In Week two the New York Giants will look to bounce back from their disastrous season-opening loss in a Monday night matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Week Two New York Giants Keys to Victory
After their embarrassing 19-3 loss to division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, the Giants head into Week two of the NFL season already under intense scrutiny. The Giants first home game of the season comes against Matthew Stafford’s Detroit Lions, who are fresh off a comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Week one. In yet another prime time matchup, the Giants must look at several key areas to help them secure a win in Week two..
Get Odell Beckham Jr. Back on the Field
It sounds obvious, but if the G-Men can get one of the league’s most dangerous offensive weapons back on the field they will be a much better football team. Without star wideout
Odell Beckham Jr., who missed the game with a sprained ankle, the offense struggled in every department against Dallas, scoring only three points. The last time a Giants offense struggled that much in a season opener was in 1995, also against the Cowboys.
With big free agent acquisition Brandon Marshall only making one reception in the closing moments of the game against Dallas on Sunday, and rookie tight end Evan Engram failing to have a major impact deep down the middle of the field, it was glaringly obvious the Giants urgently need Beckham back and healthy. As Marshall said after the game on Beckham:
“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime player who will definitely make our offense better when he gets out there and healthy. Looking forward to playing with him and I’m sure he’ll make us a lot better.”
The Giants last season, even with Beckham, only managed an average of 19.4 points per game. It looks like so far they haven’t done enough this off-season to give Beckham more support. The Giants need their star more than ever for their first home game of the season, under the Monday night lights against Detroit. Beckham was running some routes at close to full speed last week and should return this weekend. The pressure is on Beckham like never before to help kick-start the Giants offense.
Protect Eli Manning
Ahead of last week’s opener, much of the talk was whether the Giants offensive line, which ranked 20th in Pro Football Focus’s offensive line rankings last season, had improved. If anything, they have got worse. The Giants only ran for a total of 35 yards Sunday night. Quarterback Eli Manning was sacked three times and constantly under pressure. Manning consistently struggled to push the ball downfield as he was given no time in the pocket. Simply put, the offensive line must improve.
This week the coaching staff must focus on improving this group ahead of a match-up with a Detroit Lions pass rush that could put real pressure on Manning. After struggling against a Cowboys pass rush that was without Randy Gregory, David Irving and Damontre Moore, due to suspensions, the Giants must do better against a more potent Lions defensive unit. The Lions pass rush forced Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer into three costly interceptions Week one. The Giants cannot allow Manning to face the same treatment.
Giants Defense Must Be Fresh In the Fourth Quarter
The Giants defense can take very little blame for the loss on Sunday night in Dallas.
They restricted one of last season’s top offensive units to just one touchdown and 16 total points. However, due to the offensive struggles the defensive stars in blue just couldn’t maintain their performance for the whole game.
The Giants defense was on the field for an astonishing 47 players in the first half. By comparison, Dallas only faced 19 defensive plays in the same period, with the Giants offense managing just two first downs in the first half.
Keeping their defense fresh late into the game becomes even more important this week, when the Giants take on Stafford and the Lions offense. Detroit’s signal caller led more fourth-quarter comebacks than anybody else last season and did it again in Week one against the Cardinals on Sunday. The Giants defense must be at their best for the duration of Monday’s clash if Big Blue are to come out on top.