Sunday, September 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 36, Giants 31
By Dan Graziano
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few thoughts on the New York Giants' horrific season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
What it means for New York: The Giants have begun the season with a Week 1 loss to the division-rival Cowboys for the second year in a row, and this one was downright putrid. They turned the ball over six times against a Cowboys team that forced just 16 turnovers in the entire 2012 season. And while it was encouraging that quarterback Eli Manning and electric wideout Victor Cruz brought them back in the second half with a chance to win it, those hopes went out the window when Brandon Carr returned a Manning interception for a touchdown with 1:50 to go.
Stock watch: Falling, David Wilson. The Giants' second-year running back entered this game with the highest of expectations after he had a strong preseason and had his role in the offense increased following the injury to Andre Brown. But Wilson, who famously fumbled against the Cowboys in last season's opener, fumbled twice in this one and ended up getting benched in the third quarter for Da'Rel Scott. He also missed a block on a George Selvie sack in the first quarter. The Giants believe in Wilson, and he'll get more chances, but this was a terrible way for him to start such a promising season.
Bright spots: Obviously, Cruz didn't look as though his bruised heel was bothering him. Fellow receiver Hakeem Nicks also looked to be operating at full-strength.
The man needs help: Yes, Manning threw three interceptions. And yes, he will take responsibility for that. But the problems for the Giants on Sunday were widespread, from an offensive line that couldn't protect him to a basically useless running game to a defense that's softer in the middle than (big) bleu cheese. The Giants are still asking Manning to do it all, and he can't do it all every time.
What's next: The Giants host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in their 4:25 p.m. ET home opener Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Peyton Manning tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns Thursday night in Denver's season-opening victory over the Super Bowl champion Ravens. This will be the third time that brothers Peyton and Eli Manning have faced each other in an NFL game. Peyton won the first two, both with the Indianapolis Colts.