The final score isn’t the most critical part of preseason games, but it was clear for anyone who watched New York’s 20-12 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday that the Giants aren’t quite ready for the regular season.
During the game, the Giants had trouble protecting Eli Manning in the pocket, and that led to inconsistency on offense and multiple failures inside the Colts’ 20-yard line.
“Obviously, the game wasn't played the best that we could,” said offensive tackle David Diehl. “Not only as a group but offensively as an offensive line, could be me personally myself, but I know I’m going to come out here and work.”
During the game, Diehl allowed Colts rookie pass rusher Bjoern Werner to get around him, and the pressure on Manning made it tough for the Giants to get into a rhythm offensively. Diehl, despite apparently suffering a hand injury during the contest, is determined to correct his mistakes.
“The sack that I got beat on, I should have recognized the protection scheme and the adjustments that they made on that, I stepped too flat, so I’m going to come out here, I’m going to do 100 sets if I’ve got to get that corrected," Diehl insisted. "The other thing I work on, my hand placement, and those types of things, and do whatever I need to do to make those corrections heading out of this preseason game so that we’re ready for the Jets.”
While many of the Giants have work to do leading up to Saturday’s clash with the Jets, Diehl in particular is under pressure because the Giants selected another tackle, Justin Pugh, with their first round pick in this spring’s draft. To many it seems like Diehl is fighting for his starting job right now.
“Obviously, I’m going to get a lot more attention like I always did going into this training camp anyways, but you expect it, that’s part of football,” explained Diehl, “So when you make mistakes people are going to criticize you for it, that’s the job that we’re in and that’s the job that we chose. I’m not sitting here hiding from anything. I’m not ever going to hide from anything, like I said, I know I need to make the improvements, the whole entire team needs to make improvements, otherwise, we would have won that last game, and we didn’t.”
With the NFC stacked with competitive teams this season, the Giants need to prove they are better than the squad that folded down the stretch in 2012 or those criticisms are only going to grow with each passing day.