EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – It was a preseason game, but Josh Brown said it supplied the kind of pressure that will better prepare him for games that count in the standings.
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“I think any time that you can put yourself into that situation, practice that moment (it’s helpful),” Brown said. “It doesn’t happen all the time, so when you get the opportunity, it’s good for everybody. It’s good for the O-line, it’s good for the opposing team to get to rush that, it’s good for me to be able to kick it. It’s good for everybody to know that feeling and to be able to kind of just dissolve the situation and do the job.”
The 12-year veteran secured the Giants’ kicking job for a second season when the team traded young challenger Brandon McManus to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. Brown made all three of his field goal attempts against New England (from 24, 45 and 37 yards) and was four-for-four this preseason. He also had three touchbacks Thursday to increase his total to nine.
“I feel like I’m kicking real well,” Brown said. “To get three tonight, I don’t even know what the last one was, I wasn’t paying attention.” Told it was a 37-yarder, Brown said, “That’s what you do. You want to put yourself in a frame of mind to where it is irrelevant. You just want to swing and you want to swing freely and be able to put the ball through the uprights from any point on the field.
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“I think the situation is always the same. I think the kicker determines how heavy the situation is and that’s in your mind. You try to view them all the same and keep focused and take it one kick at a time without regarding the situation. You have to do your job.”
- Tight end Kellen Davis, left guard Weston Richburg and right guard John Jerry all made their Giants preseason starting debuts. Starting guards Geoff Schwartz (toe) and Brandon Mosley (back) did not play.
Davis caught one pass, Richburg played into the third quarter and Jerry played most of the game.
“He needed to play,” Coughlin said of Jerry. “The rookie (Richburg) – we wanted to play because he needs the play time. John Jerry hasn’t played much in the preseason, so we left him in there to play a lot more.”
Richburg was asked if he is ready for the regular season.
“Well, I don’t have a choice,” he said. “The preseason was good to me, I think. It gave me a lot of valuable experience and I am definitely ready to get into the regular season.”
Jerry, who started all 32 games the previous two seasons for the Miami Dolphins, had been brought along slowly after undergoing offseason knee surgery. This was by far the most action he’s had this summer.
Asked if his reps helped get him ready for the regular season, Jerry said, “No doubt, man. The more reps you get, the more opportunities you get. You’ve got to try to take advantage of that. That’s what I tried to do.”
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Running back Peyton Hills returned to action after missing the previous three games with a foot/ankle injury. Hillis had a team-high 11 carries for 40 yards and scored the Giants’ only touchdown on a one-yard, fourth-down plunge in the second quarter.
“It was good,” Hillis said. “I felt myself being a little rusty, honestly. It’s always tough going in there in the second quarter when you’re sitting around, to try to go in there and play. But I felt like I did okay with the opportunities that I had. I think we have a great group of backs so it’s one of those things – you have to wait your turn and try to do the best when you can.”
Hillis’ touchdown concluded a 14-play, 80-yard drive on which he had 10 carries for 37 yards (plus a five-yarder nullified by a holding penalty). All that work made the one-yard touchdown quite a challenge.
“I tell you what – I was dead dog tired when I got down there,” Hillis said. “I wanted to get in the end zone, so I’m glad that I did. That was big.”
- Fullback Henry Hynoski left the game with a shoulder injury.
“I heard him say that he thought it was some kind of cuff injury or something of that nature,” Coughlin said. “But the official pronouncement from the medical team, I didn’t hear.”
- Wide receiver Mario Manningham did not return after leaving the game in the second quarter with a calf injury.
- The Giants’ game captains were Will Beatty, Mike Patterson and Trumaine McBride.
- Players not in uniform for the game included wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring); cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin); linebacker Mark Herzlich (shoulder); offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz (toe), Charles Brown (shoulder), Brandon Mosley (back) and James Brewer (back); and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (ankle).
- The Giants finished with an undefeated preseason record for the first time since they were 4-0 in 2006. They last had a perfect preseason of more than four games in 1985, when they were 5-0.
- This was the 10th consecutive year the Giants and Patriots closed the preseason facing each another. The Giants lead the preseason series, 15-9.