It’s tough enough to lose a division game to the Cowboys. But to also lose your QB1, RB1, WR1, and Slot CB all in that same game too is heartbreaking. Add to that the Giants WR2 and WR3 were already on the shelf for this game. And yet, the Giants hung in for nearly a full half. Then, the Giants lost their poise as the game slipped away.
First, Saquon Barkley steps on the foot of a Dallas Cowboy and severely sprains his left ankle. Fortunately, X-rays were negative. But, the sprain will keep Saquon out for multiple games. Now, it’s time for Devontae Booker to show why the Giants made him one of their first free-agent signings.
Second, and most important, Daniel Jones takes a helmet-to-helmet collision trying to score from the one, gets up slowly, and doesn’t make it back to the huddle. DJ stumbles a few steps and is carted from the field with a concussion. By the end of the game, Jones is able to hold conversations, but the concussion protocol will dictate when he returns to the field. Mike Glennon did well and moved the team a couple of times for scores. But, the pressure from Dallas forced him to underthrow Collin Johnson which resulted in an Anthony Brown pick-six the other way.
The second half starts with no WR Kenny Golladay on the sideline. It turns out he hyperextended his knee in the first half and was done. No timetable is set for Kenny G. Already down Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton with hamstring injuries, that left John Ross, Kadarius Toney, CJ Board, and Collin Johnson as the only able-bodied WRs for the last half of the game. The main positive here was the play of Toney. In for only 54% of the Giants’ offensive plays, KT hauled in 10 receptions for 189 yards and several missed tackles. Toney looked like the first-round pick we fans hoped for. And then he throws a punch in a scrum after getting pushed to the ground and is ejected from the game.
The injuries didn’t just happen on the offensive side of the ball. During the game, rookie CB Rodarius Williams left after 14 plays with a now-confirmed ACL tear. This likely ends Williams’ season. Julian Love, the Giants’ do-all defensive back, stepped in for most of the plays with CB Darnay Holmes getting just one snap on D. With a defense, that is already under fire, giving up over 500 yards of offense to the Cowboys, this wasn’t good news in any way.
The phrase “next man up” was really tested this week. The team resembled more of a MASH triage clinic as the first half wrapped up yesterday. The defense lost sight of Dallas receivers, missed tackles, and bit on fakes that left the opponent walking into the end zone.
With a 1-4 record and a tough schedule ahead, the Giants need to find their inner drive, find their defense, and find some momentum with some hard-fought wins against the league’s top opponents. The coaches and players need to find a rhythm that works for everybody left standing.
Photo courtesy of the NY Times