It was a tale of two halves. And 3 INTs in the end zone. This Giants team will stamp the win, collect, and look to make a lot of improvements. A LOT of improvements.
We forecast this win correctly, as the Panther Quarterback plus Secondary were weak enough to hand the Giants a victory. This was an ugly contest, and the Giants were less ugly.
Speaking about ugly, the Indianapolis Colts looked so bad today... sloppy on offense, horrible on defense, they could not stop the run and could not tackle. We'll have ample opportunity to discuss the next opponent thru the week.
1) The second half of the football game.
2) Tom Coughlin's halftime speech, adjustments. I have no idea what was done or what was said, but they were a different team in H2.
3) Hakeem Nicks- 3 TD grabs (he had 6 all of last season)
4) Mario Manningham
5) Second half pass rush (Kiwi, Canty, Cofield, Tuck, Osi all figured in this)
6) Gilbride called a good game. LOVED the play action on the last 5 yd TD pass to Nicks, it gave him the time in the pocket, time to make the defender bite the wrong way on the route and then Nicks could be wide open for the TD. And the draw on 3rd and Goal to Bradshaw was a pretty call.
7) Kenny Phillips saved 4 pts on a shoestring tackle, or else this game could get out of hand early.
8) Good pass protection.
1) The first half of the football game.
2) We openly questioned the decision to have 3 RBs and 2 TEs on the roster when it was announced. So what happens when Boss gets hurt in the first series of the game? D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R! Travis Beckum can't block and when they bring in Beatty as a TE it is a "kick me" sign being put right on the Giants running game. SHAME ON COUGHLIN, you play with fire, you get burned.
3) Run blocking in the first half. Horrible. Abysmal. 5 rushes for a loss in the first half! Bradshaw barely had time to grab the ball and he was met by a Panther in the backfield.
4) Giants defensive pass rush (H1) was very weak, despite the Panthers missing their starting tackle.
5) The Fox announcers were giving the Giants receivers a lot of abuse for not holding onto the ball, but I am sorry to say that I blame Eli Manning for a lot of this one. He keeps throwing to Manute Bol out there. Yes, Barden needs to grab that ball and pull it down, but for heaven's sake the guy is 6'6" and he has to jump up AND stretch his arms up high... so is it completely fair to blame #13? NO. Because Manning was HIGH (and many times behind too) all day. It was Manning that threw to a 6'6" Boss too high and extended him so badly that he came down and got hit in the head. The next series it was Nicks almost getting destroyed by the Safety. Manning will improve, but those balls were sailing today.
5) Giants had 4 turnovers of their own. 3 were on those tipped balls flying everywhere.
6) Way too many Penalties.
7) Bruce Johnson as a nickel back. When is Ross coming back?
1) Special teams were atrocious. Despicable. Fugly. Pick an adjective. Horrendous. Woeful. Vomit. The Giants defense had to play on a short field seemingly all day. Did Tom Quinn bet on the Panthers?
Summary: We are 1-0. The second half defensive pass rush and running game/OL was a breath of fresh air and certainly gives us some optimism and something to build on. But make no mistake, this team has way too many warts to get too comfortable. If this team can adjust it can get better. Other teams will not be so charitable. The Panthers' secondary was woeful... on this play the Safety takes a horrible angle to give up a Nicks TD. Opposing QBs will not be throwing 3 INTs in the end zone in a single game. This is precisely how we said the Fewell defense would work- it preys on the weak and will get victimized by the strong. The good QBs will not throw ANY INTs in the end zone. We play a lot of good QBs this season. We will learn so much more about this team next weekend vs Peyton.