Naturally, Shurmur was disappointed to open his Giants tenure with a loss but he’s been down this path before. Sunday marked the 20th consecutive season he participated in an NFL Kickoff Weekend. His teams’ collective record is 8-12 but three of the teams that lost their season opener went on to finish 12-4 and 11-5 twice.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of first games of the season,” Shurmur said Monday. “You just move forward. That’s the important thing is you move forward. You learn from the mistakes you made, you build on the things you did well and you just keep moving. That’s the important thing.
“That may get old as we go through these Mondays with me saying that, but you can win a game and still go through that process. When you lose a game, it hurts more, but you still go through the same process.”
The process includes reviewing game tape and meeting with coaches in preparation for this Sunday’s night road opener against the Dallas Cowboys. After Monday’s meetings, Shurmur’s players echoed his sentiments.
“(The game was) really encouraging,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. “If you look at the game, we were a few plays away from coming out with a different outcome. But guys do a good job around here just bouncing back and kind of brushing it off, and fixing the things we need to fix, and I feel like that’s what we’ll do this week. Be ready for Dallas.”
The Giants did have a chance to beat Jacksonville on the game’s final possession before a special teams error. Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley provided an offensive spark not seen in a few seasons. All in all, the Giants offense didn’t perform as badly as expected against Sacksonville.
Of course, there is much to clean up after Week 1. Eli Manning didn’t play to a level expected of a two-time Super Bowl winner. Sunday’s loss drops Manning’s record to 5-9 in regular season opening starts. In the seasons the Giants won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, the team lost the regular season opener.
“There’s kind of that fine line between hanging your head but not being okay with it,” Manning said. “I thought, obviously, guys were disappointed. I think everybody knows that each one of us individually has to play a little bit better. I think that’s going to push us and drive us to practice smarter, prepare better, and go play better.”
It is easy to forget the Giants played their first game with a new head coach, new coordinators, new offensive and defensive schemes, and new players. Midseason form isn’t going to happen in the first game. Acting as if the sky is falling will not help the team improve, especially when their next game is on the road against a division rival who also dropped their opener.
The Giants will follow the example of their head coach, who openly acknowledged everyone has room to improve.
“We all had mistakes that we need to clean up, players and coaches alike,” Shurmur said. “That’s the process you go through really every week, but especially after the first week as get ready to play Dallas.”
– 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.