In a word: “Disappointing”. The Giants are not going to outplay many teams this year, but when they do they can’t lose the game.
The Giants did themselves in with dropped balls, turnovers, bad special teams, bad penalties and a one-minute sequence where they allowed a long punt return for a touchdown, and then fumbled away the ensuing kickoff.
Trying to be optimistic, Eli Manning showed he was not washed up. He threw very few bad passes all night and actually had some time to throw. If not for the drops, his stats would have been very good. He threw 2 TD passes. Of his two interceptions, once was meaningless in final seconds and one was a little fluky when it hit a helmet and bounced off. The running game however has still not gotten in shape.
Even more surprising to this column is that column favorite, rookie Andre Williams has shown very little. Tight End, thought to be a trouble spot, has been a bright spot with the unexpected development of Larry Donnell. For the second week in a row he led the team in catches and is quickly becoming a favorite target of Manning. Cruz on the other hand is being exposed for what he really is, a #2 receiver who thrives when Hakeem Nicks is being double covered, but not when he is in the position of a #1 receiver with attention from the opposing defense.
On defense, Damontre Moore got double the plays, and applied some pressure, but was overwhelmed by the size of the Cardinal LT. JPP played a great game against the run, and finished with 1.5 sacks. However his pass pressure is still not back to 2012 levels. At least one sack was through very good fortune.
Jonathan Hankins was a monster in the middle. The Cards run game did ok, but it was all on the outside. Hankins clogs the middle quite well. The LB play has not been great. Rookie Devon Kennard needs to get back. Beason got reinjured but was playing great before that. Paysinger should probably be seeing more playing time.
The secondary played reasonably well yesterday as well, but did allow too many third and long completions.
Unlike in the Lions game, the Giants looked like an NFL team that could compete at this level. Next week’s opponent, the Texans, will be interesting, as they look more like the 2012 version than the 2013 version.