Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants Offense Struggles in the Preseason Opener

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants Offense Struggles in the Preseason Opener

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - The Redskins lost a starting linebacker to a season-ending knee injury. The Eagles traded their second-leading receiver.

And the Cowboys - well, Dallas sustained what could potentially be the biggest blow to any of the contenders in the NFC East when the NFL handed down a six-game suspension for All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott.

And that was all before the Giants even hit the field for the first time this preseason Friday night in a game they ended up losing, 20-12, to the Steelers at MetLife Stadium.

When asked about the NFC East race last season, the happenings with the other three teams in particular, Giants coach Ben McAdoo famously said: "We farm our own land."

In other words, the Giants want the focus to be on what they do in order to prepare themselves for the Sept. 10 regular season opener against the Cowboys.

Still, it's impossible to ignore the potentially seismic change absorbed by the reigning NFC East champions. Yes, the Cowboys have capable backs Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden in reserve, but neither is Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,631 yards on 322 carries. He scored 15 rushing touchdowns and also caught 32 passes for 363 yards and one touchdown.

I mean, that's big," Giants safety Landon Collins said of Elliott's anticipated absence. "I mean, it's horrible [why] he's not there. Obviously I want to play against the best and he's one of the best."

Giants cornerback Eli Apple played at Ohio State with Elliott, whom he considers a friend.

"I know Zeke on a personal level, so the league, I guess - I hope he makes it through it and stays the course with everything," Apple said. "Definitely very close with him, our families are close, so I'm just wishing him just the best and hoping he gets through the situation. I mean, they're the Cowboys still, very talented team, and they have other guys, for sure."

The Giants beat the Cowboys twice last season, and in both games, stopping Elliott was the priority. …

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