need to go on injured reserve. Toney? He’s essentially the most tough to determine. It’s tough to ascertain him getting significant snaps the primary few weeks of the season, given the setbacks he has already encountered.
For this remaining tuneup, not less than Jones may have his beginning offensive line — minus left guard Shane Lemieux, who’s coping with a knee problem and doubtless will sit out once more. So long as Jones is protected and there’s a semblance of a working recreation, the Giants will get one thing out of this, regardless of as soon as once more not having the playmakers the group assembled for him.
“Simply to get on the market, be comfy, transfer the ball and rating factors, like several recreation,’’ Jones mentioned of his objectives for the preseason finale. “Execute soccer performs and transfer the ball down the sphere and rating. Be environment friendly and execute as an offense.’’