New York Giants Week 1 Awards: MVP, LVP and Top Rookie
Although the score doesn't indicate it, the game was primarily dominated by the Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo, who threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns against an injury-riddled Giants secondary.
New York's offensive line was unable to protect Eli Manning and had trouble opening holes for Ahmad Bradshaw on the ground while the Giants defense allowed Romo too much comfort in the pocket as he shredded it to give Dallas its first win of the 2012 season.
As a team, the Giants didn't play the type of football that fans are accustomed to seeing, but it's worth highlighting a few standout players and which guys need to improve.
Here are the Giants' Most Valuable Player, Least Valuable Player and top rookie from Week 1:
MVP: Ahmad Bradshaw
Honorable Mention: Michael Boley, Keith Rivers, Eli Manning, Martellus Bennett and Steve Weatherford
Despite running behind a poor offensive line, Ahmad Bradshaw had a standout night.
Once David Wilson fumbled in the first quarter, the carries were all for Bradshaw the remainder of the night, and he did what he could with an underwhelming offensive line.
Bradshaw finished the night with 78 yards on 17 carries (4.6 YPC) and also scored the first touchdown of the season for the Giants in the third quarter, which put them back in position to win the game.
Bradshaw also served as a safety net out of the backfield for quarterback Eli Manning, catching two passes for 15 yards on a night when Victor Cruz dropped three passes and Hakeem Nicks looked nowhere near 100 percent.
Michael Boley's interception at the beginning of the second quarter was the only turnover forced by the Giants defense and looked to be a momentum-changer until New York failed to pound the ball into the end zone from inside the Dallas five.
After Boley went down with an injury, Keith Rivers stepped up in his place, recording seven tackles, one of which went for a loss.
Martellus Bennett and Steve Weatherford were also key players for the Giants in Week 1, as you can read in my winners and losers of Week 1, but Bradshaw gets the MVP for what he did without a lot of help.
LVP: Justin Tryon
Honorable Mentions: Corey Webster, David Wilson, Victor Cruz and the entire Giants' offensive line
The Giants were already thin at corner entering Wednesday night's game—without the likes of Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara—and Justin Tryon's poor coverage didn't help.
Tryon entered the game after Michael Coe—who was playing exceptionally well—went down with a hamstring injury, leaving Tryon to shoulder much of the duty in the secondary.
Tony Romo was quick to spot the weakness, hitting Miles Austin (a pass that should never have been completed) for a 34-yard touchdown that put the Cowboys up by two scores. Later, on a crucial 3rd-and-10, Tryon was beat by Kevin Ogletree, who made a 13-yard catch to seal the deal for the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.
While Tryon certainly looked bad out there, he's not the only one who should take all of the criticism.
Corey Webster's coverage wasn't tight enough, Victor Cruz couldn't hang onto the football and the entire Giants' offensive line failed to protect Manning and clear gaps for their backs.
All in all, it was a poor showing by the Giants defense, but nothing was worse than Tryon's coverage.
See my complete list of losers from the Giants' Week 1 loss here.
Top Rookie: David Wilson
I'm being extremely generous to David Wilson here, but in my defense, there aren't many guys to choose from.
Adrien Robinson, Rueben Randle, Adewale Ojomo and Markus Kuhn didn't play any significant roles in Wednesday night's Week 1 opener, and Jayron Hosley recorded just one tackle and didn't stand out as the best rookie on the field against Dallas.
That leaves rookie running back David Wilson, who was terrible on the ground, rushing for just four yards on two carries and coughing up a fumble in the first quarter, but was rather impressive in the kick return game.
Wilson fielded three kickoffs for the G-Men, totaling 71 yards for a 23.7 average, including a long of 32 yards.
Those numbers aren't anything to write home about, but even after fumbling in his second NFL carry, Wilson still fielded the kicks cleanly and looked impressive returning, putting both his speed and strength on display.
Hopefully, Robinson, Randle and Hosley will play a larger role in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Wilson's role for the upcoming weekend is still undetermined.
After fumbling the football, Wilson was benched for the remainder of the game on offense in favor of veteran RB and starter Ahmad Bradshaw.
My guess is that Wilson will be a part of the Giants' ground game against Tampa this Sunday. New York has big plans for the rookie in 2012, and I don't think Tom Coughlin is going to let one opening-day fumble ruin that.
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