At halftime, the New York Giants led 20-6, and had only one scoring drive in the second half. Eli Manning nailed the pass to Sterling Shepard with 2:08 left in the game, ensuring their win. With one second left, the Houston Texans pulled off a touchdown, but it didn’t matter. The Texans saw their third loss of the season in their first game at home. The Giants recorded their first win of the season, and gloriously so, despite the terrifying Houston defense featuring J.J. Watt. Watt recorded three sacks and three tackles but had difficulty pushing through the offensive line that the Giants debuted today. The additions of Chad Wheeler and John Greco on offense refurbished the line that was holding the crew back for the first two weeks. Finally, Eli’s protectors were the group that was proclaimed to carry the team to victory.
Refurbishment At Right Tackle
After two weeks of Ereck Flowers looking more like crabgrass at right tackle than ever, Pat Shurmur announced his decision to pluck him from the starting lineup on Sunday morning. Flowers was replaced by Wheeler, who had been assisting him at the position for the past several weeks. Wheeler was signed by the Giants in 2017 as an undrafted free agent and has been Flowers’ backup since then. In today’s performance as starting right tackle, he earned himself the job for the foreseeable future.
Career Backup No More
Additionally, the Giants had to make a change at center. After Jon Halapio was carted off the field in Week Two against the Dallas Cowboys, it was announced that his season with Big Blue had come to a close. Luckily enough, Greco was ready to step in. The nine-year NFL veteran was released from the Cleveland Browns last September, and after a month with the New Orleans Saints, was signed to Big Blue in November. After seeing little action last year, Greco has won the starting job this season. He worked with Shurmer in the head coach’s brief stint in Cleveland back in 2011, so it’s sensible that he is Shurmur’s choice for the job.
Inconsistency is Key
Manning was woke on Sunday, completing 25 passes of 29 attempts for 297 yards and two touchdowns. Keeping the Texans’ defense on their toes, Manning fully utilized all of his offensive weapons in variation behind an offensive line that he clearly had more trust in than those of the past two weeks. While his drives were shut down mostly in the third quarter, he followed up a studly first half with an important fourth quarter, giving the Giants the glimmer of hope they need for the rest of the season.
Receptive to Wide Success
The G-Men had quite the receiving corps on the field today, as well. Odell Beckham Jr. caught nine passes for the leading total of 109 yards. Sterling Shepard caught six for 80 yards, in his true dark horse heroic form later in the game. Rhett Ellison connected with Manning on a 16-yard touchdown to enforce their lead at the top of the first half. And then, there was Saquon Barkley, who we saw function at both his assigned position of running back and as a wide receiver, recording five receptions for 35 yards. Even with the loss of tight end Evan Engram, who left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury, the Giants still gained a total of 427 yards through the whole of the meet.
Last Word on The Giants of the Giants vs. The “Terrifying” Texans
After an off-season that was heavily oriented around rebuilding their offensive line, the Giants struggled in their first two games. The outlook for the team was grim after a depressing loss at Dallas last week. But under Shurmur’s leadership, the necessary adjustments were made to put the Giants back into contention for the NFC East. Had they lost in Week Three, they would be in the very position the Texans are in now, beginning the season 0-3 with a two percent chance of making the playoffs. Now that the Giants have racked up their first season win, Shurmur recording his first as the franchise’s head coach, fans have much to look forward to as their offense faces off against a few more questionable defenses in the coming weeks.
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