It was finally a performance that provided hope.
The New York Giants‘ 30-17 win on Friday night over the Detroit Lions was the polar opposite from what was on display from the team last week. After looking flat in their preseason opener, Big Blue put in an all-around better effort in the Motor City.
In the 20-10 home loss to the Cleveland Browns a week ago, the Giants had trouble with their execution on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they struggled along the line and had difficulty consistently running the ball. Defensively, there were breakdowns in the backend and they had troubles in generating a pass rush.
And while Friday’s performance wasn’t perfect, it was miles better than what we’ve seen in the past and felt more like a team on the rise after an offseason rebuild. Last week’s preseason-opening loss to the Browns felt like a continuation from their 3-13 season a year ago.
Now ahead of the third game of the preseason, the Giants might just be turning the corner on that disastrous season in 2017.
“I think what’s important is about this game is whoever is in the game is in there to put good football on tape, and help us win the game,” head coach Pat Shurmur said.
The mentality of what the Giants want to be is clear. They ran the ball well, scored in all four of their trips in the red zone and didn’t want to turn the ball over.
The biggest positive from the Giants’ performance in Detroit though was a game with no turnovers. Last year, the Giants were in the bottom half of the league with a -3 turnover differential.
On Friday night, there were no interceptions and no fumbles lost.
For a team still in rebuild mode and with a potentially thin margin between being mediocre and returning to the postseason this year, the ability to limit turnovers could be huge for the Giants.
“It’s just philosophically the way I’ve developed over time,” Shurmur said. “I’ve always believed if you take care of the ball and on defense if you take it away from them, that’s the obvious, and then if one of those things happens to you and you’re on the bad side of it, you’ve got to keep them from scoring or if you get a turnover, you need to score. That’s the mindset, and it’s kind of a totality of the things I’ve learned over the years.”
[Watch Giants Training Camp Live Monday at 6 PM on MSG & MSG GO.]