Although the Giants didn’t look as helpless as they did at times during the team’s 35-14 Week 1 loss to Detroit, the Week 2 loss at home to Arizona still hurt badly. At the end of the third quarter, the Giants led 14-10 and appeared to be in control of the game.
That didn’t last long, though, as several mistakes by New York helped the Cardinals to come back and win. Zack Bowman missed a tackle on a punt return that ended with Ted Ginn racing to the end zone to give Arizona the lead. On the ensuing possession, Quintin Demps fumbled on the kickoff return to give the Cardinals a free three points. Finally, Rashad Jennings dropped the ball himself to cut short a potential game-tying touchdown drive.
In the end, New York gained 75 more yards on offense than Arizona did, but the Giants still lost due to mistakes and lapses in concentration.
“I just feel like we kind of slacked off with what we were doing and they came back and won the game,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, “We missed a lot of big plays, penalties killed us. All sides of the ball – offense, defense and special teams.”
Right before Ginn’s game-changing punt return, Victor Cruz dropped a pass that would have given the Giants a first down. Maybe if he catches that pass, the whole game is different.
“Yeah, the little things cost us the game today,” said Pierre-Paul, “We had it, but it cost us and just the details, like you said. It’s something Coach always emphasizes and it just killed us.”
To Pierre-Paul’s credit, the defense kept the Giants in the game until the very end. After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, Big Blue held the Cardinals to just field goals the rest of the way. The Giants just couldn’t hang onto the ball long enough to take advantage.
“Everybody sees it on TV and even the players know, just the small details cost us the game today,” said Pierre-Paul, “We came back… it is what it is. We only can move to the next one. That’s it.”
The next one for the Giants is a home contest on Sunday against the 2-0 Houston Texans. Head coach Bill O’Brien’s team has used a stiff defense and powerful running game to dominate against Washington and Oakland this season. If the Giants don’t clean up their act, they could find themselves in an 0-3 hole for the second season in a row.