The New York Giants went out (or is it in?) with a bang.
After they allowed 26 unanswered points in the second quarter of the preseason finale, the Giants scored 21 straight to beat the Patriots in New England and finish with a 4-0 record. Before the slate gets completely wiped clean as Week 1 approaches, Giants.com looks back at the standout performers from the preseason:
QB DANIEL JONES: The rookie sixth overall draft pick completed 29 of 34 (85.3 percent) for 416 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in his first preseason. He fumbled three times, lost two of them, took a few big hits along the way, but the Giants liked the toughness he showed in bouncing back each time.
“That’s what we thought he was when we drafted him,” coach Pat Shurmur said last week. “About every six or seven days now I’ve been able to tell you, ‘That’s what we saw when we drafted him.’ He just has a feel for playing the position, and he’s steadily getting better every time he takes the field, whether it’s practice or games. … You can ask me all you want about why I like him. It’s time to start asking the people that didn’t like him what they think.”
Meanwhile, Eli Manning played only three series, one in each of the first three games, but that was enough for Shurmur. The 16-year veteran heads into the regular season, which will begin with him under center on Sept. 8 in Dallas, after completing nine of 13 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown in three preseason games. His three drives yielded a three-and-out, a touchdown, a field goal and a passer rating of 113.0.
OLB OSHANE XIMINES: General manager Dave Gettleman said in his season-ending press conference that the team needed to add defensive players. He went out and used seven of his 10 draft choices on that side of the ball, including Ximines. The third-round draft pick out of Old Dominion still has work to do in his transition to the NFL, but recording three sacks this preseason was a good start.
CB COREY BALLENTINE: Ballentine has been on a physical and mental rollercoaster for the past four months. Hours after he was drafted, Ballentine was the victim of a shooting in which his best friend was killed and he was wounded. In his first preseason game, he grabbed an interception.
WR BENNIE FOWLER: The wide receiver room was the center of much attention this summer, and Fowler rose to the challenge amid the absences. He finished the preseason with two touchdowns on just six catches.
WR ALONZO RUSSELL: You can’t mention Fowler without Russell, another wide receiver who made the most his opportunity in the preseason. Russell went out on a high note with two touchdowns in New England, including the walk-off from Kyle Lauletta to complete a thrilling comeback win.
“I’m very comfortable with the guys that we have,” Shurmur said of the receivers. “We’re going to put the roster together and get ready to go against Dallas. I’m comfortable.”
Clubs must finalize their 53-man rosters by 4 p.m. on Saturday.