Sunday was Prince Amukamara’s fourth NFL game. But it was the first time he was a little bit exposed as a rookie cornerback. He’d held his own against the Eagles, Saints and Packers but gave up 74-yard pass to Laurent Robinson in single coverage in the fourth quarter He also was part of a miscommunication on a 40-yard pass to Robinson in the second quarter, coming up as if he thought he had safety help behind him. Neither of those plays were scoring plays, but both led to points.
For a rookie cornerback, sometimes the first big test comes not when you succeed as Amukamara did immediately with an interception on his second NFL snap, but when you falter for the first time.
“I think I handled it pretty well,” Amukamara said of the first adversity of his short career. “As a corner you put those behind you but you have to learn from it. Just being on this team, of course I feel like I let this team down and I’m glad we won. I just have to learn from it and watch the film and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
So what happened on the fourth-quarter play?
“I had a couple of keys and my eyes messed me up,” he said. “I should have stayed on top … My eyes, they can either help you make plays or help you get beat.”
Most rookie cornerbacks – even first-round picks – go through a learning curve in their first few games. For most of them, though, those games are in the preseason and early in the regular season. Amukamara is learning on the job in the midst of a playoff push.
“It’s pretty risky for the Giants, but I’m glad that they trust me,” he said.
It may have been his worst game as a Giant so far, but it was also his first win.