The Giants face a daunting task this week as they head to Dallas to face a team that already blew them out once this season.
After three competitive games in a row, New York came back down to earth on Sunday when the team was blown out by the Raiders and lost quarterback Daniel Jones for the season to a torn ACL. That was the team’s fifth loss of the season by 15 points or more and nobody would be surprised if Sunday’s game becomes the sixth such loss.
Here are the biggest stories to watch as the Giants look to get back to winning ways…
Will Tommy DeVito be allowed to throw?
The Giants announced during the week that DeVito would receive his first career start in Dallas, so they’ll be hoping the rest of the team can rally around him. Since 2010, undrafted rookie quarterbacks are 5-4 in their first start, so it’s not unheard of for a player like DeVito to have a successful beginning to their career. But the Cowboys will be confident after having blown out a healthy Giants team in the opener.
In his first appearance against the Jets, the Giants became reluctant to even risk DeVito throwing the ball and then when he stepped in to face the Raiders, DeVito’s first downfield throw was intercepted. Toward the end of the game, DeVito did gain some confidence with some downfield completions, but this was against a very soft prevent-style defense.
It’s going to be interesting to see how he looks with a full week of preparation. Expect to see the Giants give him plenty of opportunities to make plays with his legs, but he will need to throw downfield to keep the defense honest.
Will the run defense continue to struggle without Leonard Williams?
Prior to the Raiders game, the Giants’ run defense seemed to have turned a bit of a corner. They allowed a season-low 76 rushing yards in the win over the Commanders and then held the Jets to 58 yards on the ground. Every other game before those two had seen the Giants’ opponent rack up at least 120 yards, including 122 by Dallas in the opener.
On Sunday, the trend reversed and they allowed 125 rushing yards against the Raiders. Josh Jacobs led the way as he racked up over 100 yards, only to then lose yardage on his final carry and end up with 98.
Could this be attributable to the fact the Giants traded away one of their best run defenders in Williams? The Giants will hope that the likes of D.J. Davidson, A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nuñez-Roches can step up their performance alongside Dexter Lawrence.
Can New York force any turnovers?
The Cowboys have only had one game all season where they turned the ball over more than once, in their blowout loss to the 49ers last month. This doesn’t bode well for a Giants team that has failed to force any turnovers in five of their nine games so far this year.
No Giants player has more than one interception this season, but linebacker Bobby Okereke may be their best bet to come up with a turnover. He’s intercepted one pass, tipped another pass that was intercepted, and has also forced two fumbles in 2023.
How can Big Blue slow down Micah Parsons?
Only two teams all season have managed to prevent all-pro edge rusher Parsons from recording a sack. And even though he only had one in the season opener, Parsons was in the backfield consistently and a big factor in New York’s offensive struggles.
Andrew Thomas finally made his return last Sunday, but showed some signs of rust as he allowed two sacks. With Evan Neal leaving the game due to an ankle injury and ruled out for Sunday, it looks likely that Tyre Phillips will be back in the lineup on the right side. Parsons will rush from both edges but also likes to stunt inside, so he can exploit any confusion on the interior as well. The Giants will also be without guard Mark Glowinski on the interior after he was ruled out due to a personal matter.
Will the Giants continue to try to get Jalin Hyatt involved?
Hyatt has been disappointingly unproductive so far, but the Giants have made a concerted effort to get him more involved, throwing his way 13 times in the past four games, including on three unsuccessful deep passes in the Raiders game. He had been targeted just five times in the first five games.
While Hyatt only has 11 catches, four of these went for more than 30 yards, so he has some downfield playmaking abilities, which could be valuable to an offense that has scored more than 16 points just once all season.