There were five things that stood out in the New York Giants 30-17 victory over the Detroit Lions on Friday night.
Despite Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley not playing, the offense was efficient and showcased its big game capability. The defense showed their aggressive nature as they blitzed often throughout the game.
Although it was only the second preseason game, there were several takeaways from Friday night.
Here are the five things we learned from the Giants in their win over the Lions.
1. Davis Webb silenced his critics for at least one week
Last week, playing behind the second string offensive line, Davis Webb struggled mightily completing 9-of-22 passes for 70 yards. On Friday night he received the start and was far more efficient than last week.
He played the entire first half and completed 14-of-20 passes for 140 yards and an eight-yard yard touchdown to running back Wayne Gallman. He was also a perfect 6-for-6 on third downs.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 17, 2018
Webb showed poise and command of the offense and at least for one week, he silenced his critics.
2. Run defense will be stout
After holding the Browns last week to 50 yards on 33 carries, the Giants run defense was once again dominant holding the Lions to 67 yards on 23 carries.
The first team defense was particularly dominant as they controlled the line of scrimmage and held the Lions to 15 yards on seven carries.
In the third quarter, the defense rose to the occasion as they stopped LeGarrette Blount on a 4th-and-2 at the Giants nine-yard line with the Giants up 17-3.
After two preseason games, it’s becoming apparent that one of the strengths of the team will be their run defense.
3. Linebackers in coverage is still an issue
One of the biggest concerns heading into this season was how the Giants linebackers would fare in pass coverage. The concern reared its head again on the Lions second drive of the game when running back Theo Riddick was matched up against linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Riddick easily beat Ogletree on an inside move and Matthew Stafford threw a quick slant to him, and Riddick ran all the way to Giant 28 yard line on a 42-yard gain.
Good thing for the Giants is that the pass to Riddick was the lone big play the first team defense gave up. But the linebacker will need to work on their pass coverage over the next two weeks before the regular season starts as teams will exploit this weakness if they don’t improve.
4. Pass rush came to life
The Giants pass rush put pressure on Lions quarterbacks throughout the first half. They sacked Matthew Stafford twice and Lorenzo Carter would have had a sack on Jake Rudock in the second quarter if not for a very questionable lowering the helmet penalty on Mark Herzlich.
For the game, the Giants had four sacks which had to impress defensive coordinator James Bettcher.
5. Russell Shepard and Robert Martin helped his case for making the roster
Wide receiver Russell Shepard and undrafted running back Robert Martin helped their cases for making the roster on Friday night.
Shepard caught a 40-yard pass from Webb in the second quarter despite tight coverage from Jamal Agnew. It was just the type of play Shepard needed to make to standout to make a roster spot because the Giants have a plethora of talent at the receiver position.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 18, 2018
Martin saw more action than expected due to Jalen Simmons having to exit the game early due to injury. Martin made the most of his opportunity as he carried the ball seven times for a game high 47 yards and scored on a 16 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Martin is still a long shot to make the team, but his performance on Friday helped his cause.