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Week 2 Game Recap: New York Giants 13, Dallas Cowboys 20


What you need to know

New York Giants

- If the Giants offensive line does not improve, these games will be very common. The Giants seemed to change a lot but the product on the field resembles the product from 2017. The offense simply cannot function with the amount of pressure surrendered up front.

- Barkley is a legit talent and the only Giants running back that is worth a play in any league, there is almost no production outside of Barkley. Barkley is catching many passes at the moment due to the pressure facing Manning so he gets a boost in PPR leagues.

- Engram got lucky with a blown coverage but was otherwise very quiet like Beckham and Shepard. Shepard is not worth a play in any league as it stands, he just cannot get any number of balls as so few are available to even guys like Beckham and Engram.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys rebounded from a Week 1 non-effort on offense to post a home win against the Giants. However, the passing game concerns remain with only an early long touchdown to Tavon Austin the notable play in the game, accounting for nearly half of the yardage through the air overall. Ezekiel Elliott ran better than the opening week, but the offensive line is a concern area, especially in obvious passing situations. While the Cowboys got off the mat with a win, the relative success could be short-lived against any opponent better than the middling divisional opponent Giants.

New York Giants

QB Eli Manning, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 44 - 279 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0
Eli Manning had a subpar performance on Sunday night and almost everybody deserves some of the blame for the pedestrian effort that was on full display.

Eli had very little time in the pocket on obvious passing situations once again. Flowers gave up pressure from the right side very quick and Eli looked nervous throughout the game. This lead to many rushed decisions and poorly thrown balls that had no chance at reaching its intended target. Manning tried to escape the pressure at times and rollout but he had no chance to evade the rush from far more athletic players. He rarely looked downfield due to the pressure and few big plays were made for the Giants. Manning checked the ball down very often to Barkley and kept things close to the line of scrimmage which doesn't play to the full strengths of guys like Beckham jr. He got a passing touchdown late in the game but it can definitely be considered garbage time. It looked like Dallas didn't seem too bothered as Engram ran free down the field and was wide open for the score, This was too little, too late however. The big sacks he took stalled too many drives, made life difficult for everyone else and the Giants were never able to fix the protection issues.

RB Saquon Barkley, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 28 - 0, Rec: 14 - 80 - 0 (16 targets)
The minor glimmer of hope that Giants fans can be excited for, Saquon Barkley played another solid game on Sunday night against the Cowboys. Barkley was highly involved in the passing game, likely due to the check down potential he presented as Manning was under fire for most of this game. He showed an excellent pair of hands, securing high balls and not dropping any passes as his quarterback was throwing some erratic passes in his haste to get rid of the ball. Barkley showed incredible agility when meeting defenders one on one in open space, often making the first tackler miss and picking up extra yards. Barkley almost got tackled for a loss on several occasions but he turned these negative situations into positive ones due to his quickness. He is difficult to tackle if given room and showed a good stutter step to shake defenders when possible.

His effectiveness on the ground was limited as the Giants could not keep Dallas honest with any kind of passing threat. Barkley didn't get many redzone touches either due to the inept offense but the talent clearly is there.

WR Odell Beckham Jr, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (9 targets)
Odell Beckham Jr. was not involved much in this game and could only watch as his quarterback was under incredible pressure all game long.

Beckham got only 4 passes and 2 of these were late as the game was out of hand. Manning and the entire Giants passing attack was woeful and the lack of pass protection decimated any fantasy potential of guys like Beckham. He looked as fast as ever and got wide open at times when he got the ball but the opportunities to go downfield were just too rare. Beckham is a big deep threat but this potential wasn't much use when Manning was on his back after every other third down. He had one chance at a deep ball late but it was way overthrown and fell incomplete. Fantasy owners will have to put up with dud performances like this unfortunately until the Giants solve their offensive line woes.

WR Sterling Shepard, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (5 targets)
Sterling Shepard was mostly invisible in this game and failed to make any kind of mark as the Giants struggled to move the ball. Shepard had a deep shot early on but it bounced off his hands and fell incomplete. He got some short patterns where he made the most out of what he had to work with but never got wide open down the field. Shepard and the entire Giants recieving corps were under-used in this game due to the pressure given up by the Giants offensive line.

Shepard got no redzone targets and could only watch as his quarterback went down again and again in obvious passing situations.

TE Evan Engram, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 67 - 1 (7 targets)
Even Engram had a nice fantasy day as a tight end but almost all of it came in garbage time due to the completely blown coverage assignment by Dallas.

Engram was given a free release at the line of scrimmage and went off on his own into the endzone where he hauled in the big play for the score. Aside from this moment, Engram wasn't able to contribute too much on Sunday night. Manning felt the rush all game long and forced ball short, mostly to his running backs. Engram didn't get many opportunities to work downfield. He got some short balls over the middle from Manning and did his best but these plays were not enough to keep the Giants moving. Engram remains a solid play but not a must start, mid to low number 2 tight end in most leagues.


Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 53 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 25 - 160 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 45 - 0
Prescott got off to a rousing start against the Giants, on point to a wide open Tavon Austin for a long touchdown to open the game. This was not a sign of things to come for the Cowboys passing game, however, as the team passed for less than 100 yards the rest of the game. While Prescott is typically careful with the football, he still almost threw two interceptions, one on a deep end zone target to a blanketed Cole Beasley. The best contribution from Prescott came as a runner, where the read option came back to Dallas’ offensive design with four successful plays for chunk gains during the game. Prescott also added a fourth-and-short sneak conversion on the ground. The offensive line crumbled on obvious passing situations, a growing concern for a Dallas passing game lacking a go-to receiving target to move the sticks. The Lions in Week 4 offer a potential ‘get well’ matchup for Dallas on offense, but venturing to Seattle next week offers a stiff test compared to this week.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 78 - 1, Rec: 5 - 9 - 0 (6 targets)
Elliott looked more explosive against the Giants this week than the non-performance in Week 1 at Carolina. 22 touches is the norm for Elliott but he was notably held in check outside of two runs of 20 yards or more. In the passing game, Dallas’ offensive line struggled to set up screens for Elliott to punish second and third-level defenders in space, routinely getting stuffed as soon as he started up the field. On Elliott’s lone touchdown opportunity of the game, he made a nice cut and plowed through a defender at the goal line for a successful red zone scoring run to ice the game in the closing minutes. With Dallas’ offensive line a concern in pass protection and wide receiver generally lacking separation, Elliott’s receiving opportunities are a question mark with a need to set in and protect the passer as opposed to being an outlet receiver.

RB Tavon Austin, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 79 - 1 (2 targets)
Austin was the highlight of Dallas’ anemic passing game output against the Giants, surging downfield for a 64-yard touchdown. Austin’s speed was on display as he easily separated from the defensive back and eluded a late-arriving safety. The play was not a sign of a dominant involvement for Austin; however, as he added a deep comeback route and a reverse for a chunk gain on his mere three touches. On the positive side, no Dallas receiver has separated themselves from the pack as the lead receiver through two games.

WR Cole Beasley, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (3 targets)
After being the clear leading receiver in Week 1, Beasley had minimal involvement against the Giants. Of his three targets, one was a tightly-covered end zone route which was nearly intercepted. Beasley did not see a target until almost halftime, drawing a defensive pass interference penalty on a slant route. Beasley’s best play came on a third-and-long comeback route, one of Dak Prescott’s best throws in the game into a tight window.

WR Michael Gallup, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)
Gallup struggled to another poor showing to open his NFL career, a one-catch effort against the Giants. It was Tavon Austin, not Gallup, who flashed deep speed and separation on a long touchdown, thought to be Gallup’s forte leading up to the regular season. No Dallas receiver has stood out as the go-to option through two games, but Gallup has started off slow despite ample opportunity by snap count.