The New York Giants banked heavily on David Wilson this season, letting accomplished veteran Ahmad Bradshaw leave via free agency during the offseason. After one game, it looks like the Giants invested in fool's gold.
Wilson was horrid Sunday night in the Giants' 36-31 loss, and his play alone is probably the biggest reason why the Giants are 0-1 instead of 1-0. He fumbled twice, once inside the Dallas 10-yard line and once resulting directly in a Dallas touchdown. He appeared to execute a screen pass poorly on the first play of the game, resulting in an interception. He whiffed on several blocks in pass protection. After the second fumble he went to the bench, got an earful from head coach Tom Coughlin, and watched Da'Rel Scott play the rest of the game.
Coughlin said David Wilson's fumbles were demoralizing to whole team. "You're not gonna play if you can't hold onto the ball." #nyg— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) September 9, 2013
Coughlin also told reporters that he had warned Wilson all week that the Cowboys would try to strip him of the ball. Yet, the second-year back allowed it to happen twice. His blocking misadventures and the messed-up screen pass only made things worse.
David Wilson, not in much of a mood for questions, on being benched: "I can't blame him for that."— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) September 9, 2013
Scott ran hard, finishing with 23 yards on 5 carries and 5 catches for 51 yards. His lack of experience showed on the game-changing screen pass, however, when he turned around too late and the ball glanced off his hand and turned into a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brandon Carr of the Cowboys.
"You're not going to win anything with -5 in turnovers, there's just no way," Coughlin said.
So, what do the Giants do at running back now?
Coughlin wouldn't answer questions about whether or not Wilson would continue to be the starting running back. The Giants worked out several backs last week and after watching Wilson fail miserably in pass protection, as well as ball security, it seems likely the Giants will bring in someone.
David Wilson: "I'm just gonna keep working hard. I'm at the bottom now. So nowhere to go but up from here. That's really all I got." #NYG— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) September 9, 2013
What else did we learn about the Giants on Sunday night? Here are three quick thoughts.
1. Defense is not the problem. Considering all of the awful situations the offense put them in the Giants held up pretty well defensively Sunday night. Considering all of the opportunities the Cowboys were given by the Giants' offense, it is amazing they didn't put up 50 points.
2. Henry Hynoski and Jason Pierre-Paul were not ready. You have to appreciate the effort of both of these players to come back and play in the season opener after missing the entire preseason. Neither one, though, was effective. Pierre-Paul got one sack, but seemed slow off the ball and was handled easily by Tyron Smith most of the night. Hynoski was ineffective lead-blocking, dropped a pass and did not appear to play much, if at all, in the second half.
3. The receiving trio is as advertised. Hakeem Nicks had 5 catches for 114 yards, including a 57-yarder. Victor Cruz had five catches for 118 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a 70-yarder. Rueben Randle had five catches for 101 yards. That trio is going to be a nightmare for defenses all season long if they can stay healthy.