It wasn’t the blowout loss that the scoreboard would indicate, but Sunday’s 30-10 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys had a different feel to it for the New York Giants. It is something that hasn’t been felt around this team for a while.
That feeling was hope.
In their first game under interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants came out against their divisional rival and didn’t look like a team that had just two wins and double-digit losses. They played hard and fast on defense and were pragmatic on offense, taking a 10-10 score line into the midpoint of the fourth quarter. They were in the game till midway through the fourth quarter.
Unlike under former head coach Ben McAdoo, this week’s incarnation of the Giants played hard despite getting another loss in what has been a frustrating season.
“It felt great, man, it felt great. Guys came up, rallied together. We knew the situation that they were in. We knew that they had to come and get this win to keep the run going for the playoffs and we just couldn’t execute and finish right,” defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. “I think all together, we came out and Spags actually did his thing. The score doesn’t show for it, but he actually did his thing.”
It hasn’t been an easy season for the Giants, now 2-11 with Sunday’s result. But the silver lining in what was yet another Giants loss is that this team didn’t fall apart and in fact showed more heart and spirit against the Cowboys than they did in recent weeks.
A testament certainly to Spagnuolo, who was the Giants defensive coordinator before being named the interim head coach last week.
What was missing was star power as well as a certain level of execution.
“I think the team has done a great job of staying together. It’d be easy to complain, and to bark at each other and say it’s not fair and that one side’s not doing their part, but we haven’t fallen into that trap,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “We have some high character guys on this team that are working hard every week, doing their absolute best to compete, and I appreciate that. I appreciate the effort, work, enthusiasm to go win a football game. Again, we played hard today, we were right there in the mix against a good team, and we just don’t have that firepower to finish these games.”