Three weeks into the preseason, the New York Giants have the look and feel of a successful team. The players and coaches have bought into the system and are laying down the foundational woodwork of what’s needed to win during the regular season.
Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has looked fantastic, putting his efficiency and poise on display. An 83.3 completion percentage attests to his accuracy and calmness in the pocket. Jones hasn’t been the only rookie making a name for himself this preseason, as both Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines have looked good in flashes.
Lawrence struggled the first two games but improved mightily against the Cincinnati Bengals, swatting a pass on the opening drive that stopped Andy Dalton in his tracks after a long completion that nearly set the offense up in scoring position. He finished with just one tackle, but he was a crucial cog in the run game early on and displayed his strength in the trenches.
Another rookie that had a fantastic game was Oshane Ximines, who tallied dup three tackles, one assist, and two sacks.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 23, 2019
Ximines now has three sacks in two games and seems to be improving with every passing week. Coming from a lower-tier Division-I school, the expectation for the third-round pick wasn’t as pressing, but he has lived up to the hype thus far.
The Old Dominion product was a force off the edge and sealed his assignment in the run game, helping to hold the Bengals to just 28 yards rushing on the day. His versatile repertoire of pass-rush moves was too much for the Bengals offensive line to handle, and he put on a show because of it.
The New York Giants need their rookie defenders to produce:
The combination of Lawrence and Ximines should be deadly this upcoming season, as one is versed in using his bull rush and strength to disrupt the pocket while the other (Oshane) is more confident with his counter-punch and using leverage. Both will be integral pieces to the defense that must make an impact during the regular season if the Giants wish to succeed.
Facing off against starting talent consistently will be a difficult transition, but both have progressed nicely during the preseason.