While there were many ups and downs for the New York Giants in their first preseason game of 2018, the primary viewing point was rookie running back, Saquon Barkley.
Taking a look at two players that looked great and two that looked weak in the New York Giants’ first-preseason game:
1.) UP – Saquon Barkley
To start off Barkley’s professional career, he scampered for a 39 yard run that left four defenders in his wake and several standing in awe at his agility and lateral movement.
Saquon Barkley has arrived! pic.twitter.com/zsPTPJRZe0
— Giants Daily (@NYGDaily) August 9, 2018
Just look as he remains patient as the defenders close in. He uses his ability to stop on a dime and change direction to shoot up the field and outrun the trailing safety. His first few runs showed why he was so highly touted out of college, and provides reason for optimism in the season ahead.
One of the biggest negatives appropriated to Barkley’s game was his want to bounce the ball outside. It was thought that he would struggle due to the elevated speed of the NFL, and despite those allegations, he seems to be more than capable of picking up a few extra yards on his most frequent tendencies.
— VERSACEBOYENT (@VersaceBoyEnt2) August 9, 2018
As Barkley shoots up the gut of the offensive line, you can see the linebacker stuff the gap. Barkley changes direction with immense speed and picks up a few yards on the outside. This is what having an elusive and dynamic running back can do for a team.
2.) DOWN – Davis Webb
The jury was out on Davis Webb stepping onto the field and putting together a few solid drives, but that narrative died rather quickly after several overthrows and messy in-completions. His footwork regressed and his vision was questionable. Of course, we shouldn’t judge too quickly as Webb is an entire year out of any live-game action against other teams.
The first display by Webb was poor, but there’s plenty of time for him to continue progressing and translate his practice quality into live game prowess.
3.) UP – Ereck Flowers
In limited action, Flowers helped spring the Barkley run for a nice chunk of yardage. He held up well on the right side against a solid Cleveland defensive front. This offseason, Flowers was a primary point of discussion as he was moved from left tackle.
The idea was that the Giants could salvage any talent that Flowers might have by giving him a second life on the right side. In one game, he’s been serviceable, but I still want to see more consistency before I begin to give him the benefit of the doubt.
4.) DOWN – Eli Apple
After a porous 2017 season that was full of distraction and neglect, Eli Apple returned to training camp looking to revitalize his career. The Giant’s new regime gave him a second chance to salvage his professional occupation in the NFL, and in his first preseason game back he threw up a complete dud.
— Training Camp Ethan (@EthanGSN) August 9, 2018
On this throw and catch Apple gets completely turned around and pushed off the ball. You can see how he attempts to run the receiver towards the sidelines but is baited and left trying to recover out of bounds. His initial coverage looks good, but it seems as if his lack of strength sees him flying off his assignment and out of the play entirely.
Apple will need to return in game 2 of the preseason with a better performance if he wants to consider himself a lock as the No. 2 corner.