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Kayvon Thibodeaux - The Giants’ swagger is intact

The Giants’ rookie EDGE is still confident despite the team’s recent setbacks

NFL: New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants came up short against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. While the Giants lead 13-7 at halftime, Dallas passed them and pulled away in the second half.

The Giants’ offense struggled to move the ball consistently, while Dallas’ offense figured out Wink Martindale’s defense. The result was Dallas scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half. It was a tough loss for the Giants, particularly on the back of a disappointing loss to the Detroit Lions. In the span of a week the Giants went from one game out of first place in the NFC East and one of the major storylines of the season, to a team being questioned by fans and the national media.

“No, I don’t think our swagger is gone,” said edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux. “I don’t think anything about who we are and our character is gone. I just feel like it’s going to take more confidence for a lot of guys who have to step up and take on these bigger roles.“

Any loss to their arch-rival is painful, but this one at least came with a very nice consolation. Thibodeaux turned out to be player of the game for the Giants. Thibodeaux didn’t just turn out the best game of his young career, but he had one of the best days of any pass rusher this year.

“It felt really good,” he said. “I do feel like I had one of my better games. I still got a lot to grow from. (There’s) still some rushes I left out there that I want back. But I definitely do feel like I’ve been growing in the right direction.”

The Giants are relying heavily on under-the-radar players and need Thibodeaux to continue to improve. While the Giants have slipped in the divisional rankings and face the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL. But Thibodeaux isn’t focusing on the tough road ahead, he’s concentrating on the opportunity before the team.

“It’s definitely exciting. Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) talked to us today, and he kind of gave us that idea that the beginning of the season starts now,” Thibodeaux said. “So, everything we’ve done has put us in position to go for it all. So, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. But it is a big task at hand that we have.”

“Not even just the playoffs and that,” he added, “but just the idea of having those mentors like (former Giants) Michael Strahan and Carl Banks in the building – even Jessie Armstead – just to give you those insights to, ‘This is where the biggest guys step up.’ So, it kind of gives you that extra thing to play for – extra motivation.”