Written by: Glenn Warciski and Peter Furman
No early Christmas gift. With a loss to the Eagles, the Giants did NOT clinch a playoff berth. In a sloppy and pathetic Thursday Night Football poopfest, the Giants offense still cannot put significant points on the board. They could only score 19 points versus a struggling 5-8 Eagles team. Thanks to the Giants offense, the Eagles get a win and the Giants find themselves still looking for answers. When will this offense wake up? Will they every score more than 28 points in a game? Why did Ben McAdoo have a lackluster Eli Manning throw the ball 63 times? As we have stated here, the Giants running game has been showing slow improvement. Case in point last night, the Giants were able to gain 114 yards on the ground, however, they still lost the game. After 15 games, this Giants offense is averaging 17.5 points per game. So, what do we think is going on?
First, Eli Manning is having a horrendous season. For a veteran quarterback to throw THREE interceptions, this is inexcusable. One of his interceptions was a pick 6. So before you can grab refreshment, the Giants were losing 14-0. As a matter of fact, this is what happened when both teams met earlier this year. Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz threw 2 interceptions on consecutive possessions and as a result the Giants took an early 14 to zero lead. For the entire season with the exception of the Eagles game played at MetLife Stadium, the Giants have been slow starters. Their defense and the punting of Brad Wing have kept them in ball games. The only bright spot on the offense is OBJ. At 10-5 are they a good team? Well, we believe there are NO good teams in the NFL. Quite frankly, each week it has become a war of attrition. Unlike previous seasons, the NFL has become a cesspool of low quality football. Speaking of the low quality, the Giants had a total of 88 plays and 470 yards of offense, one would believe they would have won this game easily. This was far from the case. What happened to the Giants on offense? Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz took a page out of Steve Spagnuolo’s play book. In today’s NFL, most pass attempts are short passes between five and 10 yards. Schwartz did what Spagnuolo has been doing which is flooding the short zones. If you take away, the short passing game, then you challenge an offense to take deep shots more often. Because the Giants offensive line has difficulty pass protecting, Eli does not have the luxury of taking deep drops. In this offense, Eli has to get rid of the ball quickly to avoid being crushed by opposing defenders. This scheme McAdoo implemented two years ago has worked up until now. Teams have figured out how to defend the Giants offense. A major factor contributing to the Giants demise on offense is Ben McAdoo. On the day of his hiring, Pete thought McAdoo was not ready to become a head coach. Besides still being in charge of the offense, he has so many other responsibilities. Pete thought McAdoo would be overwhelmed and the offense would suffer. Indeed, Pete was correct. We have to mention the Walkie-Talkie gate. During the Dallas game, unbelievably, McAdoo began using Walkie-Talkie radio to communicate with Eli Manning. As a result of his stupidity, the Giants and McAdoo were fined. In addition, the Giants fourth round draft pick will be the last of the round.
The clock is ticking. McAdoo has one more game left to figure out how to fix his broken offense. As mentioned, the good part is the running game is improving. We need McAdoo to get the ship going in the right direction.
Giants Defense: Although the Giants did NOT accumulate any sacks in this game. They held the Eagles to 3 points in the second half. Takeaway the two big plays: the 25 yard run by Sproles and the 40 yard TD to Agholor, the defense gave the offense a chance to win this game. Keep in mind, Giants DB Janoris Jenkins did not play. Despite having Jenkins out, the Giants allowed a long pass for a touchdown. If there is a chink in the Giants defense’s armor, it is the secondary on deep throws. You saw it on Thursday Night and during times this season.
Trevin Wade- This guy played an outstanding game. He prevented two touchdowns and recovered Dwayne Harris’ fumble. He was our Giants player of the game. To point out our theory on the Giants weakness on deep passes: on the Eagles last possession, with 1:42 left in the game, the Eagles had a 3rd and 5 on their 42 yard line. The play was a deep pass to Jordan Matthews. At the last moment, Wade swats the ball away. This play reinforces our belief opposing teams know how to attack the Giants defense. Throw deep. Again, the defense gave the offense a chance to win this game.
Penalties. We do not like to get on the officials. However, there were some borderline calls which went against the Giants. Giants DB Eli Apple slowing down so he does not tackle Eagles QB Carson Wentz as he was going to the ground. But the official threw a flag for roughing. Giants DE Olivier Vernon was called for roughing the passer when Wentz was out of the tackle box and threw the ball away with no receiver in sight. Instead of an intentional grounding call, Vernon was the culprit.
Paul Perkins- He is emerging as the Giants feature back. 15 carries 68 yards. We hope McAdoo utilizes him more against the Redskins. With Vereen out for the year, we would like Perkins to get more touches running and in the passing game. He had one catch for 9 yards against the Eagles.
Brad Wing- He had another punt inside an opponent’s 20 yard line. He has 20 punts inside an opponent’s 20 yard line. He leads the NFL. We believe Wing is All-Pro.
Playoffs- the Giants can make the playoffs today. If one of these teams loses today: Green Bay, Tampa Bay, or Atlanta, the Giants make the tournament. It will be the first time in the playoffs since 2011. Let us hope we get a Christmas present today.