by Mike Basile @Mikeyfresh04
The Giants honored HOF Michael Strahan at halftime Sunday as they hosted NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife stadium. As it turns out, viewing this matchup mirrored much of what Strahan experienced while wearing a uniform. The defense carried the team as the offense did their best to let this one slip away.
Over the last 2 seasons, watching this team is a lot like watching an episode of the HBO hit series, Entourage. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. The defense plays lights out for a part of the game and continuously sets up the offense to solidify a victory. The NY defense makes opponents look like a shell of themselves and they create timely turnovers. The offense proceeds to fail to capitalize week after week. Add in the pathetic red-zone production and no wonder why Giants fans threw a party when offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was fired.
Even though there’s a new play-caller, Freddie Kitchens, the results, unfortunately, were still extremely underwhelming. The Giants had 264 total yards, converted 3-12 third downs, and scored 13 points. Did Daniel Jones look different with a new play-caller?
DJ’s numbers looked above average. He completed 19 of 30 throws for 202 yards with 1 TD, no INTs for a rating of 94. He was sacked once and ran 9 times for 30 yards.
You could tell Kenny Golladay was a focal point as he was targeted 7 times. He had 3 catches for 50 yards and Jones spread the ball around to 7 other teammates. Danny’s best throws were on consecutive plays which were back-to-back 18 yarders to Golladay in the 4th quarter.
The first one was a 3rd down conversion and DJ had nice velocity and timing to beat the defender. The next play was a great catch by Golladay as he used his wingspan to extend and pluck a ball that was behind him. The reason I consider this a dime by Jones is because he understood that as long as he kept the ball high, the defender had no chance to undercut the route. He pretty much placed the ball where either Kenny got it or nobody would. If Jones wants to continue to feed his playmaker he’s going to need to trust him and allow him opportunities to make these kinds of contested catches that he’s so capable of making.
Jones looked rattled again just like last week against Tampa. He didn’t handle pressure well and the best example is on the first drive of the game. There was penetration up the middle on 3rd and 5 and Engram was crossing the middle linebacker at the first down sticks. Jones threw the ball into the ground. He had a chance to lead Engram past the backer and although it would’ve taken an accurate touch pass, all QBs can make that throw. Jones has made much more difficult throws than that one but he let the pressure get the best of him. The NY Giants’ first series was a 3 and out.
At the beginning of the 4th, Jones faced a 2nd and 9 and had Golladay entering the soft spot in the defense right in between the corner and safety. Jones fired the ball 3 yards in front of Golladay. It was an easy 15-20 yard play that Jones failed to convert. It’s one of the staple routes in this rudimentary offense that had produced several completions. The point in the game was crucial too. The Eagles had just scored to cut the Giants lead to 10-7 and they were building momentum. Big Blue had a chance to play complementary football and it would’ve been nice for the offense to help the defense out. I guess sustaining a drive to rest the other side of the ball is too much to ask for.
This is a defense that had shut out one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL and in typical fashion, the offense went 3 and out. Jones can’t let that happen.
Jones had several opportunities to throw the team on his back and put the game out of reach. Philadelphia’s attack features a strong offensive line and at their core, they want to run the ball. The G-Men defense did an incredible job of making the Eagles one-dimensional. They exposed QB Jalen Hurts as a passer and he threw 3 interceptions, was 14-31, and had 4.2 yards per attempt.
Hurts had a QB rating of 17.5, the Big Blue defense forced 4 turnovers, and yet it came down to a final stand with seconds to go. If Daniel Jones stepped up and made some plays then the defense would’ve been able to relax a bit down the stretch.
DJ has to be better if he wants to win more games in the modern-day NFL because no matter how great the defense plays, they won’t hold every opponent to single digits.
The Giants are 4-7 and did get the win but it’s extremely frustrating to watch this offense. They head to Miami to battle the 5-7 Dolphins. This will be a tough challenge for the inept Giants offense. Jones has his work cut out for him against a team that has won 4 straight and during that stretch has held opposing offenses 11.5 points per game.