Report Card: Giants fall in Week 1
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 78 yards and a touchdown but 33 came on one run with under six minutes left. When the Giants had to establish the run in the first half, they managed 23 yards. They also failed to punch the ball in the end zone despite having first-and-goal at the 1 in the second quarter.
Making matters worse, Tom Coughlin was going to utilize exciting rookie David Wilson as evidenced by giving him the second carry of the night.
But Wilson fumbled on his second carry later that drive and Coughlin kept benched the rookie except for on kickoffs. Hopefully this won't affect his confidence. The O-line has to open more holes for Bradshaw.
Eli Manning got the Giants within seven points with 2:36 remaining but he still had one of his poorer games against Dallas with just 213 yards and one touchdown. The offensive line allowed him to be sacked three times as DeMarcus Ware got past David Diehl twice.
Victor Cruz only had six receptions for 58 yards and dropped a few balls. But he did appear to draw a pass interference in the end zone in the second quarter that wasn't called.
In the first half, the Giants stuffed DeMarco Murray for 20 yards. Linebacker Keith Rivers was very active until being slowed a bit by a hamstring issue. But Murray broke free for 111 yards in the second half and broke tackles in the process.
The Giants were repeatedly gashed by opposing running games in the first half of last season and they must stop the run in order to let their pass rush take over. With Chris Canty on the PUP list, the Giants can use Marvin Austin (back) on the field soon. And they have to work on tackling.
The Giants were able to get some pressure on Tony Romo but they only sacked him twice with the two sacks coming from Rocky Bernard and Linval Joseph. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul have to get sacks.
They almost certainly will not survive if the secondary can't cover. Kevin Ogletree burned the Giants for eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. They also surrendered a touchdown on first and 30 to Miles Austin. Cornerback is a big concern with Michael Coe re-injuring his hamstring and Prince Amukamara still nursing a high ankle sprain. Even Corey Webster struggled a bit in this game. Michael Boley did have an interception return for 51 yards and just missed scoring a touchdown.
Lawrence Tynes converted a 22-yard field goal. Steve Weatherford punted four times for a net average of 44.5 yards and had one land inside the 20. More importantly, the dangerous Dez Bryant had two punt returns for zero yards.
Domenik Hixon returned to being the punt returner but only had one return for five yards. And David Wilson was the kick returner with 71 yards on three kickoff returns. Andre Brown handled two other kickoffs for 29 yards.
The Giants were only down 7-3 at the half and the game clearly was there for the taking. But there were too many breakdowns defensively, most of them seem to be on the players more than the coaches such as missed tackles and bad coverage. The Giants were thin at corner to begin with.
One coaching move was Tom Coughlin benching David Wilson for fumbling but I can't blame him for that, especially if Wilson learns from this. The Giants, though, never could seem to get a handle on Kevin Ogletree and offensively, they had a hard time moving the ball on Dallas' defense until they fell behind big.