New York Giants: Three takeaways from 35-17 loss at Dallas

Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. New York Giants. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Defense is as bad as we feared

Great New York Giants teams of the past were built on a solid foundation of defense. It almost seems like a strong D is part of the organization’s DNA. Playing as poorly as the defense did on Sunday is almost anti-Giants.

As it turned out, Dallas didn’t need to rush Ezekiel Elliott back into the lineup. Big Blue gave their opponents exactly what the needed in the star running back’s return to the team. For the returning star, it was a preseason matchup in a regular-season game. He carried 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown. Elliott also caught a pass for 10 yards. Coming into the game, Big Blue would have been happy with 14 touches from “Zeke.”

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As it turned out Elliott wasn’t needed. Prescott had his way with the Giants defense. He completed 25-of-32 for 405 yards, four touchdowns and recorded a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Any defender not named “Janoris Jenkins” performance on Sunday left much to be desired.

As expected, the New York Giants defensive line had no bite. Prescott wasn’t sacked all game and was barely pressured. The Dallas signal-caller had all day to sit in the pocket and wait for his receivers to get open. Big Blue’s D-line did a decent job defending the run against the other Dallas running backs, but it didn’t matter as most of those carries were to run out the clock.

If the Giants defensive front was invisible, the secondary was visibly bad. Aside from Jenkins, no one could cover man. Additionally, when the G-Men played zone, Prescott picked them apart. There were ongoing problems with miscommunication, missed assignments, and blown coverages.

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Any team who can’t pressure the quarterback and has issues covering receivers is doomed to failure. Defensive coordinator James Betcher has to find a way to generate some heat on the quarterback because his defensive backs can’t keep opposing receivers from getting open.