Excerpt: "Since 2009, the Giants have found and used a formula that has worked when facing the Cowboys:
They don’t stop ’em, they out-score ’em.
The way Eli Manning and the offense is clunking along this summer — and now with Victor Cruz out of the picture for a while — it might be a stretch to expect form to hold and for the Giants to stick to the familiar script for the season-opener in Dallas.In five offensive possessions in Sunday’s 20-12 preseason loss to the Colts Sunday night, Manning managed only two field goal drives, and his red zone efficiency through two games has been dreadful. The running game improved from the opener in Pittsburgh, but the passing did not, and now Manning has to deal with Cruz and his left heel contusion and center David Baas and his sprained left knee.
“We’ll see exactly where he stands with that as the days go by,’’ coach Tom Coughlin yesterday said of Cruz. “He probably will not practice [today]. We’ll have to take that one as it comes.’’
Cruz isn’t going to practice for a while. He lasted only four plays Sunday night before he had to leave the field. He won’t be ready to play against the Jets this weekend, and there’s little reason to suit him up for the preseason finale in New England. The Giants need Cruz to rest up so he can do some damage against the Cowboys.
Without a contract, Cruz stayed away from all team activities in the offseason and slowly got re-acclimated in training camp. Now he’ll be on the sidelines again.
“Any player that misses practice is missing the opportunity to experience things and instinctively react to things,’’ Coughlin said. “That’s what you worry about with any player who misses time and misses practices, because you don’t get the opportunity through repetitions to learn in a multiplicity of things that can happen on any given play.’’
Coughlin confirmed Baas has a sprained medial collateral ligament, a knee injury Coughlin said is “a weekly thing for us.’’ Given an MCL injury usually requires a three-to-five-week recovery, Baas is certainly in danger of missing the Sept. 8 season opener.
Does this bode well for any semblance of a scoring eruption at AT&T Stadium in Dallas? History says the Giants will need plenty of points. In the past four seasons, they are 6-2 against the Cowboys, averaging 29.9 points. The Cowboys averaged 27.4 points in those games. It figures Manning will have to repeatedly get the Giants in the end zone, not exactly a place they have frequented often this summer.
The Giants went 0-for-4 in the red zone against the Colts. On three possessions, Manning moved the offense to the Colts’ 7, 7 and 9-yard line without cashing in.
“There are execution issues along the line,’’ Coughlin said. “Again, making plays, make a play. Somebody, let’s make a play.’’ Read more...