3 Giants that need to be better in Preseason Week 2

New York Giants offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (70) stretches during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants will be back on the turf at MetLife Stadium on Friday as they take on the Carolina Panthers in their second preseason game. In Week 1 of the preseason, New York lost to the Detroit Lions 21–16, witnessing a slew of depth players crumble under the pressure of fighting for roster spots.

Entering this second game, if certain players do not show signs of improvement, they could find themselves on the waiver wire in the coming weeks. Others could find themselves pulled from the starting lineup. It is paramount for three players, in particular, to be better in this game than they were in last week’s contest to maintain their spot on the roster.

Fighting for the starting LG position

The Giants have held a competition at LG this offseason with veteran Ben Bredeson and second-year Joshua Ezeudu battling for the starting job. The two players have been rotating with the first and second teams while also being moved along the line, getting work on the right side as well.

Bredeson has seemingly been the leading man for the starting job all summer. In the first preseason game, Ezeudu struggled to change that narrative. He started the game, playing 32 snaps against Detroit. But Ezeudu looked poor in pass protection and failed to outshine Bredeson. Ezeudu will need to bounce back this Friday to give himself a chance of winning the starting gig.

The Giants need more depth on the EDGE

Behind starting edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, New York has a severe lack of depth. Oshane Ximines is positioned to be the team’s primary backup EDGE after re-signing with the Giants this offseason. Unfortunately, Ximines was rather underwhelming in Week 1 of the preseason.

Playing 33 total snaps against the Lions, Ximines totaled just one pressure and one tackle and surrendered one reception on one target for 18 yards in coverage. Ximines failed to stand out or make a difference as a pass-rusher. If he doesn’t improve soon, Ximines could become a cut candidate as the Giants inevitably begin searching for more EDGE depth.

Is it too late for Korey Cunningham to turn things around?

OT Korey Cunningham stood out in the worst way during the Giants’ first preseason game with the Lions. Cunningham started the game at LT for Big Blue. He went on to play 59 total snaps in the contest (32 at RT), surrendering eight pressures, six hurries, and two sacks in the game.

With Cunningham listed as the team’s second-string LT, it is evident that New York’s offense would be doomed if starting LT Andrew Thomas were to go down with an injury. Cunningham will need to turn things around in a major way to give this team a shred of confidence in his abilities to fill in as Thomas’ backup, or GM Joe Schoen will be back on the hunt for tackle depth ahead of the regular season.

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