New York Giants: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 2
Which NFC East team impressed the most in Week 1's games?
The Giants couldn't overcome six turnovers, five of which were made by the offense, as they lost their first game in the Cowboys' new stadium. Running back David Wilson had two of the offense's five turnovers and was benched midway through the game.
Despite their sloppiness on offense, the Giants defense did its part, holding Dallas to just 87 rushing yards and preventing any Cowboys receiver from recording more than 72 receiving yards.
New head coach Chip Kelly and his Eagles spoiled Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's return from knee surgery with 33 unanswered points through the third quarter of their game at FedEx Field after spotting the Redskins a 7-0 first-quarter lead thanks to a 75-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
Griffin, who returned to action after months of rehab following surgery to repair his LCL and ACL in his right knee, threw a career-high two interceptions in the game. Meanwhile, his Eagles counterpart, Michael Vick, threw two touchdowns and ran for a third to help Kelly's NFL coaching career get off on the right foot.
The Cowboys will visit the Kansas City Chiefs, who topped the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-2 thanks to running back Jamaal Charles' 77 rushing yards and one touchdown and the Chiefs defense not allowing the Jaguars offense past its 36-yard line except for one drive.
The Eagles will host the San Diego Chargers in their 2013 season opener.
The Redskins will visit the Green Bay Packers, who fell to the San Francisco 49ers 34-28 on 49ers running back Frank Gore's one-yard touchdown run with five minutes, 47 seconds remaining. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted a career-high 412 passing yards and threw for three touchdown passes in the game.
Giants Injury Report
|FB Henry Hynoski||knee||Active; took 13 of 60 offensive snaps.|
|DE Damontre Moore||shoulder||Inactive in Week 1; continues to get "closer" to a return.|
|DE Jason Pierre-Paul||back||Active; took 50 of 77 defensive snaps.|
|WR Victor Cruz||heel||Active; took 54 of 60 offensive snaps.|
|C David Baas||knee||Inactive Week 1; listed week-to-week.|
|T David Diehl||thumb||Inactive; Entering third week of six-week post-surgery recovery process.|
|CB Prince Amukamara||concussion||Injured vs. Dallas; as of Monday, the cornerback had not passed the concussion protocol.|
|LB Dan Connor||burner||Injured vs. Dallas; current status unknown.|
What Must Improve for the Giants
1. The Running Game
The good news, if head coach Tom Coughlin is to be believed, is that the Giants' shortcomings in their embarrassing regular-season opener can be fixed, but with the Giants, sometimes it seems like the mistakes that are being made are repeats of earlier issues.
The biggest thing on the agenda for New York is its running game, which was atrocious. Logging just 50 yards on 14 carries, the production was only half of the story as the pass protection also suffered.
Coughlin is determined to help fix what's ailing starter David Wilson and thinks that the team's past experiences with players who had chronic ball-control issues such as Tiki Barber and Ahmad Bradshaw will serve them well in their attempt to fix Wilson's issues.
"We've been down this road before," Coughlin told reporters during his day-after conference all. "We think we can have an impact on him being a better ball-carrier, a better secure ball-carrier. We'll get that done."
The approach with Wilson will apparently be to refine his technique.
"Just like anything else, I think it's technique, there's different individuals, obviously, different sized individuals, different circumstances surrounding it," said Coughlin. "Basically you've got to get to a position where the ball is in the safest possible position, even if it causes you to have a little bit...a little bit different stride. The ball is the most important thing of all."
If they can't make progress with fixing Wilson's ball-security issues, the team, which will host several running backs as part of its weekly free-agent workouts, might be looking to have a plan B in place for Sunday's game against Denver.
The Giants waived defensive end Adewale Ojomo the day after the Dallas game and will presumably add a veteran running back from a group that is reported to include former Giant Brandon Jacobs, former Jet Joe McKnight and former Bronco Willis McGahee, per ESPN.com.
Coughlin refused to answer questions about whether he planned to leave Wilson as his starter for their home opener on Sunday against Denver.
"I'm not going to get into that yet," he said. "We'll see what happens here as we get started in the week."
However, he did reiterate that Wilson is still very much a part of the team's immediate plans.
"David Wilson is a very talented young man that we need on our football team to be productive."
2. The Short-Yardage Game
When discussing the running game, Coughlin made certain to mention the team's short-yardage performance, which he felt was more of a result of the blocking than the running backs.
One specific play worth noting was a third-quarter 3rd-and-1 run up the gut by Da'Rel Scott that went nowhere.
"You have to get to a stage with the front before the back comes into play and he ran it up in there hard," Coughlin said. "He just didn't have much to work with."
The Giants, remember, unveiled their new offensive line consisting of rookie Justin Pugh at right tackle and James Brewer at left guard for the first time in an entire game, so there were bound to be a few hiccups.
The good news is that the problems Coughlin saw aren't cause for panic.
"Quite frankly, there's some good and some bad, just like there always is when a young player has an opportunity like that. There are some things we can build on as well."
3. The Linebackers' Play
No matter what the Giants did, they just didn't have an answer for Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, as the lack of speed of the personnel on the field was just not able to keep up with the big athletic tight end, who scored both of the Cowboys' touchdowns on offense.
There might not be much the Giants can do about their current personnel, but somehow, someway, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is going to have to try to figure out a way to compensate for what appears to be a lack of speed in this group when it comes to coverage.
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