Instant Analysis

Instant Analysis: Eli's perfect TD drive sparks Giants

AT A GLANCE: Eli Manning never let a pass hit in the ground on a perfect touchdown drive to start the game. Daniel Jones took over from there as the Giants rolled to a 32-13 victory over the Bears, improving to 2-0 in the preseason.

UP NEXT: The Giants play the remainder of the preseason on the road, beginning with a trip to face the Cincinnati Bengals (Thurs., Aug. 22) and concluding in Foxboro against the New England Patriots (Thurs., Aug. 29). After that, it’s time for roster decisions. Clubs must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 31.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:

*After Daniel Jones’ performance last week, it was Eli Manning’s turn for a perfect touchdown drive. The veteran started the night with a 20-yard dart to wide receiver Cody Latimer. It was his first or four consecutive completions on a 10-play, 79-yard drive, which he capped with an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bennie Fowler. Last week, Fowler caught Jones’ first NFL touchdown to finish a drive in which he completed all five of his passes.

“We started off with a little play action on the first play. The offensive line did a great job allowing me to get through my progression and get to my second guy,” Manning said. “I hit Cody over the middle. It was a good way to start the game with an explosive play. We did a good job. We ran the ball well. We didn’t have many third downs going in. We finally had a third down in the red zone. They came out with an all-out blitz, and we hit Cody with a little underneath route. Golden [Tate] ran a good route, got a little pick on the guy. We got the touchdown there. It was a good way to finish that drive.”

*On the next offensive series, the first-team offense returned to the field with the exception of Manning. Instead, Jones was under center and showed off his deep-ball accuracy on a 40-yard pass to Latimer down the left sideline. However, on the next play, Jones mishandled the snap and the Bears recovered the ball. His next drive ended in a similar fashion. Linebacker James Vaughters came screaming off the left side and strip-sacked Jones. Vaughters recovered deep in Giants territory. Jones would rebound, though, and placed a perfect pass to wide receiver TJ Jones in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown with a little more than a minute left in the first half. TJ Jones led all receivers last week with 72 yards and a touchdown on six catches against the Jets. 

*Daniel Jones, who was replaced by Alex Tanney to start the second half, finished 11 of 14 for 161 yards and a touchdown (138.4 passer rating). He is now 16 of 19 for 228 yards and two touchdowns in his two preseason appearances.

*The coaches decided not to dress Saquon Barkley for the second consecutive game. Rod Smith, the former Cowboy who signed with the Giants this offseason, started in his place and accounted for 27 yards on five carries on the opening scoring drive. He finished with 10 carries for 42 yards with a long of 17 yards. Undrafted rookie Jonathan Hilliman ran in a 10-yard touchdown to put the Giants ahead by 12 in the fourth quarter.

*The Giants fumbled four times, two of which were lost by Jones and one each by Smith and TJ Jones that were recovered.

*Wide receiver Alonzo Russell saved a pick-six in the third quarter by chasing down Clifton Duck, who intercepted a Tanney pass at the one-yard line and returned it 62 yards before getting caught. Coach Pat Shurmur didn’t appreciate all the turnovers, but he liked Russell’s hustle.

*The Giants once again spread around their big plays as four different players – Latimer, Da’Mari Scott, Paul Perkins, Brittan Golden -- had catches of 25 yards or more.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:

*With rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker and linebacker Alec Ogletree sidelined with injuries, Antonio Hamilton and Ryan Connelly started in their places, respectively, against a Bears offense playing without starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Hamilton and rookie Corey Ballentine, who had an interception in the preseason opener, saw reps this week with the first team after Baker went down with a knee sprain, but the former got the start on Friday night. Hamitlon’s night ended late in the first half when he injured his groin.

*The defense, which did not have a sack last week against the Jets, had three on Friday night from Markus Golden, rookie Oshane Ximines, and Olsen Pierre. Lorenzo Carter also flashed at times, drawing a holding penalty on a third down play that pinned the Bears inside their 10. Carter, who did get penalized for roughing the passer earlier in the game, was also strong against the run.

“[Being aggressive] is very important for us,” Ogletree said from the sideline. “That’s what Bettch [defensive coordinator James Bettcher] brings to this defense. And the guys who were brought in they are aggressive guys and they like to bring pressure and so, for us, to create pressure on the quarterback, that’s what makes it tough for them to feel comfortable throwing the ball and let alone run the ball, too. So it’s a great sign to see for guys to get there and get to the quarterback that made the run not what it was and you know either they mess that protection up too sometimes.”

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:

*Long snapper Zak DeOssie did not play due to a toe injury. Taybor Pepper, a second-year pro out of Michigan State, handled his duties. It didn’t seem to affect Pro Bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas, who made a 47-yard field goal late in the first half. The Bears know his leg all too well. When the two teams met last December, Rosas kicked a 44-yard field goal to win the game in overtime. He also made the longest field goal in franchise history, a 57-yarder as time expired in the first half.

*Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey has to be pleased with what he saw from his returners. TJ Jones had a 43-yard kickoff return while Brittan Golden had a long punt return of 20 yards.

DID NOT PLAY: RB Wayne Gallman (ankle), CB Sam Beal (hamstring), RB Saquon Barkley (coaches decision), CB DeAndre Baker (knee), LB Alec Ogletree (calf), OT Brian Mihalik (burner), OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), WR Sterling Shepard (thumb), TE Evan Engram (coaches decision), LS Zak DeOssie (toe)

IN-GAME INJURY REPORT: CB Antonio Hamilton (groin)

GAME CAPTAINS: QB Eli Manning, LT Nate Solder, S Antoine Bethea, S Michael Thomas

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