By Brad Carroll
The New York Giants suffered a humiliating loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, managing just a field goal in a 19-3 loss. The Giants were anemic on offense, with just 233 total yards, 198 through the air and 35 on the ground. It was as bad a start a team with playoff aspirations could have.
Here was our three keys to victory leading up to the game, and how each of those factors turned out to be on the field. Obviously, it didn’t turn out well.
Did The Giants Keep Elliott In Check?
Um, no. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had 104 yards on 24 carries and added another five catches for 36 yards. After holding Elliott in check in two meetings last season, not surprisingly a pair of Giants wins, the same could not be said for Sunday night’s game. The defense could be given a bit of a break, however, as the offense was so bad they didn’t give the typically-exceptional Giants defense much to work with.
Did The Giants Find A Running Game?
Um, no. The Giants totaled 35 yards on 12 carries in the game, a 2.9 yard per carry average. Paul Perkins ran seven times for 16 yards, Orleans Darkwa had three carries for 14 yards and Sterling Shepard had a rush for six yards. Eli Manning threw in a run that lost a yard. That was it. Manning threw the ball 38 times. No wonder why the Giants couldn’t get anything going on offense.
Did Brandon Marshall Step Up?
With Odell Beckham Jr. out with injury, it was going to be up to Marshall to pick up the slack. Well, he didn’t. Marshall didn’t record his first catch of the game until garbage time, which ended up being a 10-yard grab. He was targeted four times, nowhere near the amount needed to make up for losing Beckham Jr. Shepard had seven catches but for only 44 yards. It wasn't all on the receivers, as Manning has to get them the ball, but without Beckham Jr. the Giants had no passing game to speak of.