What We Saw: Week 1

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

 

New York Giants

 

Quarterback

 

  • Eli Manning: 30/44, 306 1 TD | 1 run, 6 yards
  • Daniel Jones: 3/4, 17 yards | 1 rush, 5 yards, 1 fumble

 

Eli Manning looked comfortable to start the game. He quickly connected with Saquon Barkley on a pass out of a play-action call and was impressive leading the Giants on a touchdown drive on their first possession. Things bogged down for the offense after their initial success. Manning had an error on the Giants’ second drive of the night when he was called for grounding on a third downplay. He had an opportunity to throw the ball out of bounds but instead tried to get off a throw that didn’t pass the line of scrimmage. That penalty resulted in the Giants punting the ball away instead of going for it on fourth and one.

On one of his best throws of the afternoon, Manning made an excellent pass to Cody Latimer to open up the third quarter for a big gain. He kept the drive alive on a fourth-down throw to Bennie Fowler on an accurate pass to the sideline. In a play reminiscent of the super bowl, Manning was able to stay up after getting hit and made another strong throw for a nice gain. On a fourth and one, the Giants called a questionable roll out play for Manning that ended in a fumble. Throughout the afternoon, Manning was often rushed and threw short passes.

Daniel Jones came in with 1:46 seconds left in the fourth quarter. He continued the trend of throwing short but looked relaxed and composed during his four throws. He was able to get the ball out on time and hit receivers quickly. He did have a near interception while getting hit in the pocket as he got a pass off. On the next play, Jones showed off his ability to run but fumbled the ball after getting hit by a Cowboys defender.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Saquon Barkley: 11 Carries, 120 yards | 6 targets, 4 catches, 19 yards
  • Wayne Gallman: 3 targets, 2 carries, 17 yards, 1 TD | 3 catches, 24 yards

 

Barkley opened up the game with his first fumble in the NFL on a quick pass from Manning. He made the catch and turned upfield to add yards after the catch when a defender buried his helmet into the ball to cause the fumble. On his second touch in the game and first run, Barkley almost went to the house on a 59-yard romp up the left sideline. He consistently showed off his ability to break tackles and beat one on one tackles. He was involved in the passing game and was often targeted up the field. By the third quarter, Barkley was over 100 combined yards but didn’t have many opportunities on the ground due to combating such a large deficit.

Wayne Gallman was impressive playing behind Barkley. He had several strong runs and nice catches on the night. He took a handoff and carried a defender to the edge of the goal-line for a score while reaching the ball into the endzone.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

  • Evan Engram: 14 targets, 11 catches, 116 yards, 1 TD
  • Cody Latimer: 8 targets, 3 catches, 74 yards
  • Sterling Shepard: 7 targets, 6 catches, 42 yards
  • Bennie Fowler: 5 targets, 5 catches, 40 yards

 

Evan Engram had a beautiful touchdown on the opening drive. He sold his block and then released for the touchdown grab. Engram had a handful of impressive catches and was able to make some nice yards after the catch. He had a handful of designed plays to take advantage of his speed and athleticism.

Latimer was the receiver the Giants most often targeted down the field. He had several impressive catches and was able to create some separation down the field.

Sterling Shepard caught several quick screen passes and was routinely used near the line of scrimmage. He had a nice amount of yards after the catch but rarely made plays down the field.  

Fowler was able to make some nice plays in do or die situations. He looks like a nice complement in the passing game going forward.

 

Dallas Cowboys

 

Quarterback

 

  • Dak Prescott: 25/32, 405 yards, 4 TDs | 4 rushes, 12 yards

 

Dak Prescott opened the game up with several connections to Cooper on quick passes. The Cowboys showed a varied offensive playbook and passed several times out of running formations. Prescott had a few high catches early on but settled in as the game went on. He ended up with a career night. On one of his most impressive throws of the night, Prescott stood in the pocket and took a big hit while delivering a beautiful deep ball to Michael Gallop. He had a career-defining first half after hitting three different players for touchdowns and leading the Cowboys to over 300 offensive yards.

Prescott’s impressive night continued as he hit Cooper for a 44 yard gain on the Cowboys’ first drive of the second half. He hit a wide-open Randall Cobb for a touchdown after the Giants safeties both vacated the middle of the field. Prescott was very impressive with his throws and ball placement all night. He took advantage of open windows and routinely hit players for huge gains. Prescott set a Cowboys season opener record and ended the game with a perfect passer rating versus the Giants’ poor coverages.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Ezekiel Elliott: 13 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD | 2 targets, 1 catch, 10 yards
  • Tony Pollard: 13 carries, 24 yards

 

Ezekiel Elliott looked good after his prolonged holdout during training camp. He hit holes hard and gained some nice yardage after initial contact. Elliott had a beautiful catch and run on a screen pass in the first half of the game. Elliott started with moderate gains on the night but bull-rushed his way into the endzone for a score in the third quarter. He was effective on the night and looks to only get better as the season goes on.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

  • Michael Gallop: 7 targets, 7 catches, 158 yards
  • Amari Cooper: 9 targets, 6 catches, 106 yards, 1 TD
  • Randall Cobb: 5 targets, 4 catches, 69 yards, 1 TD
  • Blake Jarwin: 3 targets, 3 catches, 39 yards, 1 TD
  • Jason Witten: 4 targets, 3 catches, 15 yards, 1 TD

 

Gallup had a nice first catch running over the middle of the field and getting a first down for the Cowboys. He caught the ball and was able to hold on after a hard hit. He had a massive gain towards the end of third-quarter out-racing the Giants defender and collecting big yards after the catch. He routinely got free from his defender for big gains downfield.

The Giants played soft coverages on Amari Cooper for the majority of the night and he routinely took advantage by collecting quick passes on comeback routes. He ended the first half by outracing the Giants rookie DeAndre Baker for a touchdown off a perfect pass from Prescott. His speed was on display as he had several steps on the Giants defender.

Cobb was also impressive throughout the night. He had a nice catch in traffic to keep the Cowboys’ second drive of the night alive on a third downplay. The pass was a bit high but Cobb was able to corral the catch and turn upfield. He also had a nice run on an end-around at the end of the second quarter. The Cowboys used Cobb all over the field and had several designed plays to get the ball into his hands quickly. In the third quarter, Cobb collected his first touchdown of the season on a nicely ran route over the middle while taking advantage of bad coverage by the Giants secondary.  

Blake Jarwin caught his first pass of the night by collecting a throw that was behind him. He followed that up with a wide-open touchdown grab right down the middle of the field. There wasn’t a Giants’ defensive player within five yards of the Cowboys tight end. The Giants had two safeties deep that completely bit on a play-action and left the endzone uncovered. The ball got away from Prescott but Jarwin was able to adjust to make the catch. At the end of the second quarter, Jarwin also forced a holding call to keep a drive alive. He looks like he will see plenty of action during the season for the Cowboys.

Jason Witten continued his career as a Giants killer by collecting the Cowboys’ second touchdown of the night.

 

 — Ben Davidson

 

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

sdf

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.