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Giant Standouts: Preseason Opener vs. Jets

The New York Giants preseason officially opened up on Thursday night, as they defeated the New York Jets 31-22 to win the “Snoopy Bowl.”

As every football fan knows, the score doesn’t matter in the preseason. It’s the performances of each individual athlete that do. And the Giants had a quite a few who really shined at MetLife Stadium. Here are those “Giant Standouts.”

QB Daniel Jones

Where else do we start then with sixth overall pick Daniel Jones. After Eli Manning had a lackluster three-and-out on first series of the game (generating boos from the Giants faithful), Jones entered the game on the team’s second possession. But this was different, as head coach Pat Shurmur left in the starting offensive line for the rookie quarterback.

Jones went a perfect 5-for-5 for 67 yards and a 12-yard touchdown pass to receiver Bennie Fowler in the back corner of the end zone. The rookie exhibited his accuracy, ability to thread the needle, and downfield power.

This series was all Giants fans were allowed to see, as the game was halted by a lengthy lightning delay. Even so, Jones might have earned himself some new fans following his short preseason debut.

DB Corey Ballentine

Sixth-round selection Corey Ballentine was all over the field on Thursday night. On a night in which the Giants’ pass defense looked porous at points, Ballentine was a legitimate ball-hawk.

Ballentine secured one of the Giants’ three interceptions on the night. In the third quarter, the rookie out of Washburn utilized his 4.47 40-yard dash speed to match himself alongside Jets receiver Tim White. Quarterback Davis Webb attempted to get White the ball, but Ballentine boxed him out and secured an impressive interception.

Not only did Ballentine shine in coverage, but also in the return game. His only kickoff return resulted in a 40-yard gain.

You’d never think Ballentine played at a Division II school, and if he keeps up at this pace, he’ll earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

LB Ryan Connelly

Another rookie makes the list, and this time it’s fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly. To put it simply, the Wisconsin product was all over the field, using his speed to attack the ball carrier. On the night, Connelly recorded a total of five tackles (four solo, one assisted).

That’s something the Giants linebackers corps desperately needs.

LB Jake Carlock

Jake Carlock, a Babylon, N.Y. native, made news earlier in the week after gaining Alec Ogletree’s former No. 52. The veteran’s number might have some magic behind it.

During the third quarter, Carlock batted a Davis Webb pass, hauled it in for the interception, and took it 59-yards to the house for a pick-six.

The Long Islander wasn’t done there, as he secured a sack and a tackle for loss. Not a bad night for the rookie out of LIU Post.

WR Reggie White Jr.

Ever since the start of training camp, the Giants’ receiving corps was decimated by injuries to Sterling Shepard and Corey Coleman and a pending suspension of Golden Tate. After that influx of bad news, Giants fans languished once again about the Odell Beckham Jr. trade.

Ironically, the man who received his number, Reggie White Jr., came to play for the preseason opener. White was targeted four times and caught all of them for a total of 60 yards on the day. The Monmouth alum’s biggest catch of the game occurred in the second quarter, as he secured a 22-yard, wide-open catch from quarterback Alex Tanney.

WR T.J. Jones

Reggie White Jr. wasn’t the only receiver to have a quality night. T.J. Jones, whom the Giants signed July 27 to replace Corey Coleman, was effective in his Giants debut.

Jones was targeted six times, and, like White, secured each pass. The former Detroit Lion tallied 72 yards and a touchdown, with 31 of them coming on a deep touchdown pass from Kyle Lauletta in the fourth quarter.

What’s Next?

The Giants return to the gridiron on Friday, Aug. 16, as they face off against the defending NFC North Champion Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium.

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