Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
Most teams usually play better the next week after a destructive loss. I almost wrote in the Pulpit, the Giants would play much better vs the Rams. However, based on what we have seen from the Rams, who are very competent, and from the Giants, who were really bad so far, I was hesitant. I thought they would have an easy day with the Giants.
The Giants defense played great overall. They held the Rams to 240 yards overall. The week before vs the Bills, the Rams had 488 yards in a shootout. They Gmen have brought in 2 Pro Bowl caliber players as free agents, Blake Martinez and James Bradberry. The other linebacker, Kyler Fackrell, they brought in from the Packers had his best game with 4 solo tackles, a sack, and 3 tackles for loss. Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams played well. Austin Johnson played well and got a sack. This brings the total sacks to 8 on the year. If you extrapolate that it is 32 sacks for the year. It’s middle to the upper bottom third in the league for 16 games but it is better than I expected. I thought going into the year, the pass rush was their biggest weakness.
The game started the way the Giants left off last week. The Giants went 3 and out in the first drive. The Rams had a beautifully scripted 12 play, 7-minute, 65-yard touchdown drive. On the drive after the touchdown. The futility continued. The Giants make a first down, but on 2nd down of the next series, Jones is sacked, and he fumbles the ball. Luckily he recovers it. They did lose 11 yards on the play. They end up with 3rd and 27 and had to punt.
The Giants situation changes on the next series. Austin Johnson hits Everett on a short pass and strips the ball from him and the Giants recover. The Giants are in business now with a first down at the Rams 34. However, this anemic offense, that has 3 touchdowns in 4 games in a year where teams are scoring points at a record pace, gets stopped. The Giants stall at the 13-yard line and have to kick a field goal.
The Rams get the ball and Goff gets sacked and they punt. The Giants get the ball and Jones is sacked twice and they punt. The Rams put a long drive together and get to the Giants 4. Goff got sacked on 1st and goal and they settle for the field goal. The Giants kick a field goal on the last play of the first half and the Rams have the lead 10-6. At this point, it certainly is a different game than expected. I quote the famous line from Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there is a chance” for the Giants.
On the first play of the third quarter it looked like the Giants’ fate was changing. Goff threw an interception to Tae Crowder, Mr. Irrelevant, the last player drafted in the 2020 draft. On further review the ball hit the ground. The Rams stall and punt. The Giants get to the Rams 43 on a 4th and 6. They decided to punt. You are 0-3, your defense is playing well, why no go for it, and try to win the game. As Herm Edwards says, “you play to win the game.” Joe Judge said in his press conference that the defense is playing well, and he rather push them back. The punt was for 34 yards.
The Rams punt and the Giants get the ball on their own 43. They drive the ball to the 15 and get an illegal formation penalty and a false start. The drive stalls at the 9-yard line and once again Gano hits as chip shot field goal. They are in this game surprisingly thanks to their defense. The negative is that this “Clapper” offense has not scored a touchdown for 134 minutes and counting.
The teams trade possessions. Then we have the turning point of the game. On a 3rd and 3 for the Rams from his own 45, Goff hits Kupp on the Giants 42 and he takes it to the house. Crowder was right of him and Love was to the left of him, and Kupp ran right by them. Bradberry had a shot at Kupp at the 20 and he just looked at him and got faked out. It was a great play call because the Giants defense was looking for a play near the line of scrimmage. By the way, this Rams touchdown drive started on their own 9-yard line.
On the subsequent drive the Giants drive to the 31-yard line of the Rams. They cannot convert a 4th and 11. The Rams take over and get stopped and only take 28 seconds off the clock. The Giants get the ball on their own 20.
Then we get to the fateful play. With 2nd and 5 from the Rams 18, “Danny Turnover” throws the obligatory interception to end the game. It did not have to end like that. Jones had 2 other options. He could have run the ball. The closest 2 defenders were not near him. There was a defender at the 10-yard line at they left hash mark and a defender on the sideline nest to Engram. Jones was at the 20-yard line when he threw the pass. He only needed 7 yards for a first down. If he was short, it would still only be third down. The other option was to throw to Dion Lewis. He was wide open and he could have hit him with a pass at the 18-yard line just needing 5 yards from there for a first down. The defender was eight yards away.
The problem is that Daniel Jones has not progressed. He’s a first read quarterback. We got the 7th turnover Jones of the year in 4 games; at that rate we will have 32 turnovers this year! In 16 games in his career, he has 17 interceptions and 13 fumbles. I’m sorry he was over drafted at 6 overall. He is not a winning quarterback and certainly not a franchise quarterback as I have been saying since draft day 4/25/19.
The defense played very well. The Giants have some players in the front 7 that can really make a difference in the game. The weak spot is the secondary. I think Bradberry, Ryan and Peppers are very good. Teams are targeting the other young defensive backs for big chunk plays.
The offense has regressed under Garrett and Jones. At least they got the running game going, it is still a committee. The Giants had 136 yards today and previously in 3 games they had only 170 yards total, dead last. Jones is the leading rusher. He had 45 yards again today. One play was miraculous as he bounced out of a certain sack. Gallman did have 6 carries for 45 yards, 7.5 yards a carry. I don’t know why Judge doesn’t like him. He was the offensive star in the 2 preseason scrimmages that I saw. He had multiple touchdowns on long runs in each. He should be used much more.
The wide receivers on this team are a mess! The Giants only kept 5 on the roster which is a huge mistake given their injury history. I have no clue why Cory Coleman was cut when the 53-man roster was pared down. He was only going to cost them slightly over $1M, chump change. He showed tremendous flashes of brilliance on long catches in the scrimmages. No, the Giants would rather keep Board and Ratley who are just camp bodies. Jones stat line is uninspiring: 23/36, a low 5.3 YPA, 190 yards, 5 sacks, 1 pick, 0 touchdowns, 65,7 QB Rating. The wide outs are just as bad:
Engram 10/6 35 yards
Tate 6/4 20 yards
Slayton 7/3 48 yards
Ratley 4/3 34 yards
Smith 1/1/ 10 yards
Board 1/0 0 yards
We got a better game than we expected. For some reason the Giants always play better on the road for the 4th year in a row. They kept the Bears game close. They face a Dallas team next week that has been scoring points like a pinball machine. Dak Prescott is the first NFL quarterback in history to throw for over 450 yards, 3 games in a row. It will be a test for this improved defense. The Giants offense will have to find ways to score against this historically bad Cowboys defense. If Jones can’tscore points next week, give me Colt McCoy. This is an extremely important division game. The NFC East is a dumpster fire in a cess pool. One win can move you from last to first. Six wins may win the division.