That was terrible. A crushing loss to the Detroit Lions by our New York Giants to open up the season was not what anybody was looking forward. I certainly was not looking forward to writing this review since I'd rather just forget this game altogether, but alas, here we are. We can't just review the good, we got to hit the bad as well. So without much further ado, let's check out the post mortem of this 35-14 loss through the lens of Pro Football Focus.
Larry Donnell (+1.3) - Kind of obvious here, with Donnell grabbing mostly everything thrown his way, included a nice 4th and goal fade from Manning. Maybe it's because everything else seemed infinitely worse, but it looks like for now, tight end is the least of our troubles. He performed particularly well going up the seam and working the middle of the field as a safety blanket.
Key Offensive Contributors
Eli Manning (+1.2) - This was a bit of a surprise for me. I did not expect Eli to show up in this column because in my opinion, he had a pretty bad game. He was no doubt put in difficult situations as he was under duress for 22 percent of his snaps on Monday and his receivers had four total (though it seemed like more) drops. All in all, he went 18-31 for 163 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. Not nearly good enough, regardless of what this number says.
Weston Richburg (-3.0) - Let's be clear here. I like Weston Richburg. I think if you had to create a center from clay, he'd be very close to what I'd make. That doesn't mean he won't have growing pains. He's a bit too small to play guard but what choice does he really have with all of the injuries? He was perfect in pass protection, allowing no pressure, but his run blocking was atrocious going up against Nick Fairley.
Key Offensive Villains
John Jerry (-2.1) - Similarly to Richburg, Jerry was very good in pass protection, allowing only one hurry, but he was incredibly bad in the run game, scoring a -2.8 in that area. His mechanics are inconsistent and he didn't get out into space as much as I'd hoped he would based on the Patriot preseason game.
Victor Cruz (-1.9) - Multiple drops and an inability to get open along with getting no YAC will do that to a grade. Cruz was among the most disappointing Giants to take the field on Monday, and that's saying something. Going against third-string CBs, even when Manning had time, Cruz still struggled to separate.
Jerrel Jernigan (-1.8) - Seeing a pattern? Jernigan also had a drop and missed a few easy catches to get this grade. Troublesome times for the once high-powered offense.
Rueben Randle (-1.4) - The 6-foot-3, 212 pound 2nd round pick managed to nab two catches on three targets for 1 yard. What?
Will Beatty (-1.2) - PFF didn't have him down for as terrible a performance as some of the other OL, but he still allowed two QB hits and one hurry, and thus received the grade he did.
Prince Amukamara (+3.1) - PFF does not grade cornerbacksvery high, so Prince is actually a top five CB by their grades after Week 1. He deserves every bit of it, too. He allowed one catch for 9 yards on four targets in coverage along with two very nice and crucial passes defensed. He threw in some great work in the run game as well, notching three defensive stops. What a terrific performance for this young man in a game where terrific performances were few and far in between.
Key Defensive Contributors
Jason Pierre-Paul (+2.4) - He might not be the pass rush phenom that he was in 2011, but he showed up as every bit the run defense monster. He notched five defensive stops in the run game and was simply unblockable at the point of attack in that regard. He used his length and his burst to stop or disrupt run plays all night long. He also notched three quarterback hurries as well.
Antrel Rolle (+2.2) - Will Hill might be gone, but many forget that the Giants had TWO safeties ranked in the top 10 last year and one of them is still here. Along with some strong work in the run game, Rolle wasn't tested all that much in pass coverage aside from one mis-communication with DRC.
Robert Ayers (+2.2) - Ayers played a decent amount of snaps (32) and made the most of them. He was consistently applying pressure (two hurries, one sack) and did some very good work in the run game. A pattern emerges here as well, all the run defenders are getting credit.
Cullen Jenkins (+1.3) - Some decent work (again) in the run game as well as throwing in two hurries gives Jenkins a decent performance here.
Johnathan Hankins (+1.2) - Three hurries and being stout at the point of attack has this 4th member of the Giants defensive front making an appearance in the awards section.
Mathias Kiwanuka (-4.1) - Did I jinx both Jerry and Kiwanuka for the season by praising them in my previous film studies? Must be, as "Kiwi" finds himself in a familiar place, both for being ineffective rushing the passer as well as giving up the edge in the run game.
Key Defensive Villains
Jacquian Williams (-2.7) - Not a banner game for the furth-year linebacker. He looked lost in coverage and missed several tackles, so this was an easy move to make. Let's hope he gets it together versus the Arizona Cardinals offense.
Mike Patterson (-2.5) - Didn't really notice Patterson during the game but PFF stated that he was blown off the ball, registering -1.7 run defense grade.
Jon Beason (-2.3) - Like Patterson, I didn't notice much wrong with Beason, but run defense was apparently an issue for him as well.