Hello Giant fans!
Boy, I was beginning to forget what it felt like to wake up happy on a Monday. You have to go back to 2016 for that kind of feeling, and even then, none of the wins from that year felt as satisfying as yesterdays Double U (W). This felt like the most complete team win I have seen from a New York Giant squad in 5+ years. The New York Giants needed this. Pat Shurmur needed this. More importantly, Eli Manning needed this.
Me, prior to Sunday on my staunch “All Eli Manning needs is time to throw” stance:
Me, after Sunday’s 25/29 (86% for the mathematicians out there), 297-yard, 2 TD performance:
Not going to lie folks, I was starting to crack a bit. It wasn’t that I was giving up on Eli Manning, but i began coming to the conclusion that this offensive line/Eli Manning combo might never work. Then, from THE HEAVENS, came much-needed change.
It started with the unfortunate injury of good guy, Jon Halapio. While he did an admirable job at Center, a position he was playing for the first time in his career, the offensive line around him simply was not functioning. Whether that is Pio’s fault, being a first-time Center, is a debate for another day. In lieu of Halapio, veteran John Greco took the reigns.
Greco has been around the league for years. He’s had a couple of nice seasons under his belt, as well as experience at both Center and Guard positions. You could tell instantly that this guy knew what he was doing as Manning and Greco were on the same page from Jump Street. Greco has seen it all before, and being that he had played Center under Pat Shumur in Cleveland, he knows the offense inside and out.
Then, Sunday morning, we all received the best news Giant fans have heard in a LONG time. Our very own whipping boy, Ereck Flowers, had finally been benched. Many would argue (and nobody would argue back), that this move has been years in the making. Chad Wheeler was given a chance to prove that he could just manage to be competent against the toughest opponent a Right Tackle could draw, JJ Watt. While Watt got his (3 sacks), the offense was able to function properly (finally) and Wheeler did not commit any egregious penalties or become a detriment to the offense. That is LITERALLY how low the bar is. Just don’t suck. The good news for Wheeler is, he will not face anyone close to the likes of Watt again.
With just those two moves alone, we Giant fans saw a glimpse of what his offense could be. What Eli could be when he has time to throw the ball down the field. Shurmur even went conservative in the 3rd Quarter, and this team still ended up with 27 points. With the New Orleans Saints coming in to town this weekend, the Giants will need to keep the pedal to the metal and score 30+. To quote Manager Lou Brown from “Major League”, “IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE”.
Already mentioned this above, but the Offense Line, going against one of the toughest fronts in the league, held their own. That is all Eli Manning needed to carve up the Houston Texan secondary and put the ball in his play maker’s hands. With a little time, this offense has Top 10 potential.
Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) finished with 9 catches and 109 yards and was involved early and often. That is par for the course for an OBJ stat line, and I expect a big time breakout soon (no better time than against a weak Saints defense, right?). Saquon was Saquon once again, posting a NFL Rookie record, 3rd straight game with over 100 yards from scrimmage. He finished with 82 rushing yards on 18 attempts (nice 4.8 average) and 5 catches for 35 yards, including a CLUTCH 21-yard catch late in the game that eventually led to the Giants game clinching TD.
Sterling Shepard, the receiver on the aforementioned game-clinching TD, finished with 6 catches for 80 yards. He will prove to be big over the next few weeks, because unfortunately, Evan Engram went down with a Sprained MCL and probably wont be back until after the Bye (Week 10). Young Shep is more than capable of picking up the slack along with back-up TE Rhett Ellison, who also caught a TD pass in this game.
Tangent Time: That piece of shit Kareem Jackson was going at Giant player’s knees all game long. He took out Barkley’s knee early in the game (luckily returned) and took out Engram a little later. I know the NFL rules have basically forced guys to aim low, but screw that guy.
On the whole, this was BY FAR, the best the Giants offense has looked in at least 3 years. It was a sight for sore eyes. Let’s hope that with more time in the new offense and more time for the offensive line to gel, that the arrow continues to point up for this offense.
The New York Giant defense came to play Sunday. Without Olivier Vernon (about sick of this guy being injured) and Eli Apple, the Giant defense held a solid Deshaun Watson-led offense in check. Anytime you can hold Watson, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller to less than 21 points, that is considered a win for the defense. The Houston Texans might also be one of the few teams that can say they have a worse offensive line that the Giants. What a shit show. Just goes to show you, it doesn’t matter how mobile your Quarterback is. Without a functioning offensive line, your offense can’t produce to the level it’s capable of.
Some nice performances on defense from the usual cast of characters Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, and yes, even Landon Collins made some plays for the first time in awhile (better be more where those came from if he wants to get $$$ this offseason). I thought rookies B.J. Hill (1 sack) and Lorenzo “Zo” Carter had very solid games and flashed several times. I also thought the secondary was going to get shredded with the loss of Eli Apple, but B.W. Webb held his own and didn’t allow any game-breaking plays. That’s all you could ask for going up against Will Fuller.
Won’t spend too much time here. Specials didn’t cost the team the game, which goes to show you again, how low expectations are for this unit. Coverage was good on kicks, but again, almost lost another fumble on a Punt Return. I am about done with all these random punt returners not being capable of fielding a punt. It’s time to stick OBJ or Young Shep back there and let them at least fair catch the ball properly.
Rosas and Dixon had nice games respectively. No complaints in the kicking game, as Rosas in particular has been solid the first 3 weeks (I will eat crow on that, as I was worried he would cost the Giants some games; kudos to Gettleman and Co. for sticking with the young guy).
Mr. Glass-Half-Full Take:
This win couldn’t have come at a better time. The Giants are now able to take a breath and this win will keep the vicious New York media at bay for at least this week. The offense can finally have a bit of confidence about a performance for the first time in a long time. I mean this especially for Eli Manning, as the heat was ALL the way turnt up.
Absolutely no time to rest on your laurels though. Shurmur needs to keep scheming and calling plays like he did last week, because that was an absolute masterful job. The Saints come into town, and while it’s great to finally be catching them in New York rather than Nola, they still have Drew mothereffin’ Brees. Hopefully OV can take his tampon out (excuse the term ladies, if there are any of you out there reading this) and get back out on the field, because the Saints are MORE than capable of hanging 35+ points on this defense if Brees has all day to throw the ball.
If the Giant defense can hold Brees and Co. in check, the offense should be able to put up some points against this Saints defense.
Keep improving. Start a little winning streak and get the confidence going. If this team gets to 2-2, we might have something here.
Go Big Blue.