A great pass rush can mask a whole lot of your deficiencies. Last week the Giants had a good pass rush but it wasn’t enough to make up for their lifeless secondary. This week Justin Tuck and the rest of the line brought the thunder and had Sam Bradford running for his life.
Yes, the Giants did get lucky early on in this game. And yes, it’s clear the Giants still have a ton of work to do. However, last time I checked an ugly win still counts as a win.
What Went Right?
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky then good. Early in the game a muffed punt return cost the Rams, as well a backwards lateral that no one on the Rams considered picking up. In total the Rams fumbled four times and lost two.
What a difference one player can make. The Giants pass rush looked absolutely fearsome. Justin Tuck finished with 1.5 sacks and 3 QB hits. Sam Bradford was sacked twice, hit nine times and was under constant pressure. Imagine when Osi gets back.
Hakeem Nicks/Domenik Hixon
Nicks is a beast, plain and simple. Nicks caught a pass (that won’t show up in the stat sheet as the Giants took defensive pass interference instead) on the sideline that he absolutely had no business catching. He also bailed out Eli on a big touch down reception by plucking the ball out of mid-air. It always amazes me how strong his hands are and how easy he makes attacking the ball look. Hixon stepped up after a vanishing act last week. Hixon caught two passes for 29 yards, including one circus catch touchdown.
Figuring It Out
One thing is clear is that the Giants were hurt by the lockout. This is a team gelling on the fly. As the game went on Eli seemed more comfortable making audibles and the receivers and offensive line seemed more comfortable adjusting to them. It’s a work in progress but there are signs of progress.
What Went Wrong
On top of the already documented injury list Mario Manningham left the game with a concussion and Hixon with a knee injury. Neither returned to the game. As of the now the Giants healthy wide outs consist of Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Brandon Stokely.
The Giants ran more but their 33 carries were in large part a byproduct of being up for most of the game. The Giants averaged 3.1 yards per carry as a team. Bradshaw and Jacobs split carries evenly. While it’s concerning to see the Giants not getting more push it is a good sign that Jacobs is finally running with a lower pad level and using his size more effectively.
Aaron Ross Is Awful
This is pretty self explanatory…moving on.
The Giants take on Michael Vick or Mike Kafka. Either way expect the Giants to bring the pressure constantly. If the Giants offense of the second half shows up they have a shot to win.
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