The defense is what made them last February and it seemed to carry over to Thursday night in their victory against the division rival Washington Redskins 16-7. Eli Manning and the offense came out as sharp as possible on their first drive, which resulted in a Manning TD run. However, after that, the touchdowns disappeared for the Giants and the offense appeared to be very lethargic. The running game looked dominant, and when I mean dominant, I mean running over people and stomping on them, literally, just ask Laron Landry. Brandon Jacobs carried the ball 21 times for 116 yards. Derrick Ward also chipped in 39 yards on 9 carries. I just want to know, where was Ahmad Bradshaw?
In terms of the passing game, one word to describe it is inconsistent. Eli put up typical Eli numbers (typical pre-playoff run). He went 19 for 35 for 216 yards with 0 TD and 1 very awful looking pick. But let's put those numbers in perspective. Plaxico Burress who wins my vote for player of the game, had 10 receptions for 133 yards (I told you he didnt need practice Jordan.) That is more than half the receptions and yards that Manning was credited for. No Giant reciever had more than 2 catches and 25 yards. Obviously, these numbers cannot be repeated later in the season if the Giants want any chance of contending because sooner or later, defenses are going to learn to gear onto Burress and guys like Toomer, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss are going to have to be playmakers.
The special teams looked good especially 212 year old John Carney. After going 3/3 in his field goal attempts, the Giants should feel a great deal of relief about their kicking situation. Let's just see how long it can last...
Now to the defense...
Osi who? Michael who? Okay Okay, I am aware I am extremely ahead of myself but the best thing that could have happened for the Giants defense on the first play was what exactly did happen. A Justin Tuck sack. It was the only sack for the Giants in the entire game but, they were in Jason Campbell's face all night. Just look at the statistics...Campbell went 15/27 for just 133 yards. He was never in a rhythm and just looked extremely uncomfortable. It seems to me that the Jim Zorn offense is a major experiment in progress down in D.C. The run defense played solid as well. Clinton Portis carried the ball 23 times and gained 84 yards. Okay, but not terrible, but not great. The Giants secondary was never beat by a big play, always kept the speedy Redskins receivers in front of them and had several past deflections. The one thing that the Giants must get better at is forcing turnovers. They were never a turnover oriented defense. They were never the Vikings and Chargers in that aspect. What made their unit great was the pass rush. Without the likes of #92 and #72, turnovers are even more of a crucial necessity in the season.
Overall, I am going to give this performance by Big Blue a B. And to be honest, that is totally fine with me. They showed no signs of a Super Bowl hangover and once again were pumped up to play for the big moments, as shown by their defense and the first offensive possession. But the offense lack luster and imbalance performers by receivers are somewhat of a question mark. The Redskins were probably the toughest team scheduled for the Giants before their bye week in Week 4. Week 2 they play in St. Louis and then in Week 3, they are home for Chad Ocho Cinco's Bengals. Don't be shocked if the G-Men are 3-0 at the start of their Bye.