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Inside the Numbers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Notes and statistics from the Giants’ season opening 40-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in MetLife Stadium:
*The Giants lost on the statistics sheet as well as the scoreboard. They were outgained, 265-171; out-passed, 143-63; and committed three turnovers without a takeaway.
*The Giants’ 171 total yards was their lowest total since they gained 155 yards at Chicago on Jan. 2, 2022.
*The Giants’ 63 net passing yards was their lowest figure since they finished with minus-6 in that loss to the Bears two seasons ago.
*The Giants suffered the most one-sided opening day loss in their history, overtaking another home loss to the Cowboys. On Sept. 4, 1995, they fell to Dallas in Giants Stadium, 35-0.
*The 40-point defeat was the Giants’ largest in the regular season since Nov. 4, 1973, when they lost to the Raiders in Oakland, 42-0. They lost an NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 5, 1994, in San Francisco, 44-3.
*The Cowboys’ 40 points were the most allowed by the Giants in their season opener since a 42-40 victory at Green Bay on Sept. 19, 1971.
*The Giants were shut out for the first time since a 17-0 loss to the Tennessee in MetLife on Dec. 16, 2018.
*The Giants trailed at the end of the first quarter, 16-0, their largest deficit after 15 minutes since Sept. 24, 2006, when they fell behind in Seattle, 21-0.
*The Giants’ halftime deficit was 26-0, their largest in a regular season game since Jan. 3, 2010, when they trailed in Minnesota at the half, 31-0. In the NFC divisional playoff game in Philadelphia last Jan. 21, they were behind after two quarters, 28-0. It was the Giants’ largest halftime deficit to the Cowboys since they trailed 27-0 on Sept. 13, 1992.
*The Cowboys scored the game’s first points on a 58-yard return of a blocked field goal by Noah Igbinoghene on the game’s opening series. Graham Gano’s 45-yard attempt was blocked by Juanyeh Thomas, who slipped through the Giants’ line. The ball was grabbed by Igbinoghene for the touchdown.
It is the first time an opponent blocked a Giants field goal attempt since Sept. 26, 2022 – the previous game in which the Giant hosted Dallas. Like Sunday night, it occurred on the Giants’ first offensive possession, when defensive end Dorance Armstrong blocked Gano’s 47-yard try.
The Giants had last given up a touchdown on a blocked field goal on Oct. 19, 2008, when San Francisco’s Nate Clements scored on a 74-yard return of a blocked John Carney 35-yard attempt. Linebacker Manny Lawson blocked the kick.
*Cornerback DaRon Bland scored Dallas’ second touchdown and increased the Cowboys’ lead to 16-0 on a 22-yard interception return with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter. Daniel Jones’ pass to Saquon Barkley was broken up by Trevon Diggs. The ball popped into the air and was grabbed by Bland, who mimicked Igbinoghene and scored his first NFL touchdown.
*The Giants did not allow an opposing defensive touchdown the entire 2022 season. Bland’s interception return touchdown was the first by a Giants opponent since Jan. 9, 2022 – the 2021 season finale – when Washington’s Bobby McCain picked off a Jake Fromm pass and returned it 30 yards for a score. McCain now plays for the Giants.
*According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time Giants opponents scored two non-offensive touchdowns to start a season was 1944.
*Jones completed 15 of 28 passes for 104 yards and two interceptions for a passer rating of 32.4. In 2022, Jones threw only five interceptions in 472 attempts. His 32.4 rating was the lowest in his 56 career starts (two postseason). The previous low was 35.2 at New England in his fourth career start on Oct. 10, 2019.
*Jones was sacked seven times, the second-highest total of his career; he absorbed eight sacks vs. Arizona on Oct. 20, 2019.
*Saquon Barkley led the Giants with 51 rushing yards on 12 carries. Jones had a team-high 13 rushing attempts, for 43 yards.
*Tight end Darren Waller, wide receiver Darius Slayton and Barkley each had a team-high three receptions.
*Micah McFadden led the Giants with 10 tackles (three solo).
*Second-round draft choice John Michael Schmitz started at center, the first rookie to do so for the Giants in a season opener since Derek Engler in 1997. This is the third time in four season openers the Giants started an offensive lineman taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft that year. In 2020 it was left tackle Andrew Thomas and last season it was right tackle Evan Neal.
*The Giants’ starting cornerbacks were Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins, first and sixth-round draft choices, respectively, this year. It is the first time in the Super Bowl era the Giants started two rookie corners in the season opener. They last started two rookies in their secondary in their opening game in 1980, when Mark Haynes (right cornerback) and Bud Hebert (free safety) started in a 41-35 victory against the Cardinals in St. Louis. The last NFL team to start a pair of rookie corners in the season’s first game was the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs (Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers).
*The Giants started three rookie draft choices in their season opener for the first time since 2018, when Barkley, left guard Will Hernandez and defensive lineman B.J. Hill all started.
*Rookie fifth-round draft choice Eric Gray returned one punt for seven yards. He was the first Giants rookie with a punt return in a Kickoff Weekend game since Mark Jones at Philadelphia on Sept. 12, 2004 (one return for eight yards). Gray was also the kickoff returner, but all eight of the Cowboys’ kickoffs were touchbacks.
*Giants players who made their NFL debut Sunday night: cornerbacks Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins, center John Michael Schmitz, wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, running/back return specialist Eric Gray, defensive lineman Jordon Riley, and guard Markus McKethan. Banks, Hawkins and Schmitz were starters.
*Veteran players who made their Giants debut: Darren Waller, Parris Campbell, Bobby Okereke, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, A’Shawn Robinson, Isaiah Simmons, Boogie Basham, Taiwan Jones, and Bobby McCain. Waller, Campbell, and Okereke started.
*Jones was the only one of the Giants’ 10 captains to participate in the coin toss. He didn’t have to do much. As the visiting team, the Cowboys called tails. The coin came up tails and Dallas deferred possession to the second half.
*Wide receiver Sterling Shepard returned to action after missing most of last season with a torn ACL but did not catch a pass.
*The Giants have lost five in a row and 12 of their last 13 games to Dallas. In the last three games, the Cowboys have sacked Jones 15 times, while the Giants have recorded zero sacks.
*The Giants fell to 51-43-5 on opening day, 51-45-3 in home openers (4-10 in MetLife) and 17-16 in season opening home games.
*The Giants are 1-10 vs. Dallas in season openers, including 0-3 at home and 0-2 in MetLife.
*The Giants are 23-32-1 on Sunday night, including 11-14 at home and 6-9 vs. Dallas.
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