It’s easy to be excited if you’re a fan of the New York Giants. The team is 2-0! Having experienced what can only be described as a dismal preseason, Giant fans didn’t know what to expect. I would have to say that the 2-0 start was as much as we could ask for. Still, there appear to be a number of things necessary to remain victorious that this team needs to be doing.
Running the football effectively
The left side of the offensive line with Erik Flowers, Justin Pugh and center Westin Richburg appears to have quality written all over it. It’s the right side that is seriously in doubt. Not having made any major changes to the offensive line might come back and bite the GMEN later this season. Right guard John Jerry and Right tackle Marshall Newhouse are serviceable backups at best. Sure, Newhouse received acclaim for his week 1 performance against the Dallas Cowboys. I think that was more of a tribute to how bad the Cowboys defense is than anything else. And one week later, Newhouse is injured. Who knows for how long? It looks like Bobby Hart will be stepping up to the plate.
Giant fans have been clamoring for a long term solution at right tackle and right guard for some time now. The Giants have certainly had the opportunity to draft or obtain O-line help via free agency. Yet, they don’t see the gravity that fans are feeling. How nice would it be to see running lanes open up for Giants running backs?
On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants look much improved. Statistics indicate they are stopping the run and preventing the long pass from being completed. After two weeks, they are the only team in the NFL not to have a completion of 30 yards or more made on them.
That is a tribute to the new talent they have on defense. A combination of high priced free agents as well as drafting secondary help appears to have helped this team dramatically. Still, we know winning teams create turnovers. And the GMEN have yet to do so.
Janoris Jenkins has already made his imprint on this defense. A big time talent that has always made big plays, he has been known for making interceptions. Third round draft pick Darien Thompson out of Boise State was a ball hawk in college. Currently, he has no interceptions and is having difficulty staying on the field as a result of injuries. The talent appears to be there on the D-line and in the secondary. The Giants just have to make it happen.
The Sack Department
Against what is widely considered the best offensive line in the NFL, it is no surprise that the Giants didn’t generate much pressure on Dak Prescott, the rookie QB who is looking very poised and talented. However, against a highly accurate Drew Brees, it feels like the GMEN could have applied more pressure.
I know it’s early in the season but against the Washington Redskins, it is time to release the hounds! Since the GMEN have always had difficulty covering the fast and elusive Desean Jackson, they better plan on getting to the QB sooner and preventing Kirk Cousins from playing catch with Jackson or Tight End Jordan Reed, one of his favorite weapons. Let’s hope to see a more active Olivier Vernon/Jason Pierre Paul duo and perhaps see more out of Owa Odigizouwa and Romeo Okwara. Utilizing the occasional safety or corner blitz wouldn’t be the worst idea as well.
Dwelling on the positive
I am ecstatic to see Victor Cruz contributing to the outcome of the games this early in the season. He made arguably (perhaps with the exception of the Jenkins special team TD) the biggest play of the game in last week’s victory over the Saints. Admittedly, I had my doubts that he would be able to return to the roster this season and certainly have an impact this early in the season. His Week 1 touchdown reception wasn’t too bad, either as fans react to it in this YouTube video.
Don’t get me wrong
I am happy with this 2-0 start to the season. But it is much too early to know if this team is a contender or pretender. Giant fans needed a change from the mishaps of the past few seasons. I think Ben McAdoo brings a fresh approach to the job. The Giants have won two close games this season. They were losing close games last season. The money spent on free agents appears to be well spent thus far. The Janoris Jenkins acquisition has already paid off big and I am expecting the same of Olivier Vernon as well as the man they call Snacks. Now let’s see this team improve and fill in some of their missing pieces.