This is part of what I wrote:
How can the Giants pull off an upset of the Cowboys on Thursday?
They have to play the game on their terms. They should be able to follow the formula that has allowed them to win seven out of the 10 times they’ve gone into office this season.
And that formula included winning the staff turnover battle, which they did. However, it also included hitting third (and fourth down) and in the red, playing flawless football and taking chances.
They couldn’t do those things against the Cowboys. Consequently, the Giants lost a match. We’ve been talking a lot lately about how narrow the Giants’ margin of error is, especially with the increase in injuries. Thursday was an example of how the Giants, despite their grit, grit, and life, have a hard time with good teams when they miss opportunities and can’t stick to their script.
The Giants missed chances throughout this game.
On Jim Gillan’s first throw of the game, Nick McCloud missed an opportunity to snag Dallas at their own 1-yard line, dropping the ball into the end zone. That started a day full of “roundings” for the Giants.
Dallas turned the ball over on downs at their own 40-yard line on their first possession of the game, with a curious decision on possession by head coach Mike McCarthy backfiring.
The Giants could only convert that to 57-yard field goal Graham Gano, though Daniel Jones’ apparent pass to Isaiah Hodgins 24 yards was negated by a questionable illegal man on the right to tackle Tire Phillips.
Like it or not, the call was made and ultimately cost the Giants four points.
On Dallas’ second possession, Rodarius Williams intercepted Dak Prescott to end a Cowboy drive at the Giants’ 31-yard line. Attack on Titan went three times. It wasn’t a short fielding, but it was a turnover that the Giants didn’t take advantage of.
That’s two chances in the first quarter for the Giants and only three points.
In the second quarter, the Giants pinned Dallas at their own 7-yard line after a punt that included a Cowboys penalty. The Giants were unable to turn the field around, letting Dallas go 93 yards in 11 plays for their only points of the first half.
Before this Dallas drive began, Daniel Jones missed an open throw to Richie James on a third-and-four that would have put the Giant down first.
Dallas went 75 yards in 14 plays for a touchdown to open the third quarter. This cowboy engine probably wouldn’t have started at all. Kayvon Thibodeaux was a powerhouse all day, but on the second play he missed a sack that converted to a 5-yard Prescott touchdown run and helped Dallas start their drive.
There was a questionable hanging call on Darnay Holmes on third-and-7 at the Giants 37-yard line that kept the drive alive. Despite this, the Giants also failed to stop the Cowboys on third-and-12 and gave up a touchdown on a third-and-goal from their own 15-yard line. Honestly, this should never happen – even with a secondary burnout.
The Giants defense struggled on third down all day, many with third and long situations, allowing Dallas to convert 7 of 11 (63.6 percent).
Going into Sunday, the Giants are second in the league in red zone defense, giving up touchdowns just 43.59 percent of the time. On Sunday, Dallas went 4 of 4 on red zone chances.
The fourth and one failed conversion came next, and he was truly the back-breaker. The score was 14-13 Dallas at the time, and the Cowboys scored consecutive touchdowns afterward to break the game open.
Just look all over the room if Daniel Jones makes a better throw (and Saquon Barkley catches it). Looks like they’ve been waiting for this play to open all year long.
– RalphVacchiano November 24, 2022
“I thought it was a good opportunity to go forward and get the pole position, but we just didn’t get it,” said technical director Brian Dabul. “I thought we needed to change up a little bit of momentum after the second half. They went down and scored. I thought Mike [Kafka] A good play is ready to go. We had a chance at that. I thought it was the right thing to do.”
she was. The players just didn’t get carried away. That includes the quarterback, the intended receiver, and whatever 11th man was supposed to be in the game but never made it to the field. This lack of an XI man may be why Jones ended up rushing a bit and missing the target.
Jones, who threw a somewhat erratic pass, and Saquon Barkley, who should still have caught the ball, both tried to accept the blame. Which is a good thing, because they both deserve some of the blame.
Jones has to throw a better ball. The illustration above shows how much space Barkley would have had to run if Jones could have hit him with a stride instead of putting the ball on his back hip.
“It was just a bad pitch,” said Jones. “I have to get it out in front of him. A bad throw. You can’t miss that.”
“You want to be in those positions. You want to have the opportunity to turn those around and start playing. We have to do a better job of executing that and I have to do a better job.”
However, Barkley is the Giants’ MVP. They engineered a play to get the ball on the biggest play of the game, and Jones gave him a throw he could catch with both hands and the ball needed to be caught.
“I tried to go down and secure the catch and didn’t make the play,” Barkley said. “Looking back, they went down and scored. He trusted us to make it on fourth and one, and make the play, and I just didn’t put in there for us.”
Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin always used to talk about players needing to play over their Xs and Os in key moments to win games. In this case, Barkley didn’t, and it proved a missed opportunity that opened the doors for the Cowboys.
“I think we missed some opportunities,” said Daboll. “We have to do better. It starts with me.”
What now for the giants?
At 7-4, the Giants will be the sixth seed in the seven-team NFC arena. The Giants, however, lost three of their four games and FiveThirtyEight Now they have their playoff chances having dropped to just 47 percent.
Coach Brian Dabul was high-strung Thursday night, with some of his answers to questions from reporters who made the trip to Texas. However, he did provide an extended answer about what the Giants could do to get back on track.
“Just come back, do the same things we always do every week. Get ready to play a game, take a break. It’s obviously been a tough 12 days – we didn’t get the results we were looking for. But I think we have to get a break.” To rest, to recover mentally, to recover physically, to come back on Monday and get ready to play another class game,” said Daboll. “They don’t get any easier. Every week is tough and we’re going to stick to our practice and our preparation and all the things we need to do to try to move forward and give us a chance to win the game. It’s the ups and downs of this season.”
Jones also tried to play down any concern that things might turn sour for the Giants, who are losers in three of their last four games.
“We have a really good chance going forward. We know we’ve got some big games in store for the long haul, and we’re putting ourselves in a good position,” said Jones. “We have to recover and take advantage of this long week and come back and see what we have to learn from this movie. We are still confident. We are 7-4. We still have a lot to do.”
Giants need to get healthy. The corner kicks they used on Thursday competed solidly and didn’t play badly, but Adoree’ Jackson and Fabian Moreau both missed them. So do the large number of airline guys left in New Jersey. Wandell Robinson and Sterling Shepherd – who won’t be back this year – either. Tight Daniel Bellinger would be a nice addition.
The Giants have 10 days before they host the Washington Chiefs in a crucial game. Hope they have a healthier team.
They need to see why Saquon Barkley, who led the league in rushing just a few days ago, has only reached 22 and 39 yards in his last two games.
Daboll talks all the time about execution. Frankly, the Giants may not be the most talented team in any of the remaining six games they’ve played this season. If they don’t execute, if they don’t take advantage of their opportunities, they won’t win. They have to get rid of missed sacks, costly penalties, missed shots, and missed throws.
They still have a chance to make the playoffs. However, they must be better, otherwise they will miss that too.
Is it good enough to be better? Or, are the limitations we knew were there but those bubbles below the surface earlier in the season catching up to them?
We’ll find out over the next six weeks.