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Giants Cowboys Halftime Thoughts

The new, gigantic stadium hasn’t swallowed up the Giants yet,  as they lead the Cowboys 20-17 at the end of the first half in Dallas. Eli Manning has been sharp, going 11-18, 149 yards and a touchdown . But, it’s been the turnovers that has the Giants on top. Rookie Bruce Johnson returned an interception for a touchdown, Bryan Kehl recovered a fumble on a kick off return that led to a field goal, and Kenny Phillips intercepted a pass that led to a Mario Manningham touchdown. It doesn’t look like the Giants are intimidated by the new stadium.

The red zone problems continue, as the Giants have settled for two field goals in the red zone. It’s not the execution, it’s the play calling. They’re not going to the end zone. They’re trying to finesse it in, with the run game, and with screen passes. Where is Ramses Barden? Haven’t seen him on the field. Where is Kevin Boss? They have to change their philosophy, and change it fast. Field goals are okay, but when you continue to settle for them, it will cost them a game.

The Giants have a done a (relatively) good job of containing DeMarcus Ware. He had one big play, which forced a weak throw by Manning, but other than that, they are doing a good job on him, mostly with Kevin Boss and David Diehl.

For the second week in a row, the running game hasn’t been spectacular, but the passing game has been pretty good. Can’t explain it. Opposing defenses are gearing in on the run, which allows for the passing game to get going, but even when defenses back off, they still can’t get the running game going. The running game has only 12 yards on 11 attempts. Unacceptable.  They have to get it going, not just tonight, but for the rest of the year.

The defense has been good, not great. They’ve been stopping the big pass plays, but are having trouble stopping the run, and short screen passes. It seems as if the defensive line is too aggressive, which allows the Cowboys to exploit holes in the “soft spot”, where defenders should be. I don’t know if it’s due to the crowd that’s pumping them up, but they have to stop it. I have to give credit to the banged up secondary, who has done a real nice job. Bruce Johnson has played out of his mind tonight.

In injury news, Domenik Hixon sprained his knee, and his return is questionable. Justin Tuck looked to hurt his knee, and left the game. No word on the extent of the injury. Corey Webster also headed to the locker room, but it’s not clear what he injured.

If the Giants want to win this game, they have to get a semblance of a running game going, whether it’s Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw. The passing game has been pretty good, but it will be better with a strong running game. The Giants have to be creative with their running game, whether it’s catching them off guard with some wildcat, or relying heavy on play action passes.They also have to convert better on third downs, as they’re only 3-8 on third downs. Again, maybe more play action, as that’s been pretty effective.

The Giants can win this game. But they have to stick to the run, get the run going, convert on third downs, stop the Cowboys running game, which is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and stop the short passing game.  They can do that. This game should go down to the wire. It’s lived up to its billing. Can’t wait for Act 2.

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5 Responses to “Giants Cowboys Halftime Thoughts”

  1. Sjones71 says:

    Totally agree. Running game needs to pick it up and that’s going to come with some better execution on play action and short passes. Need Boss. Pass rush needs to pick it up. Secondary is getting it done.

  2. running game is picking up as i type — worry not!

  3. kman says:

    our redzone play calling sucks it

  4. they need to cut and run on their entire red zone offense.

    the secondary has not been an issue in terms of passing by the way — its the run they need to stop.

    3 INT’s thus far

  5. CCC says:

    a big win tonight

    that is the stuff of champions

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