There really isn’t a whole lot of positive to take away from the New York Giants 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants came into the game beat up, left battered, and were manhandled by Dallas on both sides of the ball.
The 1-4 Giants aren’t in a great place as the return home to the Meadowlands to take on the Los Angeles Rams.
Before we completely turn the page and burn the tape from Sunday’s drubbing, we have to take one quick look at the numbers from the game and see what they can tell us.
The story of the Giants’ snap counts on offense is really about who played in relief of injured players.
Interestingly, the Giants started the game in a 13 personnel package, with Evan Engram (50 snaps, 74 percent), Kyle Rudolph (41 snaps, 60 percent), and Kaden Smith (24 snaps, 35 percent) all on the field.
The Giants leaned into their multiple tight end sets throughout the game, likely to try and compensate for their battered receiving corps as well as to try and help their protection up front.
Wes Martin (39 snaps) and Mat Skura (29 snaps) split time at left guard.
John Ross saw the most snaps of the Giants’ receivers, playing 41 over the course of the game, while Kadarius Toney played 37. Collin Johnson played 30 snaps following the loss of Kenny Golladay, and C.J. Board played 21 snaps throughout the game.
And finally, at running back, the Giants lost Saquon Barkley after just 6 snaps on Sunday, leaving Devontae Booker to play 60 snaps (88 percent). Interestingly, FB/RB Elijhaa Penny played just 6 offensive snaps, while rookie Gary Brightwell played 0 offensive snaps (16 special teams snaps)
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Giants’ defense was how they started the game. The Giants started the game in a 2-4-5 defense, with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence II as the down linemen, Lorenzo Carter and Azeez Ojulari as the EDGE defenders, and the duo of Reggie Raggland and Tae Crowder as the inside linebackers.
Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love got the starts at safety.
Those 11 players constituted the core of the Giants’ defense, with NT Austin Johnson being the only other defender to get more than half of the Giants’ 78 defensive snaps.
The numbers from this game were pretty much ugly across the board.
Dallas won the time of possession, 32:12 to 27:48, converted 8 of 14 third downs (57 percent), amassed 515 total yards, throwing for 314 and rushing for 201 yards on 39 carries (5.15 per carry). Basically, the Cowboys were able to do just about anything they wanted.
The lone bright spot for the Giants on either side of the ball was the play of Kadarius Toney. While Dallas played a very high rate of tight man coverages to start the game, but Jason Garrett did a good job of scheming Toney free releases, favorable matchups, and opportunities to get the ball in space.
(Note: There was an obvious shift in Dallas’ defensive philosophy late in the third quarter and definitely in the fourth quarter to soft coverages as Dallas traded field position for time off the clock.)
Per RBSDM.com, Toney finished the game with a total of +11 EPA (0.85 EPA/play) and a success rate of 77 percent. Toney’s EPA/play was only rivaled by Evan Engram’s 0.81, and success rate of 80 percent.
Kadarius Toney with an elite score of 92.4. Matt Peart with a 69.8, the second-highest offensive grade. Peart gave up one pressure in 44 pass-blocking snaps. Nate Solder (38.8) had the worst offensive grade. He surrendered eight total pressures.
Tae Crowder played every defensive snap. PFF, obviously, did not like the way he played them.