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Giants Q&A: Markus Golden brings the heat in game against former team

Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates

Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates his first quarter fumble recovery by Daniel Jones #8 of the Giants with his teammates at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Markus Golden said last week that he planned to "come with it" against the Giants, who traded him to the Cardinals in October. Did he?

Yes, and he wasted very little time. He punctuated the first possession of the game with a sack and a forced fumble against Daniel Jones, enveloping him with a bone-jarring face-to-face hit. Golden scooped up the ball and returned it 30 yards to the 9. 

He must have been pretty angry with the Giants, right?

Other than his play, it didn’t seem so. He shared a quick embrace with coach Joe Judge at midfield after the game and shared a quick conversation with Jones on the field during a change of possession later in the first quarter. It seemed much less violent than Golden’s initial interaction with Jones. 

Hadn’t Jones already rid himself of turnover issues?

It seemed as if he had, but he put the ball on the ground three times Sunday. He lost just the one on the Golden sack, but his sloppiness with the football returned. It was his first turnover since Week 8 against the Bucs and first lost fumble since Week 7 against the Eagles. "Just got to do a better job with it," Jones said. "I just gotta protect the ball."

Who is Haason Reddick?

He’s the linebacker who had five of the Cardinals’ eight sacks and accounted for 43 lost yards by the Giants. The only Giant who gained more than 43 yards was Wayne Gallman (57).

Where were the Giants’ playmakers?

Good question. Golden Tate led the team in receiving yards and had one catch for 39 yards. Evan Engram at one point late in the fourth quarter had one catch for minus-1 yard. Sterling Shepard caught three passes for 35 yards, one of them for 24. Darius Slayton, targeted eight times, caught three for 31 yards.

What has happened to the Giants’ special teams?

For the third straight week, they were a detriment to success. Dion Lewis’ fumbled kickoff return in the second quarter led directly to a Cardinals touchdown and the Giants’ coverage on punts was lackluster.

"This has been a phase that has been a strength for us for a large part of the year," said Judge, a special teams coach with the Patriots before coming to the Giants. "We have to make sure that we just keep on moving forward . . . Cleveland [Sunday’s opponent] is going to be a very good team in the kicking game. It’s going to take all week to prepare for them right there. So we have to make sure schematically and fundamentally that we make improvements this week."

Who has the most wins at MetLife Stadium this season?

It’s a three-way tie between the Giants, Cardinals and 49ers, all of whom have two.

New York Sports