After five dress rehearsals that ranged from discouraging to dumpster fire, the grand opening of the new Giants offense on Monday night went about as poorly as fans feared. An already banged-up offensive line was routinely pushed around, the skill positions looked below-average at best, and Eli Manning let Bad Eli take the controls. Everybody outside of the Meadowlands seems prepared to hit the panic button after just one week, as the Cardinals and their ferocious defensive backfield come rolling into town on Sunday. Everyone, that is, except the Giants —who, like they have all summer, maintain that they have the potential to be explosive.
“We just have to execute,” said Reuben Randle, who was all but invisible against Detroit. “It is all about playing together as an offense and working together to get one job done. The receivers have to do their job and get open, the line has to their job of blocking for the quarterback, and the quarterback has to throw the ball.”
But the rhetoric coming out of the Meadowlands is becoming farther and farther removed from the actual performance on the field; at some point, the talk about execution and trust and patience will become moot. Randle realizes that Arizona provides a bit of a prove-it game, with two great corners in Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie who are regularly left on an island. It’ll be up to the Giants to make plays, to show something that’s been lacking for a month now.
“Receivers like to face a team that plays a lot of man-to-man,” Randle said. “I am very confident. I think as a receiver, you have to confident to go against man-to-man. If not, you are already offset behind the eight ball.”
Both cornerbacks bring different skill sets— Peterson the freak athlete, who can make a play on any ball if he’s in position, and Cromartie with massive size that can harass receivers in press coverage. But whatever the challenges, Randle and the rest of the offense know they can’t let things snowball like they did on Monday night, when the team sputtered through the majority of the game and couldn’t find any rhythm.
“I think we want to get started early,” Randle said. “I don’t think we want to wait until the game is out of hand to try and throw the ball. I think we need to start off balanced and find a way to get this offense rolling.”