With just 11 practices and having gone through changes on the offensive line, tight end and wide receiver, the New York Giants offense could not have been expected to be operating perfectly Saturday night in the Giants preseason opener. It certainly was not, generating only a field goal in a 20-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Giants only touchdown came on a 55-yard interception return by linebacker Michael Boley.
Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning played into the second quarter, completing 4-of-9 passes for only 36 yards.
"We never got into a great rhythm," Manning said. "We missed some opportunities in the passing game, and never really got anything down the field."
Lawrence Tynes missed two field goals, one from 55 yards and one from 37. He also had a kick blocked and left the game with a thigh contusion when he was struck in the leg by a helmet after the blocked kick.
Cam Newton threw for 134 yards in his Panthers debut, while Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson both passed for touchdowns. Clausen threw the interception on the game's opening series that Boley ran back for a score.
Here are some highlights and lowlights for the Giants.
- Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks and four tackles in slightly more than one quarter of work. The 2010 first-round pick was dominant.
- Backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels was solid, completing 13-of-19 for 129 yards. David Carr gets his chance to unseat Rosenfels next week.
- The play of wide receivers Domenik Hixon and Devin Thomas. Vying for the third wide receiver spot, Hixon caught five passes for 86 yards and Thomas three for 23.
- The first-team offense had one or two nice running plays, but never established anything. The Giants have undergone some changes on offense, and they are obviously a work in progress.
- Special teams. Where to start with the ugliness? A pair of long punt returns surrendered. An inexcusable blocked field goal that resulted in placekicker Lawrence Tynes being injured. Tynes missing a 37-yard attempt. Little to nothing generated in the return game. It wasn't pretty.
- Tackling. On many occasions it was non-existent for the Giants. You could say, well, it was the first time they have tackled live. But, the Panthers did not have a problem. And many of the teams that played this weekend tackled just fine. They have got to do a better job, especially the guys in the secondary.