The New York Giants saw a three-game winning streak and their spot atop the NFC East disappear in a flurry Monday night.
And now some must wonder what exactly lies ahead for this team, which is baffling at times.
The Giants very well could have started the season 5-0 and been in clear command of the NFC East. But clock management doomed them in their season-opening loss to the Cowboys, and they blew a late lead against the Falcons in Week 2.
Then the Giants won three straight and, just when it seemed like they were getting on the right track, they put together an embarrassing showing against the Eagles on national television.
It started off well, with the Giants opening with a flawless TD drive before things spiraled downward. The Eagles rattled off 27 unanswered points and exposed a Giants team that has an underwhelming offensive line and shaky defense.
New York had three turnovers, committed 12 penalties and went a paltry 4-for-13 on third down. Consider that the Giants had three total turnovers in their first five games and had averaged seven penalties a game.
“You can’t play like that,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said during his postgame news conference. “That’s bad football.”
Now, the Giants must bounce back against a team that has fared well in New York under Jason Garrett. Garrett-led Cowboys teams have gone 4-1 against the Giants in New York since he became head coach.
But at least one Giants player welcomes the Cowboys coming to town.
“We’re excited to play Dallas, because we owe Dallas,” guard Justin Pugh said, via ESPN. “We owe Dallas for sure.”
Odell Beckham Jr. is among the top players in the NFL, becoming a superstar last season with a remarkable one-handed catch over Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr.
Beckham has had a solid season so far this year, but has been nursing a hamstring injury. He played Monday, catching seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. But all of those came in the first half, and he was targeted only once in the second half.
“I feel good,” Beckham said, via NJ.com. “It’s all a work in progress, though. So you keep staying on top of it. It’s part of being a pro, how you manage it.”
For the season, Beckham has 38 receptions for 489 yards with four TDs.
Trust in Moore?
Texas A&M product Damontre Moore has flashed potential throughout his three years with the Giants. He registered 5.5 sacks a year ago, and already has three this season.
But he is prone to make bone-headed decisions like he did Monday when he dumped Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, drawing a roughing-the-passer penalty.
Those incidents have led some to wonder whether the Giants trust Moore. Coughlin answered that question on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
“I can’t really honestly say that,” Coughlin said. “He’s obviously of a high energy. He does give outstanding effort, there’s no question about it. But in regard to that, there’s absolutely no excuse for anyone for the unnecessary-roughness penalty that he committed last night. You use the word ‘trust.’ I don’t know. That’s a good word.”
10 Giants first downs in the first quarter Monday. They had eight the final three quarters.
4 Times Eli Manning was sacked in the Giants’ first five games. Against the Eagles on Monday, Manning was sacked three times.
He said it
“We just didn’t play well. It was bound to happen at some point, I guess.” — guard Geoff Schwartz following Monday’s loss, via ESPN