EWednesday night was a rough beginning to the 2012 NFL season for Eli Manning and the New York Giants. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
You can point to a lot of reasons why the New York Giants lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 24-17, Wednesday night. Coach tom Coughlin certainly had a laundry list of them in his post-game press conference.
"Very disappointing, very disappointing loss. Any way you want to look at it. We fumble the ball after a nice drive that possibly could have been points, we don’t score from the one-yard line. We give up big plays in the second half. We don’t really stop the run, they had all kinds of yardage, we had little or none."
Here is SB Nation New York's list of the five primary reasons the Giants are now 0-1.
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1. They can't run the football -- The giants had the worst rushing attack in the league a season ago. It really didn't look any better Wednesday night. The 19 carries for 82 yards (a 4.3 yards per carry average) is misleading. Thirty-three of those yards came on one quick hitter by Ahmad Bradshaw when the Cowboys were playing pass.
When the Giants needed to run, like when they had first-and-goal inside the Dallas 2-yard line in the second quarter, they couldn't.
If the giants can't run, they can't play-action pass. If they can't play-action pass, Eli Manning will get harassed all night. Like he did Wednesday. And the Giants won't score enough points. Which they didn't on Wednesday.
2. They couldn't cover anybody -- Corey Webster is their best corner and he was repeatedly torched. Michael Coe, subbing for the injured Prince Amukamara, who was subbing for the injured Terrell Thomas, was abused. When Coe got hurt, Justin Tryon -- subbing for all of the above -- was terrible.
"We had trouble stopping the slant all night long like we’ve never seen a slant before," said Coughlin.
They pretty much had trouble covering everything. Sideline routes. Go-routes. Dallas receivers were wide open all night.
3. DeMarco Murray ran wild -- While the Giants could not get a run game going, Dallas running back Demarco Murray ripped off huge chunks of yardage in the second half. He is a tremendous player and a very physical back. You wonder, though, if without defensive tackles Chris Canty and Marvin Austin to help in the middle the Giants simply wore down. Murray finished with 131 yards on 20 carries.
4. Tony Romo's escapability -- Romo completed 22-of-29 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants' vaunted pass rush sacked him only twice. He consistently used his athleticism to get out of trouble, extend plays and pick up yardage on his own when he needed to.
5. Missed opportunities -- They got inside the Dallas 30 in the first quarter and came away with no points thanks to a David Wilson fumble. They started a drive inside the Dallas 2-yard line and could only get a field. So, out of a possible 14 points on those possessions the Giants got 3. You can't win that way.