The Giants have not scored a touchdown in their last 21 offensive possessions. They have gone two straight games without finding the end zone in any fashion for the first time since 1998. They have yet to gain 300 yards or more in a game this season, are last in the NFL in both yards and points, and this week their offensive coordinator admitted he is still trying to figure out what his unit is good at doing so they can try to do that more.
All of which makes remarkable one of the things Joe Judge is guarding against this week.
"It’s our job as coaches to make sure our team doesn’t ever go in overconfident no matter what the situation or circumstance is," he said.
That’s how bad the Cowboys’ defense is, that even the lowly Giants have to be reminded that this will not be an easy game for them to score and right so many of the wrongs that have plagued them in their first four games.
The Giants on Sunday will be in Dallas to face a team that is ranked last in points allowed (36.5 per game), 31st in rushing yards allowed (181.8) and 30th in yards allowed (430.5). Opposing teams have a passer rating of 114.3 against them. Only Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have a rating higher than that this season, meaning they allow every quarterback to play like an MVP candidate.
So when they meet on Sunday in a clash of the resistible force against the movable object, it’s clear that one of them will be healed by the other’s overriding flaws. One of them will come away from the game feeling fixed.
The Giants are trying not to think about whom they are playing. They’d rather improve on their own than have it happen because of the opponent.
"I think we have to focus on us, and that’s certainly our mindset going in," Daniel Jones said. "We’ll look at what they do and understand their scheme, but it’s about how we prepare and what we do on offense going into the game."
"I think the biggest thing we’re all trying to do is just simply execute better, both in the run game and the pass game," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "You certainly want to do the things you’re good at, and we’re trying to discover what those things are, again both in the run and the pass game. You want to make sure that you’re finding ways to keep the defense off balance, whether it’s using tempo, which we’ve used a lot of this year, whether it’s using formations and movements, or just the combination of run and pass and different ways to do that. We’re all trying as a coaching staff to do a great job of putting our players in a good position. Then we have to execute once the ball turns over."
In that regard, the Giants saw some glimmers of hope in last week’s loss to the Rams.
"There was some progress in the game the other day," Garrett said. "It’s really the first time we ran the ball relatively consistently throughout the year. That certainly helped us gain the balance that we want. I think it helped the passing game and the protection as that game wore on. We’re certainly striving for that, and guys are working hard every day to achieve it."
The Cowboys? They were gashed for 307 rushing yards by the Browns last week.
"Well, we’re working on it," Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. "We didn’t have a very good performance, particularly in run defense, this past Sunday against Cleveland. We’ve spent more time on self-scout and making sure we’re cleaning our own house, and that’s really been our focus."
Judge insisted he is ignoring such performances.
"They’re a well-coached team and there is a world of talent on that roster," he said. "For us to think that just because someone had a rough outing one week that it is going to transfer over to the game [is wrong]. We expect everybody’s best every week. That’s what we anticipate getting."
Even when the other team’s best is the worst.