Short on personnel, the onus is on Steve Spagnuolo
for creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
NEW YORK GIANTS: Despite losing their season opener, the differences in defensive style between Perry Fewell and the returning Steve Spagnuolo were comfortingly apparent in Game One.
Tony Romo went virtually untouched last Sunday because Dallas' offensive line happens to be very good, but mostly because without JPP the Giants have no pass rush to speak of.
The Giants registered exactly one QB touch all game - ONE, authored by Devon Kennard. Dallas held the ball for 37:10, while Tony Romo completed 36 of 45 attempts for an 80% completion rate.
By the 4th quarter, the Giants defense was sufficiently gassed. Their last stand bend-don't-break posture failed to outlast both Dallas and the clock. Romo easily dinked and dunked his way down field before connecting with, who else but Jason Witten for the winning touchdown.
That's the worst I have to say regarding last week's season opener.
On a more positive note, the Giants defensive style, technique, and overall intensity shouted Coach Spagnuolo is back! The change in philosophy was clear as the sky is big and blue. They induced Romo into a pair of INT's, and caused three turnovers overall.
- Dominique Rogers Cromartie had 8 solo tackles and returned an INT for a touchdown.
Unlike Perry Fewell, Coach Spags will blitz, but he'll pick and chose his moments and nail the logistics. Therefore, I'm giving Coach Spags a pass for calling off the dogs on that last drive. I just hope last week was a lesson learned in the art of applied aggression.
Otherwise, Coach is being forced to offset the Giants lack of personnel and a pass rush with clever schemes and deception.
The effort against the run was particularly noteworthy. They recovered one of three caused fumbles. I find it ponderous, though, Dallas would not elect to run more often behind that offensive line. Nevertheless, the Giants held them to 81 yards on 21 rushes for a 3.5 average gain.
The Atlanta Falcons fly into town still feeling sky high
after their victory over the Eagles.
After a rather decent performance last week, Prince Amukamara and DRC will be tasked with shutting down Julio Jones 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.
This much is certain: The Giants' defense can not, and should not, spend anywhere near 37:00 on the field this week. That was arguably a determining factor as to why Dallas marched down field and scored so easily with less than 2:00 to go.
Linebacker Jon Beason is still not ready for a return to action, but the ever lasting question is how long will he last once, and if he does? That said, I'm thinking Devon Kennard will be Week Two's game MVP.