The first two weeks of the NFL season have come to a close and now it’s time to grade Eli Manning, Prince Amukamara and the New York Giants throughout the first two weeks.
The New York offense has been a complete disaster and it all starts with the offensive line. With starting center David Baas out week one, Kevin Boothe was forced to slide inside from guard to center. James Brewer, a reserve lineman, started at guard. He, and the rest of this line, was terrible in Dallas. Eli Manning had no protection whatsoever and the running game was non-existent, exemplified through Da’Rel Scott’s team high of 23 rushing yards. The line did look better this week as Baas returned to center, but Eli was still under duress and the running game, again, was not efficient. The red zone, or Coughlin’s “Green Zone”, has been a nightmare. This week against Denver, The Giants were forced to settle for three early field goals. The offenses’ inability to convert in the red zone is a recurring problem that must be fixed immediately. Besides these negatives, there are some small positives. Eli has been solid, throwing for 812 yards in just two games. Because of the lack of The Giants’ running game, Eli has been forced to throw 91 times in a one-dimensional offense, causing his seven interceptions. But, the play of the receivers have been most productive. Nix, Cruz, and Randle have looked brilliant in two games, all three of which went for over 100 yards receiving against Dallas in week 1. And tight end Brandon Myers has also shown some high points, scoring a touchdown in his first game as a Giant. The offense needs a lot of work.
The defense has been the only reason The Giants were kept in both of these games. The D forced The Broncos to a minimal 10 points in the first half of today’s game. This is not an easy task, especially when your offense cannot sustain a long drive or put up points to give you a lead. The play against the run has greatly improved, yet Bronco’s running back Knowshon Moreno did eventually exploit the Giant’s run defenses weakness on the outside, when he ran to the outside twice for 2 touchdowns. The pass-rush has been a non-factor so far this season, but should only get better as Pierre-Paul becomes more and more healthy. The line backers still have a lot of work to do against the run, though Jaiquan Williams has looked great in pass-defense when guarding receivers. The secondary has been solid so far. Amukamara has been evolving and Webster looks much better then last year. Also, the play of Terrell Thomas today was great as he had two major hits and played tight coverage against the elusive Wes Welker.
The low-point of this very young season has to be The Dallas game. 4 interceptions, 2 David Wilson fumbles, and a loss to the severely hated Dallas Cowboys sums up for a terrible season opener. Not to mention the anxiety Giant’s fans felt on the first play of the season, when Eli was intercepted by Demarcus Ware. A forgetful game is an understatement.
High-point: Bill Parcells
There are not many high-points so far to pick from so far. But the honoring of Bill Parcells at half-time of this weeks game was a great moment. Fellow Giants’ greats including Frank Gifford, Y.A. Tittle, Harry Carson, and the great Lawrence Taylor were in attendance to honor “The Big Tuna”. Most fans at the game even stayed at their seats to honor the newest Football Hall of Fame’s inductee. A great moment for football and The Giants.
Jacob Weichert is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at JWeichert@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com