With the first game out of the way, and the Vince Lombardi Trophy restored back to its proper shelf in the lobby, the public has seen a preview of what they can expect from the Giants in 2008.
One game against the listless Redskins does not a season make, though. There is much to improve on if they are to repeat - or even come close to repeating - as Super Bowl champions.
1. Eli Manning’" onclick="return(Jiglu.overlayOpen(this))">Eli Manning must not put the ball up for grabs. He did it again last night under pressure. When will this very bad and costly habit end? He is the reason why 'experts' are calling the Giants a fluke.
2. The coaches must not divert from the game game for the sake of doing so. The Giants were absolutely steamrolling the Redskins with their running game. So why, for the sake of Allie Sherman were they trying to establish the passing game with a two-score lead in the 3rd quarter? That has to stop. The only thing that will accomplish is allowing opponents to get back in games.
3. The Giants must be able to relax at home and trust the fans. They won their first home game in almost 11 months, but they didn't look comfortable at all in the 2nd half. For some reason they lose their fire during homes games, especially in games in which they get an early lead.
4. Kevin Boss and Ahmad Bradshaw must be in the game plan. Boss was absent last night and Bradshaw did not play. Boss needs to catch a pass early to get him in rhythm. Bradshaw needs to get some reps to level out the running game. He has the ability to take it to the house, so why not let him?
5. R.W. McQuarters should not be returning punts. How old is he, anyway? Sinorice Moss and Bradshaw both have more speed. What don't I know here?
6. Kenny Phillips should be starting soon. Michael Johnson isn't a bad player, but let's see what the kid has. He made some plays last night, which is a good sign that he may be ready.
The Giants will probably find ways to iron out these problems over the course of the season. They have the ability to repeat - all the ingredients are there.
The pass rush and overall defense looks like one of the league's best. The offensive line is consistent, the receiving corp is deep and the running game is tops. They need to improve on special teams, cut down on dumb penalties and stupid mistakes (usually made by Eli). If Boss and the TEs can get more involved in the offense, this team will play deep into January and possibly February again.