If it weren't for their takeaway ability, this defense would be getting run right out of stadiums. They have a +13 turnover ratio, tied with New England for the most in the league. They should be 6-2 with a stat like that. Oh, wait - they are....but there are some real holes in this team that are worrying fans. The team's biggest problem the past few years has been leaving large swaths of unattended real estate in their back seven in the middle of games so teams can come back. This week, it almost sunk them again.
The Giants did a fine job holding down the Cowboys' depleted rushing attack, surrendering only 19 yards, the lowest allowed since a 2005 win over the Vikings. They hemmed in Tony Romo, who then went on to almost kill them from the pocket.
Even though Romo threw four picks, he continued his 300-yard game streak (3) against the Giants with a whopping 437-yard performance. Of course, it took 62 attempts for to him to amass that number, but the fact remains he still did it.
People need to look inside the numbers, though. Romo's 62 attempts are tied for the most ever in a game vs the Giants (in 2005 Marc Bulger of the Rams also did it) and his 6.3 yards per pass play was the same as Eli Manning's on Sunday. Eli, by all accounts, had a crappy day (15/29, 192 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT).
Three Dallas receivers caught for 100 yards or more Sunday. TE Jason Witten (167 yards) was targeted an unfathomable 22 times by Romo. He caught a Cowboys record 18 of those passes. WR Miles Austin (16 targets, nine catches, 133 yards) and WR Dez Bryant (11 targets, 5 rec, 111 yards) were the others. None of them scored touchdowns, however.
When these two teams get together, they always seem to play games where the numbers don't support the outcome.....
The Giants won, 29-24, but they only had 11 first downs to the Cowboys' 28. The Giants were only 3-15 (20%) on third downs, while Dallas converted seven of their 14 attempts.
The Giants went 1-4 in the red zone. Dallas went 3-4. The Cowboys had 83 offensive plays to the Giants' 58, winning the time of possession, 32:18 to 27:42.
Some unnerving stats..............
The Giants are allowing an average of 8.3 yards per pass play, tied for third-highest in the NFL with Tampa Bay. Only the porous Chiefs and Saints allow more.
The Giants have given up 35 pass plays of 20+ yards, 2nd in the league behind New England. They have allowed six plays over 40 yards, behind only the Redskins, Bucs and Chiefs, who have all allowed seven.
Other numbers look good. They are tied for the league lead in interceptions with Chicago (16) and second to the Patriots in fumble recoveries (8). Their 21 sacks tie them for seventh in the NFL.
They are bending, but not always breaking. They have an offense that can punch back, so many times fans just slough off the shortcomings. The good part of all of this is that the Giants have won six of their first eight games playing nearly pedestrian defense. They actually could be 7-1 or 8-0. If they can tighten up that D, they can make another run...