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Cover 3: Questions for Giants after the bye week

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With the team returning to the field this week, the Giants.com crew picks one takeaway from the first half of the season and one pressing question post-bye week.

John Schmeelk: My biggest takeaway before the bye is that the Giants embraced the bend-but-don't-break defense, which has been extremely effective the last couple of weeks. They have played mostly zone on early downs and kept everything in front of them. On third downs and in the red zone, they have slipped in more man-to-man and have done a good job of forcing incomplete passes.

The team is allowing opponents to complete some short passes and run the ball for four to five yards a pop. This strategy can work if the Giants can force turnovers and make teams pay for running so many plays to move the ball down the field. It can also work if the Giants keep having the defensive success they've had in the red zone. In the Giants' last three games, opponents have converted three of 13 trips into touchdowns. The question is whether or not that success is sustainable.

As for the Giants after the bye, this offense could do a bit more once they have all their skill position players back and have Andrew Thomas back at left tackle. They have played their offense close to the vest the last few weeks because of injuries. Their defense has allowed them to stick to that strategy and win two out of three. Their returning players should allow them to take some more shots on early downs, use more traditional five- and seven-step drops and take more shots down the field.

From Daniel Jones' one-handed catch on a trick play to Xavier McKinney's pick-six to the OT thriller in New Orleans, re-live the best moments from the first half of the season in this must-see photo gallery.