Well, the start of the 2012 season began much the same as the 2011 Giants season did, with an excruciating loss to a division rival. To start the 2012 season the Giants, except for Eli Manning, looked like they were still celebrating last year’s Superbowl win. The Cowboys did make a lot of plays to win this game, but the Giants essentially gift wrapped last nights fiasco.
The Bad: The biggest concern on the Giants offense last year was the run offense. It appeared that the Giants still have no answer in that regard, and aside from David Wilson’s fumble it is hard to blame any of it on the backs. Every time Bradshaw was given the ball last night he was met in the lane with one or two Dallas defenders and others right behind. There were no cut back lanes in sight and when you cannot take advantage of an interception that gives you possession on the oppositions one yard line, you wonder if there is anyone on this team that can run block. From the moment David Baas has stepped on the field he has been horrible for the Giants. Sure he is pretty consistent as a pass blocker, but can he ever seal a defensive tackle or linebacker off. The answer for those who are not watching, is no.
Another problem with the run game, is the play calling. Tom Coughlin loves to run powers and tosses, the only problem being, is that they cannot do it. Plus on the one yard line, why are you trying to beat the defense to the corner of the endzone, when an athletic Bradshaw could jump over the top, with much more ease. I understand that Eli Manning is the absolute worst quarterback at sneaking the ball, but there are other ways to do it rather than the standard sneak. Maybe a quick fake hand off to the fullback and a dive towards the endzone, like a read option, but Coughlin has always been ignorant in trying to innovate is run game.
The Abominable: Did anyone in the Giants defensive secondary realize there was a game going on last night? KEVIN OGLETREE….HELLO…KEVIN OGLETREE!!!!!!!!!!! No Cowboys fan even knew who he was, much less knew how to spell his name before last night, when the Giants decided it was okay to let him run free. Also Corey Webster, can we please intercept the pass when it is THROWN RIGHT AT YOU! And how about not giving up a touchdown on a 1st and 30. Are you kidding me!? First and 30 and we got Cowboys walking into the endzone like they were escorted by police.
The only thing surprising about the secondary was that Michael Coe did not play like an absolute bum. As a matter of fact he played reasonably well up until he hurt his hamstring. Now his status is uncertain for next week, which puts even more onus on Prince Amukamara to come back and play well, which is highly doubtful.
With the Cowboys leading 14-10 in the middle of the third quarter, the Giants appeared to have DeMarco Murray stopped for a three yard loss on a 2nd and 3, but Pierre-Paul and Tuck could not tackle him for some reason unbeknownst to anyone watching, and allowed Murray to prance down the sideline for a 48 yard gain. Absolutely hideous, disgusting, vomitous tackling. If that stop is made and New York could force a punt, they would have had a chance to score a touchdown and take the lead.
The Unbelievable: Hey Mr. Victor Cruz, did you know that the regular season started last night. Because it sure as hell did not look that way. Three dropped passes! Not one, not two, but three….three dropped passes, all in critical moments. And to top off those pathetic drops you had a false start, which as a wide receiver is completely unacceptable, especially at home, and a holding call which called back a run for a first down, which may have been the only running first down the Giants would have had.
Hakeem Nicks did not play great either, but that had more to do with his foot still not fully healed than anything else. Nicks should be better by week two, which is eleven days away.
The Good: Not to be totally negative, but for the most part, the only person that played well last night for the Giants was Eli Manning. Keith Rivers played alright and Pierre-Paul played well, but there were not a lot of positives to take away last night, other than the fact that most of the problems are correctable.
This was a lousy performance by the G-Men, but they should play much better when they face off against Tampa Bay next week. If you’re a Giants fan, I wouldn’t get too worried yet, but be concerned if many these problems still exist next week, which feels like an eternity away.