Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
What happened 77 days ago? It was the last time that the New York Football Giants won a game. They finally met an opponent that had less talent than they did. It kept the current losing streak at 9 games which is tied with a 9-game-streak in 1976.
This was the first game in a long time that they were able to win they way they envisioned since they drafted Barkley. Barkley had over 100 yards rushing. Eli only had 28 attempts so they were able to control the game in then second half. In most previous games they would get behind early necessitating 40+passing attempts to catch up. This invited the pass rush because they were one dimensional. That has led to all the turnovers (29 turnovers including this week, new turnover ratio -15)
Eli did throw 3 picks today. One was on a long pass to end the half, so we will give them a mulligan for that one. However, the pick he threw at 1:26 left in the second quarter was right to Biegel. You would have thought he was the intended receiver.
This game was close in the first half and the Giants got off to their typical slow start. There was no scoring in the first period so the Giants 1st quarter point differential remains at -61 points. Miami got the ball to start the game and they drove 39 yards from their own 30. Sanders missed a 49-yard field goal.
When the Giants get the ball for the first time, the drive was stopped when Sheppard was called for offensive pass interference on a 24-yard gain. The Giants punt and the Dolphins drive 60 yards. On a 4th and 1 at the Giants 10, the Gmen stuff Laird for a 3-yard loss. So, with the missed opportunity here and the missed field goal, the Giants could have been down 10-0. That’s why the Dolphins only have 3 wins.
The Giants do nothing on the next drive and punt to the Dolphins. They go on an 89-yard drive culminated in a 20-yardtouchdown pass to Parker. So, at this point you are saying oh my God, even against this team, they are getting well on our horrendous pass defense. On the next drive the Giants answer. Eli throws a pass to Tate that is tipped, and then bobbled, he is interfered with and Tate manages to catch it and run in for a 51-yard touchdown. It was the identical play as the week 6 first halfcatch, he had vs the Patriots on a tipped ball for another long touchdown.
The Biegel interception of Eli at the 1:20 mark of the second quarter gives the ball to the Dolphins at the Giants 28. They kick a field goal to take a 10-7 lead. When the Giants have the ball, that when Eli throws the Needham pick before the half and it is Dolphins 10-7.
When you look at the halftime stats, you have to say that the Giants are struggling vs a bad team who traded away all their talent for future draft picks. Here are the halftime stats. Miami 234 total yards to 152 for the Giants. Pass yardage: Miami 196, Giants 106. Rushing yards: Miami 38, Giants 46. Time of possession: Miami 18:18 and the Giants 11:42, and finally turnovers: Miami 0, Giants 2. This is not indicative off the final outcome.
The turnaround starts at the beginning of the third quarter. The Giants drive 70 yards. Two Eli passes account for most of the yards with a 26 yard to Slayton and a 21-yard pass to Latimer. Eli caps the drive with a 5-yard touchdown to Slayton. So, the Giants go up 14-10.
The teams trade turnovers with a Fitzpatrick fumble and the third Eli pick. This results in a Dolphins field goal. So, at the 8:44 mark of the 3rd quarter, the game is still close and anyone’s game. The game turned on the next drive where the Giants hadto punt. They pin the Dolphins on the 3 and the Giants get a safety two plays later. This was truly the turning point in the game.
On the next drive when the Giants get the ball from the safety,the Giants score. Shepard caught 2 passes on that drive. You could tell that it was like old times with Sheppard in the slot. Hehas good chemistry with Eli. Sheppard had 9 receptions on 11 targets for 111 yards. The Giants lead 23-13 and the game was really over at that point.
The Dolphins go 3 and out, and the Giants score again culminated by a Barkley 10-yard touchdown run. It’s been a long time since we saw the 2nd round pick Barkley go over 100 yards. If the Giants are to win long term, Barkley 100-yardgames have to be in the plan. They have been behind so much in the past he was not able to get 20 touches to control the game.
The Giants get another touchdown at 4:46 of the 4th by JavoriusAllen. Gallman has been a healthy scratch the last 2 weeks. Fitzpatrick got a garbage time touchdown at 2:01 of the 4th with a 20-yard pass to Parker for his second touchdown. That last touchdown reminds you that the Giants get well pass defense is still alive even though they won the game.
So, looking at this week’s game in a summary, if the Giants can get Barkley 100 yards a game on 20 touches, they have a good chance to win. You could predict that the Giants run game would do well today. I pointed out in my Pulpit piece that the Dolphins give up 141 rushing yards/game and they were tied for 30th with the only worse team being the Bengals. The Giants had 138 yards rushing right on their average. The Giants had 422 total yards that was above the total yards average of the Dolphins who give up 398 yards/game. Miami was 30th in yards given per game only behind the Bengals and Cardinals.
The defense after a slow start put a good game together as some of the young players played well. Sam Beal had 11 combinedtackles, 1 for loss and 1 pass defended and made the tackle for the safety. Mayo had 6 tackles with 1 for a loss. Baker, who 2 weeks ago was rated 119th out of 120 cornerbacks by PFF had 6combined tackles and 1 for loss with 2 passes defended (he did get beat on the last Parker touchdown). Love had 5 combined tackles with 2 for loss, 1 quarterback hit and 1 pass defended. The Giants had 3 sacks for the second week in a row. Previously the pass rush has been nonexistent.
Eli got a standing ovation for his last home game. He has really been a class act especially during the Jones transition. We wish Eli luck on the next phase of his career. So, the Giants won the last game I think they can win this year. I think they lose the next two, at Washington and home vs the Eagles. It’s now looking to the offseason and the draft. We get the answer to the questions as to who the new coach is and will we have a new general manager.