The New York Giants were ready to show that they were ready to contend with the elite teams in the NFL. That narrative quickly deteriorated after a 40-0 defeat on primetime television.
The first drive of the game showed promise, continuously getting chunks of yards on the ground. On a third and two, they were flagged for a false start, which led to a field goal attempt. Then the proverbial wheels came off, horrifically. The field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. A field goal, and pick-six later, the Dallas Cowboys were up 16-0 by the end of the first quarter. It got worse from there.
New York Giants Disaster
Offensive Line Duds
No offense can succeed if the offensive line fails to protect the Quarterback. The Giants gave up 25 pressures, and seven sacks as a unit that had no answer for the ferocious front seven of the Cowboy’s defense. Second year Right Tackle, Evan Neal, a player to watch this season, showed no signs of improvement in his first start of the season. Neal needs to find as soon as possible, potentially at right guard. The offensive line has not developed as hoped, which puts offensive line coach, Bobby Johnson on notice. To add insult to injury, the starting Left Tackle injured his hamstring on the blocked field goal return and is awaiting MRI results for the severity of the injury.
Improvements and changes are needed across the board for an underwhelming offensive line unit.
Brian Daboll Outcoached
The Talent Gap Remains
There are almost no positives to look back on after this game. Coach Brian Daboll did wonders with a bottom-of-the-barrel roster last season, leading an overachieving team to a playoff victory. The goal was to close the talent gap between them and their division rivals, unfortunately, the goal remains large. Despite the additions via the NFL Draft and Free Agency, the team is not close to being a legitimate contender. In the last two games, against divisional opponents, the Giants have been outscored 78-7. For a team that stressed “Smart, Tough, Dependable”, it couldn’t have been more of the opposite. They couldn’t block, they couldn’t generate pressure, they didn’t get a single point on the board. The Giants could not find answers.
In rainy and wet conditions, Coach Daboll inexplicably left the starters, specifically Quarterback Daniel Jones out on the field with nothing to play for. Down 33-0, Jones was operating designed quarterback runs, risking injury in a blowout game. It is one of the more questionable coaching decisions of week one. The offense, defense, and special teams all sputtered, lack of emotion and energy showed throughout the game. Daboll bears a lot of the responsibility.
Despite the poor performance last night, starting rookie cornerback duo Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins held their own against a tough Cowboys passing attack. Banks was targeted twice and did not allow a catch. Hawkins allowed one catch on one target, plus a questionable defensive pass interference call. The Giants will need to lean on Banks and Hawkins to stand tall amidst the question marks surrounding the team. It is a good start for the rookies in an otherwise disaster for the New York Giants.
The Rebuild Continues
The Giants were 19-46 with previous GM Dave Gettleman at the helm. Despite that, fans are beginning to wonder if they have the right person in charge, only two off-seasons into the rebuild. Don’t blame the current regime for allowing the Cowboys to draft Micah Parsons, a player who is terrorizing the league. Don’t blame them for inheriting a terrible cap situation that is still affecting the team.
Criticism towards the new front office is short-sighted, specifically, when it is clear that the rebuild and roster turnover is going to take time to complete. Last night’s lopsided results proved that to be true. Fans want instant results and gratification, but it wasn’t going to happen at the snap of a finger. Calling players busts after less than twenty professional games is irrational. Patience is necessary.
One loss feels like it is ten losses, but it’s only one game. A road trip out to the west looms large, can they right the ship?
Main Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports