Jacksonville Jaguars v New York Giants
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Robby Sabo

After climbing back into the contest, the New York Giants fall extremely frustrating style to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.

  • New York Giants 15 (0-1)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 20 (1-0)
  • NFL, Week 1, Box Score
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Talk about your most frustrating way to lose a football game.

After Saquon Barkley tallied his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter, the New York Giants suddenly felt momentum injected throughout the entire stadium. The team was back in the game and down just one score.

All they needed to do was field a punt after successfully stopping the Jacksonville Jaguars on three downs with under a minute remaining. Eli Manning just needed a chance.

Kaelin Clay, a kid picked up on waivers this past week, muffed the punt in heart-stopping fashion, ending any chance of late-game heroics and the Jags took the Week 1 contest by a final of 20-15.

From a coaching standpoint, there’s so much Pat Shurmur doesn’t like about this one.

For one, the offensive line doesn’t look improved one bit from a season ago. Though Nate Solder and Will Hernandez appear to be an upgrade on paper on the left side, this five-man unit made life terribly difficult for Eli Manning all game.

Manning finished 23-of-37 for 224 yards, no touchdowns and one interception and actually played so much better than those stats indicate. He was on the move all game long dodging pass rushers (especially coming from the right edge via Ereck Flowers).

The O-line also struggled on the ground. A 68-yard touchdown run by young Barkley turned out to be the saving grace stat-wise. Barkley finished with 106 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Odell Beckham Jr. picked up right where he left off two years ago, catching 11 balls for 111 yards. Sterling Shepard backed him up with 48 yards on five receptions.

Defensively, Janoris Jenkins came away with a beauty of an interception in the first quarter.

For the most part early on, both offenses stalled in the red zone. Jacksonville took a 13-6 lead into halftime after T.J. Yeldon tallied the first touchdown of the game.

All hope seemed to be lost after Jags linebacker Myles Jack capitalized on a Manning pick-six that was created by a wicked Jags pass rush. Manning had no shot on the play.

Only a Barkley 68-yarder made this one a close contest at the end (until Clay coughed it up).

Blake Bortles finished with 176 yards and a touchdown to one interception on 18-of-33. Leonard Fournette only carried the ball nine times for 41 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. Yeldon finished up with 51 yards on 14 tries.

The Jags defense, especially front seven, gave the Giants O-line fits all day and conversely, the Giants conventional pass rush was a no-show for most of the afternoon, finishing with just one sack.

Pat Shurmur and company will get to the tape and look to make the appropriate adjustments before taking on the rival Dallas Cowboys on the road on Sunday Night Football in Week 2.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com