The Giants got off to a fantastic start Monday night against the Cowboys, as Antoine Bethea intercepted Dak Prescott on the first play from scrimmage. He was tackled at the Cowboys' eight-yard line, giving the Giants about as short of a field as you can ask for on their opening drive of the game.
They came away with a field goal.
That was more or less the story of the night as Big Blue converted just one touchdown on five red zone attemps, was outscored 21-3 in the fourth quarter, and lost to the Cowboys, 37-18, dropping their record to 2-7.
"Certainly you want seven, but that's early in the game," head coach Pat Shurmur said of the team's first possession. "We found a way to be up [12-3] at one point, but went down before the half.
"And they're up by a point at halftime because we missed an extra point."
Aldrick Rosas clanked an extra point off the right upright after Cody Latimer caught a one-yard pass from Daniel Jones for the Giants' only touchdown of the game. The kicker did go 4-for-4 on field goal attempts to account for the other 12 Giants' points.
"He missed an extra point, right?" Shurmur said. "It happens. He's allowed to miss one in a lifetime."
Daniel Jones spread the ball around with Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley and Golden Tate all picking up six catches. But Engram knows the Giants could have done more damage before the game got away from them.
"It's about execution, staying on blocks, making the catches," Engram said of the team's struggles in the red zone. "We left a lot points on the board. We've got to be better as a football team. We've got to be better as a coaching staff. We've all got to be better."
"I don't think it's a trend," Shurmur said. "Today we got down there and we wanted to give Saquon some opportunities running the ball and we didn't get too many yards doing that. A couple of times it came down to a third-down pass that we didn't complete so you kick field goals. That's part of it but we just need to do better there."
So how do the Giants get better in the red zone? Perhaps going back to calling it the "green zone," à la the Tom Coughlin era, is in order.
But the execution needs to be there. On Monday it wasn't, so it's back to the drawing board.
"All the things you can't do in a ballgame happened, and it hurt us," Shurmur said. "And we lost. So we'll move on."