Giants’ depleted secondary had no answers vs. Cowboys


The stock is down on the “next-man-up mentality” for the Giants.

To no great surprise, it turns out that the Giants missed the three injured starters in their secondary — veteran cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Fabian Moreau, and safety Xavier McKinney — against one of the most explosive passing attacks in the NFL.

Dak Prescott challenged fill-ins Rodarius Williams, Cor’Dale Flott, Nick McCloud and Jason Pinnock even after the Cowboys’ quarterback made some early mistakes. He wound up with 261 passing yards and a 91.1 quarterback rating in a 28-20 Cowboys win on Thanksgiving in Arlington, Texas.

A few days of downplaying the absences and stressing that young players were ready for bigger roles eventually gave way to one-handed catches, crucial penalties and bad tackling angles. And when the rookie Flott suffered a second-half concussion, it just added to the short-handedness.

“It’s next-man-up mentality,” Flott said during the week. “It’s the thing you are preparing for being a backup. We always know you have to be ready at some point. I expect them to challenge me. The opportunity excites me, for sure.”

CeeDee Lamb, who had six catches for 106 yards, makes a reception past Darnay Holmes during the Giants’ 28-20 loss to the Cowboys.
USA TODAY Sports

For a half, it looked as if defensive coordinator Wink Martindale might be able to pull another rabbit out of his hat.

In just his seventh career game and second this season, Williams jumped a sideline route and intercepted a pass when it looked as if Prescott mistakenly thought he had a free play. After the two-minute warning, Prescott got greedy on a third-and-15 in field-goal range and was intercepted by the Giants’ lone remaining starter, Julian Love, off of a deflection from cornerback Darnay Holmes.

The Giants led 13-7 at halftime, but CeeDee Lamb and the Cowboys’ tight ends proved to be too much over the long haul.

Lamb was a handful for Holmes — the Giants’ most-experienced healthy cornerback — in the slot. Holmes twice was called for drive-extending illegal contact penalties on third-and-long plays. The second one, however, which moved the sticks on a third-and-7 and led to a touchdown, looked like a phantom whistle by an officiating crew, led by referee Scott Novak, which is known to be among the most flag-happy in the NFL.

Lamb made a one-handed catch while fighting through pass interference and nearly added two more. He was ruled out of bounds on one that the Cowboys challenged to no avail hoping for a touchdown and couldn’t corral one with the consolation prize that he was mugged by Williams to draw a flag.

CeeDee Lamb celebrates after getting a first down in the Cowboys' win.
CeeDee Lamb celebrates after getting a first down in the Cowboys’ win.
USA TODAY Sports

Williams made a great play to get his hand in for a break-up defending a go-route against Lamb, but Prescott was never deterred. Lamb was targeted 11 times — an ominous sign for the Giants’ short-handed secondary, with games against other elite receivers Terry McLaurin, Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown on tap in December.

“CeeDee is a great player who is in and out of his cuts real fast and has great hands,” McCloud said during the week. “Definitely going to be a challenge.”

Pinnock, who started in place of rookie Dane Belton (the original replacement for the first two games without McKinney), missed a shoestring tackle at the 2-yard line as Dalton Schultz dove in for the second of his two touchdown catches. The entire Giants’ defensive back seven was out of place on Peyton Hendershot’s jet-sweep 2-yard touchdown run out of a four tight-end formation.



Source link

Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.