It’s been a while since we have seen the New York Giants defense having fun on the field. Winning and success will do that to you. After last seasons disaster, the New York Giants needed an improved defense. At least for one game, they got it.
The New York Giants defeated the Carolina Panthers 31-18 on Sunday. It wasn’t always pretty, but they will of course take the win in the first game of the season. The offense had it’s up and down moments, as did the defense, but overall it was a solid performance by the defense that carried the team to victory.
The Giants held the Panthers to just 237 yards of offense, 89 on the ground. Last season when these two teams met, Panthers backup running back Jonathan Stewart ran for over 200 yards. Yesterday, Stewart ran for just 12 while starting running back De’Angelo Williams rushed for just 62 yards on 16 carries.
Panthers quarterback was held in check all game. The Giants intercepted Moore three times, all in the end zone. The defense also recorded four sacks and a fumble recovery.
The Giants put pressure on the quarterback all day. The defensive front of Mathias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Chris Canty, and Barry Cofield were all over the field making plays. Kiwanuka was credited with two sacks while Umenyiora recorded one of his own as well. Canty and Cofield combined on a sack.
The secondary played a very good game and proved they very well may be a strength of this team. Kenny Phillips, playing in his first regular season game action since being injured early last season played very well. Phillips finished with four tackles and an interception.
First year New York Giant safety Deon Grant also picked off a pass.
The best of the group may have been Terrell Thomas. Starting at corner, Thomas had four tackles and an interception. He also had a few pass deflections. Thomas could very well have been the defensive player of the game for the Giants.
Newcomer Antrel Rolle also played a good game, leading the Giants with seven tackles.
While it all sounds good, the Giants do have some things to work on before next weeks Sunday night matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. The wide receivers dropped to many passes, the kicking game is not very good (punting, kickoff coverage), and the defense gave up to many third and longs. They also need to do a better job blocking up front and opening running lanes for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. The running game was a bit sluggish.
All in all, it was a nice win to start the season and open the New Meadowlands Stadium. It was nice to finally see this team playing aggressive and having fun! It all started with the defense.