New York Giants coach Brian Daboll, a veteran of 20 NFL seasons, is aware seasons ebb and flow as good things and bad come and go.
The Giants have been enjoying a lot of good stuff so far this season. A lot of ebbing.
They seemingly revived running back Saquon Barkley’s career. They’ve limited mistakes by quarterback Daniel Jones. They’ve been chasing the first-place Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East the entire season, which is a huge surprise because they’re a rebuilding program.
So, yes, all that’s the ebb.
But here comes the flow.
The Giants have lost two of three games now. They just lost a conference home game to a Lions team that was under .500 overall, under .500 in the conference, and under .500 on the road.
And now New York plays at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day three days after this rough loss and the Cowboys’ dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings.
So much flow potential there.
Giants Season Hits A Snag
“We certainly weren’t celebrating,” Jones said after the 31-18 loss. “I think we’re all pretty disappointed with our effort today and how we played — not up to our standard, not up to what we’re capable of doing.
“I think that’s the disappointing part of it, and we’ve got to evaluate that, study it and make sure we can’t let those things happen again. Another opportunity here in a few days to correct those things.”
That sounds fantastic. But there are challenges. There are flow kind of challenges.
The Giants, you see, limped out of this beating as if it were, well, a beating.
Six New York players left the game with injuries.
Rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson left the game with a right knee injury and Daboll said Monday morning he has an ACL injury which means he’s out for the season.
Safety Jason Pinnock (jaw), center Jon Feliciano (neck) and right tackle Tyre Phillips (neck) all left the game. Pinnock not only left the game, but departed the stadium in an ambulance to have his jaw seen at a local hospital.
Starting cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson (knee) and Fabian Moreau (ribs) also left the game with injuries.
Lions Stop Saquon Barkley
The frustrating part is the Giants are not deep at cornerback. And Jackson suffered his injury during a punt return.
“Look, it’s football,” Daboll said. “Obviously, it was unfortunate. But we’ll see where we’re at here tomorrow and later tonight.”
As big a problem is the Lions all but shut down Barkley. He was held to only 22 yards on 15 carries. And with that the Lions put on tape a blueprint for how shut down the running back who led the NFL by averaging 103.4 rushing yards per game and New York’s most effective weapon.
“They did a good job up front,” Daboll said. “They won up front. (They) made tackles in space. You know, bottled up the run game pretty good. That’s obviously a big part of what we do.”
So amid the current flow, can the Giants change course and order up some more ebb? Because this didn’t look too good.
“I’d say nothing looked good enough today,” Daboll said. “When you lose, it doesn’t matter about yards, stats, any of that stuff. The only thing that matters is executing the way you need to execute. It just wasn’t enough today.”
If there is a positive about playing in Dallas on Thanksgiving then Jones found it: The game will come sooner than usual.
“I think we’re all already anxious to get this taste out of our mouths,” Jones said, “and come back and play a much better football game.”