As the teams line up for kickoff, the slow tolling a the AC/DC “Hells Bells” blast through Giants Stadium to ring in the game and the new season.
There’s always at least one player jumping around, anxiously ready to unleash the mounting energy, while there is also at least one waving his arms around to get the crowd even louder.
For the second year in a row, the New York football Giants have opened the season against the division rival Washington Redskins. In an effort to create a tradition, the Giants again led and looked like the better team throughout the game, but let the ‘skins stay in the game.
Although most of the audience had already departed late in the 4th quarter, with the Giants holding a comfortable 23-10 lead, the Redskins exploited a prevent defense that couldn’t prevent the easy touchdown drive. Those remaining in the crowd breathed a sigh of relief as Steve Smith grabbed the onside kick attempt to seal the game, but it was an uneasy moment. On the 1 in 50-or so chance that the Redskins had been able to recover the kick, the Giants would be in a good position to give away a game they should’ve blown out.
But the Giants won in a game that showed interesting and exciting feelings for the new season. Some notes:
- Osi Umenyiora is back and, even beyond his terrific fumble recovery TD return, looked great.
- Justin Tuck also played very well. The intensity on defense was strong and set the expectations for the season where they should be: high.
- Haynesworthless? In this game, the offensive line won that battle.
- Washington’s fake FG for a touchdown was so perfectly executed that the stadium was silenced. Obviously, the play benefitted the wrong team, but it was impressive nonetheless.
- On a completely related note, there is no reason to believe there will be better division in football this season than the NFC East.
- Eli spread the ball around nicely. Perhaps the team doesn’t need one star receiver, but can keep options open and defenses uneasy by passing to several different receivers who better not go to a club with a gun unless it’s attached to a bodyguard.
- After returning from a halftime bathroom break which caused me to miss the Giants Alumni, I noted to my dad, “I know, I missed Howard Cross, but with all the catches he missed, it’s okay.”
- Notice at Giants Stadium reads: “For Assistance Text to 78247, Type NJSEA (space) Location and Issue”
New text message. To 78247. “NJSEA (space) Section 129, Redskins Fans” Yes, I plan to do this every home game.
This is going to be the beginning of a very interesting season… continuing next week when the Giants strive to spoil the debut of Recession Stadium in Dallas.