I’d like to say the less said about that game, the better, but that wouldn’t really work when you’re writing an article about it. I guess we might as well get straight into it.
The game is over? It’s only week one? We can’t be worse this season?
All valid points, but to be fair to some of the players on the field, there are a few that do deserve slight praise.
Micah McFadden continued to tackle hard throughout the game when it looked like others were too shellshocked to get out of their own heads. According to PFF, the sophomore player finished with seven solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and four stops.
Dexter Lawrence had a quieter game than expected but did still finish the game with four pressures (two hurries and two quarterback hits), three solo tackles, one assisted tackle, and three stops. He was also the Giants highest-graded defender in both pass-rushing and run defence.
Rookie wise Tae Banks didn’t allow a reception the two times he was targeted and looked solid until his exit with cramps. Fellow rookie cornerback Tre Hawkins III also had an okay showing despite the contentious pass interference penalty that was called against him, and finally, defensive tackle Jordon Riley looked good in his limited snaps, showing off his power and speed to record a nice tackle for loss.
Let’s start with the trio of plays that mentally stunned the Giants players into the catatonic black hole that they never seemed to be able to shake off. Firstly, it was a false start from the normally reliable Andrew Thomas that disrupted the run-heavy opening possession that saw the Giants make it to the red zone. Then rookie centre John Michael Schmitz’s snap shot out of his hand in the torrential rain, causing it to pass Daniel Jones, who recovered it for a nine-yard loss. The trio was then completed as Joshua Ezudu’s inability to choose one of two rushers on the field goal try saw Graham Gano’s kick blocked and returned for the first of many Dallas scores.
One player who definitely never recovered was Daniel Jones, who struggled for the remainder of the game, throwing two interceptions, one of which was a rebound out of Saquon Barkley’s hands into the arms of Dallas cornerback DaRon Bland, who ran it in for the pick six. There is the argument that Jones wasn’t helped by the offensive line, but even when he was finally afforded decent protection, he did nothing of note.
Defensively, it wasn’t much better either, as the Giants pass rush and run defence spluttered through the game. Wink Martindale is known for his affinity for exotic blitzes and schemes, but the Giants defence was unable to record a sack against the Cowboys for the third game in a row. This is despite the Giants attempts to get more depth at the defensive tackle position and having both Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari injury-free.
Giants fans everywhere were fed positive noise prior to the offseason as Evan Neal was shown in private coaching sessions with former Bengal Willie Anderson; however, it doesn’t seem to have fixed anything as he and fellow right-sided offensive lineman Mark Glowinski, who got a 1.0 PFF pass blocking grade, were constantly guilty of poor footwork and blocking technique.
To put it simply, it was an all-you-can eat buffet for the Cowboys defensive front, as they generated four of the five sacks, two of the three quarterback hits, and 11 of the 19 hurries via that right side alone.
Up next for the Giants is a trip to the West Coast to face the Joshua Dobbs-led Arizona Cardinals, who lost a narrow game to the Giants divisional rivals, the Washington Commanders.
Dobbs, who struggled against the Commanders, threw for 132 yards, was sacked three times, and had a couple of fumbles.