It’s only one game, sure. The first, to boot. But the old issues that nearly doomed the Giants’ Super Bowl run in the womb of the regular season cropped up once again.
Ready or not, the Giants’ quest to defend their Super Bowl championship starts tonight with the NFL’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Here are the key matchups to watch.
After a season of inconsistency and disappointments, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants play one game that will make the winner forget the frustrations of the regular season and send the other home for a long rest.
Michael Vick, who sat out two seasons while serving a federal sentence for dogfighting, was voted to start for the NFC in the Jan. 30 Pro Bowl. Also starting the game in Honolulu will be the Giants’ Chris Snee, and the Jets’ Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.
Eli Manning surely will miss Steve Smith, one of the NFL’s premier route runners and his go-to receiver, but the Giants still should have enough weapons to execute their game plan against the Cowboys.
Shawn Andrews is in, David Diehl is out. Adam Koets is on injured reserve, Shaun O’Hara is in the training room instead of on the practice field, and Rich Seubert has moved from left guard to center to replace both of them.
ony Romo threw two touchdown passes to Roy Williams, Marion Barber ran for another score and the Dallas Cowboys got their first win by beating the Houston Texans.
Fear always has played a big part in American football. But nowadays, it’s not so much the super-physical hitters or runners who are dreaded by opponents.