new york giants
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals put an end to the New York Giants’ four-game winning streak on Sunday with a resounding victory at MetLife Stadium. 

Jason Leach

The euphoria of the New York Giants’ four-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday — Big Blue suffered a 26-7 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals.

Daniel Jones returned to the starting lineup after missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury, but he clearly wasn’t 100%. He wasn’t able to run the ball or avoid defenders, and as a result, was sacked six times while the Giants offense could only muster 159 total yards.

New York’s offensive unit was so abysmal that it didn’t cross midfield until the third quarter. And to make matters worse, Jones appeared to re-aggravate his hamstring injury — he limped off the field late in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Colt McCoy.

The game got off to a horrendous start for Big Blue. On the opening possession, former Giant Markus Golden sacked Jones, forced a fumble, and then picked up the ball and took it back to the Giants nine-yard line.

The Giants defense, however, kept the Cardinals out of the end zone amid a turnover on downs thanks to James Bradberry‘s deflection of a Kyler Murray pass intended for KeeSean Johnson.

With the Giants offense pinned at its own one-yard line, the Cardinals defense was able to force a three-and-out, giving Arizona great field position. The Cardinals then took advantage of the situation and converted it into a Mike Nugent 34-yard field goal to go up 3-0.

Nugent would then connect on another field goal midway through the second quarter to extend the lead to 6-0 before a Dion Lewis fumble on the ensuing kickoff was recovered by Arizona at the Giants 21-yard line. Four plays later, Murray hit tight end Dan Arnold in the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 13-0.

The Cardinals scored their second touchdown of the game on the opening possession of the second half, executing an 11-play, 77-yard drive that culminated in a Kenyan Drake one-yard touchdown run to go up 20-0.

The Giants offense would finally come to life for the first (and only) time all game. The unit drove the ball 75 yards on just seven plays en route to a Dion Lewis one-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-7. The biggest play of the possession was a Jones 39-yard completion to Golden Tate.

That would be as close as the Giants would come though; the Cardinals kicked two field goals in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring and provide themselves with a 26-7 victory.

It was a disappointing loss for a number of reasons. For one, many of the issues that plagued the Giants during the first half of the season reared their ugly head on Sunday.

The offensive line was overwhelmed by Arizona’s defensive front and gave up eight sacks, five of which were from Haason Reddick (a Cardinals franchise record).

Daniel Jones’ inability to hold onto the ball was also a huge issue. The second-year quarterback fumbled three times and was fortunate to only lose one of them.

Following the game, head coach Joe Judge spoke on the defeat.

“First, I just want to give credit to Arizona,” he said. “They came out and played a good football game today. They outplayed us. We were outcoached, outplayed. We have to do more to be successful. We have to have a better week this week and take steps forward as a team.

“A lot of mistakes were made in the game that can’t happen again. We have to work harder to correct. There were some positives from the game, but positives always get overshadowed by the negatives and bad football on tape.”

The worst part about the loss is it coupled with Washington’s 23-15 victory over the 49ers. Washington is now a game up on the Giants for the NFC East lead. The Cowboys and Eagles also won their respective games on Sunday, making the battle for the division an even tighter race.

The Giants will look to rebound next Sunday night against the Cleveland Browns in what is now a must-win game for New York.

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