Running back Saquon Barkley—Barkley needed only one play to show why the Giants drafted him second overall. His 68-yard touchdown run earned him the respect of teammates and opponents alike. Barkley set a franchise record for players making their NFL debut with 106 yards on 18 carries. His big play ability was on full display.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.—Any doubts about whether Beckham is fully recovered from his broken ankle were erased. Nobody could cover him Sunday. He even forced the Jaguars defense into committing two pass interference penalties. Beckham had 11 receptions for 111 yards but his impact was measured for beyond just numbers.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins—Jackrabbit was beaten by Keelan Cole on the second play from scrimmage. On the Jaguars’ next offensive series, he picked off Blake Bortles with a video game-like catch that showed off his footwork by staying inbounds. Jenkins saved a touchdown and nearly had another interception.
Quarterback Eli Manning—Sunday’s game was a game of missed opportunities. No. 10 was personally responsible for two of them: overthrowing Beckham on a sure touchdown on the second half’s first series and overthrowing Sterling Shepard on the team’s final drive. Manning didn’t show the mettle you’d expect from a two-time Super Bowl and the franchise’s all-time leader in every major statistical quarterback category. His numbers left much to be desired (23-of-37 for 224 yards and an interception) and he failed to show the poise necessary to lead his team to victory. In Manning defense, his offensive line didn’t help one bit (see below).
The offensive line—The O-line has new faces but the same results from last season. The Jaguars defensive lineman pretty much did whatever they wanted. Much of the Jaguars’ pressure came from one-on-one rush moves. Ereck Flowers had two penalties and allowed a sack. Nate Solder got turned around and committed penalties. Will Hernandez allowed a sack and Patrick Omameh missed blocks. It is unreasonable to ask for midseason form in Week 1 but the offensive line looked bad at best against Jacksonville, Barkley’s touchdown run notwithstanding.
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.