By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The Giants 2019-20 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have a happy ending. The Cowboys won convincingly 35-17. There are a lot of expectation and uncertainty for the Giants this season and if the 1st game is any indication of what Giant fans are to expect; we could see another top 10 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Let’s breakdown the top 4 reasons why the Giants lost their season opener to the Cowboys:
Top 4 Reasons Why the Giants Lost:
- No Pass Rush: The Giants had a total of zero sacks against Dak Prescott, who finished with a line of 25/32 with 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Giants not only had no sacks, but their quarterback pressure was non-existent. Markus Golden who was signed to help in the sack department had no tackles at all. Second year player Lorenzo Carter had only 1 tackle as did 3rd round pick Oshane Ximines. The Giants defensive front 7 did hold the Cowboys under 100 yards in rushing (89 yards), but they failed miserably against the pass.
- Poor Coverage: The secondary of the Giants, especially their safeties were absolutely horrible with Antoine Bethea leading the way. The 14th year veteran was beaten badly on a couple of big plays that led to touchdowns for the Cowboys and safety Michael Thomas was fooled badly at the goal line and forgot to cover Jason Witten. Rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker was beaten badly by Amari Cooper as he never stuffed him at the line of scrimmage.
- Missed Tackles: The entire Giants defense gets credit for this category as I saw at least 7 different players miss tackles; which resulted in big gains. The Cowboys receivers and running backs gained additional yards after these missed tackles that really put the Giants in a hole that they could never recover from.
4. Turnovers: The Giants had no turnovers and the Cowboys had 4; which resulted in scoring opportunities for Dallas. Giants need to do a better job holding onto the ball and keeping their offense on the field longer.
Hero: Dak Prescott (Quarterback): I’m not sure if Prescott is really that good or did the Giants make him look that good. Regardless; Prescott’s performance earned him hero for the game with his four touchdown passes.
Goat: Giants defensive unit: Again, no pass rush, poor coverage, and too many missed tackles. No need to say more; they were horrible.
Final Thoughts:I wanted to at least mention three bright spots for the Giants in this game and they were the performances of Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram. Manning looked strong in the pocket and delivered crisp passes; which resulted in 30/44 with 306 yards and a touchdown.
His performance will certainly keep all his doubters away for at least another week. Barkley was truly amazing and he is the best running back in the game by far. His performance (11 carries/120 yards) was brief as the Giants didn’t want to overwork him in the 1st game. Tight end Evan Engram looked every bit the player the Giants envisioned when they drafted him in 2017 with 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Unfortunately; the rest of the team played poorly and if this team is going to go anything close that would suggest making the playoffs; the defense better wake up and come to play.