Week 6 Game Recap: New York Giants 13, Dallas Cowboys 16
What you need to know
The Giants’ offense managed only 92 total yards in the first three quarters of this game. The Giants did not convert a single third down play until well into the fourth quarter and finished the game with one first down on 11 attempts in that category. The Giants also turned the ball over four times. Despite the ineptitude of the offense, New York led until the last minute of the first half and trailed only 7-6 after three quarters. The Giants forced three first half Cowboys’ turnovers (four overall) and converted two of them into Jay Feely field goals. Nearly two thirds of the Giants’ offense came in the fourth quarter as the Giants recovered from a late 13-6 deficit to send the game into overtime.
Eli Manning, who still has not won a start outside of Giant Stadium, was not sharp for most of the game. He threw a crucial red zone interception and an abnormal number of his passes were off target; one pass that Tim Carter managed to catch before it hit the ground resembled a knuckleball. Manning finished 14 of 30 for 215 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Despite his early struggles, Manning was able to lead the Giants’ offense down the field twice late in the game. One drive ended when Brandon Jacobs fumbled near the goal line on his only carry. The Giants got the ball back with 52 seconds left and needing a touchdown. Manning required only two completions to get them to the end zone and force overtime. The Giants’ offense would never get the ball back as the Cowboys scored on the initial overtime possession.
The New York defense gets mixed reviews. On the positive side, they forced four turnovers and held the Cowboys to 92 yards rushing and a 2.4 yards per carry average. However, the pass defense, which was ranked 31st coming into the game, struggled at times. Drew Bledsoe passed for 312 yards and one touchdown.
With star running back Julius Jones sitting this game out with an ankle injury and the Dallas facing the NFL’s second worst pass defense, the Cowboys figured to throw early and often. Drew Bledsoe did just that completing 15 of 19 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in the first half and finishing 26-37 for 312 yards overall. However, the Cowboys’ running game struggled and four turnovers (three in the first half) led directly to six Giants’ points and kept New York in the game.
Anthony Thomas led Cowboy rushers with 21 carries for 47 yards (2.2 average). Rookie Marion Barber ran 11 times for 30 yards (2.7 average). In true committee fashion, last week’s leading rusher, Tyson Thompson, had only three rushes for 13 yards. Marion Barber had ten of his attempts after halftime, while Thomas struggled to gain only 13 yards on 11 carries.
The Dallas defense held the Giants’ offense to 11 first downs and helped the Cowboys’ offense possess the ball for almost 41 minutes compared to 23 for the Giants. However, with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, the defense allowed the Giants’ offense 178 yards and the game tying touchdown.
Starting left tackle, Flozell Adams left the game with a knee sprain in the third quarter and did not return.
What you ought to know
|QB Eli Manning, Pass: 14 - 30 - 215 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0|
After three quarters, Eli Manning’s passing stats totaled seven of 19 for 55 yards and an interception, numbers that in no way approached his 624 total passing yards and 111 quarterback rating in the Giants’ two previous games. Under his direction, the Giants accumulated 92 total yards and converted zero third downs before the fourth quarter. Many of Manning’s passes were errant. His interception (by Anthony Henry at the Dallas one yard line) killed a chance for another short field goal in the third quarter. Manning also had another pass nearly intercepted, but officials ruled that the ball touched the ground before Henry controlled it.
It was the fourth quarter that salvaged Manning’s numbers and almost the game for the Giants. He totaled seven of 11 for 160 yards and a touchdown in the last stanza and led the Giants to the game tying touchdown with nineteen seconds remaining. On the final drive, he was forced out of the pocket to his left and did a nice job evading the pass rush and buying time to find Burress for a 28 yard gain. He hit Jeremy Shockey for a 24 yard touchdown pass on the next play.
Manning fumbled once when La’Roi Glover lunged and knocked the ball from his hand. He also contributed one ten yard gain on a scramble during the game.
|RB Tiki Barber, Rush: 14 - 64 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)|
Barber averaged 4.6 yards on 14 carries. He likely would have had more chances had the Giants not been limited to three first downs into the fourth quarter. He caught one short pass for five yards. Barber missed one series with a shoulder stinger after making the tackle on Anthony Henry’s interception return. He returned and showed no lingering effects.
Ward had consecutive carries for eight and two yards in the first quarter. He had one other carry for five yards while Tiki Barber was recuperating from a shoulder burner.
The Giants brought Jacobs in late in the fourth quarter for a second and one carry at the Dallas three yard line. Jacobs gained two yards before being stripped by Roy Williams. Jacobs did not get another opportunity.
As usual, Burress was Eli Manning’s most targeted receiver in the game. Five of his 11 targets went for completions. Burress gained only 55 yards with a long reception of 28 yards. Most of Burress’ targets were short to intermediate routes. He was the target on one incomplete deep pass attempt.
Toomer had two receptions on three targets (all in the first half). The one incomplete target was on a deep attempt thrown out of bounds by Manning.
Carter bailed Manning out by scooping up an under thrown non-spiraling pass before it fluttered to the turf. He also leapt high to make an acrobatic catch on an errant Manning pass in the first half, but was ruled out of bounds, when it appeared he was able to get both feet down inside the line.
Shockey did not catch a pass in the first half; he was targeted twice. In the second half, Shockey became the focus of the Giants’ offense. 129 of Eli Manning’s 183 passing yards after halftime went to Shockey. He scored the only Giants’ touchdown. His receptions went for 14, 59, 18, 14 and 24 yards. The final reception sent the game into overtime.
Feely had a perfect day converting field goals of 50 and 45 yards and his only extra point attempt.
The Giants’ rush defense held the Cowboys to 92 rushing yards and a 2.4 yards per attempt average. Dallas’ long gain on the ground went for twelve yards. Nick Greisen, who was subbing for injured linebacker, Reggie Torbor, contributed eight solo tackles with two assists and a fumble recovery. On one play he timed the snap count perfectly and nearly hit Drew Bledsoe before he was able to hand off. Instead, he tackled Marion Barber for a six yard loss.
The Giants’ pass defense came into the game ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards given up per game and lived up to that reputation as Drew Bledsoe finished 26 of 37 for 312 yards and one touchdown. The Giants also came into the game with the worst opponent’s third down conversion rate. And, the Cowboys were successful on nine of 16 third down attempts. However, the Giants did limit the Cowboys to one touchdown and forced four turnovers. Gibril Wilson was credited with ten solo tackles and a forced fumble. Michael Strahan had six solo tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. Osi Umenyiora sacked Bledsoe, forcing a fumble. Curtis DeLoatch also contributed five tackles and an interception.
|QB Drew Bledsoe, Pass: 26 - 37 - 312 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0|
Bledsoe had a very productive game. Bledsoe finished the first half 15 of 19 for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was 11 of 18 for 143 yards after halftime. With the Cowboys’ running game struggling, Bledsoe probably should have been given the green light to throw more often. Though Bledsoe had a productive game, he was credited with three of the four Cowboys’ turnovers. The first came on a bad exchange from center. Bledsoe also threw an interception when he was hit as he tried to deliver a pass to Terry Glenn. Bledsoe’s third turnover came as Osi Umenyiora hit his arm and stripped the ball.
With Julius Jones out for this game, Thomas led the Dallas rushing attack with 21 carries for 47 yards. Thomas had a long gain of 12 yards. Two thirds of his carries gained fewer than four yards, while nine of his attempts went for no gain or lost yardage. Thomas’ most impressive run went for no gain, but he was hit at least two yards deep in the end zone and had to fight hard through the tackle just to avoid a safety.
Barber had only one carry for two yards in the first half. After halftime, Barber split time with Anthony Thomas pretty evenly. He had ten carries for 28 yards in the second half. Barber had runs of eleven and eight yards. However, his other nine carries went for 11 yards. Barber was the Cowboys’ third down back of choice and contributed receptions of fifteen and six yards.
Thompson, who led the Cowboys in rushing in the previous game against the Eagles, had only three carries for thirteen yards in this game.
If you want proof that last week’s argument on the sidelines is a thing of the past, look no further than Johnson’s line. He was Bledsoe’s favorite target and led the Cowboys in receiving for the game. The only negative about Johnson’s game was a lost fumble in the first half.
Glenn was Bledsoe’s second most targeted receiver. Glenn’s longest reception went for 18 yards. Bledsoe’s one deep attempt to him was intercepted.
Patrick Crayton had four catches for 46 yards. Three of his four catches went for first downs. After his final catch, Crayton had to be helped off the field and was not able to put much weight onto his injured leg.
Witten had an effective game. He was the on the receiving end of Dallas’ only touchdown, a two yard catch on play action. His 26 yard reception in the overtime helped set up Jose Cortez’s game winning field goal. Witten had a second touchdown reception (fifteen yards) called back by a holding penalty.
Campbell, the Cowboys’ second tight end had one five yard reception on two targets.
The good news is that Cortez made three field goals. The bad news is that he missed two. His makes were from 29, 28, and 45 yards. Cortez converted his only extra point attempt. After converting the 45 yard game winner, Cortez is now 11-22 on field goal attempts between 40-49 yards in his career.
The Cowboys held the Giants to 91 yards rushing, but they did give up 4.8 yards per carry. Still, this was a positive effort for the run defense. The longest gain was a ten yard scramble by Eli Manning. Roy Williams forced a Brandon Jacobs’ fumble when the Cowboys defense was on its heals at their one yard line late in the game. For the game, the Cowboys defense surrendered only 11 first downs. The defense held the Giants to two first half field goals despite three first half turnovers by the offense.
For the first three quarters of the game, the Cowboys’ pass defense must have had fans reminiscing of the doomsday defenses of old. At the start of the third quarter, Eli Manning had 55 yards passing. The bad news for Cowboys fans is that the pass defense allowed Manning to throw for 160 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter in a Jekyll and Hyde performance. Here’s the good news: La’Roi Glover had two sacks and a forced fumble. DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis each contributed a sack as well. Anthony Henry was very active; he had five tackles, two assists, an interception, four passes defended, and a forced fumble. Prior to surrendering the game tying touchdown on the Giant’s last drive, the Cowboys defense had not allowed a touchdown in 30 consecutive possessions.