The Giants reminded themselves of their true team strength against Las Vegas Sunday afternoon at MetLife.
Their defense (Of course, you don’t want to forget Graham Gano).
It was the feel-good game (and a 23-16 victory to boot) the team needed entering the bye week. The team that has been an enigma all season long, may finally begin to thrive from its defense.
This was hard-nosed Giants’ football, the kind that generated the Bill Parcells/Tom Coughlin days, and showed how they can emulate football from their Bill-Belichick disciple head coach.
This was the type of game everyone expected all season long – a standout defensive effort and just enough offense (259 total yards) to cover. Throw in a couple or more Gano field goals to seal it.
Las Vegas had 403 yards of total offense with Derek Carr’s 296 yards passing and Josh Jacob’s 76 yards rushing,
But the Giants’ D managed to keep it in check. That’s what they are capable of doing. They were bent back and never broke. Good teams can win that way.
It was the type of Giant football we saw last year in the second half of the season, the type that fueled postseason thoughts.
Xavier McKinney, a few days after being shut down from a team COVID scare, showed why the Giants made him a second-round pick in 2020 and believe he can be a cornerstone in the future with his two timely picks, one that resulted in one of the Giants’ two scores.
Leonard Williams, who has been absent most of the season, recovered a key fumble down the stretch that wrapped up the victory after Quincy Roche jarred the ball loose from Carr.
Logan Ryan made a key third down stop late in the game that resulted in the Raiders being forced to attempt a 25-yard field goal, which they missed.
Out of nine trips to the Red Zone, Las Vegas could only muster a touchdown and three field goals.
Roche has the long sack, but Dexter Lawrence, Tae Crowder, Adorree Jackson, and Azeez Olhjari certainly made their presence felt.
This was the type of effort they had in a dominating effort against Carolina and one in which they showed the door can be closed unlike the Kansas City loss.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was opportunistic. Play on turnovers, miscues, and mistakes.
The Giants found themselves Sunday against the Raiders. They proved their defense can be a productive unit and win games.
At 3-6, they just have to find more ways to do it again.