Saquon Barkley’s return to action was all that and then some. He rushed for 164 yards, a TD, and averaged over nine yards per carry. But all that goodwill was nearly fumbled away with four minutes left in the game when Barkley had the ball punched out of his arms on a long run.
Fortunately for the Giants, Lady Luck was in their corner as the ball bounced 10-yards forward and out of bounds before the Titans could pounce on it. Tennessee was up 20-13 at the time, and that would’ve likely sealed the game.
Daniel Jones had a nice season debut but not nice enough to make anyone outside of NYC a long-term believer. Jones completed 17 of 21 passes for 188 yards. The Giants made a gutsy 4th and 1 play call during their final drive of the game — which Jones was able to make — setting up the go-ahead TD. But that kind of performance won’t be enough to sustain winning for 17 weeks, even in the NFC Least.
Barkley’s performance was phenomenal, and he looked like rookie year Saquon, but it’s early. Let’s talk in Week 12 and see where Barkley and the Giants are at the point of the season. The Giants won four games last year, so improvement is possible, but anything more than six wins would be shocking.
Pittsburgh might be the luckiest team of Week 1. The Bengals did all they could to bungle this game early on and still had a chance to win, pushing the Steelers to overtime. Pittsburgh’s defense looked good as usual, forcing four Joe Burrow interceptions and holding Joe Mixon to three yards per carry.
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