Special to the AmNews
The tenor exuded by the Giants in the locker room and beyond after Sunday’s 25-14 loss at MetLife Stadium to the Arizona Cardinals was optimism and hope. After all, it was only the second game of the season, despite the sloppy defeat pushing the Giants into a 0-2 crevice.
They are not in a gaping hole yet, but that would dramatically change with another setback at home this Sunday versus the Houston Texans. But for now, the Giants have adopted a glass half-full mindset, articulated most prominently by team leaders on an afternoon when blunders and squandered opportunities spoiled their 2014 regular season home opener.
“Guys are doing the right things,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “We’re not having guys doing the wrong things that are leading to mistakes. Guys are doing the correct things, and we have opportunities to make plays, we’ve just got to make them.”
After a shaky preseason and unsettling game against the Detroit Lions, Manning was relatively sharp and steady at the helm in staring down the Cardinals. He was an encouraging 26 for 39 for 277 yards and two touchdowns despite being undermined by costly drops from his receivers and suspect protection from a wobbly offensive line.
“I saw a lot of positive attitudes from my teammates, and I saw a lot of passion from this team,” assessed safety Antrel Rolle. “Something we really didn’t see a whole lot of last week [against the Lions].”
Still, the execution from all units must match the want and desire for the Giants to attain positive outcomes. In addition to their porous offensive line, the Giants turned the ball over four times.
Manning threw two interceptions, compounded by fumbles by running back Rashad Jennings and return man Quintin Demps, the latter committing a miscue on a kickoff run back. Demps’ fumble occurred immediately after the special teams corps gave up a crushing 71-yard, go-ahead punt return touchdown to Ted Ginn Jr. in the fourth quarter.
“We’ll be alright,” maintained defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul. “Trust me.”
Maybe. But words alone won’t get it done.