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Instant analysis: The Giants will win when they deserve to win

They showed some progress Sunday, but they still didn’t earn the right to win

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images


That is the New York Giants’ reality after a gut-wrenching 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

It’s a reality no one likes. Sunday’s was a game the Giants coulda/shoulda/woulda won if they had just made a couple more plays or eliminated some costly mistakes, two penalties that ended up costing them 11 points and yet another Daniel Jones fumble that cost them seven.

This was a loss. Yet, coach Joe Judge tried to see the big picture after the best overall game his team has played this season.

“That’s all that really matters to be honest with you is the progress that we’re making right now,” coach Joe Judge said after the game. “The record will come in time. Obviously we’re not happy about losses. That’s not what we do here. But I’ve seen a lot of progress ... we have to keep making consistent progress to keep being a better team as the year goes.”

  • The Giants scored a season-high 34 points, albeit six coming from the defense.
  • The Giants gained an even 300 yards, first time they have hit that number.
  • After giving up a 17-3 lead, they fought back from 24-20 and 31-23 deficits.
  • They got solid running between the tackles from Devonta Freeman and Wayne Gallman.

They just didn’t win. Because, truthfully, they didn’t deserve to win.

  • They lost a 27-yard touchdown on a Riley Dixon to Evan Engram fake field goal because Cameron Fleming wasn’t quite set at the snap. It wasn’t much, but it was clearly the right call.
  • They lost a 31-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton because Damion Ratley was called for setting what the officials deemed to be a pick on the play.
  • They gave up a touchdown because Andrew Thomas couldn’t handle Demarcus Lawrence and Jones couldn’t protect the ball when he got hit. Both occurrences, Thomas failing in pass protection and Jones failing to hold onto the ball when he gets hit, have been happening far too often.
  • They lost because the defense that had been so good against the Los Angeles Rams the week before could not stop Dallas scoring drives at the end of either half.

Quick thoughts

I think I was right to pick CeeDee Lamb as my player I would take from the Cowboys. Lamb owned the middle of the field Sunday, catching 8 passes for 124 yards.

I think I get “Kudos” for predicting in this week’s ABCs that the Giants would pull a fake on kicking play. They did in the second quarter, with holder Riley Dixon hitting Evan Engram for what would have been a 31-yard touchdown had Cameron Fleming not been called for an illegal shift.

I think Giants linebacker Blake Martinez is going to lose sleep tonight over his failure to tackle Amari Cooper on the second play of Dallas’ game-winning drive. Martinez appeared to have a chance to stop Cooper short of a first down. Instead, the play went for 15 yards and a first down, setting up the Cowboys final drive.

I think both teams deserve credit for digging deep into the playbook and trying everything they could think of to win Sunday. The Giants lost a touchdown due to a penalty on a fake field goal. They ran two reverses to Evan Engram. They threw the ball deep. They tried a variety of screen passes. Dallas scored a touchdown on a “Philly Special.”

I think it was nice to see the Giants get the ball to Evan Engram on a couple of running plays, one that went for a touchdown. It was baffling, though, to only see them throw it to him twice — at least twice on plays that counted.