Overreaction by fan bases over the outcomes of Week 1 is omnipresent. Fanatics’ favorite teams play very well or very poorly, and knee-jerk reactions are inevitable (especially due to the nature of football, where there is a week-long break for the victory or loss to stew).
The Giants will have had 11 days to mull over what went wrong in their opener on Wednesday, September 5 at MetLife Stadium. The short explanation? They had a banged up secondary and played flat against their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. It happens. Last season, they lost twice to the Rex Grossman-led Redskins, but still went on to be Super Bowl champions.
2011’s NFC Divisional Round opponent, the Green Bay Packers, offers some interesting parallels to Big Blue this season. Both teams have well-publicized weaknesses that other teams try to exploit to beat them, and while only one of these teams was able to overcome their shortcomings last year, both tried to address them during the offseason.
The Packers got an infusion of youth for their defense through the draft; these rookies looked overwhelmed in Week 1, but much, much sharper against the Bears in Week 2. The Giants added David Wilson to a running game that was less than stellar last year (and also added wide receiver Rueben Randle), and tried to further solidify their offensive line (Sean Locklear) and secondary (adding third round pick cornerback Jayron Hosley, Antwaun Molden before they cut him, and linebacker Keith Rivers). The irony for both teams is that their 2011 problems still surfaced in their first games.
So let me play the role of doctor and diagnose the seriousness of these Giants’ ailments, and see how they will affect Week 2 against the Garden State’s very own, head coach Greg Schiano, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Run Offense and Run Defense: See a specialist.
What a weird juncture the NFL is at with run offense. It has been exhaustively covered at this point, but just bare with me for the abridged background.
Since the NFL changed its contact rules with cornerbacks, and started protecting quarterbacks in the pocket to unfathomable degrees (at least for any former NFL player who retired upwards of seven years ago), the NFL has become a game amusingly similar to “Madden,” where 400-yard games with five touchdown passes is now only an “outstanding day” (instead of a career, NFL milestone day).