Maybe the New York Football Giants need their backs against the wall every week. With an 0-2 record in the rearview mirror, and a date with the undefeated Houston Texans in front of them, fans of Big Blue were hitting the panic button. Who could blame them? During the first two weeks of the season, the Giants played uninspired football in an opening game loss to the Detroit Lions. Then in week two, New York was careless and sloppy in handing the Arizona Cardinals a victory at the Meadowlands.
The Giants’ offense played to its potential on Sunday, as they dropped the Texans from the ranks of the undefeated with an inspired 30-17 victory at MetLife Stadium that raised their record to 1-2 on the young season.
In an NFL era when running backs are becoming an endangered species, Rashad Jennings gave the G-men a shot in the arm with 176 yards on 34 carries and one touchdown. Eli Manning was efficient and productive in throwing for 234 yards and two touchdowns passes. And Victor Cruz, looked like the old Victor Cruz as he connected with Manning for five catches, 107 receiving yards and a brilliant catch and carry touchdown.
The much maligned offensive line played better, allowing only one sack, by Watts over the entire game. Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin enjoyed the victory, but knows his team also must get better. “There is work to do; we’ve got a lot of things that we need to clean up. You saw some of the disappointments of the early part of the game in terms of the snap from center, the turnover inside the green zone, we’ve got a lot of young people playing,” Coughlin said as he met with the media yesterday.
This week, New York travels down I-95 for a battle with division rival, the Washington Redskins, in a Thursday night affair. The Redskins are also 1-2, after dropping a heart-breaker 37-34 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Kirk Cousins is the second rated quarterback +(6.6) in the NFL behind Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, and Washington also boasts big-play contributors like Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Alfred Morris.
The short work week may come into play this week, but Big Blue linebacker Jameel McClain believes it is part of the overall challenge that accompanies any NFL season. “It is always a challenge to have this type of turnaround in the NFL, to go from a Sunday to a Thursday night. How I look at it is both teams are going through the same thing. It is more of a mental preparation style week because of the physicality [of the game]. Most people’s bodies don’t really recover until Tuesday or Wednesday. It is really going to be a mental preparation type week for us,” McClain said to reporters yesterday.