Although the Giants lost Week One against the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are plenty positive takeaways from this game.
Recent free agent signing Blake Martinez was one of the most impactful players on the Giants Defense from his MLB spot. Martinez had 12 total tackles, 8 of them being solo, and 1 being a TFL. Martinez made a plethora of plays, including several run stuffs, and he even sniffed out a screen play that could have resulted in big yardage for the Steelers.
The Giants run defense was stout in the first game, especially during the first half, and really until the 4th Quarter, when Pittsburgh Steelers RB Bennie Snell ripped a 30 yard run, that killed any hopes that the Giants would be able to come back. However, for most of the game, the Giants defensive line were able to clear enough space for the linebackers to stuff the run.
Slayton’s rookie season success looks like it will continue as he progresses into his second season, as him and Daniel Jones had the same chemistry. The young wideout had 6 receptions for 102 yards, and 2 touchdowns, one of which was a 41 yard pass that put the Giants up 10-3 in the 2nd Quarter.
In a word, the Giants’ Redzone offense was miserable. It started early in the first quarter after a muffed punt that put the Giants on the Steelers’ 3 yard line. The Giants would not be able to punch the ball into the endzone, instead settling for a 21 yard field goal in the deep red zone. The struggles would continue later in the game, during a 19 play drive during which the Giants offense looked on. After leading the Giants on an 82 yard drive, Daniel Jones made a bad decision in the deep red zone, which resulted in a Steelers INT, and ultimately would be the turning point of the game. Overall, the Giants were 1-3 in the Redzone, after a late TD from Daniel Jones to Darius Slayton. If the Giants want to compete this year, they must fix this.
The run game was not able to get going, with just 29 yards on 20 attempts (1.5 YPC). This was due to the Steelers d-line blowing up the Giants O-line on a lot of rush attempts, and a lot of negative yard carries. With the best RB in the league in the backfield, the Giants Offensive Line has to come up with some blocks so that Saquon Barkley can get some big gainers.
Overall, the Giants Week One performance was encouraging. As long as the o-line cleans up their issues with the run game, the Giants could end up beating out Washington, Dallas, and Philly for the division. Right now, they are tied for 2nd in the division, behind Washington Football Team, who has the only win in the NFC East.