The formula has been simple, but as Sunday proved, it's not always easy.
The Giants got to where they are this season by taking care of the football, dominating the ground game, and making plays in key situations. They largely missed out on all three in Week 11, leading to a 31-18 loss to the streaking Lions.
"I'd say nothing looked good enough today," coach Brian 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 good enough today. Again, it's hard to overcome three turnovers. [To] have a 3-0 differential, I know it's boring, but that's the truth. There's a lot of things we can do better. It starts with me, and that's what we'll do."
View photos from the Giants' Week 11 game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
D'Andre Swift rushed up the middle for a four-yard touchdown, putting the Lions up by 19 points with 6:10 left in the game. It was the Lions' fourth rushing touchdown of the afternoon, the other three scored by Jamaal Williams. The Giants allowed only five touchdowns on the ground in their first nine games. The Lions' first and last touchdowns were set up by Giants turnovers.
"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," Jones said. "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."
ON THE OTHER SIDE
Saquon Barkley, meanwhile, entered as the league's leading rusher but was held to a season-low 22 yards on 15 carries. He averaged just 1.5 yards per attempt with a long of four yards. Unsurprisingly, the Giants had a time of possession of 28:12, their second-lowest of the season. Their lowest was 27:18 in Week 3 vs. Dallas, another loss.
Barkley was asked in his postgame press conference if the team's confidence was shaken at all.
"Zero," he said. "I mean at the end of the day, it's the NFL, every team is a great team. They came out here, they played great. We're not going to panic. We're not going to worry. We're not going to waver at all. That's for you guys to go out there and say what you want to say about us. At the end of the day, the only focus we have is the men and women in the locker room and the facility."
THE INJURY LIST
Already playing without right tackle Evan Neal (knee) and tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye), the Giants suffered the following injuries in Sunday's game: CB Adoree' Jackson (knee), OT Tyre Phillips (neck), DB Fabian Moreau (ribs), C Jon Feliciano (neck), WR Wan'Dale Robinson (knee), S Jason Pinnock (jaw).
"It happens in each game," Daboll said. "I'll get with the trainers after this and talk about it and come up with a plan on a short week. It's what it is; there's no excuses."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
The Giants (7-3) want – and need – to put this performance in the rearview mirror quickly. They play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a quick turnaround that includes a travel day to Dallas. It begins a pivotal stretch for the Giants, who have faced just one NFC East opponent so far this season. They now play a divisional rival in four consecutive weeks.
"I feel like throughout this first however many games we've learned a lot about who we are, and now it's time to bunker down and really get after it," safety Julian Love said. "This is a crucial stretch, not only because we're playing division games, but this is when football is important in general. That playoff mindset comes into play now in terms of how we approach each game. We've got to treat it really as such because we have division opponents, but that November, December football is where teams are really tested and made."
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE LIONS
Detroit (4-6) started the season 1-6 but now finds itself in second place in the NFC North with three wins in a row, including two in its division. The Lions will also play their traditional Thanksgiving game at home against the Bills, who were just forced to play at Ford Field because of a blizzard in Buffalo.
"I think that the team that we've developed, and they guys that we've kept it's all for a reason because you know you're going to hit hard times," said Lions coach Dan Campbell, a former Giants tight end. "We've learned from them, we haven't let them bury us, we've learned every week and they guys just continue to put in the work. They want to learn; they want to go and it's one more week. They're going to find a way to win. Now it's on to Buffalo, a short week."