New York Giants
MET LIFE STADIUM
ICYMI:NEW YORK GIANTS: Correct Last Week's Mistake Before Too Late Comes Too Soon.
- I - Dancing Around the NFC East Fire
The Atlanta Falcons remind me how badly the Giants screwed up Week One.
In what's seemingly becoming a season opening ritual, the Giants did themselves a major injustice by losing an early division game to the Cowboys. What made the loss particularly distressing was their acute loss of offensive acumen late in the 4th quarter.
The Falcons, however, did the Giants a huge favor last week by defeating the Eagles.
Between the Giants mental lapses in Dallas, the Cowboys own loss of Dez Bryant, and considering Philly's head coach spent the off-season getting branded a racist stemming from several unpopular roster alterations, then went on to lose his season opener, it's easy to see why the NFC East is already chock-full-o-drama after just one week of play.
The Giants will get to revisit their big misstep in big Texas once the Cowboys visit New York. But, the immediate impact of last Sunday's loss, however, makes today's clash against Atlanta an unnecessarily vital game.
The last time the Giants started the season 0-2 with Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator, they went on to win the Super Bowl. While that's a comforting thought, the Giants can ill afford to put themselves in that position this season. These G-Men are nowhere nearly as deep, nor talented as those guys.
- II - Air Coughlin Flight Two is Now Boarding
Look for the Giants to open things up with more down field attempts. Coach said it, not me.
While it may only have been a pre-season game, they say the third one counts most. That said, I watched an overly patient approach put forth a rather yawn inspiring effort against the Jets. Sunday against Dallas, Eli went 20/36, and similarly only averaged 5.4 yards per completion.
If you subtract Shane Vereen's 4/46 performance (because I consider that an extension of the running game) Odell Beckham Jr. was targeted 8 times, and led Giant receivers with 5 catches for 44-yards. Rueben Randall and Preston Parker however, were targeted 11 times but only completed 5 receptions.
This all might have been a result of Dallas forcing them to work underneath the majority of the game, but it's a big reason why Victor Cruz' return remains imperative. For now improving connections with the latter two receivers is the only way to somewhat free up OBJ.
Tight end Larry Donnell was targeted 4 times and made 3 receptions for 21 yards. More of that can only help.
One thing is glaringly clear, it took exactly one week for Coach Coughlin tiring of dink and dunk football. His style has always been to go deep. I went through that very issue - HERE.
They'll need to set up play-action first. That means establishing the run. The Giants rushed 23 times for 91 yards, averaging almost 4 yards per carry against a stout Dallas front. Or did they?
In truth, the offensive line did a piss poor job of run blocking during a great majority of the game. Rashad Jennings gained 38 of the Giants overall 91 yards during that last fateful drive. Otherwise, the Giants rushed 16 times for a mere 53-yards.
One would think the Giants can improve upon last week's effort against Atlanta, right?
- III - Somehow, the Corners and Devon Kennard Must Enable a Pass Rush
Jon Beason feels betrayed by the schedule makers, as he's likely to miss Thursday night's game against D.C. as well. But in truth, he needs to come to grips that his own body is failing him.
In the mean time, it will be fun watching Devon Kennard evolve into a premium linebacker.
After a rather decent performance last week, Prince Amukamara and DRC will be tasked with shutting down Julio Jones (questionable) and Roddy White. Their play will largely dictate the Giants ability to mount pressure on Matt Ryan, whom enjoyed as much unmolested time in the pocket against the Eagles, as Tony Romo did against the Giants.
The front four did well stopping the run, but got nowhere near touching Tony Romo. Look for Devon Kennard to become that guy. He's perhaps the one player Coach Spags will let loose from time to time.