Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Photo Credit: BigBlueView.com
The pain, oh the pain. When I said that this was going to be a long season, I didn't think the pain would start three days later on a Thursday night game. Well the Giants played better offensively Thursday night against the Washington football team; mistakes, miscues and missed opportunities plagued the New York Giants in a 30-29 loss. I won't lock the pain and break down the second loss of the season. The Giants have started 0-2 for the 5th straight season. Commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman lamented how the Giants have started going to seven of the last eight seasons, now make that eight out of nine. According to Adam Schefter, no team has started 0-2 straight seasons since the Rams from 2007-2011. That pain...
What a difference a few days make for Jones
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I have long criticized Daniel Jones and his performance as the New York Giants quarterback. It wasn't so long ago when Eli Manning's first three or four years in the league were up and down at best. But one thing I can say definitively, is that Daniel Jones played one of his best football games as a pro. The QB played mistake-free football as he didn't turn the ball over once, which is unusual to say as he averages a fumble a game for his career. Jones' stat line finished at 22 of 32 for 249 passing yards and 1 passing TD, and add 95 rushing yards in a rushing TD. For the most part Jones had time in the pocket, but the Washington football team pass rush did get home quite a bit. But Jones stood tall in the pocket, went through his progressions, and delivered the ball to open receivers. He stood in there and took some hits which always endears yourself to Giants fans. If anything positive can come from a last-minute loss on the road, it's that Daniel Jones can build on this performance.
Better week from Garrett but… Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator in New York has had a up and down (mostly down) tenure. Is play calling is unimaginative much like it was in Dallas and leaves a lot to be desired, I listened to pundits say that Daniel Jones is in the most unimaginative offense and puts no skill position player in a position to succeed. But that's a chicken and an egg argument is it the play calling that's unimaginative, or is the offensive line that doesn't allow for creative play calling? But as you can see, when Daniel Jones gets time to throw the ball, the offense can get up and down the field. Give the offensive line credit as they played a pretty good game against a good defensive line that includes four first round picks. One name we haven't had to call out a lot in the first two games is Andrew Thomas. While Thomas did get beat on a couple plays, but for the most part he did a solid job of containing star DE Chase Young. Garrett opened the game with an uptempo drive that ended with a Jones touchdown run. The offense was clicking from there and only punted once in the second half. The run game was key to its success with Barkley breaking off a few runs and Daniel Jones reading the run option to perfection. WR Sterling Shepard put in a second straight solid performance with 9 catches for 94 yards. RB Saquon Barkley looked good on a short week as he put together some nights runs and showed a little bit of speed. Barkley finished with 57 rushing an average over 4 yards a carry. But one thing Garrett needs to focus on is getting WR Kenny Golladay more involved than the offense, as he finish with 3 catches for 38 yards. You can see he was visibly frustrated in the fourth quarter as he and Daniel Jones got into a little tiff. But all things considered, the offense clicked and easily could have won this game.
Mistakes and points left on the table
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The Giants lead for most in this game while Washington did play well, the Giants should have walked out of FedEx stadium with the win. But mistakes, miscues and missed opportunities plague the Giants. While it's easy to blame Dexter Lawrence for his offsides penalty on the last second field goal attempt by kicker Dustin Hopkins, the Giants should have never been in that position to lose a game on a last second field goal. The Giants easily left at least 11 points on the board and probably more that would have given them the victory. The dropped touchdown pass by wide receiver Darius Slayton would have put the game almost out of reach. A blown coverage left Slayton wide open in the end zone. A questionable holding call on wide receiver CJ Board wiped out a long touchdown run by Daniel jones. Instead of a touchdown, it broke the ball outside the 20 and the Giants had to settle for a field goal. Sprinkle in a first half drive that was inside the red zone, then penalties pushed them out of field goal range. The Giants had to punt the ball away, play field position, and potentially more points taken off the board. Kicker Graham Gano was automatic as he hit 5 field goals, it's safe to assume he would have covered there. The Giants had their opportunities to not only score against the very good Washington Football Team defense. The Giants were pushing their impressive defensive line around and moving the ball effectively. However, didn't cash it on opportunities and It ultimately came back to bite them in the fourth quarter.
Defense turned in a bad performance
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What more can you say, the Giants defense let them down and played a horrific game. The Giants allowed Taylor Heinicke, who only played in his fourth game, to turn in a stat line that boasted 34 of 46 completions for 336 yards and two touchdowns. CB James Bradberry easily played one of his worst games as a New York giant, he had all kinds of problems covering Washington football team star receiver Terry McLaurin. McLaurin went off for 11 catches for 107 and a touchdown. Bradberry was later even flagged for holding call in the fourth quarter. Bradbury did come up with a crucial interception late in the game that should have sealed the game but for the most part Bradberry had a tough go at it. The whole secondary had a tough game against the Washington football team, but it's hard to blame them for that performance. The Giants lack of pass rush really destroyed any chance that they had to win this game. Taylor Heinicke was able to stand in the pocket untouched and pick apart the secondary. Outside of a early sack on the first drive of the game, I can't recall any point where Taylor Heinicke was under duress. Missed tackles and open receivers play the Giants defense. Giants had all the momentum in the world in the fourth quarter and then a two play, 75-yard TD Drive put Washington football team right back in the ball game. Even with the late interception for inexcusable pass play when Washington was up and could have salted the game away, the Giants couldn't capitalize. Taylor Heinicke drove down the field for a game-winning field goal drive with little to no resistance. If the Giants don't figure out a way to get pressure without sending multiple blitzes, defenses are going to have a feast on a secondary that just can't cover for more than five or six seconds.