I guess you could say I have the benefit of a couple days to mull over what happened on Sunday, but it’s tough waiting until Wednesday afternoon to be a Monday morning quarterback. That said, here we go.
They just might be Giants after all. I know I’ve used the line a million times here, but it applies. Much of the talk going into the opener in Dallas centered around the G-Men’s revamped defense taking on a Cowboys team that was starting rookies at quarterback, Dak Prescott, and running back, Ezekiel Elliott. Could the unit, which ranked at or near the bottom of the NFL in many statistical categories last season (Big Blue gave up a league worst 6,725 total yards), hold their own? The answer to that question is yes. Going up against one of the game’s best offensive line units, Steve Spagnuolo’s charges held the much ballyhooed ball carrier, Elliot, to a meager 51 yards on 20 carries (2.5 average). And though Prescott played pretty well, the defense forced the ‘Boys into kicking field goals rather than giving up touchdowns. “Snacks” (Harrison) and Olivier Vernon played very well in their first game as Giants, and another defender I thought did a nice job was Nat Berhe. The young safety hits like a truck, and did so on a few occasions Sunday. Offensively, after not scoring a single point the entire preseason, Eli Manning and his crew did enough to win the game. He and Odell Beckham Jr. did not light up the stat sheet, but unlike Dallas, the Giants cashed in with touchdowns at the end of a few of their drives. Victor Cruz once again got to show off his salsa skills, and rookie, Sterling Shepard is a keeper. The most impressive development to me, was the offensive line’s run blocking in the 4th quarter as they picked up some crucial first downs, shortening the game. Next up is the high scoring New Orleans Saints.
Although the Jets are 0-1 and facing a “Yuge” game Thursday night in Buffalo, I liked much of what I saw from Gang Green on both sides of the pigskin Sunday. What’s not to like about 7 sacks, right? Second year defensive lineman, Leonard Williams had 2.5, Steve McLendon had 2, and Muhammed Wilkerson had 1.5. This unit could be special, and they don’t even have Sheldon Richardson yet! On the downside however, was the play of Darelle Revis. Matched up against one of the sport’s top wide receivers, AJ Green, he was not up to the challenge. In fact, Green enjoyed his stay on “Revis Island” (12 catches for 180 yards and 1 TD) quite nicely. Yes, on some of those receptions Revis did not get help from his safeties, but, he is clearly not the same player he was a few seasons ago. On offense, Ryan Fitzpatrick, while not putting up overwhelming stats, is still on the same page as his talented receiving corps, and Matt Forte, looks like a great addition (22 carries for 92 yards, and 5 catches for 59 yards). The main problem with Gang Green’s offense was that they could not finish drives either, settling for too many field goals. That, and, place kicker Nick Folk was a disaster (22-yard FG blocked and missed an extra point). It’s hard to say that a week 2 game in the NFL is must win, but, losing to old friend, Rex Ryan, is not a good idea.
So, after one week, even though both teams played pretty well, I would not be booking any flights to Houston for a Giants/Jets Super Bowl just yet.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.