Cheers and Jeers: Giants 20 Steelers 16

Find out who played up to expectations and who missed the mark in New York’s 20-16 preseason victory?

CHEERS

Rashad Jennings

We didn’t see a lot of burst from Jennings in the Hall of Fame Game, but against Pittsburgh he broke loose for a 73-yard score on the first play of the Giants’ second possession. With Andre Williams still not having caught a pass in the preseason, Jennings looks like a solid bet for a heavy workload this season. It’s good to see that he at least has some of the explosiveness that the Giants are missing out on since David Wilson retired.

Curtis Painter

Painter’s biggest claim to fame in the NFL so far is playing poorly enough for the 2011 Colts in relief of Peyton Manning that the team was able to pick Andrew Luck at the top of the 2012 draft. That’s not the kind of thing that makes you want to choose Painter as your team’s backup quarterback, but he was quite effective on Saturday. The Purdue alum completed all seven of his passes against the Steelers, including one to Corey Washington in the end zone to put New York ahead for good.

Corey Washington A rookie out of tiny Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, Washington came out of nowhere to catch game-winning touchdown passes in each of the Giants’ first two preseason games. On Saturday, he also led the team with three receptions and 23 receiving yards. Washington may not have the sexiest numbers against third-team defenses, but if he continue to make big plays, he could challenge the underwhelming Mario Manningham for the fifth wide receiver job.

JEERS

Mathias Kiwanuka

The Giants were able to get pressure on Steelers quarterbacks from a variety of sources on Saturday. Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore, Robert Ayers, and even new Giants Israel Idonije all got a hit on a Pittsburgh signal caller. One player whose presence was not felt was Mathias Kiwanuka. The veteran recorded just one solo tackle for the night, and he could find himself as a backup player soon if he keeps getting outplayed by the other pass rushers on the Giants’ roster.

Ryan Nassib

While Painter had a good night in his audition for the backup quarterback job, Nassib struggled with just 12 passes completed in 21 attempts. The second-year player out of Syracuse gained just 3.9 yards per pass attempt and directly contributed to a Pittsburgh touchdown in the fourth quarter when he threw a swing pass intended for Michael Cox. Even though the ball hit the ground without going forwards, both Nassib and Cox ignored the ball, allowing Pittsburgh’s Howard Jones to pick it up and easily run to the end zone.

Charles James Considering the additions that the Giants made to their secondary in the offseason, it was already going to be tough for James to make the team for the second year in a row. The second-year defensive back out of Charleston Southern didn’t make matters any easier for himself when he muffed a punt on Saturday night in the third quarter to set up a Steelers field goal.


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