Giants V Lions (21-16): Takeaways, standout players

nfl: preseason-new york giants at detroit lions, isaiah hodgins
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants suffered a disappointing 21–16 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions in their 2023 preseason opener. The game came down to the wire as Lions backup QB Adrian Martinez put his team ahead in the final moments. The Giants turned in a valiant effort but ultimately fell short in Week 1 of the preseason.

New York Giants: Top standout players from preseason Week 1

QB Tommy DeVito tried his best to lead the Giants to victory but ultimately fell short after posting 155 passing yards on 15/24 passing with one touchdown and one interception. New York’s leading receiver was WR David Sills V, a regular summer star who has stood out in each of the last three preseason campaigns for Big Blue.

Jashaun Corbin did most of the work on the ground for New York as the second-year running back took three handoffs for 40 yards in the contest.

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The offensive line has a lot of work to do

The offensive line struggled in this one, surrendering five sacks on the evening. Rookie center John Michael-Schmitz played a solid first NFL game, looking the part of a second-round draft pick. However, his fellow teammates on the front line struggled to get going.

Rookie cornerbacks had solid debuts

Both first-round pick Deonte Banks and sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins made impressive plays during their NFL debuts on Friday night. Banks broke up a would-be touchdown pass intended for speedy WR Jameson Williams in the first quarter. Hawkins also got his hands on the ball and demonstrated a tackling prowess unsuspected of a late-round rookie defensive back.

New York’s safety duo forced crucial turnovers

The Giants seem to have found their starting strong safety in third-year defensive back Jason Pinnock. He took off early in the first quarter, nabbing an interception and totaling two pass breakups and one tackle for loss in the first quarter.

Pinnock was joined by fellow DB Dane Belton as a standout on the backend of the defense. Belton also snagged an interception, returned the pick for 42 yards, and also racked up two tackles on the evening.

Which skill position players stood out?

The Giants have a slew of veteran wide receivers competing for roster spots this summer. Both Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder hauled in strikes from DeVito, making their case for the regular season roster on Friday. At least one of these veterans should find themselves surviving the summer.

Undrafted free agent rookie Bryce Ford-Wheaton struggled to make an impact (zero receptions on three targets) despite his elite athletic traits. While he may still be a player worth stashing on the practice squad, his inability to produce in the first preseason game makes Ford-Wheaton an unlikely addition to the final roster.