Giants could have made a statement but got cute (Opinion)
The Giants had a chance to make a statement in Dallas and send a message to their fans. They spent the last two years fixing the running game first by passing on a franchise quarterback to draft the generational Saquon Barkley, then by remaking the offensive line. They had a chance to show the world how far they've come in the third quarter of yesterday's game and I believed they would have done it, if only the head coach believed in them.
With third down and two to go in the third quarter the Giants had their opportunity to show the world why they did what they made those moves. There's Saquon Barkley, who ripped off a 59 yard run in the first quarter behind the newly remade offensive line. These are presumably the guys you want on the field to get the 2 yards even when the whole stadium knows what play is coming and who is going to get the ball.
So what did they do? What should have been handed to Saquon became the "Tale of two Elis." On 3rd and 2 they gave it to their fullback, Eli Pennym who got 1 yard. Then, on 4th and 1 with their chance to give everyone a lift by feeding Barkley the ball, they instead roll out quarterback Eli Manning, who got the ball stuffed down his throat, way short.
What was head coach Pat Shurmur thinking? From the New York Post, "We should have gained more yards on the [play] to Penny,’’ Shurmer said. “And then we’ve got to do something with the ball on fourth down.’’ Really coach? That's your answer? You know how you do something with the ball on fourth down? YOU GIVE IT TO BARKLEY THAT"S HOW!!!! Especially when you tried to get cute on third down and it didn't work!
But getting cute is what this regime's Giants are all about. The general manager tells us to trust his resume then doesn't sign a top flight pass rusher when he knows they need one. They didn't even draft one with three picks in the first round. Now there's no one to rush the quarterback. The Giants made Dak Prescott look like Roger Staubach. As bad as those Giants defenses were when Roger the Dodger played, they probably would have done a better job than we saw yesterday.
The coach got cute yesterday by not giving Saquon Barkley the ball behind his new line on both third and two then again on fourth and one. In the entire 35-17 defeat to Dallas, Barkley only got 11 carries for 120 rushing yards and caught 4 passes for 19 more. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that he needs to get it more, especially since Barkley could break one at any time and the more he gets it the less time the defense is on the field.
I know it's only the first game and Dallas is playoff bound but if this team is going to do anything, they need to play to their strength, Barkley is their strength but in order for him to be that he needs to be on the field and get the ball in key situations, even though everyone knows it's coming. This is no time to get cute!
More from New Jersey 101.5: