In spite of Sunday night’s 27-26 loss to the Cowboys, the New York Giants can build off various successes from the Week 1 defeat.
By Bryan Pol
Bill Barnwell’s Grantland piece chronicled the Giants befuddling 27-26 loss to the rival Cowboys, placing onus on the coaching staff’s mismanagement of the clock and quarterback Eli Manning’s questionable moves before and after the two-minute warning, most notably, his decision to throw an incompletion on third down at the one-yard line instead of taking the sack, the latter of which would have kept the clock running, leaving Tony Romo less time to operate in a two minute drill.
Even now, New York Giant fans, mired in the analysis of what proved to be Big Blue’s snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, remain catatonic over Sunday night’s final four minutes (Barnwell, according to analytics, projected their win expectancy at 95 percent after Eli delivered what was thought to be a dagger to Odell Beckham, Jr., to grab what should have been a game-sealing first down near the two minute warning).
Alas, too much went wrong in the contest’s final quarter, by which the Cowboys outscored the Giants 14-10, taking the lead for good with seven seconds remaining, thanks to Tony Romo’s second touchdown pass to his ever reliable Jason Witten. With 25 career fourth-quarter comebacks, Romo is second in the NFL in the category since 2004, his first year in the league (Eli has 26, the NFL’s leader since ’04).
Shockingly though, with a shade over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Giants held a 10-point lead, at 23-13, a margin that was largely the defense’s doing.
Despite the loss (the Cowboys have now won five straight against the Giants, and are 8-0 all-time against them in season openers), there were a few bright spots New York can structure their game plan around going into Week 2’s matchup at home against the Atlanta Falcons, who reigned victorious on Monday night, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24.
Here are some points upon which the Giants can build heading into their home opener at Met Life Stadium, with hopes of not falling to 0-2, especially on the verge of a quick turnaround against the Washington Redskins next Thursday night in Week 3.