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Giants drop season-opener; Postgame notes and stats

Posted Sep 10, 2017

Postgame Stats and notes from the Giants' Week 1 loss to the Cowboys:


ARLINGTON, Texas – Notes and statistics from the Giants’ season-opening 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium.

*The Giants, who defeated the Cowboys here in their 2016 opener, lost their first game for the sixth time in seven seasons.

*The Giants’ three-game winning streak vs. Dallas was snapped. They have held the Cowboys to less than 21 points in each of the last four meetings.

>> WATCH GIANTS VS. COWBOYS HIGHLIGHTS

*The Giants fell to 50-38-5 in season-opening games. They are also 50-38-5 in road openers. The Giants are 33-26-5 in season-opening road games.

*The Giants began their season in Dallas for the third consecutive season. It is the first time they have opened on the road against the same team three years in a row since 1949-51, when their opponents were the Pittsburgh Steelers. The previous three years (1946-48), they opened on the road against the Boston Yankees.

*This is the first time the Giants have played five straight road openers since they started seven consecutive seasons as visitors from 1962-68.

*The Giants are 1-8 in season openers vs. the Cowboys, including 1-6 in Dallas.

*The Giants’ three points is their lowest total since a 27-0 loss in Philadelphia on Oct. 12, 2014. It is the fewest points their scored against the Cowboys since a 19-3 defeat on Dec. 21, 2003.

*The Giants did not score an offensive touchdown for the first time since Sept. 18, 2016, in a 16-13 victory against New Orleans. Their only touchdown in that game was on a blocked field goal. They last failed to score an offensive touchdown in the 2014 loss in Philadelphia.

*The Giants trailed at halftime, 16-0. It was the first time they played a scoreless first half since their last game against the Cowboys, on Dec. 11, 2016, when they trailed, 7-0. They won that game, 10-7. The only other 2016 game in which they didn’t score a first-half point was in Pittsburgh on Dec. 4, when a 14-0 deficit became a 24-14 loss.

*The Giants did not score a first-half touchdown in their NFC Wild Card loss in Green Bay last Jan. 8. The last regular-season game in which they had no first-half touchdowns was in a 49-17 loss in Minnesota on Dec. 27, 2015.

*The 16-point halftime deficit was the Giants’ largest since they trailed at Minnesota, 19-3, in that 2015 game.

*The Giants’ 233 total yards was their lowest total since they gained 232 yards in a victory against the Rams in London last Oct. 23.

*The Giants rushed for 35 yards, their lowest total since they gained 33 yards on the ground in a loss in Washington on Nov. 29, 2015.

*Eli Manning started his 200th consecutive regular-season game, becoming the third quarterback in history to reach that milestone. Brett Favre holds the record with 297 straight starts from 1992-2010, and Peyton Manning started 208 games in a row from 1998-2010.

*Manning played in his 202nd game in a Giants uniform. That broke a tie with George Martin and moved Manning into sole possession of third place on the franchise’s career list. Howard Cross is second with 207 games played, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan is first with 216.

>> WATCH GIANTS POSTGAME REACTIONS

*Manning completed 29 of 38 passes for 220 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked three times.

*Manning is 5-8 in openers, 13-13 vs. Dallas, and 12-18 in Sunday night games.

*Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. was among the Giants’ seven inactive players. Beckham sprained his left ankle in a preseason game in Cleveland on Aug. 21. He participated in extensive pregame drills while Ben McAdoo, Jerry Reese and the team’s athletic trainers watched. But the Giants considered the long-term implications and kept him out of uniform. “It was a medical decision,” McAdoo said. “We decided it was best to hold Odell out.”

*This was the first game Beckham missed since Dec. 27, 2015, when he served a one-game NFL suspension while the Giants played in Minnesota. Beckham missed his first game because of injury since Sept. 25, 2014 in Washington with a strained hamstring. He was inactive each of the first four games of his rookie season because of the injury.

*Running back Shane Vereen led the Giants with nine receptions – four of them on the game’s final possession - the second-highest regular-season total of his career. He caught 12 passes for New England against Cleveland on Dec. 8, 2013. Vereen had 11 catches in Super Bowl XLIX vs. Seattle, a Super Bowl record for running backs.

*Sterling Shepard led the wide receivers with seven catches for 44 yards.

*Roger Lewis, Jr., who stepped in for Beckham, had a career-high four catches for a team-best 54 yards. As a rookie last season, Lewis had seven receptions – one in each of seven games.

*First-round draft choice Evan Engram and rookie free agent Shane Smith started the game in a two-right end formation. They were the first rookie tight ends to start a season opener for the Giants since Michael Matthews in 2007. Engram caught the Giants’ first pass of the season, for a three-yard gain, and finished with four receptions for 44 yards.

*Second-round draft choice Dalvin Tomlinson started at defensive tackle next to Damon Harrison. Tomlinson was the first rookie defensive tackle to start a season opener for the Giants since Barry Cofield in 2006.

*This is the second time in three years the Giants’ first and second-round draft choices started the season opener. In 2015, Ereck Flowers started at left tackle and Landon Collins at free safety. Prior to that, the Giants’ top two draft choices had last started an opener in 1997 (wide receiver
Ike Hilliard and running back Tiki Barber.

*Six Giants made their NFL debuts vs. the Cowboys: Engram, Smith, Tomlinson, placekicker Aldrick Rosas, defensive end Avery Moss, and linebacker Calvin Munson. Rosas’ 25-yard field goal in the third quarter accounted for the Giants’ only points.


*Three veterans made their Giants debuts in Dallas: wide receiver Brandon Marshall, tight end Rhett Ellison, and cornerback Ross Cockrell. Marshall caught one pass, a 10-yarder on the final play of the game. Without it, he would have been shutout for the first time since his 2006 rookie season with Denver. Ellison had one reception for nine yards.

*Aside from the rookies, middle linebacker B.J. Goodson was the only Giants player to make his first career start. Goodson was all over the field, and his 18 tackles (14 solo) were more than twice as many as any other player on the field.

*The only Giants in uniform who did not play were backup quarterback Geno Smith and offensive linemen Brett Jones and Chad Wheeler, a rookie.

*Defensive end Olivier Vernon had the Giants’ only sack, a five-yard takedown of Dak Prescott.

*The Giants fell to 21-29-1 on Sunday nights, including10-17-1 on the road, 6-7 vs. the Cowboys, and 3-5 in Dallas.

*The roof was closed in AT&T Stadium. The Giants are 31-24 in indoor games, including 2-4 in AT&T Stadium.

*In addition to Beckham, the Giants’ inactive players were wide receiver Tavarres King, linebacker Keenan Robinson, running back Wayne Gallman, offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, tight end Matt LaCosse, and quarterback Davis Webb.

*Fluker was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. He missed five games in his four seasons with San Diego, missing four due to concussions and one with an ankle injury. Fluker started all 61 regular-season and postseason games in which he played for the Chargers.

*The Giants’ game captains were Landon Collins, Weston Richburg, and Brad Wing. They joined season captains Eli Manning, Jonathan Casillas and Zak DeOssie.

*Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott had 24 carries for 104 yards, the first Giants opponent to cross the century mark since…Elliott ran for 107 yards in the Giants victory last Dec. 11.

*The Giants trail in the all-time series, 63-45-2, including 20-35-1 in Dallas.