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Giants Fall to Jags In Opener With Many Positives

This was suppose to officially end the 2017 campaign. The waking up from a nightmare and the beginning of a new chapter in Giants Football. No more 3-13, no more injuries, new hope, new faces, new expectations, and new opportunities.

The Giants fell 20-15 against Jacksonville on Sunday in the season debut.  In defeat there were many positives as New York came in with so many questions.

When Eli Manning ran on to the field, the crowd was excited and ready to cheer put the final touches of the opening of the new chapter. Manning connected with Odell Beckham Jr for 20 yards…which was called back by a tripping penalty by a familiar face, Erick Flowers.

Two plays later Flowers was called for a holding penalty and had issues through out the game which drew the attention of so many members of the media and the Giants faithful. Flowers, who was drafted by Jerry Reese has taken much heat and a lot of blame for issues of the offensive line.

Flowers spoke with the media today and stated that he was not worried about the reaction of the fans or the media, just his teammates. “I don’t really care what a lot of people have to say about this and that. I care about what my coach says and the people next to me and that’s all I really care about. If he feels like I’m wrong on that play then, yes, I’ll take that, okay coach you’re right. But if somebody else who’s not really in the room, doesn’t know the play, doesn’t know what we’re doing, doesn’t matter to me.”

While the offense struggled to find its way. the Defense looked so strong in the second half which made you believe that if the offense could get together for a few drives, this would be the first opening win since the 2016 season against Dallas and the first home opener since the teams last title defense in 2012.

Hope is a dangerous word in the life of a sports fan.

Eli Manning was stellar against the Jags as he was 23 of 37 for 224 yards, no touchdown passes and one interception.  Eli felt they were right there in this game just needed to get over the hurdle with the big play.”I think you always look for the positives. We went against a good team, a good defense. We had some big plays, we had some opportunities. We got to hit a few more of them. We had a chance to win the game at the end, and we just didn’t quite make enough plays.”

Eli tried to connect with Odell for a big play that could have led to Beckham’s first touchdown of the season. “I thought I threw it in a great spot. It was just a deal. Kind of the way that route was. He did everything right. We kind of had to talk about it, from a game plan and from kind of his rules. Kind of got to talk about that route a little bit. He ran it the right way. So, I kind of threw a deeper post, which it wasn’t, just to try to give him a shot. I think I threw it in a good spot. He kind of ran into the safety a little bit and got thrown off course. We just weren’t able to connect on it. Kind of an unfortunate deal rather than like a missed opportunity.”

Odell felt the same way as Eli did on this play. “It’s a collective thing, I can run faster, the O-line can block better, it’s just something we all have to get on the same page with. First game, I’m proud of this team, I’m happy to be back. I’m happy to be a part of this team, I’m looking forward to the season.”

Rookie sensation Saquon Barkley had has first touchdown on a 68 yard run with 10:39 seconds left in the fourth quarter.  This had the 77k plus crowd on their feet which helped cut the lead to five.. Saquon was very excited as weas his teammate Odell Beckham Jr.. “: I’ve told him this multiple times, I’ve had dreams of seeing Barkley running down the field, breaking for the end zone. I went to a school, LSU, where I watched Jeremy Hill come out the backfield multiple times. There is no better feeling than running the ball and somebody takes it 60, or however long it was, to the house. The only thing I ever told him was be you. You don’t have to do anything for anybody else, any outside pressure, anything anybody said, you don’t have to be that, just be you.”

Barkley shared his excitement and broke down the play.”It was simple execution. The coach made a great call; we felt that we had a great read there with the running game and like I said, the O-line did a tremendous job of blocking not only that play, but all day and Evan [Ingram] made a huge block. If you go back and watch the film, that kind of opened it up and that backside block was huge. It created space for me to make a move one-on-one with the guy and Shep [Sterling Shepard] also made a great block at the end of the play also to give me that space on the sideline to find a way to score. ”

The Giants will be in Dallas for week two this Sunday we will have more coverage starting tomorrow.

Game Notes:

*The Giants lost their opener for the second consecutive season and the seventh time in the last eight years. They are 50-39-5 in season-opening games.

*This was the Giants’ first Kickoff Weekend home game since they lost to the Dallas Cowboys in 2012. They are 17-13 in season-opening home games and 50-41-3 in home openers, including 3-6 in MetLife Stadium.

*This was the Giants’ first season opener against an AFC opponent since 2006, when they lost to the Indianapolis Colts.

*The Giants lost their first game under head coach Pat Shurmur, who is in good company. The franchise’s two two-time Super Bowl-winning coaches, Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin, also lost their Giants’ debuts.

*Eli Manning established several milestones on Sunday:

  • He set a franchise record by playing in his 217th regular-season game in a Giants uniform. Manning broke a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, who played in 216 games from 1993-2007.
  • Manning became the fourth player in the 94-season history of the Giants to play 15 years with the team, joining Strahan, Hall of Famer Mel Hein (1931-45), and quarterback Phil Simms (1979-93).

*Manning completed 23 of 37 passes for 224 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, which was tipped at the line of scrimmage and returned 32 yards for a touchdown by linebacker Myles Jack.

*First-round draft choice Saquon Barkley’s debut was a memorable one. He carried the ball 18 times for 106 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

*According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Barkley is the first Giants back to run for at least 100 yards in his NFL debut.  His 68-yard run was the longest by a Giants player in his first game. It was the longest run by a Giants rookie since Ahmad Bradshaw’s 88-yard scamper in Buffalo on Dec. 23, 2007. And it was the longest run by a player in his NFL debut since Sept. 11, 2016, when Oakland’s Jalen Richards scored on a 75-yarder at New Orleans.

*Barkley’s 106 yards were the most by a Giants rookie since Dec. 21, 2014, when Andre Williams ran for 110 yards in St. Louis. It was the first 100-yard rushing game by a Giants rookie since Paul Perkins ran for 102 yards at Washington on Jan. 1, 2017.

*Barkley was the first Giants rookie running back to start a season-opening game since Sean Bennett in 1999 (not counting fullback Shane Smith last year; Smith had no rushing attempts in 2017).

*This was Beckham’s first 100-yard receiving game since Dec. 22, 2016, when he had 150 yards at Philadelphia. Beckham now has 20 games with at least 100 yards. The team record is 22, held by Amani Toomer.

*Beckham had the Giants’ first 10-catch and 100-yard receiving games since Dec. 17, 2017, when Sterling Shepard had 139 yards on 11 catches vs. Philadelphia.

*Beckham’s second reception of the game was the 315th of his career, which set an NFL record for most catches in the first 50 games of a career – Beckham did it in just 48 games. The previous record of 314 was set by Anquan Boldin.

*This was the first game in which the Giants had both a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver since Dec. 21, 2014 at St. Louis, where Williams ran for 110 yards, Beckham gained 148 yards on eight catches, and Reuben Randle had 132 yards on six receptions.

*Will Hernandez, the Giants’ second-round draft choice this year, started at left guard. He was the first Giants rookie to start on the offensive line in a season opener since Ereck Flowers in 2015 and the first rookie to start at guard in an opener since Weston Richburg in 2014.

*Cornerback Janoris Jenkins came up with the Giants’ first interception of the season when he picked off Blake Bortles in the first quarter. Jenkins also tied linebacker Alec Ogletree for the team lead with seven tackles. He had five solo stops, Ogletree had three.

*The following veterans made their Giants’ debuts: Nate Solder, Patrick Omameh, Jonathan Stewart, Cody Latimer, Alec Ogletree, Connor Barwin, Kareem Martin, Curtis Riley, B.W. Webb, Michael Thomas, Kaelin Clay, Scott Simonson, Nate Stupar, Antonio Hamilton, Russell Shepard, Mario Edwards, Jr., John Jenkins and Riley Dixon. Solder, Omameh, Ogletree, Barwin and Riley started. Latimer was the kickoff returner, Clay the punt returner, and Dixon the punter.

*The Jaguars lead the all-time series, 4-3. This was the first of the seven games that was won by the road team.

 

 

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