The Giants almost never lose like they did Sunday

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Landon Collins quickly assessed the damage, what his defense allowed and what the Cowboys attained, and offered this immediately after the Giants were beaten 19-3 in an offensively inept season opener.

“You told me that I’d feel definitely confident, giving up one touchdown,’’ Collins said.

Why wouldn’t Collins be confident when his defense gave up only one touchdown and 19 total points? Collins is entering his third season with the Giants, and this was the first time his team lost despite the defense limiting the opponent to fewer than 20 points.

The Giants had won their previous 12 games when allowing fewer than 20 points. They were 8-0 in 2016 in games that fit that description – including both victories over the Cowboys. The last time the Giants lost when allowing 20 or fewer points was Nov. 16, 2014, a 16-10 loss to the 49ers. Collins was a junior at Alabama at that time.

It was a truly terrible 2017 offensive debut but, thanks to the efficiency of the Cowboys running game, at least the misery went quickly for the Giants. The game took 2:48, the fastest Giants game in nearly four years, since they beat the Packers 27-13 on Nov. 17, 2013, a game that breezed along in 2:45.

The Giants managed only 233 totals, 13 first downs and 35 rushing yards. Their leading rusher, Paul Perkins, had 16 yards. Their leading receiver wasn’t even a wide receiver. It was running back Shane Vereen, who had nine catches but for only 51 yards.

Brandon Marshall, the marquee free-agent signing, did not catch a pass until the final play of the game. That did nothing to help the Giants, but it did extend Marshall’s streak with at least one reception to 160 games in which he’s played. That is the second-longest streak in the NFL, to Larry Fitzgerald’s 196 consecutive games with at least one reception.


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