Opening night for the defending champs was a rough start to a long season. The New York Giant lost Wednesday night to the Dallas Cowboys 24-17. Tony Romo has one of his best games and took advantage of the lack of depth in the Giants secondary. The Giants had a very difficult time running the ball. Ahmad Bradshaw was able to have only one run of 20 yards or more. The offensive line failed time after time to open up holes for the Giants running backs. The Giants now have a week and a half to get healthy and get ready for Tampa Bay.
Interior defensive line – Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard both registered a sack. Both also swallowed a lot of room on the line and made it difficult for the Cowboys to run up the middle.
Keith Rivers – With Michael Boley nursing a hamstring injury, Rivers got the start. Rivers had a solid performance flying around the field and making tackles. He had a very nice one arm tackle on DeMarco Murray while he was being blocked. He made several tackles in the gaps. Look for him to get more playing time next week.
Michael Boley – Even though he was hurt, Boley did play some. He came up big picking off Romo before being illegally tackled right before the endzone. Almost a pick six for Boley.
Martellus Bennett – Bennett had one of the tougher assignments for the Giants. With Will Beatty not playing at left tackle, Bennett had to help Sean Locklear block Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Bennett had some nice receptions and brought one in for a touchdown.
Eli Manning – Manning had a fine game. He did not turn the ball over and did not force any bad passes. He was consistent with his accuracy. He fell victim to his receivers dropping passes, running the wrong routes or not looking at him. His line also was no help allowing him to be sacked time after time and not allowing him to have any time to look down field.
Rush defense- The run defense was solid in the first half. Murray had nowhere to go and he was constantly swallowed up by the Giants line. The second half was a different story as Murray was able to find cut back lanes and the Giants decided they didn’t feel the need to wrap up and make tackles.
Run blocking – One of the biggest question marks on the season was the offensive line. The line did nothing on Wednesday to justify themselves as a solid unit. They look miserable. They could not open up a hole for Bradshaw anywhere. It took until the fourth quarter for Bradshaw to get a significant gain, which came on a shotgun draw play while down 14 points.
David Wilson – Wilson got a chance to run with the ball a little, but then coughed up a fumble on his second carry ever. Needless to say that was the last time we saw Wilson at all on the field.
Victor Cruz – Cruz was constantly open and if he wasn’t, Eli manning was throwing perfect passes his way. Cruz had his worst game ever as a NFL receiver. He has several penalties and dropped numerous passes that stalled pivotal drives. The Biggest drop came in the fourth while trying to get back in the game when the ball hit him square in the chest and he could not hold on.
Secondary – The Giants secondary is a mess. With three cornerbacks now hurt, this team must look for some help elsewhere. We are all hoping Prince Amukamara can make a speedy recovery from his high ankle sprain for next weeks game. However, Corey Webster looked slow and sluggish and had trouble covering anyone on the Cowboys. Hopefully Webster can turn this around and turn back into the underrated cornerback the Giants have molded.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Stapleton
Ridgewood, New Jersey