In the end, tight end Brandon Myers had more passes thrown his way in the season-opening loss at Dallas on Sunday than any other Giants player.
In this case, “in the end” is the operative term.
Of the nine passes quarterback Eli Manning threw to Myers in Week One, five were on New York’s final drive. At that point, the Giants were down 12 points with less than two minutes to go, and Dallas was more than happy to let the Giants work the middle of the field as time ran off the clock.
In a three-play sequence taking less than a minute, Manning found Myers for receptions of 10, nine and 19 yards on consecutive plays. The Giants’ last drive would end with Manning hitting Myers for a four-yard score with 11 seconds left.
While the touchdown would cut the Cowboys’ lead to 36-31, the Giants could not recover the ensuing onsides kick, and Dallas secured the victory.
Overall, Myers caught seven passes for 66 yards against the Cowboys, with the bulk of that production coming on that last-ditch drive. For much of the contest, Myers was a complementary part of the Giants’ passing game, with Manning preferring to target wide receivers Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle. That was a perfectly sound and smashingly successful strategy. All three receivers exceeded 100 yards receiving, and all proved problematic for the Cowboys to stop.
As the Broncos prepare for the Giants’ attack, trying to limit Nicks, Cruz and Randle should be a primary concern.
Stopping Myers is probably down the Broncos’ lists of priorities — which could make the Giants’ tight end a player to watch on Sunday as New York tries to notch its first win of the season.
The Broncos are familiar with Myers, the Raiders’ leading receiver a season ago. Myers didn’t have much of an impact in two games against the Broncos in 2012, catching just one pass in each game.
It’s possible Myers won’t be particularly active in this matchup against Denver, either. The Giants should be looking to get the ball to their top three wideouts as much as possible.
However, Myers could be a solid fourth option for New York on Sunday working the middle of the field and the flats, particularly if matched up against a linebacker. Note that the Broncos surrendered seven catches for 87 yards to Ravens tight end Dallas Clark in Week One — and Clark dropped what looked to be a touchdown in the second quarter.
The Giants’ top tight end, Myers played 59-of-60 offensive snaps in the opener. He’s likely to play a lot against Denver, too. On most plays, he will do his job, and the ball will go somewhere else.
However, in what could be a high-scoring affair, he’s probably going to occasionally factor into whether the Giants can keep a drive going — or whether it’s time to punt the ball back to Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense.