Week 3 Recap: New York Giants Rebound on Second Consecutive Trip to Texas

By Danielle McCartan (@CoachMcCartan and www.Facebook.com/CoachMcCartan)

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. –A game in which your punter does not take the field until 3 minutes into the third quarter is a good game. The New York Giants, in their second trip to Texas in as many weeks, are breathing a sigh of relief after defeating the Houston Texans 27-22. After the game, Coach Shurmur told members of the media that “[today’s game] felt a lot better than the first two weeks…. We went to being ‘almost’ in a lot of areas, to finishing.” There was some late momentum building in favor of the Texans, but the Giants defense was able to hammer the nail in the Texans’ coffin when New York stuffed a rushing two-point conversion attempt with approximately eight minutes to play.  After avoiding a damning 0-3 start, Giants fans can remain optimistic: there are four 1-2 teams in NFL history that have won the Super bowl…. the 2007 Giants included.

On Thursday, September 20, I posted my keys to victory for the New York Giants.  They hit on all three.

Eli Manning: Perhaps it was the last minute shakeup of the Giants’ offensive line providing him with confidence, but this afternoon, Eli Manning was outstanding: 25 for 29, 297 yards, and 2 touchdowns. As a result, Manning posted a quarterback rating of 132.3; the highest achievable score is 158.3.  Coach Shurmur, in his post-game press conference said: “Eli played a good game, I should say a damn good game…. He did what you expect a quarterback to do, and he did it at a high level against a pretty good pass rush.”

Flush Out Texans’ Defensive Pressures:  Saquon Barkley, on the field after the game, told WFAN’s Giants beat reporter Paul Dottino: “the offensive line grinded through the whole game and gave us chances in the pass game and in the run game in order to get the win”. There was a bold, but necessary change at right tackle late Saturday night, Coach Shurmur’s decision.  In a move I had been calling for after week one, Ereck Flowers, a first round pick in the 2015 draft was benched in favor of Chad Wheeler, an undrafted player. Wheeler did not commit any mental mistakes, which, as a coach myself, is phenominal considering his assignment was to block J.J. Watt, one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass rushers, in Houston.  Shurmur told members of the media: “It’s probably more about Chad, and less about Ereck. A couple of times he got beat, but he fought his way through it… I thought, for the most part, he competed and battled and we’ll see where we go from here.” In his post-game press conference, wide receiver Sterling Shepard (6 rec, 80 yrds, 1 td, 13.3 ypc) gave credit to the offensive line: “The offensive line did a great job blocking it up”.

Offensive playcalling: The Giants, for the most part, had an aggressive scheme.  They scored on each of their first four possessions. Shurmur told reporters: “We found a way to move the ball and score points early, which, I thought was important.” Barkley told Paul Dottino: “we wanted to have a fast start this week”. Manning echoed that sentiment to reporters after the game: “we had some big plays [and] got off to a fast start”. True: at the half, the Giants lead the Texans 20-3.  A major component to that fast start was Mannings’ ability to process the coverages, make a decision, and execute that decision quicker than any game this season thus-far. In his post game presser, Shepard praised that and the concept of and benefit of getting the ball to “different playmakers”. Six different receivers caught passes from Manning and three different rushers took handoffs from him.

Additionally, through the first two weeks of the season, the Texans lead the league in rushing offense.  This week, the Giants held them to only 59 total yards on 19 attempts (3.1 yards/attempt).  Being able to have a monster rushing attack was one of my keys to victory for the Texans this week.

In week four action, we will all see if the the 1-2 Giants, indeed, are ‘making progress’. They will host the 2-1 New Orleans Saints on Sunday (4:25pm) at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Stay tuned for my game preview later this week.


One of the 71,838 fans in attendance at NRG Stadium was New York Giants superfan Joe Ruback, also known as License Plate Guy.  While he is still in the stadium at the time of this article’s publishing, I will update it when he sends me his video!


To be featured on next week’s recap, follow these instructions:



DM: What did you see in the development of that play?

AO: “The quarterback scrambled out and we practiced all week plastering to your guys. That’s what I did: [I] kept running with my guy and was able to get my head around, go up and catch the ball. A big play in the game, for sure”

DM: Obviously that sparks the team – both sides of the ball. Was that what the Giants needed in order to be able to be able to finish and propell themselves forward?

“It was one of the plays that we definitely needed at the time of the game to help us win that game (along with the other plays we made). I thought we complimented each other really well in all three phases and that’s what it takes to win in this league”.

This interview was recorded at Boone Enterprises Authentic Autographs in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.

To download my latest audio content, including my athlete interviews and full radio shows, click on the image below!image


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