Just about everything that could have, went wrong for the Giants. This was an ugly game for Big Blue on many levels. The good news for the Giant is, it’s only week one.
Remember week one last year? When in prime-time the Jets (who would make it to the AFC title game) lost to the Ravens 10-9. Mark Sanchez threw for 74 yards. People love to make snap judgements. And while this game did expose a lot of the flaws with the Giants, just remember it’s only one week.
What Went Wrong
1) Aaron Ross Trainwreck.
Rex Grossman was 21/34 for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Ross was responsible for a size-able chunk of that yardage. Ross’s worst moment of the day was allowing a six yard TD to Anthony Armstrong in the corner of the end-zone. At no point did Ross attempt to turn his head around to locate the ball. Ross was demoted to fourth on the depth chart before the season and now we see why.
2) Is Someone Guarding Fred Davis?
Fred Davis (Five catches for 105 yards) literally seemed to be running the same route every time down the field and the Giants still couldn’t cover him. The Giants are going to start needing to use their safeties to cover athletic tight ends as they don’t have the personnel at linebacker (due to injuries) to match up with them.
3) Pass Rush Where Art Thou?
Justin Tuck (neck) was a surprising scratch leaving the Giants without two of their top three pass rushers for this game. Without them (and with no rush from Linval Joseph who took over for Barry Cofield this season) the Giants couldn’t put any consistent pressure on Grossman. A good pass rush will mask a bad secondary and the Giants rush didn’t force Grossman to make bad throws.
4) The Offensive Line
In a shortened off-season the Giants changed three of their offensive starters and the lack of continuity showed. Will Beatty let up a sack to Brian Orakpo, Kareem McKenzie was beaten for a sack (and also had an atrocious attempt at a cut block on a screen play later on.) and in the turning point of the game rookie Ryan Kerrigan intercepted Eli Manning on a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage. Manning was sacked four times and hit seven.
What Went Right
1) Stopping The Run
Typically aggressive teams like the Giants are killed by zone blocking (one cut and go) run schemes like the Redskins employ. That wasn’t the case today as Tim Hightower averaged just 2.9 yards per carry.
2) Hakeem Nicks Is A Man
Fantasy Stud Alert. Nicks had seven catches for 112 yards (on 11 targets) in a game where the Giants entire offense played like garbage. Nicks does it all and so far he’s proving to be the only consistent part of the this Giants offense.
The Giants welcome St. Louis to Met-Life Stadium next week and it will be interesting to see how the offensive line continues to develop. Expect the Giants to lean more on the running game (specifically Brandon Jacobs) while Eli and the offensive line work out their pass protection schemes.
About the Author
Written by Jason Comack
Jason Comack graduated from Oswego State University. You can hear Jason on 88.1 FM (streaming as well on WCWPSports.org) every Monday and Thursday at 6 PM. Jason covers MMA as well as the New York Giants for Pro Sports Blogging. Follow him on Twitter @J_Comack