EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants are facing adversity for the first time this season as they head to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
Not only are the Giants (7-3) coming off an unexpected one-sided loss to the four-win Detroit Lions, they are banged up after playing their worst game of the season.
In previous losses to the Cowboys (7-3) on Sept. 26 and the Seattle Seahawks (6-4), Brian Daboll's team was tied early in the fourth and had a chance to win.
That wasn't the case Sunday. New York was down 24-6 entering the final quarter and never threatened in a game in which it turned the ball over three times.
The Giants lost rookie receiver Wan'Dale Robinson for the season to a torn ACL and four other starters left the game with a variety of injury that makes their status for Thursday uncertain.
Facing the Cowboys is never fun. They have won 10 of the past 11 against the Giants and they demolished the Vikings (8-2) in Minnesota on Sunday.
“We’re not about excuses — never will be,” Daboll said Monday. “We have people on our roster that are going to be ready to play. And that’s our job as a coaching staff is to get these guys ready to play.
"Again, you’re always going to hit adversity — whether it’s in a game, whether it’s in a season. We’ve talked about that since April. I don’t think that’s something you all of a sudden talk about. You have to teach it, and you have to try to learn from it.”
This next game might show whether the Giants are capable of continuing what until now had been a surprising run toward the playoffs.
Despite the two interceptions, Jones showed promise in the loss. There had been questions whether the Giants could win a game in which Jones had to throw and put up plenty of points.
Jones finished with season highs of 27 of 44 for 341 yards. He also threw a touchdown and ran for another, finishing with a team-high 50 yards rushing. The Giants gained 413 yards.
If the Giants can run the football and not commit turnovers, they will have a chance.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Pick a phase of the game. They all do. They offense generated little until the game was out of hand. The defense didn't stop the run, missed tackles and gave up four red zone scores in giving up a season-high 31 points.
Kicker Graham Gano missed two extra points — one was blocked — and punter Jamie Gillan had a 25-yard punt from his 43. The Lions then went 68 yards in seven plays for a 17-6 halftime lead. A poor kickoff covered set up another TD to open the second half.
Kenny Golladay. The $72 million receiver caught two passes for 29 yards. It matched his total for the season. He had been benched in the second half of the win over Houston the previous week. The crowd was stunned after his first catch, and then roared with delight when they realized No. 19 had caught a pass.
Shane Lemieux. Playing his first time since Sept. 12, 2021, the left guard was pressed into action with Ben Bredeson on injured reserve and rookie Josh Ezeudu dealing with a neck injury. Lemieux whiffed on a block against Alim McNeill on the opening series, leading to a sack. He was replaced after halftime by Ezeudu.
Rookie WR Wan'Dale Robinson was lost late in a game where he had nine catches for 100 yards, both career highs. Daboll had no medical updates on C Jon Feliciano (neck), RT Tyre Phillips (neck), CB Adoree Jackson (knee), CB Fabian Moreau (ribs) and S Jason Pinnock (jaw).
6 — The Giants have six turnovers in their three losses. They have five in their seven wins.
The Giants will have to rest and rely on walk-throughs to prepare for the Cowboys. They also have to fly to Dallas. The good news is they get 10 days off before facing Washington on Dec. 4.
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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press