James Bettcher
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

After surrendering 35 points and giving up 405 passing yards to the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants defense will look to bounce back against the (1-0) Buffalo Bills on Sunday MetLife Stadium.

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—More than any other sport, football is the ultimate team game. In order to secure a win, the offense, defense and special teams units must all do damage.

However, in the New York Giants 35-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium, it’s the defense that has received the bulk of the blame. After all, they allowed Dak Prescott to complete 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns, and hardly put any pressure on him.

The Giants secondary was awful as Cowboys receivers were wide open throughout the entire game, and neither the players nor the defensive coordinator seemed to have any answers.

But perhaps the most discouraging stat was that they allowed the Cowboys to score touchdowns on five consecutive offensive possessions.

On his conference call on Monday, head coach Pat Shurmur spoke about the performance of his defense.

“Actually, I felt like from a defensive perspective, in terms of the run game, other than one run that split out for a score inside the red zone, I thought we did a better job against Dallas this year of setting up the run game,” the Giants sideline boss said.

“Unfortunately, we had those long passes. A couple of them were breakdowns individually, a couple of them were, within the scheme, a guy not doing what he should be doing. Unfortunately, it was just a combination of things. But again, all things that can be corrected. I think some of the youth of our players on the outside, this is the first time going through it and we know there are some areas where they can be better.”

The Giants defense knows they have to be better in their home opener on Sunday against the (1-0) Buffalo Bills, or they’ll be sitting at 0-2.

The Bills come into this game a confident team, having just defeated the New York Jets, 17-16, at MetLife Stadium and would now look for their second win at East Rutherford.

You would think the defense would fare better against the Bills due to the hefty talent difference. But the Giants defense isn’t good enough to think they can just show up on Sunday and shut down any offense. In addition, there are some similarities on offense between the Bills and Cowboys.

Josh Allen is a quarterback who likes to make plays with his legs, similarly to Dak Prescott, and the Bills have a speedy receiver in John Brown just like the Cowboys deployed in Michael Gallup, who torched the Giants secondary with seven receptions for 158 yards.

The Bills don’t have a superstar running back even slightly resembling Ezekiel Elliott, but the focal point of their offensive attack is their ground game. They will use Frank Gore and Devin Singletary, and you can expect 25-30 rushes for the Bills on Sunday.

So, in some ways, you can consider the Bills offense a poor man’s version of the Cowboys’, and while it won’t be as potent, the Giants need to be much better prepared on Sunday.

The game against the Bills will be a good barometer on what to expect from the Giants defense this season.

If they play better and contain the Bills offense, the takeaway from the game will be that the defense made adjustments and should also be able to handle a lower-level offense in the league.

If they perform similar to the way they did last Sunday, by not generating a pass rush and getting exposed in the secondary, the Giants will be on their way towards another long season.

Expect the Giants defense to put up an inspired effort as they look to redeem themselves from last week’s performance.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.