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Reasons to Celebrate: Giants wide receivers and defense stepped up

Kelsey O'Donnell looks at reasons for Giants' fans to celebrate even though the team lost on Sunday.

Ronald Martinez

The New York Giants got off to a really sloppy start to the 2013 NFL season when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 36-31, Sunday night. It was so ugly that it seems hard to find positives out of the game. Trust me, there are plenty of bright spots to look at including the work the wide receivers put in and the performance by the defense. That's right, I said the defense.

Last season the Giants were ranked 31st on defense. The secondary struggled all year and the run defense was atrocious. Last night though they looked like a different team. The Cowboys had the ball 37:10 thanks to the offense not being able to hold onto the ball. Even though the Cowboys defense was able to force six turnovers the Giants only lost the game by five points. The Cowboys gained just 3.8 yards per rush and 4.5 yards per play. Of those 26 points the defense allowed just 23.

The pass rush struggled through some of the game, but started to come alive toward the end. Justin Tuck led the team with eight tackles and split a sack with Linval Joseph. Terrell Thomas played his first regular season game since missing the last two seasons with torn ACL's. He made seven tackles and had a pass defensed while playing the slot cornerback.

The offense struggled badly, suffering six turnovers including two fumbles by second-year running back David Wilson. While the running backs struggled the wide receivers shined. Victor Cruz caught three touchdowns and had five catches for 188 yards on the night. Hakeem Nicks had five catches for 114 yards one of which was a 57 yards. Second-year receiver Rueben Randle had five catches for 101 yards.

The game proved that when healthy the Giants wide receivers are a force. It's hard for teams to double up one guy when the other is on the other side of the field. The Giants need to work on eliminating turnovers because these three guys can devastate opposing defenses.

You can follow Kelsey O'Donnell on Twitter @KelsODonnell