The Giants ability to shut down the run against talented rookie Ezekiel Elliot and the Cowboys offensive line was very telling. The Giants line is arguably the best in the NFL. The soft first half pass rush was modestly improved in the second half but still didn’t produce a sack. Again, given the strength of the Dallas O line, it’s not something that is very worrisome. They should do better against lesser competition going forward.
Another definite highlight was the play of the new Reese’s Pieces – GM Jerry Reese’s offseason free agent and draft acquisitions. As we had projected, they were a great addition, especially reshaping a poor defense into a good one.
On the other hand, I’m still not convinced that generally solid play of the offensive line was legit. The reality is that for most of the game, running yards were hard to come by. Only at the end did they turn a mediocre day into an acceptable day, stats wise, by getting some good blocks on a tired defensive line that is missing a number of suspended players and would by anyone’s estimation rank as one of the worst lines in the NFL. As much the play of the D line was telling, the play of the O line is not particularly compelling. I still believe they will have ongoing issues against tougher teams (which they may not face until they play the Vikings) and that eventually Beatty will replace Newhouse.
Lastly, while McAdoo overall called a very good game. Specifically, he made halftime adjustments, and he stuck with a running game that was slow to get going early on and that eventually paid dividends. Two complaints I had were his poor clock management at the end of the first half (he should have used one of his timeouts a play earlier), and his decision to take a 10 yard holding penalty and negate a play that would have been a 5 yard loss. Neither came back to hurt the Giants but they could have.