Now the New York Giants are left to pick up the pieces following a Sunday loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers that was demoralizing and devastating. This Sunday night the Giants have a chance against the Dallas Cowboys to prove that this past weekend was just a blip on the radar.
Are they the team that came into Pittsburgh on a six-game winning streak? Or are they smoke and mirrors after beating a bunch of nobody teams during their streak?
Against the 11-1 Cowboys and the rookie tandem of running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, the Giants don’t face an easy task. Then again, this is the only team that has beaten the Cowboys this season, going back to Week 1.
Three Things to Watch from the Giants in Week 13:
Just hand it to him
The Cowboys success this season is in large part due to the success of Ezekiel Elliott, the rookie running back who is already at 1,285 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns (plus he is averaging 11.5 yards per catch). Remember when teams ridiculed the Cowboys for taking Elliott so high up in the draft? Yea, not so much now.
And while he likely won’t catch Eric Dickerson’s 1,808 rushing yards, the rookie record, his season has his team poised for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
“I think all of my success is due to the offense line. Those guys, they work their tails off and they get everything started. It's great running behind those guys,” Elliott said. “They're beasts, they're the best at what they do.”
The JPP is down
The Giants were down with JPP this year as Jason Pierre-Paul was second on the team with seven sacks and he was a major reason why the team had that recent six game winning streak. But now that he is down for at least a month with sports hernia surgery, the defensive line and the entire pass rush has a much different look and feel to it.
One of those players poised for more snaps is defensive end Kerry Wynn who has been solid for the Giants this year.
“It is just a next man up mentality and we just have to do what we have to do,” Wynn said.
Pierre-Paul’s seven sacks were second on the team behind Olivier Vernon.
How about them Cowboys?
Since losing to the Giants in Week 1, the Cowboys have done the improbable rolling off 11 straight wins. They did look lackluster a week ago in a 17-15 win at the Minnesota Vikings but they are winning games and limiting turnovers (rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has just two interceptions this season).
They are finding ways to win and are seemingly growing in confidence by the week.
All time the Cowboys are 62-44-2 against the Giants. They’ve lost their last two games to the Giants though they won the previous five games over ‘Big Blue’ before that.