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Starts Are There, But Cardinals Need To Find Way To Finish 

Gannon just wants "continuation of good football" 

Giants running back Saquon Barkley stretches to score the game-tying touchdown as Cardinals linebacker Krys Barnes tries to make the play Sunday.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley stretches to score the game-tying touchdown as Cardinals linebacker Krys Barnes tries to make the play Sunday.

If the NFL games lasted three quarters, the Cardinals would be sitting atop the NFC West with a 2-0 record.

Those last 15 minutes aren't going anywhere, though, and the Cardinals -- stuck with two hard losses in two weeks -- know it.

"We know the games are going to get tight, that's how the NFL is," quarterback Joshua Dobbs said. "It doesn't matter how well you play in the first half and how poorly the other team plays in the first half. Games are going to be tight. Games are going to go down to the final minute, so you have to lock in for 60 minutes and finish."

That was clear Sunday, when Dobbs led the Cardinals to 20 unanswered first-half points and finished the game going 21-for-31 for 228 yards and a passing touchdown. Dobbs also had what coach Jonathan Gannon called a "primetime play" when he bolted 23 yards for a rushing touchdown.

But in the fourth quarter, the offense stalled. The Cardinals had the ball four different times in the final quarter. The drives resulted in three punts and the clock hitting triple zeros.

Dobbs said that the team's next step for growth is finishing in the fourth quarter. Gannon understands that it's not just on the offense but all three phases needing to step up. Gannon did say the offense played well enough to win against the Giants, however.

Finishing isn't even a teachable portion of the game, Gannon said, as much as a "continuation of good football."

"The momentum here and there, I don't really buy into all of that," Gannon said. "I buy into execution, coaching, and playing well. That's what we got to do better for four quarters. We've shown that we could do it for a period of time. We just got to make sure we can do it for 60 minutes."

Outside linebacker Victor Dimukeje noted that entering halftime in both the Commanders and Giants games, they had leads in each. The Cardinals have outscored opponents, 33-10, in the first halves, and have been outscored, 41-11, in the second halves.

"You can see that we're playing with a lot of effort, it's just get back to work get back to practice, and finish games up," Dimukeje said. "We know we can do it. We've seen it. We're up most of the time, so we know we can do it. We just have to put it all together."

The Giants started the second half with an a 58-yard bomb. The Giants had five second-half possessions -- four consecutive touchdowns and a field goal that gave them the lead.

Limiting explosive plays is something that Gannon has hung his hat on. But he put it bluntly on Monday -- the other teams "have a say too."

"They're paid as we are," Gannon said. "They made some plays that we didn't make, truthfully. We got to clean up some things and it starts with coaches first, make sure our guys are detailed out and understand exactly what we're trying to get out of everything that we're trying to do. Need to coach and play a little bit better."

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