New York Giants
Eli Manning: Week 1, at Dallas.
As you might recall, Eli wasn’t particularly happy with Da’Rel Scott for not turning his head around in time to see Eli’s dump off pass scoot right by him and into the arms of Brandon Carr for the game-clinching pick-six for the Cowboys. It was the perfect way to end an incredibly frustrating night for the Giants, who alternately shredded the new Monte Kiffin-led defense and handed the ball over on a silver platter. Whether that last interception intended for Scott was really Eli’s fault is open for debate; that the first two interceptions were undoubtedly his fault is not. Eli started out the game by noticing DeMarcus Ware was standing directly in front of his intended screen target and then decided to throw the ball anyway because DeMarcus Ware can’t possibly catch too, right? Unfortunate assumption, Eli! His second pick was way overthrown and off the mark, intended for Hakeem Nicks down the left sideline and instead an easy catch for Cowboys safety Will Allen.
And those are only half of the turnovers the Giants committed Sunday night! When they weren’t shooting themselves in the foot over and over again, however, the Giants were cruising (or, perhaps more accurately, Cruz-ing) up and down the field at will. Eli found Cruz and Nicks for a number of big plays that the Cowboys safeties egregiously misplayed (when has that ever happened before?!) and also had success throwing to his new tight end, Brandon Myers. Truthfully, as long as the Giants find a running back who locate a football and then hang on to it, they’re going to be good as usual on offense this year. Keep in mind that the Run-n-Shoot option routes that offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride likes to run will lead to its fair shair of miscommunications between Eli and his receivers over the course of the season, however.
Tony Romo: Week 1, vs NY Giants.
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Romo’s interception was the result of a miscommunication with rookie wide receiver Terrence Williams – Williams ran a double move when Romo expected him to stick with his slant pattern and the result was a near pick-six. Romo wound up completing nearly 75% of his passes, but the Cowboys offense still looked unimpressive when all was said and done. Romo missed several other throws that would have boosted his completion percentage even more and none of his receivers were able to get extra yards after the catch for him all night. Whether that had more to do with an improved Giants secondary or a declining supporting cast of Cowboy receivers is a question that’ll be answered after more games have been played. Judging solely from Sunday night’s game, I’d bet more on the latter explanation.
Neither team looked good Sunday night. The Giants were able to move the ball consistently but were extraordinarily sloppy on offense and let the Cowboys dink and dunk their way to first downs up and down the field all night. On the other side, Dallas won the turnover battle 6-1, scored two defensive touchdowns and still only won by four at home. The NFC East hardly looks like a beast this year, but it certainly didn’t look like either team was headed for a run to the playoffs.
Player Who Was Better Than His Stats Would Indicate
Miles Austin. He only gained 72 yards on ten catches, but only had two incompletions tossed his way and generally gained tough, contested yards.
Player Who Was Worse Than His Stats Would Indicate
Will Allen, who had a pick off Eli but got otherwise torched all evening (most notably on Victor Cruz’s 70-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter).