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Giants studs and duds following 31-18 loss to Lions

Giants studs and duds
New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) runs the ball against Detroit Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs (39) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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For the first time in the 2022-23 NFL season, the Giants came away from a game looking like the New York team that fans had grown accustomed to before the new regime took over. 

A 31-18 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday was compounded by multiple key injuries to star players and has left New York in a difficult spot heading into a massive Thanksgiving contest against the Dallas Cowboys. 

Before we look ahead to Dallas week though, let’s take a look at those who stood out on Sunday in a positive and negative light. 

Stud: Darius Slayton

It’s hard to imagine that Slayton was close to being cut during training camp, but that’s how quickly the NFL can change. Slayton caught five passes for 86 yards Sunday and was one of the few bright spots on offense. 

It was the first time in weeks that the Giants’ offense seemed to be looking good through the air and Slayton was a big part of that. 

The Giants have a number of key decisions to make in the offseason, but keeping Darius Slayton on the roster is looking like a foregone conclusion. 

Dud: Daniel Jones

Yes, New York’s passing attack looked a lot better than in recent weeks. But, the reason New York lost this game was because of the two back-breaking interceptions Jones threw in that contest. The first pick to Hutchinson was credited on a play that Jones didn’t see but the second to Kerby Joseph was inexcusable. 

While Jones has done plenty this season to warrant at least another year as a starting quarterback for the Giants, Sunday’s loss was easily his worst game of the season.

Stud: Dexter Lawrence 

Lawrence was second on the team in tackles on Sunday and was a bright spot on a defense that simply couldn’t get the stops they needed too late in the game. Lawrence has played and acted like a future star in this league and Sunday was just another example. 

While the Giants got little pressure outside of the pocket, Lawrence was key to disrupting many plays and getting Jared Goff off his first read. 

Dud: Saquon Barkley

The “blueprint” to beat the Giants is simple: stop the run. Barkley was completely grounded on Sunday and it took the Giants completely out of their structure. Barkley gained just 22 yards on 15 carries and caught just two passes for 13 yards. 

A lot of it isn’t on Barkley. The Giants’ offensive line was very bad Sunday, and the Lions clearly game-planned to take him away. But for a player, especially a running back in his contract year, Barkley will need to do more he can be the feature back. 

Stud: Wan’Dale Robinson

It is an incredible shame Sunday was the least we’ll see from Wan’Dale Robinson. The rocket rookie totaled his best game with nine catches for 100 yards and completely toying with a bad Lions secondary after the catch. 

Robinson’s injury will directly impact what the Giants do offensively from here on out but if he can recover well enough from a tough injury, the Giants clearly got a nice playmaker here. 

Dud: Kayvon Thibodeaux

It’s been eight games and Kayvon Thibodeaux has been a huge disappointment. You can argue that the fifth overall pick needed the start of the season to get accustomed but Sunday was another game where he was just simply a no-show. 

The Giants desperately needed pass rushers and took, what many analysts thought was the best one. Instead, Thibodeaux has been quiet once again and clearly looks like the worst of any of the pass rushers drafted in the first round this year. 

Super Duper Dud: Brian Daboll

Brian Daboll has been a great coach so far for the Giants. That doesn’t excuse him from having a very poor game plan on offense and questionable in-game decisions. The idea to move Adoree Jackson to be the punt returner was bad, to begin with, and looks even worse when you realize the Giants won’t have their top corner for the next month. 

Injuries happen and losing a turnover battle 3-0 is never good. But the Jackson decision is enough to critique Daboll to the point where the Giants’ season could be completely altered. 

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