OBJ and Barkley will sell tickets but you win and lose the game at the line of scrimmage. The Giants Defense bent but did not break. They gave up a total of 13 points and none in the second half.
The pick 6 backbreaker was created by Flowers’ protection blowing up. Manning was forced to step up when Ngakoue went right around Flowers. That gave the D-Line a better angle on the pass to block it. Myles Jack collected the deflected duck and ran it back easily for a TD. Eli Manning was not perfect, missing an open OBJ for a TD and underthrowing Shepard on a late drive on 4th down. Eli was not helped by 6 drops. Engram was a disappointment.
Manning is not good enough to overcome an OL that was not good in run blocking or pass protection. Ereck Flowers is a disaster. He cost the team on so many possessions. Two of the first three plays of the game were Flowers penalties that nearly cost the team a Safety. I frankly lost track of all of his transgressions.
Jenkins looked good, with an INT and good coverage. Lorenzo Carter is a playmaker who has a presence on the field. He is going to be a terrific player.
No surprise that Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. are electric. Barkley was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on many of his runs. His 68 yard TD run was all Barkley, sidestepping four defenders and tightroping it down the sideline. OBJ collected 111 yards on 11 receptions, most of which were underneath throws. He also created two Defensive Pass Interference penalties, so he causes trouble consistently for opposing Defenses. These two guys rack up fantasy points but the Giants team gets the reality loss. I love having these fabulous talents on my team but until the OL blocks it up, it won’t matter.
Solder was okay but had a couple of bad plays including a holding penalty. Hernandez got run over by All Pro Calais Campbell inside on a sack.
I do not like the end-around playcall in the red zone on 3rd down. It is a slow-developing play which is tantamount to a pitchout, and those kinds of plays cannot be used on a very short field. The overall Offensive scheme is better but that (3rd & Goal) is a missed opportunity for 4 more points which effectively is the difference in this game. OBJ and Engram are much better end zone targets than a toss behind the line of scrimmage.
The Jaguars had some success running on the outside. Kareem Martin was singled out by Carl Banks for needing to set the edge better. He believes it is a technique issue, not a talent issue, implying it is fixable.
We noted the 7 players signed this week by the Giants. One of them, Kaelin Clay, muffed the final punt to seal the game for the Jags.
So what is the good news? (1) The Giants went vertical. This means Eli is holding the ball longer. That puts added pressure on the OL to protect better, but at least the OL problems were generated from a wider array of offensive playcalling. Last season, Eli had less time to throw, so while the OL is still a liability, there is marginally some improvement there. (2) The Jaguars are a good team with a very good Defense. Considering the mistakes (the punt muff, the pick 6), let’s take some solace in being competitive. (3) No injuries, other than Gallman. (4) The rookies look good. Other than the one sack by Hernandez, all 4 of the first picks flashed. It will lay the foundation for future success. (5) WR drops can be corrected.
After seeing the Giants play today, it still looks like 2-5 or 3-4 in the first 7 games. This team is going to go as far as the OL will take them. There is plenty of time to improve, but I certainly do not expect Ereck Flowers to improve. He is a continuous liability. The Giants must scheme better to manage the weakness at RT. More screens, chips and TE/OL help are needed. The team is 0-1 but it is such a different feel from last year. Last year was hopelessness on Offense and lack of competitiveness. This year it was mistakes and continued liability on behalf of the OL, but the competitiveness was there against a team that played in (and arguably should have won) the AFC Championship. The Giants rate to pick up some wins in these first 7 games and hopefully they can make a run somewhere in the last 9 games.