These are Miserable Mondays, as we used to call them as players. For Giants fans, I know they're frustrated with the 0-2 start. It's missed opportunities and sloppy football. That's something we don't expect from a Tom Coughlin-coached football team. We expect them to do a better job of taking care of the football. We expect them to do a better job in running the football as well. But for Giants fans, they have to be looking at this saying, "We left a lot of points out there on the field and we did not help ourselves." The defense played pretty well in the first half, but the offense didn't really help them out with points.
SMALL MISTAKES LED TO BIG PROBLEMS
When you're going to throw the ball that many times, there are going to be bad plays. There are going to be interceptions. Now a couple of them looked like Eli Manning was trying to throw the ball away, and then on the last interception I think he was just forcing it, feeling like, "I have to do this all by myself." You have to run the football a little bit more. I understand if you're not getting great yards per carry, but just the presence of the run game, I think, takes the pressure off of Eli so he doesn't have to feel like he's doing it all by himself.
HOW TO IMPROVE THE RUN GAME
I think, number one, you can't judge your running game based on production in the first and second quarter. I think you have to be very patient with it. A lot of times you only get two or three yards per carry in the first half, and then the big run comes in the third or fourth quarter as the offensive line gets better at picking up the blitzes and the way the defense is reacting to them. That goes for the running backs, too, because a lot of it is vision for them.
WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE PASS RUSH
The one thing they need to do a little bit more of is do some more twists to create more angles for the offensive linemen. It's tough. If you're not getting pressure with your front four, now you have to start bringing blitzes, bringing pressure packages. I think they'll be a little bit more comfortable doing that this week going against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. But when you're playing a quarterback like Peyton Manning, you realize that every time you bring pressure or bring a blitz, you're opening yourself up to a big play. So, number one, create a little bit more twists, and what I think twists do is they create pressure. A simple twist, even if you don't get a sack, if you get pressure up the A gap, you force an overthrow or an underthrow and it affects quarterbacks.
The first thing that I look at is their inability to score touchdowns in the first half. When you're settling for field goals against a Peyton Manning-run offense in the Denver Broncos and what they have, I think that's a huge fail for the offense. They have to get touchdowns. It's a big difference. And when you look at third down, they're 1 of 11. So I think for the offense, I'll give them a C. I thought they made some good plays in the passing game. Eli Manning and company kept them in the game, but they have to do a better job of scoring touchdowns, not settling for field goals, and then do a better job on third down.
Defensively, I'll give them a C as well. I thought they did a good job in the first half keeping this team in the game. They held Peyton to 10 points. In the second half, there were a couple defensive offsides penalties that made for short down and distances for Peyton. You cannot do that. There was also a third-and-14 where you have to get off the field. That was something the Giants struggled with last year – third down production and getting off the field. You can't give Peyton Manning an extra set of downs. I thought they did a good job in spurts in the pass defense, but it ended up being too much Peyton and too much of his receivers for them.
Special Teams: D
I have to give them a D. It would have been an F probably because of the Trindon Holliday punt return for a touchdown, but I thought Josh Brown did a great job with the field goals. When you send your kicker out there to get points, he did his job. He made all of his field goals. I thought that definitely was a plus for the Giants.