Where are we going with this team and organization? Another depressing loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, the Giants THIRD loss in a row, drops their overall record to 2-5. The hope and euphoria around Daniel Jones has waned. Despite putting up meager numbers, (233 yards passing, 1 TD and 1 INT, 3 fumbles and TWO lost) , under the circumstances, he played fairly well. Jones plays the game with aplomb. Yes, he holds onto the ball too long. This is engendering the fumbles. We have to focus on him learning the speed of the game. It is the mental side and experience is what is lacking.
This is a team game. We have to turn our focus back to the decision makers. Since 2018, we were sold a bunch of crap about a quest for another Super Bowl with Eli and drafting a positional player #2 overall. Mr. Hog Mollie was going to work his magic and restructure the offensive line by DRAFTING ONE Guard in round #2, signing a cast off from the Pats Solder which equates to Belichick has no value in him anymore. Then signing a FA in Omameh who lasted 3 weeks? Then moving Reese’s trash to RT. How did that work out with your new coach?
Welcome Back! It has been awhile since the Giants played a game.
I had last week’s Giants/Patriots game called pretty well. I called it Patriots 34, Giants 0. I called it 5 touchdowns for the Patriots. I called a missed extra point by Nugent who had been missing 1 a game. He didn’t miss an extra point but he did miss a 40 yard field goal in the 3rd quarter. I couldn’t see how the Giants could score without Barkley, Gallman, Engram and Sheppard, who made up 80%+ of their offense. The game was weird given the fact that there were 2 fumble returns for touchdowns and a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Undermanned and playing on the road, unfortunately on a short week, the Giants fought and played gritty. Ultimately, the outcome was a 21 point loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. This 2019 Giants team is streaky. Lose 2. Win 2. Lose 2. After six games, the Giants have a record of 2-4. Will they bounce back from this disappointing loss? Or will there be an avalanche of losses?
Well to paraphrase Dennis Green, “Daniel Jones is who we thought he was”. Yes Gettleman’s early reach, who had a perfect storm in his first game and an easy encounter with one of the “on the clock” teams, the Redskins, in his second is in the deep end of the pool now. Yes he starts the gauntlet of 8 teams where they probably will not be favored in one contest. The Giants may very well lose all those games.
Granted, Jones is still on the NFL learning curve. However pre-career predictions of a floor of Case Keenum and a celling of Alex Smith are coming true. We also start this week to see who Sam Darnold is. He had a bad supporting cast last year. He has a better cast this year and I think he is one year away from being very good as they get the rest of the team put around him. I as stated before would have drafted him or waited until 2020. Also the Giants are one of the “on the clock teams this year. They will be fighting the Dolphins, Redskins, Jets, Bengals, Broncos and Steelers for one of the top 5 draft picks. They definitely could have gotten one of the top 4 QB’s, with Tua going to the first pick. Let’s be real, they should be 1-4 as Bucs’ kicker Gay missed a 34 yard FG that would have given them the victory.
Daniel Jones, Barkley, Engram, Shepard, Hernandez, Lawrence and even possibly Baker are the cornerstone of the future. After watching the Giants against the Vikings, clearly, this roster is riddled with holes. And we were wrong on the young talent in the secondary. Giants GM Dave Gettleman laid blame at the feet of the defense for last years failures. A team which finished 5-11 but was 1-7 at the halfway point of the 2018 campaign. As reported here on the NYGunderground, we believe it was the offense not the defense being the culprit. Especially, after Gettleman traded Snacks Harrison and Eli Apple. As we are in week 5 of the 2019 season, Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher deserves criticism, but a coach can only take so much blame. This defense is a shallow pool. It starts with the LB unit. The Vikes constantly attacked the shallow to middle of the field. Cook ravaged them on screens. (86 yards receiving) Missed tackles by secondary or unwillingness to sacrifice for a tackle because your LB unit cannot get there. Speed is killing this team and no matter what assignment discipline they have they cannot sustain any positives. On the other hand, the defensive gets some slack as the offense gave them no breaks with time of possession in the 1st half which was more than 2 to 1. Unfortunately we cannot foresee any hope for playoffs this season and making Kirk Cousins look all pro does is proof. Brutal honesty.
The Giants played one of the worst teams in the league, the Washington Redskins. Along with Miami and Cincinnati, they are at the bottom of the league. This game was over early in the second quarter. It is certainly a feel good game for the Giants and Daniel Jones. They dominated the time of possession 36:09 to 23:51. However, it was a sloppy game and a better opponent could have easily put the Giants away in this one. Both Gallman and Hilliman fumbled. Hilliman fumbled inside the 5 yard line. Jones also threw 2 picks. The Giants were up 14-0 within the first 18 minutes of the game.
Gallman had a respectable day in replacing Barkley. He had 2 touchdowns, one rushing and 1 receiving. However his YPC average of 3.3 is not great. He did combine for 118 yards rushing and receiving. Jones had an average day. He completed 23 of 31 for 225 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He did not have many deeps throws and the Giants receivers were able to take short passes and turn them into 15-20+ yard plays. I counted 145 yards on 7 such plays. When Jones threw deeper he was picked twice once at 24 yards and again at 23 yards. We will have to see if this is a trend.
The Redskins were just inept at offense just generating 176 total yards. When Keenum threw his first pick they had no patience based on his previous 3 pick performance vs the Bears. They yanked him in favor of Haskins. Haskins only played 14 games at Ohio State and he certainly is not ready for prime time. Haskins said at the draft that he would make the Giants pay for not drafting him. I don’t think so! He made this Giants defense look like the 1986 version. He also made Jenkins, who I have been critical of in the past, look like Revis Island. He had 2 picks and caused a third deflecting a pass that Connolly intercepted. Jenkins will be tested for many weeks to come vs some of the best receivers in the league. Haskins threw 3 more interceptions for a total of 4 for the team cementing the Giants victory.
The Redskins only had 8 first downs and a third down conversion percentage of 18%. Giants’ rookie linebacker Connolly hurt his knee and had to leave the game. This is a big loss given that he has played so well. However, David Mayo, a 2015 Gettleman Carolina draft pick, played well in his absence with 8 tackles, 5 solos and 1 tackle for loss. I have not been happy with Gettleman but I admit this is a good pick up.
So turning to this week and the Minnesota Vikings, the Giants start the Gauntlet portion of their schedule playing the entire NFC North, the Patriots, Cowboys and Eagles twice. That’s 8 games that they will probably lose. Best case is that they win 2 of these.
What a difference in 14 days. After 2 miserable games, both resulting in ugly losses, this 2019 Giants team was foundering. Then, finally, the decision was made to pull the plug on the aging and unproductive Eli Manning. As a coincidence, the Giants, with Daniel Jones as their starting quarterback, has won two consecutive games. Now, the Giants have a 2-2 record, more importantly, they are tied for second in the NFC East. This means, as we head into October, this team still has meaningful games to play.
An ugly win, without question, but this was for the Giants fans. Justin Penik and David Powis of the Bleeding Blue Podcast was at the game. MetLife Stadium was packed and excited to watch their team play. As we pointed out two weeks ago, over the last two plus seasons, the Giants have been atrocious in front of their loyal fan base, posting a record of 4-13, ; but now 5-13 at MetLife Stadium. Indeed, it was an uplifting win because they defeated a division rival and are 1-1 in their division-NFC East.
Wow what a shock! Daniel Jones exceeded every Giant’s fan wildest dreams, with a come from behind miracle win by 1 point 32-31. He did have a perfect storm that brought him the victory. The thing that you noticed right away that the team had a new energy that just was not evident with Eli.
We now have reason to be excited, engaged, and more hopeful for the future in watching our team. It took one player at the most impactful position; quarterback which has the most value. It is our belief, Daniel Jones had one of the all time great first career games as a Giants rookie QB which is an understatement. His 4 TDs with 2 from his feet and 2 from his arm hasn’t been seen since the days of Francis Tarkenton. The Giants O scored 32 points with their best offensive weapon, Barkley, out and limited to 37 total yards (more on that later) The total rushing yards equated to 74. His OL gave up FIVE sacks including 3 by his LT, Solder (more on that later). These are remarkable individual stats and stats to overcome to lead a team to 32 points of offense but there are other intangibles that stick out that make us nerds on NYGunderground more encouraged. Below is a footage of Jones feeling pressure, using his feet and delivering a deep pass in stride. It’s the awareness, mobility and athleticism that gets you excited about the future.
The Prophet had last week’s game called right almost to the exact score. I had predicted the Bills game to be in favor of the Bills 27-16. The actual score was 28-14. The Giants could not do what I said was one key to the game. They did not keep Allen in the pocket and he did run for a touchdown also. The Bills did not torch the defense like Dallas did. However they did not have to when they mounted 21 unanswered points by halftime after the Giants scored on the opening drive. That drive was all rushing and all Barkley. He had over 100 yards rushing in the game but it does not matter when the rest of the team is a mess. The Giants are 5-13 with Barkley. The Bills shortened the contest with the run game amounting to 151 yards and almost 33 minutes of time of possession. Over 9 minutes of that came in the 4th quarter where they salted the game away. Giant’s defense did give up a 51 pass play to Beasley in the second quarter on a scoring drive. They were not blameless in the loss.