This Giants’ opening-game, 19-3 loss to Dallas can linger a bit longer.
Expectations for the season already have been heightened and the controversy surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t help matters. Add to the fact that the offensive line allowed three sacks and generated only 35 yards rushing, and uneasiness settles even further.
Yet, Eli Manning has taken the age-old approach.
“It was our first game and guys are playing fast, got some new guys, some new bodies,” said the 36-year-old quarterback. We’ll bounce back. We’ll be fine. We just have to slow down, everybody take a break and run the plays. We’ve been running them all spring and all summer.”
One game doesn’t make a season, but the Giants’ challenging schedule can make it interesting. Life quickly can get dicey in the NFC East with the Eagles and Redskins looking like they might make it a four-team race for the division title stay in the hunt for wildcard spots.
The Giants face the Lions Monday night with Matthew Stafford coming to town, and the onus will be on both sides of the ball up front. Jason Pierre-Paul and Damon “Snacks” Harrison will need to make their presence felt around Stafford, and Justin Pugh and his line mates will need to keep a developing Lions’ pass rush away from Manning.
Former Giants’ lineman and ESPN announced Geoff Schwartz recently publicly noted the team’s deficiencies along the line.
Still, follow the old-age approach.
“Flush it,” said Pugh about his team’s opening-night performance against Dallas. “Not a great game, not a way to start the season. Not how we drew it up. It’s the cards we’re dealt right now. So we’re going to go out and get better from it.”
They will need to sooner than later. After Detroit, the Giants head down the turnpike to Philadelphia to face a raucous atmosphere in the Eagles’ home opener Sept. 24.
Philadelphia’s pass rush helped turn the tide against Washington, and it will be a major factor for them in Kansas City this weekend. The Chiefs ripped through the Patriots’ defense mainly due to their lack of a push up front.
Carson Wentz looked more composed and comfortable in his team’s opening-week victory over the Redskins, and he has been given more targets. A win over in Kansas City certainly would raise his stick even higher, and pose a daunting task for the Giants’ the following Sunday.
Published reports this week suggested New Orleans might be willing to part ways with Adrian Peterson for amid-round pick, and the Giants would be a good fit. Not a bad idea, but there’s a reason why Peterson’s availability would be discussed, and why the Vikings’ let him go.
For the Giants’, it’s just a matter of following the old-age approach of it being just one game.