New York Giants: 7 Things They Must Do to Avoid Going 0-2
Although they had an offseason plagued by misfortunes and injuries, the New York Giants still headed into the 2011 season with high hopes.
They drew the Washington Redskins week one, an in-division rival with a weak quarterback and not many expectations.
Unfortunately for the Big Blue, their trip to Washington did not go as well as they would have liked.
Rex Grossman lit up the Giants defense while Eli Manning and the offense put up a measly 14 points.
Week one's performance has Giants' fans worried about how the rest of the season will pan out, and they have every right to be.
The Giants will host the St.Louis Rams on Monday night this week—a game they really can't afford to lose.
Here is a list of things the Giants must do to avoid dropping to 0-2.
1. Improve Pass Protection
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If the Giants' offensive line performs the way they did against Washington, their chances of winning this week are very low.
Against the Redskins, Eli Manning was sacked four times and was rushed on tons of throws.
The offensive line has a few new members who are still trying to work the kinks out, and Giants fans better hope that they get it together for week two.
2. Convert on 3rd Down
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The fact that the Giants went 1-10 on third down conversions is just plain unacceptable.
With a stat like that, they are lucky they were even able to put 14 points up on the board.
The blame for this can not all fall on the shoulders of Eli Manning. It was a combination of poor play by the offensive line, dropped passes and poor play calling.
On a third and short, why give it to Ahmad Bradshaw instead of Brandon Jacobs?
3. Perform on the Big Stage
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As we all saw in Superbowl XLII, Eli Manning knows how to play on the big stage. As for the rest of the team, we will have to see.
Of course Monday Night Football is not the Superbowl, but playing on national television can have an impact on how players play.
The G-Men need to keep their composure and use the home crowd to their advantage when they face the Rams on Monday.
4. Capitalize on Injuries
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Luckily for the Giants, star running back Steven Jackson has been ruled out for Monday's game.
The absence of Jackson is a big blow for the Rams offense, although backup Cadillac Williams is no slouch.
Quarterback Sam Bradford is also dealing with an index finger injury, and he will not be at full strength.
The Giants must capitalize on the injuries of the Rams' top two offensive weapons.
5. Improve Pass Defense
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If Rex Grossman threw for 305 yards against the Giants, just think about what a better quarterback could do.
Yes, the Giants secondary is banged up with injuries, but if the healthy players don't get it together, they are in for a long season.
The G-Men have no choice but to improve their pass defense, or they could be looking at a very long season.
If they can contain Sam Bradford, the Giants have a very good chance at winning Monday night.
6. Avoid Injuries
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A major goal in week two, just like any other week, is to avoid injuries.
The Giants can not afford to lose any more players, which makes this the most important goal of them all.
If the G-Men can escape week two without any injuries, it is at least somewhat of a victory.
7. Improve Special Teams
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Every Giants' fan knows that the special teams has been a problem for quite some time.
Matt Dodge has been replaced, but that doesn't mean the kick coverage has improved. Special teams played a big part in the loss to Washington, and that will have to be changed.
The Giants cannot afford anymore blocked field goals, especially with the way their offense performed last week.