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Keys to Victory
You know what happened last week. I know what happened last week. The Giants certainly know what happened last week.
Here are three keys to victory as the Giants look to begin anew:
Don’t let one game beat you twice
The Giants suffered the most one-sided opening-day loss in their history on Sunday night, and it wasn’t difficult to see why. They allowed a special teams touchdown, a defensive touchdown, seven sacks, and three takeaways while forcing none of their own. “Got beat all the way around,” coach Brian Daboll said. Football is a simple game, and if the Giants can avoid hurting themselves, they should give themselves a chance in the desert against a Cardinals team that has lost eight in a row (dating back to last season).
“I don’t think you make it offense, defense or special teams; I think a whole team can (set the tone),” defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. “The biggest thing is, and Dabs hit on this right after the game, you can never let one game beat you twice. So, you’ve got a choice in life. Stand up, dust yourself off and go play. That’s what our guys are going to do. I know how they are, and I know how they’ll react to it.”
The Giants are 2-10 when two-time Pro Bowl running back Barkley gets 15 or fewer touches in his career. He hit that number exactly in Week 1, rushing 12 times for 51 yards and catching three passes for 12 yards. After allowing 12 quarterback hits, the Giants could lean on the ground game as they also deal with uncertainty around left tackle Andrew Thomas, who is working through a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, the only defense that had more sacks than Arizona (six) in Week 1 was … Dallas (seven).
“You can’t act like the sky is falling,” Barkley said. “That’s for everyone else to do that. But we’ve got to stay solid. The core’s got to stay solid within this locker room, within this building. I think we did that, and like I said, hopefully, on Sunday we can go out there and show you guys.”
No ‘friends’ for QB Joshua Dobbs
The Cardinals traded for quarterback Joshua Dobbs, a former fourth-round pick out of Tennessee, on Aug. 24. On Sept. 10, they started him.
“That’s impressive for a quarterback to be able to do that,” Daboll said in his weekly interview with Giants.com. Daboll added, “I think time on task when you’re in a system for a quarterback is always important, but he’s been in this league a long time. He was a good college quarterback at Tennessee. He did a good job of keeping it close and, and being where they needed to be against Washington, so I got a lot of respect for him being able to go out there and do that with only being at a place for two weeks. Having coached quarterbacks and called plays, that’s not an easy thing to do, so much respect.”
“I’ve gone against him in the AFC a lot,” Martindale said. “I think he’s a very smart quarterback that knows where he wants to go with the football. He’s mobile enough too to still hurt you if you’re taking his reads away from him. So, I think there’s a reason why he’s been on so many different teams is because everybody sees the same thing in him about how he can, I don’t want to say he’s a game manager because I think some quarterbacks look at that as a dig. He really does know how to take care of the football and try to keep the sticks moving.”
The best way to disrupt the acclimation for a quarterback is to take away his safety valves. For the Cardinals, those are two-time Pro Bowl running back James Conner and three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, the longtime Eagle who has seven touchdowns and 39 first downs in 13 career games against the Giants.
“He’s someone that Dobbs likes to go to,” Daboll said of Ertz, who caught nine passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns in his most recent game against the Giants. “Even in just one game, you can see him looking for him. I’d say a good friend for the quarterback to have is a tight end that has a good feel in the zone, has good vision, understands the inside part of the field, can create space for himself. I’ve known Zach for a little while. I got a lot of respect for him and how he goes about his business and what he’s done in this league. He’s definitely a guy that we have to be aware of.”
Notes & stats to impress your fellow fans
Daniel Jones is 7-1-1 in his last nine games when following a loss. In such games, he has completed 69.8 percent of his passes for a 100.5 passer rating, thrown nine touchdowns to zero interceptions, and rushed for four touchdowns.
Jets safety Jordan Whitehead recorded three interceptions in Week 1. With one more at Dallas on Sunday, Whitehead can become the fourth player since 1980 to record four interceptions through the first two weeks of the season. One of the members of that club is former Giant Terry Kinard, who did so in 1987.
Barkley has a rushing touchdown in each of his past four regular-season road games.
Like his first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals defensive coordinator Nick Rallis spent the past two seasons with the Eagles. Rallis’ older brother, Mike, is now a star in the WWE known as Riddick Moss, a name the Minnesota native chose because of Randy Moss.
For the seventh consecutive season, Alabama had the most or tied for the most players (57) on active NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters. Ohio State (47) ranked second, followed by Georgia (46).
On NFL Kickoff rosters, there were 300 players weighing less than 200 pounds, 262 players less than six feet tall, and 337 players weighing more than 300 pounds. Miami had a league-leading 15 players weighing less than 200 pounds. Houston had the most players under six feet tall with 13, while the Giants had the most players weighing more than 300 pounds with 15.
Two teams were shut out in their season openers by more than 40 points and went on to make the playoffs: 1989 Steelers and 1991 Lions.
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