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5 Things We Learned

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5 things we learned from loss to Lions


The Giants took on the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium on Sunday in a Week 11 matchup.

Turnovers and injuries were the story of the game as the Giants fell, 31-18. The offense turned the ball over three times while the defense failed to register one. Meanwhile, six Giants players left the game with injuries, including five starters.

"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," Daniel Jones said after the game. "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."

The Giants have a quick turnaround as they will travel to Dallas in a couple of days to take on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. It will be the first of four consecutive games against the NFC East (home vs. Commanders, home vs. Eagles, at Commanders).

Here are five things we learned in Sunday's win.

1. Giants can't overcome turnovers

The Giants' offense came into this game ranking third in the league with just eight turnovers on the season. However, the unit committed three against the Lions on Sunday, two of which led to Detroit touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Wink Martindale's unit was unable to force one themselves, and the Giants were unable to overcome the minus-3 turnover differential.

"Obviously not the outcome that we wanted," coach Brian Daboll said. "It's hard to win a game when you have three turnovers and don't get any. Some things we did well but not good enough. Give Detroit credit for the win."

2. DJ throws for 341 yards, two INT

Daniel Jones entered Week 11 with the league's longest active streak without an interception. That came to an end on Sunday as Jones threw two interceptions, only his third and fourth of the season. On the first one, Lions rookie defensive end and No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson made an athletic play to jump up and snag the pass intended for Darius Slayton. On the second interception, the fourth-year quarterback overthrew tight end Lawrence Cager, and Kerby Joseph came down with the ball.

"He didn't see him," Daboll said about Jones' first interception. "He dropped. It was zone pressure. He dropped right into it. He saw Slayton coming across. Didn't see Aidan, and he made a good play on it. Next one was (an) overthrow. They made the play, and then we turned the ball over there as we were trying to come back on a fumble there."

"Yeah, didn't see him there. Got to see it, bad decision there. Good play by him, can't afford to do that..." Jones said about Hutchinson's interception. "Just got to see him dropping out. Can't afford to make that decision."

Jones finished the game with the most pass attempts he's had all year with 44. He ended up completing 27 of them for 341 yards, one touchdown and the two interceptions. He also added seven carries for 50 yards (7.1 avg.) and an additional score.

3. Saquon shut down

Saquon Barkley was the NFL's leading rusher through 10 weeks with 931 yards on the ground and an average of 103.4 rushing yards per game. But it seemed clear that Dan Campbell's focus for his defense this week was to shut down the star running back, and the unit came through.

Barkley carried the ball 15 times for just 22 yards, finishing with an average of 1.5 yards per carry. The yards and yards per carry average were both the lowest of the season for the fifth-year running back, whose longest run of the day went for just four yards. He also caught two passes for 13 yards. The Giants finished with just 89 yards on 26 carries (3.4 avg.) as a team after averaging nearly 165 rushing yards through the first nine games.

"They did a good job up front," said Daboll. "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."

"Credit to Detroit – they had a good plan and stopped us in some areas that we've had success," Jones added. "I think credit to them, but we got to look at ourselves and see where we can execute better."

The Giants scored two rushing touchdowns against the Lions, starting with Jones' three-yard run to get the Giants on the board in the first quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, running back Matt Breida scored his first touchdown as a Giant when he ran it in from three yards out.

4. Defense struggles to stop the run

The Giants have struggled at times this season slowing down their opponents' run game. That trend continued against the Lions. Detroit ran the ball 37 times for 160 yards (4.3 avg.) and four touchdowns. Running back Jamaal Williams carried the ball 17 times for 64 yards, good for an average of 3.8, and found the end zone three times. Williams now has a league-high 12 touchdowns this season.

"They did a good job," said Daboll. "What did they have, 160 yards rushing? (They're) efficient in the pass game. (They had) 325 yards. (They were) six-of-13 on third downs (and) four-of-five in the red zone. I'd say, overall, they just executed really well."

D'Andre Swift ran the ball only five times, but one was for a four-yard touchdown. Justin Jackson added nine carries for 66 yards (7.3 avg.), while wide receivers Kalif Raymond (seven yards) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (four yards) added one rush attempt apiece.

5. Injury updates; 6 players ruled out

Injuries were the big storyline in this game as the Giants saw six players get ruled out, including five starters. Adoree' Jackson, the team's No. 1 cornerback, suffered a knee injury while returning a punt in the first half and did not return. Later in the game, Fabian Moreau, the team's No. 2 cornerback, departed with a rib injury. Late in the game, safety Jason Pinnock suffered a jaw injury and did not return.

Things did not get much better when it came to injuries on the offense. The unit lost two of their starting offensive linemen on Sunday, center Jon Feliciano and right tackle Tyre Phillips, both to neck injuries. Wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson suffered a knee injury in the second half and was ruled out. The rookie wideout had caught a season-high nine passes for 100 yards prior to the injury.

"Tough to see him go down," Jones said about the rookie wide receiver. "I thought he played really well today, made some really big plays for us throughout the game. To see him go down like that is tough and feel for him. We've had guys step up and play well throughout the year, so it won't be any different here. We all got his back and supporting him for sure."

The Giants ruled out tight end Daniel Bellinger on Friday. The rookie missed his third consecutive game after suffering a serious eye injury in the Week 7 win over the Jaguars. He has yet to return to practice.

Right tackle Evan Neal was listed as doubtful on the final injury report and was then ruled out on gameday. Neal was also hurt in Jacksonville and is out for his third straight game with a knee injury. The rookie did return to practice this week but was limited.

Five players were listed as questionable - defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (back), wide receivers Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and Wan'Dale Robinson (hamstring), safety Dane Belton (clavicle) and offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu (neck). They were all limited in practice but were active.

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