Giants Fall to Dallas in the Opener: The New York Giants fell to the Dallas Cowboys 24-17 on Wednesday night in the regular-season opener at MetLife Stadium.
The Cowboys outplayed the Giants across the board as the game really wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Dallas out-gained the Giants in total net yards (433 to 269), net yards rushing (143 to 82), net yards passing (290 to 187), and time of possession (34:07 to 25:53).
Both the Giants’ offense and defense disappointed.
“Very disappointing, very disappointing loss,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Any way you want to look at it. We fumble the ball after a nice drive that possibly could have been points, we don’t score from the one-yard line. We give up big plays in the second half. We don’t really stop the run, they had all kinds of yardage, we had little or none. We gave ourselves a chance there at the end of the game, it just took way too much time for us to score. And then obviously 3rd and 11 or 12, whatever that was, we couldn’t stop it. We had trouble stopping the slant all night long like we’ve never seen a slant before. Very, very frustrating. It hurts to come in and be playing at home and playing a game of this nature opening the season to play the way we played, and we certainly are capable of playing a lot better.”
The Giants’ offense was held to three points in the first half on six offensive possessions. After a three-and-out to start the game, a 9-play, 59-yard drive ended at the 29 yard line when HB David Wilson fumbled the ball away. The Giants only gained 18 yards on the third possession. Then, after LB Michael Boley returned an interception to the Cowboys’ 2-yard line and a penalty gave the Giants a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, New York could not punch the ball in and had to settle for a 22-yard field goal. The Giants then went three-and-out on their final two possessions of the first half.
Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense held up pretty well in the first half until late in the second quarter. Dallas had only gained three first downs in four possessions and had turned the ball over once. But with 3:34 to go before halftime, the Cowboys drove 73 yards in seven plays to take a 7-3 lead with just over a minute before intermission.
The Giants’ defense went from respectable to dreadful in the second half as the Cowboys scored 17 points on their first three drives of the half, and then successfully ran out the clock on their fourth and final possession. Dallas never punted after halftime. The Giants had problems stopping the pass (QB Tony Romo was 22-of-29 for 307 yards and three touchdowns) and the run (HB DeMarco Murray ran for 131 yards on 20 carries). The Giants injury situation got worse at cornerback when Michael Coe left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. His replacement – Justin Tryon – struggled all night. So did veteran CB Corey Webster.
The offense performed much better in the second half, but only had three possessions to work with. The Giants scored on a 9-play, 89-yard drive on their first drive of the second half with HB Ahmad Bradshaw scoring from 10 yards out to cut the Cowboys lead to 14-10. The Giants gained one first down and then punted on their second possession. Meanwhile, Dallas added another 10 points to increase their lead to 24-10. The Giants drove 79 yards in 12 plays to cut the Dallas advantage to 24-17 with 2:36 left in the game when QB Eli Manning hit TE Martellus Bennett for a 9-yard score. But the offense never got the ball back.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.
Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video of post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:
- HB Ahmad Bradshaw (Video)
- HB David Wilson (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- TE Martellus Bennett (Video)
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), DT Marvin Austin (back), HB Da’Rel Scott (knee), OT James Brewer (back), WR Jerrel Jernigan, OG Mitch Petrus, and DE Adewale Ojomo.
Article on QB Eli Manning: Eli Manning Leads New York Giants with Calm and Quiet Resolve by Kimberly Jones of NFL.com