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New York Giants Vs. Indianapolis Colts: Preseason Week 2 Game Analysis

August 19th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

For the first time since Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants returned to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana this past Saturday to take on the Indianapolis Colts. And despite a brutal start, they eventually secured a 27-26 victory.

Although the Giants walked away with a win, it was far from pretty. In fact, it might have been the most criticized win in several years, preseason or otherwise. And in looking at the film, the lack of faith and uneasiness amongst fans and experts is certainly justified.

Key to Victory: Strong 4th Quarter Effort from Reserves

After the Giants' first and second team left them with a 26-point fourth quarter deficit, the lingering reserves (some still from the second team) constructed the greatest comeback in NFL history that doesn't count. In fact, even if it did count, no other team in NFL history has ever overcome more than a 25-point fourth quarter deficit with 10:00 minutes or fewer remaining in the preseason, regular season or postseason.

"I was very pleased with the competitiveness of our late surge in the bottom of the third and then in the fourth quarter. I was pleased in the way in which we competed at that point in time. I thought that starting with Curtis Painter, we had an excellent drive and a score," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "The defensive play that got us the second score, of course, with them kicking the ball out, having a penalty, backing it up and getting the big hit out of [Justin] Anderson, ball flies up in the air, and we get the ball recovered down underneath the pile for a touchdown by [Spencer] Adkins. That was a real plus because of what it meant to our sideline in terms of continuing the belief that we could get it back.

"Then Ryan Nassib took over and we had big plays out of Adrien Robinson and we had big plays up and down the field. Kellen Davis jumping in there with Curtis [Painter]. We had a big play from Corey Washington, so we did have some really nice plays down the stretch. The clock was used well."

Despite kudos for his back-end players, Coughlin was not pleased with his first team and admitted concern for the very first time.


  • Ryan Nassib – Nassib completed 11 of his 15 passes for 158 yards and the game-winning touchdown, but it was his poise and comfort in the West Coast-style offense that really stood out. Not to mention his ability to rebound after being demoted to third-string. His performance immediately put him back in the No. 2 spot in practice.
  • Corey Washington – Washington was targeted only three times on Saturday, but caught every single ball thrown his way — the last of which was his third-consecutive game-winner. Big players make big plays in big moments. For Washington, all of those have been big plays at big moments at this early stage of his career.
  • Marcus Harris – Not to be forgotten or outdone, Harris led the Giants in receptions (4) for the second time this preseason. He tallied 41 yards on his four receptions (targeted five times). He looked crisp in his routes, smooth with his hands and fearless across the middle.
  • Steve Weatherford – Steady as a rock, Weatherford didn't blink when punting the ball a remarkable nine times. In total, he booted it for 447 yards and a 49.7 average. But it wasn't just the length of his punts, as Weatherford really showed some solid directional punting skills. If only the coverage was better. Thank goodness for Zak DeOssie bailing them out a number of times.
  • Damontre Moore – Moore looks like an entirely different player defensively from a season ago. He was active against the run and impactful when rushing the passer. He ended the game with four tackles, one sack and one pressure.
  • Jacquian Williams – Although he had only a handful of snaps, Williams recorded a team-leading nine tackles (four solo) and appeared very active against both the pass and run.


  • First-Team Offense – There's no sense in breaking this down player-by-player. The sad reality is that every single person on the first-team offense deserves to be listed here after a dreadful performance. The offensive line appeared hesitant and confused, Eli Manning looked skittish and uneasy, while receivers dropped a pass or two, Victor Cruz fumbled on what would have been a big play and the running game was nearly nonexistent. All in all, it was a very 2013-ish performance.
  • First-Team Defensive Line – From Jason Pierre-Paul to Mathias Kiwanuka, the starting defensive line looked over-matched and failed to put much pressure, if any, on Andrew Luck.
  • Kelcy Quarles – Quarles displayed a complete lack of discipline on Saturday night, being flagged three times — all at very inopportune times. And it's not as if they were five-yarders or something less significant. Rather, two were of the 15-yard variety, including a horsecollar that may end in a fine.
  • Quintin Demps – Demps had been anxious to return a kickoff for the first time this preseason and had the opportunity on Saturday. Unfortunately, he immediately coughed up the football.
  • Walter Thurmond III – Thurmond was targeted six times, surrendering five receptions and two touchdowns on Saturday night. That equates to a passer rating of 143.8 — something that's just not going to get it done.
  • Referees - More than 30 yellow flags were thrown on Saturday night with 26 of those accepted and enforced. Most were defensive holding or pass interference for "emphasis" as the league has termed it. Unfortunately for players and fans, the league has no intention on slowing this down and recently said "strict enforcement" will continue.

PLAYER OF THE GAMEQuarterback Ryan Nassib

Would you believe that Nassib leads the NFL in preseason passing? Well, he does. With his game-winning performance on Saturday night, Nassib leaped a few other quarterbacks to take the NFL lead with 378 yards passing.

Game Balls:

Quarterback Ryan Nassib, wide receiver Corey Washington, Linebacker Justin Anderson


Yes, the third team reserves came in and led the Giants to a historic comeback that doesn't count, and as impressive as that final 10:00 was, the other 50 minutes were about as dreadful a performance as a professional team could muster. Almost from top to bottom the first team would have received negative grades — especially on the offensive side of the ball — and left little hope that things could round into shape come Week 1 and the Detroit Lions.

The sad reality is, the Giants have a tremendous amount of work to do and not much time to do it. They have to perform better on Friday against the New York Jets or risk going into the regular season with countless lingering questions and shaken confidence.

Grade: D


Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Corey Washington, Eli Manning, Football, Justin Anderson, Kelcy Quarles, Marcus Harris, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Ryan Nassib, Steve Weatherford, Walter Thurmond

27 Responses to “New York Giants Vs. Indianapolis Colts: Preseason Week 2 Game Analysis”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    pretty generous grade there, Dan

    but who am I to quibble between a D and an F?

  2.  skinnydoogan says:

    D sounds about right to me.

  3.  skinnydoogan says:

    and I really do think Washington has shown enough to make this squad and be a contributor. He is not a camp “allstar” not from what I have seen.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      he’s been the only offensive threat at WR, how could you say he’s not a camp all star?

      He’s Victor Cruz 2.0

      •  James Stoll says:

        if randal and jj start with the 1′s on friday you can bet they both make the final 53 no matter how awfully they perform
        the question then will be if both washington and harris make the team or whether parker makes it because we need a punt returner

        •  BigBlueGiant says:

          I think it’s safe to say that Washington makes this team. Same with Parker. In fact, i would play those guys with the 1st teamers to see if they’re the real deal. Let Randle and JJ prove their worth seeing what they can do against the scrubs.

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        I meant he is MORE than an all star, he is legit

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      and as you wrote that this happened..

      again… he’s the ONLY WR that has shown up so far this year. Might I go as far as saying he might be the BEST of the bunch? As of now, he is. He needs 1st team reps.

  4.  skinnydoogan says:

    While we are at it, can we just stop it with the Painter experiment now? Nassib has shown enough to be the number two guy, he also is a totally different type of QB than Eli, so in the event of catastrophe and Eli goes down, it will take a couple of games for teams to game plan for a mobile QB.

  5.  BigBlueGiant says:

    BTW, if anyone caught the Redskins game last night, they look pretty darn good. New Coach too. Just sayin’…

    oh, and Kirk Cousins played excellent. He can start for most teams in this league.

    •  James Stoll says:

      seems like every team can install a new coaching staff and new schemes and execute except the NY Giants
      wonder why that is

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      The redskins have some real speed on offense out wide and a good ground game too. If their defense comes along they could be players in our division. They looked sharp and ready last night.

      And i don’t think it matters who’s QB’ing them. RG3 or Cousins can get the job done.

    •  Kettles78 says:

      Actually the starting offense did not look that great. The game was not that great from either end. RGIII looked sloppy and took big shots again. Hoyer and Manzel were not impressive.

      I did enjoy the Redskins getting under Manzel’s skin. That was funny

      •  BigBlueGiant says:

        I turned the game on when Cousins went in, and they looked pretty good with him under center. and most of their starters were still in.

  6.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Also, ODB sitting out again.

    his debut will be week 2 in the regular season like I said. And this will linger him all season long. And I also predict he’ll miss some games with this injury.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      See my above comment BBG, I meant he is MORE than an allstar, he is a legit player. I lump guys like Sinorice Moss and Ramses Barden as “allstars”

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        guys who look great during camp and preseason, only to evaporate during the regular season

        •  BigBlueGiant says:

          i get it… throw JJ in their as well.

          •  skinnydoogan says:

            Meh, other than that last couple of games last year, JJ did nothing but **** punts and kick offs. Not sure if there is a role for him on the team seeing as we already have a slot receiver. Now Cor Wash represents something we have not had since Plax. It would be full dereliction of duty on the part of our front office to let Washington go at this point.

            •  BigBlueGiant says:

              i’m a bit confused here.

              JJ has looked pretty good during past preseasons and practices only to be not so great in real season play.

  7.  Krow says:

    We keep dancing around it … but we lack talent. There’s no mystery and no magical fix. Could we get lucky and see some guys turn into players? Sure. But until that actually happens we’re a talent-poor team.

    We’re at the tail end of a really good run. One that included two Superbowls. This is how the NFL works … it cycles. I’m not trashing anyone … not bashing management. The NFL is an engine of parity. What we have to do now is climb back up.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      I don’t know Krow, I think there is some foundational talent on this team, quite a bit actually, but it will be a couple of years before it comes together, I think a winning record this year, or a deep playoff run is a little bit of a stretch.

  8.  Nosh.0 says:

    I see there was some AC talk earlier. I agree, that place is a huge sh#t hole. I used to be down there all the time when the poker boom was happening. Almost robbed several times in the Taj and Ballys parking decks. I finally wised up and realized that the only casinos without shady characters were the ones off the strip/boardwalk (Borgata, Harrahs).

    Anyway haven’t been in years because I’m older now and actually value money, but I laughed when I heard what happened to Revel. AC had a monopoly on East Coast gambling for basically 30 years and never once bothered to put money into the city and clean it up. Then casinos started popping up Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, and people realized, “why drive 2 hours to play at some sh#t hole in AC when I can drive 45 min to a nicer place.”

    They should have gotten corporate money like New Brunswick did with Johnson and Johnson and try to turn the city around. Instead it’s rotting away. They got what they deserve. The only shame is the waste of perfectly good Jersey Shore real estate.

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