devontae booker sam beal giants
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Devontae Booker made a case for the second-string running back role in the Giants’ preseason loss in Cleveland Sunday.

Ryan Honey

Poor offense, solid defense.

That’s basically been the story of the Giants‘ preseason and it continued Sunday against the Browns.

The Giants offense, which was 31st in both scoring and yardage last year, put just 13 points up on the board while the defense, ninth in scoring and 12th in yardage in 2020, allowed 17.

Big Blue’s two scores came on a first-quarter touchdown run by Devontae Booker and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Brian Lewerke to David Sills (which was followed by a failed two-point conversion attempt).

The final score is meaningless though — let’s get to some takeaways from New York’s second preseason meeting.

Devontae Booker making a case for RB2

There are a number of options for the second-string running back role behind Saquon Barkley (when he’s healthy and partaking in regular-season games).

But the Giants may be best off providing that role to Devontae Booker, who they signed to a two-year deal in March.

Booker earned the start Sunday afternoon in Cleveland and carried the ball six times for 27 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He additionally recorded a pair of receptions for 13 yards by halftime.

He runs hard, employs superb vision, and makes the right cuts. Booker can also be multi-faceted, which is a significant quality given Joe Judge‘s love for versatility.

Expect Booker to be higher on the depth chart than alternative options like Corey Clement and rookie Gary Brightwell.

Carter Coughlin continues to impress

It seems the Giants will field second-year man Carter Coughlin as more of an inside linebacker than an edge rusher in a 3-4 scheme.

But that’s totally fine — the 2020 seventh-round draft pick has impressed thus far and can succeed in a number of ways.

While the coverage is a tad bit shaky at times, Coughlin can stop the run and rush the passer — you can’t ask for much more than that. Coughlin finished the team’s second exhibition matchup with four tackles and a sack.

He continues to make a case for a noteworthy role in Patrick Graham’s defense and could be a legitimate option for the starting inside linebacker job alongside Blake Martinez.

Sam Beal on the hot seat?

The organization seems to have such a soft spot for cornerback Sam Beal.

The young player, who the Giants took in the third round of the 2018 supplemental draft, hasn’t exactly panned out, to the point where he’s absolutely not a lock to make the 2021 final roster.

Injuries and a 2020 opt-out have led to him playing in just six regular-season games since his draft selection. He was also hit with a pair of gun charges back in June 2020.

On Sunday, he didn’t make much of a case to earn a spot on this team — missed tackles and poor coverage on a number of plays likely didn’t excite the coaching staff.

With numerous serviceable bodies in this secondary — Pro Bowler James Bradberry, free-agent acquisition Adoree’ Jackson, third-rounder Aaron Robinson, sixth-rounder Rodarius Williams, and second-year slot corner Darnay Holmes — Beal may not be able to locate a legitimate role.

Could he be one of the cuts made this coming week?