Now that we’re a little bit removed from the first New York Giants game of the season, it’s somewhat easier to look at it objectively and figure out what went right and what went terribly wrong in the loss. The negatives after the first game are easy to point out. Offensive line problems were likely the reason behind the loss, and much of the discussion following the game has centered around that.
But not everything went wrong. Both Eli Manning and Sterling Shepard pointed out different positives that could be found in the losing effort.
What did they have to say?
“We went against a good team, a good defense. We had some big plays, we had some opportunities. We got to hit a few more of them. We had a chance to win the game at the end, and we just didn’t quite make enough plays,” said Eli Manning. His point about the Jaguars having a good defense is accurate, and makes the point output a bit more tolerable.
The Giants had one of the worst offenses in the league last year, and the Jaguars were a top three defense. The offensive production in this game represents an improvement from the offense that took to the field last year, especially after the injury to Odell Beckham Jr. early in the season. Additionally, the big plays that Manning mentioned were absent most of the time last year, and it never seemed like fans should expect them to happen.
Manning did say, however, that everyone knows they need to improve. “I thought, obviously, guys were disappointed. I think everybody knows that each one of us individually has to play a little bit better… You’re going to follow the direction of the head coach. I think he expressed it’s not good enough, but I’m proud of the way you guys fought, competed, and hung in there until the very end, and found a way to kind of stay in the game.”
Sterling Shepard had similar comments. “If you look at the game, we were a few plays away from coming out with a different outcome. But guys do a good job around here just bouncing back and kind of brushing it off, and fixing the things we need to fix and I feel like that’s what we’ll do this week. Be ready for Dallas,” the receiver stated. Shepard was targeted seven times in week one, coming away with five receptions and 48 yards.
The Giants take on the Cowboys in the second game of the season, and it will be a game surrounded by huge pressure. Not only is it a major rivalry game, but it will be broadcast nationwide on Sunday Night Football. After a disappointing result in week one, Giants fans can only hope that the team bounces back on this major stage to pull off a 1-1 start to the season.