A 24-17 defeat is not exactly disappointing when you consider the circumstances. New York played the entire game with a third string QB. How many times have you witnessed a third string QB even play a series at the pro level, let alone an entire game?
That said, here's what we learned:
-Rhett Bomar had an oppurtunity to solidify a roster spot and perhaps the nod for immediate backup to Manning. He struggled tonight and despite some good plays, including an impressive deep toss to Steve Smith in tight coverage, Bomar did not play up to par. He seemed to struggle more agasint Pittsburgh's reserve players and was unable to keep a critical pass to Tim Brown in bounds on the final drive. In a regular season game, his play would be unnaceptable.
I still expect a veteran QB to be brought in after final cuts. The Giants waited on two major free agent signings this year (Keith Bulluck and ShawnAndrews). Just because they didn't look to make a deal this week, don't overlook the possiblity of a veteran presence being added.
Even if Jim Sorgi is healthy by Week 1, the fact remains that he is a veteran with very limited "hands on" experience. Bomar is a young player with very little experience period.
If Kerry Collins is cut by the Titans, the Giants will likely be interested.
-Victur Cruz was unable to match his explosive first game. His single catch for 10 yards coupled with his botched punt returns likely didn't wow the coaching staff. He's a work in progress but he is probably still in good shape roster wise.
Sinorice Moss was barely used tonight (if at all). Regadless of Moss, Cruz has shown the same amount if not more potential that Moss has in a fifth of the time. The Giants want to see what the young man can do. There is no sense in cutting him, only to see him wind up with another team as a main offensive weapon (see Ryan Grant, Packers 2007).
There are two other threats to Cruz's claim for the final WR spot. Rutgers alum Tim Brown had a nice catch towards the end of the game. Unfortunately, that catch came on the same throw mentioned earlier by Bomar. The ball sailed too close to the sidelines for anyone to haul in with both feet in. Brown is likely headed to the practice squad. His main selling point this training camp was his return game prowess. He hasn't been used thus far in a game situation as a return man though. The Giants like him and if he clears waivers they'll have an oppurtunity to keep him.
Travis Beckum is also an indirect challenge to Cruz's spot. Beckum is techinically a TE. However, he has promise as a slot receiver. He also showe some nice blocking ability tonight. despite being undersized. If the Giants choose to bring in 3 true TE's and Beckum, Cruz might run into problems. This isn't likely though. Scott Chandler isn't making noise.
-DJ Ware was carted off the field waving and smiling to the fans. In all seriousness, that may have been because he was completely out of it. The Giants confirmed that Ware did in fact suffer anotehr concussion tonight. Ware makes Sinorice Moss looks like a pictures of health. He simply can't stay off the injury report. For this reason, and the fact that he has now suffered multiple concussions, the Giants may have to part ways with him (or at least place him on IR). Aaron Ross's big return tonight could help him solidify a return job, which would lessen the need for Ware on the roster. That said, Ross may see time as a starter this year and at the very least he'd be the nickel corner. Andre Brown will have to nail down the other return job for the Giants to feel comfortable.
-The defensive line made a statement on the opening drives. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora had a good night and made plays in the backfield. Chris Canty got decent pressure, as did Rocky Bernard. Bernard helped the Giants escape the first half with a goal line stand when he laid on top of the Steeler ball carrier an extra few seconds to keep the click winding down to 0:00.
Interestingly enough, Jay Alford entered the game after Linval Joseph. It would appear that the Orange, NJ native is now 5th on the depth chart at DT. Jason Pierre-Paul flashed potential tonight, but left the crowd wanting more. He let a sure sack slip through his grasp.
-Kenny Phillips and Keith Bulluck played 1 series during the first half. Bulluck, making his Giants debut was in on a tackle deep in the redzone. Phillips looked good after nearly a year away. The Giants hope that both him and Antrel Rolle become a staple tandem in the backfield for years to come. Both players have enormous potential and both players are from the legendary U.