The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants' season got off to a rough start. They would lose their season opener against the division rival Dallas Cowboys 24-17. The lack of depth at the corner back position, due to a rash of injuries, was apparent tonight as Tony Romo was able to find his targets fairly easily. The additions made to the Cowboys' secondary forced Manning to hold the ball longer than he wanted, which helped the Cowboys' defensive line get into the backfield before Eli could release the ball.
As was the concern in the preseason, the Giants had a very difficult time rushing the ball. The offensive line failed to open any gaps, making the game difficult for running back Ahmad Bradshaw. This week's key for the Giants will be to get healthy, especially in the secondary. This week will be a longer break than usual since the Giants don't play till next Sunday.
- Rocky Bernard – Bernard sacked Romo after a strong bull rush move against the offensive guard.
- Keith Rivers – Rivers had himself a solid game. He made several tackles where he met the running back in the gap for the stop.
- Michael Boley – Boley picked off a Romo pass and nearly returned it all the way but was stopped two yards short by a horse collar tackle.
- Jason Pierre-Paul – Although it may not show in the sack column, he consistently got pressure on Romo. The attention JPP demands really helps free up his teammates.
- Martellus Bennett – He had a tough assignment, helping block one of the premier pass rushers in DeMarcus Ware, and was able to hold him to one sack. Bennett also had several nice receptions including a key touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter.
- Steve Weatherford – Weatherford boomed several punts that helped in the field position battle, although the defense was unable to take advantage.
- Secondary – The secondary was clearly the biggest issue for the Giants. The Giants have a tendency to allow no name players to have big nights against them and such was the case tonight. The Giants allowed Kevin Ogletree to put up over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants really need Prince Amukamara to return to health. Terrell Thomas was sorely missed on the field as well.
- Rush Defense – The Defense was solid against the run in the first half, but in the second half DeMarco Murray was able to find the cutback lanes which led to large gains on the ground.
- Run blocking – the offensive line failed to open any gaps at all for Bradshaw leaving him with no room to run. It took till the fourth quarter for Bradshaw to get a significant gain on the ground, which came on a shotgun draw play.
- Pass blocking – The pass blocking was poor but the receivers also failed to get any separation from the Dallas corner backs.
- David Wilson – The rookie coughed up the ball in Cowboys’ territory that cost the team some points, and kept him from getting any more carries in the game.
- Victor Cruz – Cruz had probably the worst game of his career. He was found guilty of a couple penalties and dropped several passes that stalled drives. One particular drop happened late in the fourth quarter. The ball hit him square in the chest and fell through his hands which allowed more time to tick off the clock.
- Referees – They missed an obvious defensive holding call on Victor Cruz in the end zone that forced the offense to settle for a field goal. However they didn’t embarrass themselves to the extent they did in the preseason.
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