Yikes! Even after one game, the Giants look like they're in big trouble. Just minutes into their 2014 campaign, they were down 14-0 to the Lions and ended up losing by 21 in Detroit. And not to be the bearer of bad news, but there's reason to believe the Giants will drop to 0-2 after this Sunday's home opener against the Cardinals at MetLife Stadium.
If the Giants are going put an early stop to a potential second year in a row with a massive losing skid, at least a few of the following things need to happen.
Hold the line
Perhaps the most offensive part of their new offense is the O-line. Although Eli Manning was sacked just two times, the team averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on 22 carries. That's rarely enough to win, even in today's passing-oriented NFL. Part of the problem is the constant personnel changes each week, but injuries can't be an excuse all season, and now's the time for five guys to step up and play well.
New quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf's stated goal for Manning in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's new offense is for the quarterback to attain a 7-of-10 ratio through the air this year. Week 1 came up just a bit shy of that at 18-for-33 (54.5%), which is closer to his career 58.5%. The Arizona secondary is as good as they come, so 70% might not come this week either. But if it does, the Giants have a shot to win.
Eyes on everyone
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer spread the ball to 11 different receivers on Monday night. Given that the Giants knew the bulk of the Lions' vertical offense is targeted to all-world receiver Calvin Johnson and he still torched them for 164 yards and two touchdowns, there's reason to worry about a more sharing-oriented pass attack that also features All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and company must step up.