By Michael J Basile, @MdoubleJB
The Giants start the season 0-1 after the Cowboys offense absolutely had their way with the Big Blue defense. There were some positives to take away from the game on the offensive side of the ball.
Eli Manning was 30-44 for 305 yards and a TD. The offensive line will be a strength of the team; Eli was comfortable and able to step up in the pocket to deliver the ball accurately for most of the day.
Eli and tight end Evan Engram showed great chemistry with 14 targets for 11 receptions and 116 yards, including the first Gmen score of the year.
Twenty-Five first downs and 470 total yards; Eli (Help from Barkley) moved the ball up and down the field on a good Cowboys defense and Manning spread the ball around, targeting 7 different players in the passing game.
Despite moving the ball, they only scored 17 total points and only 10 when the game was still a contest. That’s a problem. Third down efficiency MUST improve; They were 2-11 and that won’t get it done. Whether receivers are getting open or Barkley needs more touches, 17 points won’t win games.
Manning’s offense looks stale and predictive outside the opening series.
Eli’s rollout on 4th down. The entire sequence was ugly; Shurmur neglecting Barkley on 2 straight plays, handing it to Penny on 3rd and 1. This is completely unacceptable. This is the second time we have seen Barkley get iced for less talented players.
Rolling Eli on 4th down is simply a missed opportunity; combined with very bad execution. A sack there is also…unexceptable for a 16-year veteran. To top it off, the refs clearly missed a penalty when Sterling Shepard got tackled in the end zone.
3rd and 1: Eli’s intentional grounding moved from a potential 4th and 1 to a 4th and 10. He rolled too far, past the hash mark and missed a wide-open receiver across the middle. Barkley’s fake was terrible, never freezing the linebacker and gave away the play.
Eli doesn’t play defense:
Everyone loves to overreact after week 1. The young defense must improve and cannot allow 5 straight touchdown drives, so this one clearly isn’t on the offense. They could’ve scored more points with the amount of yards they amassed, but most Giant fans should feel confident in the offense this season. Let’s just see how the entire team plays next week in the home opener against Buffalo.
Let’s not bury a team’s season (Unless you’re the Miami Dolphins) after one week. Does the NFL fan think the season ended for Atlanta or Pittsburg after their ugly week 1 losses? Probably not, so let’s just see what happens before declaring this a lost season already – that’s why they play the games.