We'll do a full recap later Monday. For now, what more can you say about sloppy football that creates 6 turnovers? Amazing that the team could have and quite likely would have won 31-30 with "only" 5 turnovers, but yet another muff causes a Dallas TD.
Some very quick points: the Giants OL is not getting it done on run blocking. So should it surprise us that when they fall behind by 17 in the second half, that the offense starts moving the ball with ease through the pass? And then when they run, they do it with the draw, not the conventional run?! Of course not. This has been the Giant way for the better part of 2 seasons, it is the new identity. This is what happens when you draft a plethora of WRs (and even a RB) high and you do not draft OL. So you have to have a passing offense and hope that Eli has enough pocket presence to avoid the rush. He did enough of the time.
The problems at RB are manageable. As I tweeted last night, you have to THROW the ball to Wilson in space, and not give him the ball between the tackles as much. This will work for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is explained in the previous paragraph. But with Wilson in space, he is less likely to get spun around/hit in tight quarters and fumble the ball. He is more likely to make the defender miss completely, or have the defender happy to just make the open field tackle instead of going for the ball. Also, we all speculated on twitter about bringing in a veteran RB after Andre Brown went down with the leg injury. Why Reese did not sign one is (Monday AM QB) more obvious now than ever.
The pass rush must be better. The Dallas OL was their Achilles heel and there was not enough pressure.
Prince is out with a concussion.
The short yardage problems for the Giants offense continue. See paragraph #2 again. On 3rd and 2 in the red zone much later in the game, the Giants passed for a TD. Gain 2 on the ground? Doubt it.
Lots of sloppiness to correct. Gilbride must embrace the Giants offense that needs to pass and then run the ball only as a balancing mechanism, and then through the draw, preferably. Uptick with Tuck and Nicks, who were as healthy as we've seen them in a long time. Uptick with JPP, who got some plays under his belt and did not get hurt. Maybe his injury/recovery is not too significant and he can make an impact this season. Also was pleased with TT's progress. If the mistakes can be controlled, the team has the opportunity to do a lot this year.
Great writeup. I couldn't agree more about the need to come to terms with the offensive identity that makes the most sense for the team they have. They can and must run the ball--and it's essential they find somebody who do can do a more credible job of eking out yards on short-distance downs. Brown was great at that last year, while Jacobs pretty much sucked at it toward the end of his NYG career (which, turns out, may not be over just yet). But this should be a pass-first offense that mostly operates out of the shotgun with a minimum of three wide. That's what's right for this team, and frankly, the nature of the modern-day NFL increasingly demands it.
I agree that Wilson's speed and elusiveness can be a tremendous asset, and that it's wrong to treat his two fumbles, while devastating in yesterday's game, as evidence of a particular weakness in his game. What concerns me more than the fumbles at this point are (in order) his blocking, vision, and overall feel for where he should be given the play or the moment. But the blocking is numero uno. You simply can't run a wide-open pass offense that relies on 3 WR and a TE as receiving options without an RB who can pick up rushers and blitzers (while also knowing when to peel off and provide the QB with a checkdown option). Bradshaw's vision was never great (though it was better than Jacobs'), and he never came close to Wilson's burst (though he was pretty darned shifty his first few years), but he became, in my opinion, a stellar blocker. And if Wilson can't step up in this regard (and the Giants can't find someone who can) there's going to be trouble.
In terms of the D, I thought they performed extremely commendably yesterday, much better than I anticipated going in. Dallas scored two offensive TDs and 3 FGs. And 10 points came off TOs when the Giants were pinned deep in their own end. Neither of the TDs was the kind of wide-open breakdown in coverage that became the norm last year. While the pass rush was inconsistent, they were not dominated at the line of scrimmage and got stronger as the game went on, which speaks to their improved depth and quality. The DEs mostly held the edge; the DTs provided some push. The secondary also did well in coverage and, for the most part, in tackling. TT wasn't a shutdown corner before he got injured, and certainly won't be now, but he provides a physicality that was missing last year. The LBs are a weak link, and--beyond the TOs, are one factor in the ToP disadvantage--but here's the thing: the Giants will only win this year if the offense performs to expectations. They are not going to be a defensive juggernaut. You want the defense to avoid giving up big plays, mostly hold the opposing team to FGs, and show an ability to get stops when necessary. The Giants did that yesterday. There's obviously room for improvement, but this is a game they should have won if they hadn't been so damned sloppy.
One last thing though in terms of the LBs. I wish they would try out Rivers at MLB. He seems pretty clearly to be an upgrade over Herzlich against both the pass and the run and over Connor at least in the former.
Good rundown. We saw a lot more "good Eli" than "bad Eli" but we'll be better off with still slightly less "bad Eli". Great game for Cruz, Nicks, Tuck (appear healthy), and TT and JPP (great strides towards being healthy/effective).
Wilson will be fine. The fumbles weren't the type of careless crap Tiki Barber used to be famous for. It was players completely foregoing the tackle attempt and instead latching onto the ball and ripping full force. That obviously doesn't excuse the TWO fumbles, but he had 130 touches with no fumbles before those, so I don't think this will be a trend assuming his mental state holds up.
Eli will terrorize defenses all year with a healthy Nicks/Cruz/Randle combo as long as he's not laying on his back, and the defense played better than I expected, limiting Dallas in the passing game when they needed to, mostly. But the weakness in the linebacker position is obvious. Rivers seemed to cover his assignments for the most part, but Paysinger, Connor, and Herzlich were average at best.
Anybody notice how Jacquian Williams LAID OUT Doug Free on the play Romo got hurt? That was fun.
As you said we have a lot of potential here if the mistakes are controlled (big IF, however it's not like you can get any worse than 6 turnovers, 2 defensive TDs... right?). Denver game isn't a foregone conclusion. But one thing's for sure; if we're -5 on turnovers we won't lose by 5 points...