On Monday morning, Giants360 provided the five keys to victory for the Giants to upset the Detroit Lions in their opening game. Tom Coughlin, Ben McAdoo, and Perry Fewell chose to disregard our advice, accomplished none of things on the list, and lost miserably, 35-14. The most glaring oversight was the failure to “Blanket Megatron,” choosing instead to single cover him with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and allowing him to rack up 100 yards and two touchdowns before the first quarter ended. Hopefully a lesson learned for the Giants coaching brain trust.
Here are another five keys to victory for today’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals, achieving them will improve both the Giants performance and odds of victory:
- Run the ball effectively. The abysmal showing of the Giants running attack on Monday is attributable to several factors. The Lions appear to have been keyed in on the play calling and anticipating the plays, the formidable pair of defensive tackles, Ndumakong Suh and Nick Fairley, and the Giants patched together offensive line. The team has had six days to make corrections, and that improvement needs to show on the field tomorrow. Controlling the ball and the clock will keep the Cardinals offense off the field and keep the Giants defense from wearing down, as it did in the fourth quarter on Monday night.
- Blanket Michael Floyd. All of the talk leading up this game has been about Larry Fitzgerald, but Floyd is the bigger threat among the Cardinals two wide receivers. He was targeted 7 times in their game against the Chargers, catching 5 for 119 yards. Fitzgerald is talented, but Floyd is a deep threat with excellent hands, double cover him to keep him from Calvinizing the Giants secondary.
- Protect Eli. This will be a key for every game until the offensive line actually accomplishes it. Eli Manning was under pressure 31% of the time against the Lions, and looked uncomfortable in the pocket the remaining 69%. Until he regains confidence in the big men that protect him, it will be hard for him to be fluent and seamless in McAdoo’s offense. The Cardinals defense is solid, but the line is not nearly as ferocious as the Lions front four. If the Giants offensive line can’t protect the quarterback against this team, it may be a long, hard season.
- Sack the quarterback. The Giants defense was able to get pressure on Matthew Stafford, but he was sidestepping and scrambling away from it like the second coming of Donovan McNabb. Whether Carson Palmer or the equally immobile Drew Stanton starts tomorrow (It’s looking more and more like Stanton), Jason Pierre-Paul, Damontre Moore and their line mates have to finish their plays and put the Cardinals passer on the ground.
- Create at least 2 turnovers. In the Lions game, the Giants failed to generate any turnovers. The closest they came was when Joique Bell recovered his own fumble in the first quarter. The Lions, on the other hand, intercepted two Manning passes, and used the superior field position created to turn a 7 point lead into a 20 point lead and never looked back. The Giants defense has the talent to wreak havoc on opposing offenses, but need the execution.
The Giants have a chance to win this game and even their record and 1-1, especially if Stanton gets the start. Accomplishing the Giants360 keys to the game will go a long way to making sure this happens. Are you listening Tom Coughlin?
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