EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)Getting beaten by 21 points in a game filled with major mistakes might not be a reason for optimism for most teams.
It is for the New York Giants (2-4) despite the refusal of players and coaches to admit it following a 35-14 loss to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (6-0) Thursday night.
For a team that was playing without its top two halfbacks, one of the league’s best tight ends and its most consistent wide receiver, New York gave the Patriots all they could handle for three-plus quarters. The game was not broken open until rookie running back Jon Hilliman lost a fumble and Kyle Van Noy returned it for a touchdown.
In a game when they were 16+-point underdogs, the Giants were competitive. That is what co-owner John Mara wanted coming into the season after two bad years and eight total wins.
The goal now is to build off that.
Hilliman won’t get the chance. He was waived Friday after losing his second fumble in three games. Former Raven and Saint Javorius Allen was signed.
””There was a lot of vibe coming from this game watching the film,” linebacker Markus Golden said Friday. ”We did a lot of flying around, working together. Guys were doing their job and everything, so it’s exciting about that. But at the end of the day we want to get that win.”
The Giants have four more games before their bye week and they are going to have chances to win. They face Arizona (1-3-1), Detroit (2-1-1), Dallas (3-2) and the Jets (0-4).
Attitude. There has been inconsistency in all areas in winning twice in six games. With the exception of the victory over the winless Washington Redskins, the Giants have not played a complete game. The constant is they have played hard every game. If they can stop making mistakes, they are going to win more.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Four days after being limited to 211 yards in a 28-10 loss to the Vikings, Daniel Jones and the banged-up offense gained 213 yards against the Patriots. The running game was held to 52 yards on 16 carries, Hilliman and Eli Penny getting most of the carries with Saquon Barkley (ankle) and Wayne Gallman (concussion) out. Jones completed 15 of 31 passes for 161 yards, with 64 coming on a touchdown pass to Golden Tate III. Time of possession was 20:24.
Markus Golden. Coming off major knee injury four games into 2017, Golden was limited to 11 games last season and had 2+ sacks. He is looking like he did in 2016, when he had 12 1/2 sacks. The fifth-year player pushed his team-high sacks total to 5+ with half a sack and also returned Tom Brady’s fumble for a touchdown Thursday night.
After replacing Eli Manning and engineering a two-game winning streak, Jones has looked more like a rookie the past two games. The No. 6 overall pick has thrown four interceptions, the Giants have scored 24 points combined and the offense has averaged 212 yards. No doubt the offense missed Barkley, tight end Evan Engram and receiver Sterling Shepard on Thursday. Jones is making mistakes New York can’t afford.
Defensive lineman Olsen Pierre left the game with a concussion. Linebacker Alec Ogletree (hamstring) returned after missing two games and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (neck) was back after missing one. `Tree’ had 12 tackles and Carter the sack that led to the Golden TD.
5 – Major mistakes. Jones threw three interceptions. Hilliman lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Riley Dixon had a punt blocked for a touchdown after Nate Stupar got pushed back into the kick.
The defense brings the same intensity against Arizona on Oct. 20. Barkley and Engram return to help Jones and the offense; Shepard might need more time after his second concussion this season.
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