Oh, the final score, if it could only tell the real story. About the only good thing that happened was the final score. The rest of the game (Q1-Q3) was sloppy, if you are in the optimist’s camp. And it was awful if you are modest in your expectations for this season. We are modest in our expectations for this season, so it was … bloody awful.
We have had one consistent message since the start of camp: while the roster has plenty of potential, it will take time for things to come together for the offense. It will take time for Eli Manning to learn the new system well enough to also fit together the reads versus the defensive coverage. It will take time for him to get chemistry with his receivers on the new playbook. And of course, it will take a lot of time for this Offensive Line to gel.
At this exact moment in time, I have confidence in the abilities of only 2 of the linemen, Geoff Schwartz and Justin Pugh. And frankly, even they look lost out there on any given play. Wonder likes the upside of JD Walton, but that assumes he can get back to the trajectory of improvement he was making while at Denver before he got hurt in 2012. He’s not all the way back yet, or at least the combination of 2 years of rust and a new offense is preventing him from showing it. Beatty? I will parrot what everyone in the media keeps asking- the 2012 version or the 2013 version? And Mosley is easily the biggest question mark, as Giants coaches envision having the rookie C Weston Richburg take over (Mosley’s place) before very long.
Yes, it is still preseason, and you cannot get too high or too low about any of these contests. But even the optimists will admit that the Offense is nowhere near anything ready for opening day. And that is precisely the reason why this blog has been consistent in the message that it will have to be a dominant/defense that bails this team out and BUYS TIME FOR THE OFFENSE TO COME TOGETHER. But even that is predicated on guys like Beason getting back on the field and guys like JPP getting to the QB.
Wonder is more bearish than I am. BEFORE THE GAME, earlier this past week, we spoke with this NY Giants blog analyst about his perspective on the team, and he was thinking anything but playoffs. “People are putting a lot more faith in the 7-3 team that finished the 2013 season than the 0-6 team that started the season.” He went on to explain many of the things already stated here previously (like the Campbell, Barkley, mcl sprained Pryor, & Tolzien gifts, the OL, the new offense, the JPP question mark). He was brutally sober in predicting 6-7 wins. When I put this take to Marvelous, my other source of Giants knowledge and perspective, Marvelous thought Wonder was being too pessimistic. But then this morning, after watching last night’s awfulness, he readjusted his thinking: “The Giants were a disgrace. I cringed on every play. Wonder may have OVERRATED them.”
Our opinion of the NY Giants in 2014 is UNCHANGED. Expectations must be modest. The potential is there for the playoffs IF (big IF) they get a very good trip. As we have seen from the new NFL in 2007 and 2011, all it takes is a couple of breaks to go your way, you get in the playoffs and then anything can happen. Anything can happen in 2014, but realistically speaking, we have to be patient with McAdoo for 1 season and we as fans have to ask for results in 2015. What I am asking for in 2014 is for the Offense to come together at some point, even if that is by season’s end. The earlier it comes together, the better the team’s chances for making a run. THERE WILL BE IMPROVEMENT. I just do not know if there will be enough time to make it all happen. I will not venture a guess on how many wins this team puts together until I see the last 2 data points of preseason. That’s “benefit of the doubt” enough for all of us.
1) Harris and Washington continue to mop up in Q4. While we do not want to get too excited about 3rd stringers going against 3rd stringers, their play cannot be understated in its significance either. At a minimum, these guys are great for depth. And at a max, they may be able to develop into strong contributors. Wonder is cautious on projecting Washington at this moment, but he sees Harris’s hands and routes as bonafide, making the latter more credible at this juncture. Both are good news for the Giants.
2) It was great to finally see TE Adrien Robinson appear in Q4. I chuckled when they even went to him on the 2 pt conversion, because it was an obvious attempt to teach… he needs as much film to review as possible.
3) Who is the first team player I watched on every single play on Defense? JPP again. Honestly, I could care less about the other 10 guys, as they will do their part. I know what I am going to get from most of them. JPP? So far, his mouth is still way ahead of what I am seeing on the field. He did not contain the edge very well last night. But I am still looking for that explosion in the pass rush. Not there yet. When it comes, you’ll know. I won’t have to tell you. For now, we continue to wait. If we ever get that, it can change the outlook for the entire season.
4) Prince Amukamara had a groin injury. Let’s hope he is ready/effective for the season opener.