First published on Examiner
The New York Giants opened the 2010 season and the new Meadowlands Stadium with a 31-18 victory over the Carolina Panthers. A full game recap and box score can be found here.
The Good: Quarterback Eli Manning had maybe the best three-interception football game you’ll ever see. Only one of those picks, the last one, was even partly Manning’s fault. His receivers hung him out to dry throughout the game (more on that later). Manning had some beautiful passes today, including three TDs to Hakeem Nicks.
Nicks wasn’t perfect on Sunday, as he (and just about every one of this teammates) had the dropsies. You can’t complain with a WR that pulls down three TD passes, though. Nicks showed both his intelligence and talent on one of those TDs, when he out-positioned the defender in the end zone. This Nicks guy is going to be pretty good.
Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs rushed for over 100 yards combined, implementing the “let’s keep Jacobs fresh for the second half” plan I have been suggesting for about six months now. No complaints from Jacobs today, as he rushed the ball twelve times for 44 yards.
The Bad: The pass rush in the first half was bad times. Yes, it picked up later in the game, but the d-line has to play better next week against a now very angry Peyton Manning.
Three interceptions. One fumble. You can get away with that against Carolina. Not when playing against any team in the NFC East.
The Ugly: Everybody on the Giants dropped a pass today. Seriously. Three tipped passes led to interceptions, and the Panthers almost had two additional picks. Blame the weather or “hard passes” all you want. NFL wide receivers/running backs have to catch passes. Period.
The Giants kick coverage may be the worst in the NFL. The Panthers scored before the half following a kick return that earned them amazing field position. The Giants still don’t have a real kick returner, at least not one that I’m feeling great about. Special teams are anything but after week 1.
Overall: The 2010 New York Giants are unquestionably a work in progress. You can never get upset about a win, but Big Blue hardly looked like world beaters against the Panthers. We’ll know a lot more about this team after next Sunday night.
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