It’s a good thing the Giants have an extra day to prepare for next Monday night’s game because they’ll need it to eliminate the stench from Sunday’s opener.
Eli Manning was outdone by journeyman Rex Grossman and both Big Blue running backs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, were outgained by Tim Hightower. Wideout Hakeem Nicks’s big day — seven catches for 122 yards — was about the only statistical saving grace for the Giants.
And even he came out of the game with a knee injury, though the Giants aren’t yet sure of the severity.
But true to his gung-ho mentality, head coach Tom Coughlin would not allow his team to sulk over the mounting injuries. Rather, he and the team went right back to work.
“We won’t use the injuries as an excuse,” said Coughlin. “That’s not acceptable. Injuries happen to every team. We were well prepared. We played well in the first half and not in the second half. We didn’t score a point in the second half and that was very disappointing.”
As was their problem last year, the Giants failed to pay close attention to detail. Sunday’s meltdown was a case of a team still making the small mistakes at critical times.
“There’s not one thing. We just have to play better football [because] there’s things we need to improve on, things we can look at and see where we can get better from fundamentals, from just doing the right things,” Manning said.
One thing the Giants must re-learn is how to use their two-headed monster at running back. The rushing attack was anemic, save for a short touchdown run from Bradshaw.
Manning said he doesn’t think it’ll be a problem getting them going, next Monday.
“We’re always a team that we’re going to try to run the ball [and] going to try to do play action,” he said. “[But there were] certain circumstances on a play action [when] we weren’t getting down. You’re taking sacks, you get bad in down and distance and you can get off your rhythm and routine that you want to be in … long third downs aren’t really a third down problem, that’s a first and second down problem.”
To a man, whatever the problems were on Sunday afternoon, Manning said everyone is still confident that they’ll correct them by the Rams game. He said no one is panicking after just one game.
“Overall, there are things that we have to improve on and that’s what we’re prepared to do,” Manning offered. “After any first game there are going to be a lot of improvements. A lot of teams didn’t win that first game … we’ve been through this before. We just have to stick together as a team and keep working.”
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