The Giants have a lot of young players on their roster, but they don't have a young team.
Confused? Let us explain. The Giants had 11 rookies on their opening day roster, seven of their eight draft choices (Marvin Austin is on injured reserve) and four free agents. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants were tied with Cleveland, San Francisco and Seattle for the most rookies on Kickoff Weekend rosters.
The Giants have not had that many rookies on their opening day roster since 2002, when the newcomers included Jeremy Shockey, Ryan Clark and Matt Bryant.
Despite all those rookies, the Giants had the 21st youngest – or 12th oldest – roster (average age: 27 years, 18 days) on opening day. The youngest team in the NFL is Tampa Bay (25 years, 178 days) and the oldest is Pittsburgh (27 years, 289 days).
Eight of the Giants' rookies were in uniform for Sunday's 28-14 loss in Washington. One started: middle linebacker Greg Jones, the first Giants linebacker to start on opening day since Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor in 1981. He was credited with four solo tackles.
Linebacker Jacquian Williams and safety Tyler Sash each had two tackles (one solo) and defensive end Justin Trattou, who was signed to the roster off the practice squad on Saturday, had an assisted tackle. Linebackers Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger played on special teams but had no tackles. Running back Da'Rel Scott played one special teams snap.
On offense, fullback Henry Hynoski had a four-yard reception and made a key block on Ahmad Bradshaw's touchdown run.
Three other rookies were inactive: cornerback Prince Amukamara, wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan and offensive lineman James Brewer.
*Eli Manning started his 104th consecutive regular season game in Washington, which is by far the longest active streak among NFL quarterbacks. Manning moved to the top of the list because his brother Peyton underwent neck surgery and was forced to sit out the Indianapolis Colts' opener in Houston.
The longest active consecutive starting streaks by NFL quarterbacks:
Name Team Starts
Eli Manning Giants 104
Philip Rivers San Diego 81
Joe Flacco Baltimore 49
Matt Schaub Houston 37
Tom Brady New England 33
*Manning's 104 consecutive starts is the 10th-longest streak among all active players, regardless of position:
Name Team Position Starts
Ronde Barber Tampa Bay CB 184
London Fletcher Washington LB 168
Jeff Backus Detroit T 161
Casey Wiegmann Kansas City C 160
Justin Smith San Francisco DE 156
Olin Kreutz New Orleans C 135
Reggie Wayne Indianapolis WR 130
Brandon Moore Jets G 106
Jake Scott Tennessee G 105
Eli Manning Giants QB 104
*Since Manning's first start on Nov. 21, 2004 against Atlanta, 128 different quarterbacks have started in the NFL. Carolina's Cam Newton and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton joined the list on Kickoff Weekend.
The Cleveland Browns have started an NFL-high 12 quarterbacks during that time. The Miami Dolphins are second with 11.
*Manning's 104 starts rank ninth among active NFL quarterbacks, behind Peyton Manning (208), Kerry Collins (178), Donovan McNabb (156), Mark Brunell (151), Tom Brady (144), Drew Brees (138), Matt Hasselbeck (132) and Jon Kitna (124).
*The loss in Washington dropped Manning's record as a starter to 60-44. He is 30-22 at home and 30-22 on the road.
*The Giants lost despite holding the Redskins to 74 rushing yards. They had had won their previous 10 games in which they held the opposition to less than 100 rushing yards, including all nine last season. They had last lost a game when holding the opposition under the century mark on the ground on Dec. 13, 2009, when Philadelphia rushed for 77 yards but defeated the Giants, 45-38.
*The Giants rushed for 75 yards in the game. Under Tom Coughlin, the Giants are 51-24 when they rush for at least 100 yards and 14-24 when they don't. In Coughlin's 16 years as an NFL head coach, his teams are 102-54 when they run for at least 100 yards and 31-54 when they don't.
*Domenik Hixon's 27 punt return yards on Sunday increased his Giants career total to 525 and moved him past Bob Hammond and into eighth place on the Giants career list. Of the top 12 punt returners in Giants history – based on total return yardage – Hixon's 12.2-yard average is the highest. Ward Cuff is second at 12.1.
*In their last three games dating back to last season, the Giants have allowed Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers to pass for 404 yards and Washington's Rex Grossman to throw for 336 and 305 yards, respectively. It is the first time opposing quarterbacks have thrown for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games since 2003, when St. Louis' Kurt Warner, Dallas' Quincy Carter and Washington's Patrick Ramsey accomplished the feat in the first three games.
Grossman had his 305-yard game on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Under Coughlin, the Giants are now 9-11 when an opposing quarterback throws for at least 300 yards.
*The Giants converted only one of 10 third down opportunities in Washington, their fewest successes in a game with at least 10 chances since Dec. 24, 2006, when they were zero-for-10 vs. New Orleans.
*According to the NFL, the Giants will travel 15,428 miles this season, placing them 12th among the league's 32 teams. Their longest road trips are to San Francisco and Arizona. The 49ers will travel a league-high 29,126 miles and Tennessee will travel a league-low 7,060 miles.