The New York Giants tasted defeat for the first time on Monday night, falling to the Dallas Cowboys 23-16. Although there were some positives for the Giants, like getting both starting outside linebackers back and staying even with the Cowboys through three quarters, in the end, the Giants let it slip away, some of their glaring weaknesses put on full display.
Let's rewind and look at the most notable stats from the loss.
If we told you that Cowboys outside linebacker Micah Parsons would not record a sack, you would probably think the Giants did pretty well in pass pro.
Sadly, you'd be wrong. While the Giants made a notable effort to keep Parsons from going crazy, the same couldn't be said of Demarcus Lawrence, who finished the game with three of the five sacks.
Even more concerning for the Giants offensive line are the 12 quarterback hits and 24 pressures the Dallas defense caused. All three of those numbers are incredibly high and speak to the issues of finding consistency in the passing game.
Daniel Jones had 79 rushing yards out of necessity because he ran for his life most of the night.
The Giants finished with a 38.4 percent third-down efficiency, and two of those conversions came because of Dallas penalties, so realistically, the Giants only converted three out of 13 times on third down via positive offensive play.
Of the 13 third-down plays, 10 were five or more yards, and seven were ten plus. Those tend to be much more difficult third downs to convert. They only converted one of those seven double-digit third downs.
Compounding the issue for the offense is that five of those third downs were in areas where they were in scoring range, and it could have resulted in more points being put on the board.
The Giants could not convert third downs on the Cowboys' +38, +32, +29, +24, and +22--unacceptable. Another interesting note is that they did not face a third-down situation on the Giants' only touchdown drive.
Field Goals Galore
The Giants had five potential scoring drives on Monday night and converted four of those drives into points. Unfortunately, of those four scoring drives, only one ended in a touchdown, and that was ultimately the undoing of the Giants.
New York Giants Week 13 Report Card: Unsatisfactory
Grading the New York Giants' 20-20 tie against the Washington Commanders
The Giants have been settling for field goals throughout the first two games of this season, and this continued into Week 3. Graham Gano has become one of the most prolific kickers in the NFL, but like so many kickers that sit atop the league standings, they sit there because they have too many opportunities to kick field goals and not extra points.
Gano already leads the NFL in field goals made from 50+ yards. That says that many of the Giants' offense drives stalled once they got inside the 40-yard line. If the Giants had converted two more of those scoring drives into touchdowns, they would have won the game.
Even if the Giants made the 47-yard attempt that was blocked on their opening drive and scored one more touchdown, the game would have had a much different outcome.
CeeDee Lamb: 8 receptions for 87 yards and a TD
Over the first two weeks, Giants cornerback Adoree Jackson has drawn the assignment of guarding the opposition’s best receiver, and he has lived up to the challenge.
So it was interesting to watch on Monday night because even with the backup quarterback (Cooper Rush) in the game, the Cowboys decided they were going to target WR1 CeeDee Lamb heavily.
Rush went to Lamb 12 times, and on almost every occasion, there was Jackson. It is safe to say Lamb got the best of the first matchup, as he ended the game with over 10 yards per reception and a one-handed touchdown snag on a goal line fade ball with Jackson right on his hip.
First down fiasco!
The Cowboys were effective on first down against the Giants' defense. This put them in advantageous positions on second and third down. Many times they didn’t need a second or third down.
They picked up a first down on first down 12 times during the ball game, and the offense accounted for 260 of their 391 yards on first down. That is a staggering number. The Cowboys' offense was simply a step ahead of the Giants' defense all night.
Some of these issues are quick fixes, and others may just need to be managed throughout the season to limit the damage they cause or their effect on the game's overall outcome. It is back to the drawing board as the Giants will have a short week to prepare for the Bears.
Join the Giants Country Community
- Sign up for our FREE digest newsletter
- Follow and like us on Facebook
- Submit your questions for our mailbag
- Check out the new Giants Country YouTube Channel.
- Listen and subscribe to the daily LockedOn Giants podcast.
- Subscribe and like the LockedOn Giants YouTube Channel
- Sign up for our FREE message board forums