Yes, the New York Giants beat Trent Richardson and the Cleveland Browns in what turned out to be sort of a blowout yesterday, a 41-27 victory that featured great games from Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle. And sure, it elevates the team into a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East division lead.
But let's be honest, the Giants have beaten the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3), the Carolina Panthers (1-4) and the (0-5) Cleveland Browns…and they messed the bed both times they faced a decent team (who both happened to be division rivals as well). Yeesh.
So in an effort not to again make the mistake we (and apparently the Giants) made after throttling the Panthers, we're not going to sit around and congratulate the team over the shellacking they gave a winless team. Instead, we're going to drink our coffee and commiserate about the weaknesses the Giants are still displaying as a far tougher and more important slate of games roll onto the schedule.
Among our chief concerns is this: while the Giants offensive line finally showed yesterday that they are capable of controlling the line of scrimmage, the defensive line has yet to show they can come remotely close to doing the same. They failed to register a sack yesterday and Brandon Weeden had way too much time most of the day.
And Trent Richardson, who said during the week that watching tape made it obvious he could run on Big Blue, ended up being absolutely right. The stories this morning will say he was "contained" because he only ran for 81 yards on 17 carries, but Richardson broke more tackles than we care to count yesterday and was nearly unstoppable in the first half going for 67 yards. The only reason he was "contained" is because the Browns got behind and had to throw.
So yes, Bradshaw ran for 200 yards. And yes, Eli connected three times with in the end zone with Victor Cruz. But we're not too happy that when reading the sports section this morning, all we're seeing are jubilant headlines like this: Big Blue Rookies Show Their Worth On Offense. And this: Giants Shut Up Browns' Richardson. And this: Bradshaw's Performance Quite The Rush For Gmen. And this: Eli Hits Cruz Control When It Matters Most.
Okay, so they beat up the 0-5 Browns. The defensive line remains a huge problem and the Giants aren't going to get very far against the better teams they are about to start facing if they don't get to fixing the problem.
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