I try to live a life void of “pettiness” but sometimes I have a hard time letting some things go! One of those things occurred week 16 last season, when my Gmen suffered an embarrassing 41 to 9 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Not only did we lose but we were eliminated from a playoff hunt, and worst of all were thoroughly embarrassed in the last game to be played at Giants StadiumL . This Carolina girl, in habitation only, wanted revenge then and thirsted for it even more as week 1 approached. Needless to say I was eager for the Giants and Panthers to kick off at the new Meadowlands Stadium.
I wanted to see if my Gmen were truly up for the challenge. Over all there were nine turnovers in the game, four of them belonging to the Giants. Three were tipped balls by receivers that were intercepted and the other was a fumble. Overall Manning looked pretty good. The offensive line looked better than preseason, giving Manning time in the pocket to throw. He seemed to depend a lot on Manningham and Nicks for yardage. He also connected with Nicks three times for touchdowns. The running game got off the ground better in the second half of the game with Bradshaw and Jacobs fighting for yards. The running game wasn’t as strong as fans would like, but hey, it could have been worse! On the other side of the ball, defense showed they are on the path of making a complete 360! They held Carolina to only 89 rushing yards and good pass rushing caused multiple sacks by various defensive players like Kiwanuka, Cofield/Canty, and Umenyiora. Phillips, Thomas, and Grant also intercepted passes in the redzone, actually in the endzone! Along with that, defense didn’t give up an offensive touchdown in the second half O_O This was not the defense of 2009, they almost looked like throwbacks from the late 80’s and I was loving it.
The down side of the game was losing tight end Kevin Boss to what was reported as a concussion/neck injury and linebacker Chase Blackburn to a knee sprain. Adding to that the fact that special teams left a little more to be desired, okay a lot, but still not at all hopeless. Work still needs to be done on special teams. It also needs to be put in on offensive to open up the running game. As any New York Giants fan knows Giants football is all about controlling the clock with the running game! Our wide receiving core has to return to the caliber they ended the 2009 season with and CATCH the ball! Defense has made some excellent changes and needs to continue strengthening our secondary and tightening up in the redzone.
My Giants proved they were up for the challenge. Are we where we need to be? No. Are we where we use to be? Definitely not! What I saw in week one’s game was a New York Giants team determined to earn respect. Kicking off week one with a 31-18 win against the Panthers, says a lot. Revenge, how sweet it is J