By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants losing streak at nine games is officially over with their 36-20 win over the Miami Dolphins. The Giants are now 3-11, along with the Dolphins and the Redskins who also lost to the Philadelphi Eagles 37-27. The three way tie doesn’t change the Giants position in the draft as they are still holding the 2nd overall pick. The team stats on both sides were close, but the Giants defense made some key plays that turn the game around. The biggest defensive play by the Giants was a safety by corner Sam Beal; which extended the Giants lead to 16-13 and at that point they never looked back. Here are my top 5 reasons why the Giants won:
- Giants Balanced Offensive Attack: Eli Manning battled through a few unadvised interceptions to go 20/28 for 283 yards and two touchdown passes; while Saquon Barkley scored his first rushing touchdown (2) in the last seven games as he rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries (4.7).
- Red Zone: This is not a misprint, the Giants were a perfect 4-4 in the red zone and totally dominated the Dolphins in this category as they went 0-2. Eli Manning was the difference for the Giants in the red zone as he dissected the Dolphins defense like a surgeon.
- 3rd Down Efficiency: The Giants went 5-11 on 3rd down as the Dolphins struggled going 3-13. This enabled the Giants to control the line of scrimmage and to sustain more drives; which led to touchdowns.
- Giants Defensive Pressure: The Giants only registered three sacks on Fitzpatrick, however; they were constantly pressuring him and forcing him out of the pocket to run the ball. If not for the mobility of Fitzpatrick, the Giants could have had at least six sacks in the game.
- Big Plays: The Giants made more big plays than the Dolphins on both sides of the ball and when it mattered. On defense, Sam Beal made an outstanding play and recorded his first safety in his young NFL career. On offense. Eli Manning connected with Golden Tate on a 51 yard touchdown pass for the Giants first score.
Hero: Going to give it to the entire New York Giants team for a total team effort and finally getting that 500 pound gorilla off their backs.
Goat: This honor goes to the Dolphins defense or I should say lack of defense in this game. Numerous times they were guilty of missed tackles and missed coverage assignments. Not to mention applying no pressure at all against Manning; while registering only one sack on the day.
Final Thoughts: The Giants now face the Washington Redskins next week that will have major implications on draft position this April. The Redskins are playing solid football over the last several weeks, however; the Giants have played well at RFK stadium five of the last nine games played there, so we should see a great game.