New York Giants: Preseason Positives/Negatives Against Bengals

Daniel Jones, New York Giants. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants beat the Cincinnati Bengals by the score of 25-23 on Thursday night, improving to 3-0 in preseason play. Although they’re undefeated, the Giants still showed the good and bad in Cincinnati.

While it’s almost impossible to predict how a preseason record translates to regular-season success, winning three out of three games should definitely boost the New York Giants morale. Here are some positives and negatives from another eventful win.


Quarterback play Eli Manning’s final stat line of 41 yards on four-of-eight passing doesn’t seem spectacular, but he was the reason the G-Men came away with a lead on their initial drive of the game against the Bengals’ starting defense. Manning seemingly willed the first unit down the field, doing everything possible to score on his only drive of the game.

As for Daniel Jones, he continued to show veteran poise and patience while making accurate throws all night. He has yet to throw an interception in any preseason game and has completed just over 83 percent of his passes so far. He put up another stellar performance on Thursday, completing nine of his 11 throws for 141 yards throughout his three drives. His performance culminated in a passer rating of 118.8.

While criticism of his high completion percentage might be that he hasn’t thrown any deep passes, that simply isn’t true. On his lone touchdown drive, he completed passes of 35 and 27 yards, respectively. These pinpoint throws set up an easy 1-yard rushing touchdown for Rod Smith.

Corey Ballentine

2019 sixth-round draft pick Corey Ballentine built upon his strong preseason play with a phenomenal night against the Bengals. Ballentine racked up seven tackles, two passes defended and a tackle for loss on the night.

His energy was contagious, as he seemed to be flying around the ball on almost every play. With injuries taking its toll on the New York Giants secondary, Ballentine stepping up to the challenge is a welcome sign.

Rookie defensive players

This year’s first-round pick Dexter Lawrence and third-round pick Oshane Ximines were dominating in the trenches during their limited time on the field. Ximines recorded two sacks during the first half, totaling three quarterback takedowns in the past two games.

Lawrence was a heralded prospect for his run-stuffing abilities rather than his pass-rushing instincts, but he chipped in with some impact plays of his own. He was consistently holding his own against Cincinnati’s first-string offensive line, and he batted down an Andy Dalton pass at the line of scrimmage which forced the Bengals to eventually punt.

Brittan Golden

After bouncing around the league for the first few years of his career, Golden has stood out this preseason. He led all wideouts with 59 receiving yards, but his work on special teams is what shined. Brittan Golden returned a pair of kickoffs for 41 yards. His highlight was undoubtedly a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown which put the G-Men in front by eight points.


Brittan Golden 

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Despite his incredible special teams touchdown, Golden also had his struggles. On the very next Bengals punt, he fumbled the ball which resulted in an easy Cincinnati touchdown. Outside of his long score, his other two returns went for a combined 5 yards. Golden needs to improve his consistency in order for him to make the team as a punt returner.

Starting Guards

The starting offensive line for the Giants played for the majority of the first half, but the results were a mixed bag. The Giants averaged just 2.2 yards-per-carry last night, which isn’t great considering they had 26 rushing attempts. Things will obviously change once top running back Saquon Barkley returns, but it would have been nice to see the offensive line ready to step up as well.

Another sore spot in the trenches was the play of the starting guards, Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez. Hernandez especially played poorly, picking up three penalties in total. (two for holding, and one for illegal hands to the face). Offseason acquisition Zeitler was slightly better, but he still had a holding call of his own. Hopefully, the pair can get it together by the time week one rolls around.

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Last night Big Blue looked solid yet again and Daniel Jones continued to prove himself worthy of his high draft selection, so things are certainly looking up. The New York Giants can now look towards New England and their final preseason game of 2019.