After two joint practices, it was time to strap up for a game.
The New York Giants took on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon in the second week of the preseason. While they came away with a 17-13 loss, it was another opportunity for the Giants to evaluate their roster in live action.
"I'm proud of the team and the way they came out and competed," coach Joe Judge said. "This is definitely a positive week for us as a team, and we got better this week. We got a lot of quality work in two days of practice with a lot of our vets and young guys. We were able to evaluate our roster and evaluate a lot of players going into the stretch. We are going to New England next week, and we will be able to go with our team as narrowed down as possible. We're not making all the final decisions, but this game will give us a clearer picture going into New England next week in terms of treating it almost like a regular-season game."
Check out the best photos from the Giants' preseason contest against the Cleveland Browns.
Here are the standouts from Sunday's game:
WR Davis Sills V
Wide receiver David Sills V showed sticky hands throughout the day. He caught four passes for 31 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown from Lewerke to bring the Giants within one point of the Browns with 7:11 left in the game. The Giants elected to go for the two-point conversion, but rookie running back Gary Brightwell was stopped short of the goal line. Sills led the team in receiving yards last week against the Jets in his first game since the 2019 preseason.
OLB Oshane Ximines
The Giants wanted to get Ximines as many reps as possible on Sunday, and the outside linebacker made the most of them. Ximines led the pass rush with three quarterback hits, including a sack.
"It was good to see X back out there with us," Judge said. "He had a good week of practice. We just wanted to get him some reps in. Go with X and just get him back out there playing ball. He obviously missed a lot of ball last year being injured. He missed a lot of ball this year with starting camp late so the goal for him and (fellow linebacker) Ryan Anderson was to just get them as many snaps as they could with playing ball. I'm happy the way it came out. They did some nice things for us today. Obviously, there are always things to clean up. We're never fully satisfied with the tape. However, they went out there and played a lot of ball for us and definitely did some good things."
WR Matt Cole
The Giants cross-trained a few players on Sunday. Cole, who made the special teams play of the game last week on a downed punt, saw some snaps at cornerback on Sunday. The do-it-all Cole also made a tackle on punt coverage. Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams took reps at safety as the coaches look to get the most out of the sixth-round pick.
"Whether special teams, offense, or defense, he just says 'yes sir' and goes out there and plays 100 percent," Judge said. "We were sitting there and looking at the amount of guys we were going to play yesterday. We knew the depth of some was going to be an issue. We knew it was going to be a hot day and playing a lot of snaps. We just turned around and said, Let's let Matt go out there. This guy competes on punt returns against a gunner. Let's see what he's got. To be honest with you, I've had experience with receivers in training camp and guys that have stuck around. One thing that impressed us was that he didn't blink. He went out there. He got the ball thrown to him a couple times. He made a nice tackle. He stopped them short right there and forced a field goal. Obviously, the calls were a little new to him. He got a crash course last night on our defense and some meanings, but he went out there to compete."
"They did target my area," Cole said. " I do not want to toot my own horn, but I do not think a receiver caught the ball on my side of the field – Cole World. I think I did pretty good. I just stepped up and just filled in a spot. My coaches helped on the side that are sure about the defenses that they run. I would just charge."
LB Carter Coughlin
Coughlin showed his pass-rush ability again after catching Judge's eye with five tackles and a strip-sack in the preseason opener. On Sunday, he had a sack among four tackles.
RB Devontae Booker
As Saquon Barkley ramps up, Devontae Booker has carried the load in the backfield. He rushed six times for 27 yards on Sunday, including a one-yard leap over the pile for a touchdown late in the first quarter.
"I did not know how long I was going to be out there, but I just wanted to be a spark for the team and for the offense, go out there and do what we have been doing," Booker said. "Got a touchdown with it, and that is always good. Just continue to get better."
Judge said after the game that they have not made a decision on whether Barkley will play in the third and final preseason outing.
"We are going to the doctors and approach it as we get closer," Judge said. "We will have conversations tomorrow and will definitely be increasing what he's doing. I can't tell you exactly what that's going to be. I don't know at this point if that's going to include 11-on-11 or 7-on-7, or whatever it may be, but we're going to make sure we're very calculated with what we do. At the same time, he had a great week this week with the trainers and with what he could give us on the field. I know he is tapping his foot and getting anxious. As soon as we get the greenlight from the medical staff, we'll keep going."
DB Julian Love
Love served as a game captain, recorded five tackles, and earned a new a new nickname from his head coach – "Duct Tape."
"In a meeting in the defensive room, he said, 'Well, we can put you in any situation, wherever we need you, you are like duct tape for us,'" Love said. "That is a true story. Now everyone is calling me duct tape now because he made that comment. It is a short-term solution – duct tape. We will move on to something more permanent."