AT A GLANCE: Turnovers and an early deficit were too much to overcome for the New York Giants in a 27-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium. Big Blue lost its third consecutive game to fall to 2-5 on the season while Arizona improved to 3-3-1 with its third straight victory.
UP NEXT: The Giants travel to Detroit for the first time since 2014. They have dropped two of their last three games against the Lions after winning three in a row in the series, which dates back to 1930.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:
*Three of the offense’s top four skill players returned from injuries in running backs Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman and tight end Evan Engram. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard missed his second consecutive game with a concussion, and rookie Darius Slayton started in his place.
*Daniel Jones threw an interception on the Giants’ first drive, which Arizona turned into a touchdown on the ensuing possession. The Cardinals were the only team in the NFL yet that had not intercepted a pass heading into Week 7. Jones was later strip-sacked in the third quarter (by Chandler Jones) and again in the fourth quarter (Patrick Peterson), increasing his turnover total to 11 (seven interceptions, four fumbles) in five starts. The quarterback was sacked eight times on Sunday, including four by Chandler Jones.
Earlier in the week, the sixth overall draft choice said that taking care of the football was a point of emphasis as he entered his second month as a starter. Jones finished with 22 completions on 35 attempts for 223 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rhett Ellison.
*Barkley, who had not played since he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 3 in Tampa Bay, had 18 carries for 72 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 24-21 with 8:13 left in the game. He also caught three passes for eight yards.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:
*The Giants failed to get off the field on the opening drive of the game as Arizona, led by first overall draft pick Kyler Murray, converted two third downs and a fourth down. Fordham product Chase Edmonds capped the 13-play, 75-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run – his first of three on the day – to put the Giants behind early in the game.
*The Cardinals had 86 yards rushing and controlled the ball for more than 11 minutes in the first quarter alone. In all, the Giants allowed 156 yards on 38 carries (4.1-yard average) as Edmonds had three touchdown runs of 20+ yards.
*Through the air, the Giants held the former Heisman Trophy winner to just 104 yards on a rainy afternoon in MetLife Stadium.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:
*A week after the Patriots blocked a Riley Dixon punt and returned it for a touchdown, Michael Thomas got one back for the Giants in the second quarter of Sunday’s game. The special teams co-captain and 2018 Pro Bowler blocked Andy Lee’s punt in the end zone, and Eli Penny jumped on the ball for a touchdown. It brought the Giants to within three points of the Cardinals, who had jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half.
*Aldrick Rosas hit the right upright on a 37-yard field goal attempt with 1:07 left in the third quarter. It would have cut the deficit to one possession. Rosas has two misses this season after having only one in his 2018 Pro Bowl campaign.
INJURY REPORT: NYG – OLB Lorenzo Carter (ankle, returned)
INACTIVES: NYG – WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), CB Corey Ballentine (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, LB Chris Peace, G Chad Slade, OT Eric Smith, TE Garrett Dickerson. AZ – DL Zach Allen (neck), RB D.J. Foster (hamstring), WR Christian Kirk (ankle), ILB Ezekiel Turner (hamstring), ILB Ramik Wilson, OL Lamont Gaillard, DE Michael Dogbe.
LINEUP CHANGES: NYG – Darius Slayton for Shepard at WR. AZ – KeeSean Sherfield for Kirk at WR; Jonathan Bullard for Allen at DE.