Finding any positive takeaways in the New York Giants’ opening game loss to the Denver Broncos is difficult, but there were a few individual performances that did stand out. Despite the defense failing to get the job done in coverage and the offense looking as anemic as ever, harping on the negatives is the easy way out.
Three positive takeaways for the New York Giants:
1.) Pass protection was overall solid
Going into Week 1 against Denver, the biggest concern for the Giants was is the offensive line, which held up relatively well in pass protection. Aside from the Giants only recording 60 rushing yards, including 27 from Daniel Jones, the third-year quarterback did toss 267 yards worth of passing production. The OL gave him adequate time in the pocket to make his reads and connect with his receivers, but it simply wasn’t enough to extract victory as Denver won time of possession by a significant margin. The Giants only had 25 minutes of possession while Denver landed 35 minutes.
The Giants underwhelmed in most categories, but the OL was far from the biggest issue. Left tackle Andrew Thomas looked solid in pass pro, as well as new left guard Ben Bredeson. The only lineman actually stood out in a negative fashion was Nate Solder, who had a tough time locking down Von Miller.
2.) Kenny Golladay is the real deal
Daniel Jones has never had a WR1 in his career, but Kenny Golladay showcased his abilities in his first game after signing a massive four-year, $74 million contract. Golladay hauled in four receptions on six targets, earning 64 total yards. Working his way back from a hamstring injury, the Giants tried not to overwhelm Golladay, interestingly utilizing him more in garbage time than during meaningful minutes early on in the contest. Hopefully, the Giants find ways to get Kenny more involved moving forward, as his impact was too little, too late against the Broncos.
3.) Sterling Shepard could have his best season yet
One of the shining lights on offense was veteran receiver Sterling Shepard. Shepard hauled in seven receptions on nine targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. One of his catches resulted in a 37-yard score as he weaved his way through defenders to get to the end zone. The primary slot receiver proved he’s in for a big year after the acquisition of Golladay and the return of Saquon Barkley. With attention being allocated toward other playmakers, Shepard will have weaker defenders to take on, allowing him to pad his stats and showcase his elite route running and dependable hands.