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Five things I think I think about the 1-0 New York Giants

Thoughts on J.T. Thomas, the roster, the running backs and more

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
DRC breaks up a pass to Dez Bryant in the end zone on Sunday.
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are 1-0 for the first time since 2010. Heading into Week 2 of the 2016 NFL season, let’s check “Five things I think I think” about the Giants.

I think J.T. Thomas is done as a Giant

Thomas signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Giants a year ago, and it’s been a disappointing run for him in New York. An ankle injury limited him a year ago and he lost his job to Jonathan Casillas. Now, after taking a pay cut to stay, a torn ACL will sideline him the rest of this year.

It’s unfortunate because Thomas seems like a good guy and we know the Giants like his talent, but he won’t be due any guaranteed money next year and the Giants could save $3 million against the salary cap by cutting him. I would expect them to do that after two years of not getting a lot from him.

I think DRC was fantastic on Sunday

Think about the impact Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had on Sunday’s game, including the final play where his alert break to the sideline might have influenced Terrance Williams’ boneheaded decision to stay in bounds, is the focus.

Janoris Jenkins, who shadowed Dez Bryant much of the day, got a ton of praise for his work. DRC, though, was tremendous in his own right. He broke up two long passes for Bryant. The Giants used his speed and athleticism to blitz him out of the slot. He tackled well in the open field.

I have said before I wasn’t so sure about DRC when the Giants signed him to a five-year, $35 million deal in 2014. I am, though, more and more impressed as time goes on. To me, he played as well Sunday as he has during his tenure with the Giants.

I think the Giants have roster options

The Giants are not keeping two placekickers, and Ben McAdoo has already made it clear that the reinstated Josh Brown will kick Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. That means that Randy Bullock will be out of work as soon as the Giants decide how they want to use that roster spot. In my view, they have three options.

  • Add a linebacker: With Thomas down for the season, replacing a linebacker with a linebacker makes sense. The obvious choice if the Giants want to do this would be Jasper Brinkley, but right before the start of the season when the Giants added quarterback Josh Johnson.
  • Add an offensive lineman: The Giants are carrying only eight and could use an additional one, particularly an experienced guard. Geoff Schwartz, anyone?
  • Add a blocking tight end or fullback: The Giants really have neither at this point.

I think the defense passed its first test

The Giants committed $200 million in free agent dollars to try and fix a broken defense that was the worst in the NFL last season. They didn’t get any sacks of Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott on Sunday, and they didn’t dominate, but all-in-all I would say they passed their first big test.

Going up against a Cowboys’ offensive line considered the best in the league, the Giants controlled the Dallas running game (30 carries, 101 yards, a long run of 13 yards). They were on the field for a lot (75 plays, 36:43 in elapsed time), but forced the Cowboys to settle for field goals after four long drives. They generated more pressure on Prescott as the game went on. They covered well and made solid tackles in the open field. The longest play they allowed was a 21-yard pass completion.

The only thing the defense didn’t go was generate any turnovers. It was, though, a promising beginning.

I think the RB committee is dead

The Giants promised in the preseason to give Rashad Jennings a clear opportunity to be the workhorse running back, and they followed through on that vs. Dallas. Jennings carried 18 times for 75 yards while playing 32 snaps. Shane Vereen, as the third down and long-yardage back, carried six times for 38 yards and caught three passes for 23 yards while playing 24 snaps. Orleans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey never saw the field on offense.

The Giants will likely ride that duo as long as they are healthy, and that is a good thing.