The Giants discovered they will have two –likely – definite constants this season after their opening 23-21 preseason victory at New England Thursday night – kicker Graham Gano and Tyrod Taylor.
Looking at the big picture, it was a decent debut for new head coach Brian Daboll.
Gano arguably has been one of their most valuable pickups over the past few seasons, as he has made 60 of 65 field goal attempts heading into his third season with Big Blue. The 35-year-old has been one of the franchise’s most consistent and effective kickers over the past 50 years. (Check it out).
You have to give former GM Dave Gettleman credit for this one. With the team going through a transformation with new GM Joe Schoen and Daboll. Gano’s consistency can keep the Giants close.
Taylor may go down as one of Schoen’s early best moves. Against New England, Taylor had some timing moments as well as some shaky throws on the run, but he looked like he could be a viable backup to incumbent Daniel Jones.
Overall, Taylor looked smooth, completing 13 of 21 attempts for 129 yards with a touchdown. Jones, playing the first two series, also looked sharp, completing 6 of 10 for 69 yards.However, Jones and the first-team offense was a bit sluggish.
Yet..you guessed it..the ramblings about Taylor taking over for Jones already have begun. The real question is whether Jones will get a fair shake.
Daboll and Schoen will give Jones every opportunity to win the job, but they have to feel a lot better with Taylor in the proverbial football bullpen. He is a tremendous upgrade over last year’s backup Mike Glennon, who watched time pass him by.
Heck, even once ex-Jet wunderkind quarterback Davis Webb got into the act, and threw a touchdown pass. The Giants now have some quarterback depth.
New defensive coordinator Wink Martindale proved that he will be aggressive and creative with some different looks and schemes. Rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux dropped back in coverage.
Still, the Giants secondary will need to grow. Cornerback Aaron Robinson had a rough night.
But Giants’ fans can draw some solace and some hope.
The team looked more cohesive and less chaotic than last season. It is too early to sort out the starting lineup. Hopefully, it is not another bad omen for second-year guard Shane Lemeiux, who suffered a toe injury, and the highly touted rookie took only 17 snaps because of injuries last season.
However, Gano and Taylor already have given the Giants’ some self assurance that they desperately need.