Russell: Giants Suffer Through Sloppy Pre-Season Opener

With no Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. or Victor Cruz, the Giants offense put together what Ben McAdoo called a “sloppy performance”. It wasn’t a pretty game, one suited for a preseason opener, complete with penalties and several problems on center-quarterback exchanges. Ryan Nassib threw a pair of picks in New York’s 27-10 preseason opening loss to Miami.

“You never go into a game expecting to throw interceptions, so that’s just something that’ll happen but you try your very best to keep it from happening,” Nassib said.

Nassib, now in his fourth year with the Giants, struggled in what could have been an audition to remain the top choice at backup. There were two under thrown passes for interceptions and a strip fumble from behind when Nassib was looking for a receiver but had only one hand on the ball.

“Obviously the turnovers were unacceptable,” Nassib said. “We put ourselves in some tough positions and we have to do a better job of bouncing back and making some plays, moving the ball and putting some more points on the board.”

There was some early excitement as McAdoo coached his first game, even if it’s an exhibition game.

“Yeah, I was excited,” McAdoo said. “I think everybody in the locker room was excited. It was the first time to get out and go against another team, it always provides some good energy.”

That doesn’t mean the head coach liked everything he saw.

“We had six balls on the ground and two turnovers,” McAdoo said. “I’m not pleased about any of that.”
Fortunately, the preseason opener did not turn into a body game for the Giants. Sterling Shepard and EliApple both left with injuries but they are expected to recover.

With Beckham Jr. and Cruz not playing, Sterling Shepard was targeted a team-high four times before leaving with a sore groin. The rookie caught one pass for 24 yards.

“I feel like that just comes with practicing,” Shepard said. “What you do in practice kind of carries over to the game. If you show you’re capable of making those types of plays, they’re not going to hesitate to feed you the ball. It’s just preseason, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Apple suffered a strained lower leg but not before recording two tackles and recovering a fumble. Despite the injury, Apple was happy to play in an NFL game.

“It was great,” Apple said. “It was a lot of fun for sure. Just special teams  and a lot of running and all that stuff but it was fun being out there with the guys.”

The Giants, like every other team, just want to get to week one without any major injuries. They’ll also need crisper execution on offense, something that should come when Manning, Beckham Jr. and Cruz play.

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