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Giants overcome offense's 289 net yards

Eli Manning of the New York Giants throws

Eli Manning of the New York Giants throws a pass in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac


It certainly didn't feel like a showcase game, but the Giants did run the ball for 132 yards, their first game of the season with 100 or more. And they didn't commit any turnovers. And they did a better job of protecting Eli Manning, who was sacked twice. So why the low mark? Because they accounted for just one TD, couldn't close out the game in the final 1:48 until Dallas muffed a punt, and were just 3-for11 on third downs. Managing just 289 net yards of offense isn't going to cut it moving forward.


It's hard to balance this performance in which they come up with three key takeaways (giving them seven in the last two weeks and 16 on the season) and score on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's pick-six, but allow 233 rushing yards and are unable to apply more than a few breaths of pressure on Matt Cassel. They allowed Dallas to tie the score late on an 80-play drive, but they got off the field with a key fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter.


This is why they brought Dwayne Harris here. The free-agent kickoff returner has been telling Tom Coughlin all season that he was going to break one and he finally did, going 100 yards for a the timeliest of touchdowns. And Josh Brown connected on two field goals, extending his team record to 19 straight dating to last season. So why the imperfect grade? Brown had a couple of bad kickoffs, including one that went out of bounds, and punter Brad Wing had two touchbacks on his punts (his first two of the season).


If Cole Beasley doesn't muff that late punt, Coughlin likely gets grilled about the play-calling on the three-and-out that burned just 12 seconds of clock and nearly gave the ball back to Dallas with a chance to drive for a touchdown. Coughlin said he decided to put the onus on his defense (which never had to take the field, as it turned out) rather than force a pass.


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