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The New York Football Giants are what their record says they are: a 3-7 team that's headed nowhere fast. The Giants were coming off winning 2 of their last 3 games, a bye week and facing a vulnerable Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. But after a 30-10 beatdown on Monday Night, the Giants are headed into the draft room instead of the playoffs. New York came into the season hoping to build on its strong finish last year. But this season, it's been a bit of everything that can possibly go wrong with this team. The Giants can't stay healthy, can't protect Jones consistently, can't say Jones is the quarterback of the future, can't run the ball and can't get pressure on the quarterback. The Giants are going to have to take a hard look at their situation in the offseason, changes are coming but who knows where it will start and where it will end.
The offense continues to struggle in all areas
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The offense struggled to keep the ball moving consistently as Todd Bowles in the Bucs defense confused and frustrated Daniel Jones. Coming out of the second half the Giants had the ball and we're moving down the field. A critical fourth and one near the 30-yard line show how the Giants consistently take themselves out of games. It took them precious seconds off the clock to decide to actually go for it and get a play in. The play was called with 12 seconds to go in the play clock. Then a quick snap, predictable play call that was not creative, led to a turnover on downs.
I can honestly say that Daniel Jones might not be the future quarterback for the New York Giants. The inconsistency and poor decision making after three seasons is mind-boggling. Jones’ stat line was an underwhelming 23 of 38 competitions for 167 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Jones struggled to read the defenses post snap and find open receivers. Early in the first half when the Giants were in the red zone, Jones missed a wide open Kenny Golladay on crossing route (he could have walked into the endzone) and forced it to Kadarius Toney on the sideline (spoiler alert, he wasn't open). Jones is still stuck staring down receivers instead of reading the defense. In year 3, Jones still struggles to read the defenses, exploit matchups and find open receivers. At one point, Jones was barking calls at the line, moving WR, calling line protections for 20 seconds, finally gets the ball snapped with 1 second left to hand it off to Devonate Booker for no gain. I know it's Tom Brady, but it's frustrating to watch him sit in the pocket and comfortably find open receivers. Then watch Jones sit in the pocket and struggle to scan the field.
Jones also struggles to get the ball into the receiver's hands who can make plays. Kenny Golladay had only 2 targets for the whole game and Saquon Barkley was ineffective for most of the game. Some of that falls on the play calling of Jason Garrett. But some of that is Daniel Jones not finding open players. His interception in the third quarter to alignment is inexcusable. He was under duress, and threw a potential screen pass right to a defensive lineman.
The offensive line as a whole struggled to protect Daniel Jones and it’s so hard to get a good evaluation on the QB when he can’t operate the offense. Nate Solder and Will Hernandez were abused all night, the latter got run over twice for sacks on Jones. Hernandez committed another false start (4th of the season) and two back-breaking holding penalties. Pro Football Focus credited Hernandez with five allowed QB pressures, we’ll see what the final numbers are later today.
It wasn’t all terrible on offense
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Andrew Thomas missed five games with an injury, and was activated off the injured reserve list for the Monday night game. Thomas made an immediate impact as he helped neutralize Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquill Barrett. Thomas was easily graded as the best offensive lineman by Pro Football Focus. Thomas even threw in a touchdown catch to tie the game at 10-10. Welcome back Mr. Thomas!
Kadarius Toney looks like he's going to be a player for the Giants. The rookie receiver is electric with the ball in his hands. It took 3 weeks for Garrett to figure out he has a player, but not in Week 11 you see why the Giants scored him up late in the first round. Toney only finished with 7 catches for 40 yards, but he was making chicken soup out of chicken… As he was able to make players miss and turn negative plays into positives.
It was good to see Saquon Barkley back on the field after his ankle injury against the Cowboys and popping up on the Covid list. But the offense struggled all night and Barkley finished with 6 carries for 25 yard and 6 catches for 31. He just can't get going consistently, either it's the offensive line, the play calling or he gets tripped up. He just can't get the big plays we saw his first few seasons.
The coaching continues to let this team down.
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The Giants offense as a unit was the healthiest it's been in weeks, getting back tackle Andrew Thomas, RB Saquon Barkley, WRs Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney. But the offense still struggled to move the ball consistently, protect up front and open holes. Head coach Joe Judge put the blame on the coaching staff and it's hard not to. Judge said after the game, "Players have to execute. That is their job, right? It is our job to teach them. It's their job to go out and execute. But we've got to make sure we put them in position to have success. That has to be consistent, by the way. So, you can go ahead and write that down. I'm not going to debate that."
How many times are we going to say that Jason Garrett has to figure out ways to get their stars the ball? Countless times as the offense can't get going or find ways to maximize the weapons. But it's also too easy to lay the blame at Garrett's feet, get rid of him, keep the same cast and nothing changes.
It's become a parent that Joe Judge has had enough of Jason Garrett's play calling. The after the game press conference was a sneak peek, but the body language on the sideline also another. Garrett blames the offensive limitations to the offensive line, which is a valid point. The offensive line can't block up the middle open holes or give Daniel Jones time to sit in the pocket and read defenses.
But I look at the Steelers as a prime example of having offensive line struggles early in the season, and were able to overcome it and still move the ball and score points. As Joe Judge said, the coaches have to put the players in position to win. Jason Garrett doesn't appear to be the offensive coordinator that can put plays together with the limitations. No offense is perfect, but play calling shouldn't be an issue. Understand your personnel, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and exploit them. Joe Judge made it cleat that he's not happy with the offensive struggles. Be sure all week we will hear Jason Garrett's name in the media as the wheels have seemingly come off in New York.
Giants defense struggled to slow down the Bucs
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Even though the Giants were tied with the Bucs 10-10 in the 2nd quarter, the game was never close at any point. The defense was unable to slow the Bucs offense down. The defense had had a stretch of 4 games playing solid defense. But the Raiders win covered up the fact that the defense had played a bend not break defense. They were giving up yards but not touchdowns. You can't play defense against Tom Brady like that. The Bucs were able to control the pace, rushing for 94 yards and 3.5 yards per carry.
After the first drive when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers marched down the field methodically, the next two drives the Giants were able to make some plays. The second drive ended in a field goal as the Giants defense stiffened inside the 10 yard line. The defense was playing cover 2 for most of the first half not allowing Tom Brady to get the ball downfield. The first drive resulted in the touchdown after a missed tackle on WR Chris Godwin, the second drive ended with the field goal as the Giants held up at the goal line. The third drive didn't even get started as CB Adoree Jackson intercepted Tom Brady on a deflection. The defense really couldn’t get stops much after that as the Bucs were able to run the ball with Leonard Fournette, and methodically move down the field with screen passes.
But for the most part, the Giants defense struggled to stop the Tampa Bay Bucs. They played 2-deep to keep everything in front, but did a terrible job of getting to Tom Brady. Tom Brady was hit maybe once or twice the whole game. Not getting pressure up in Tom Brady's face allows him to pick your defense apart. Especially when you're playing to the zone or man, Tom Brady's too smart to not be able to pick that defense apart. The underneath routes and screen passes we're killing the Giants all night. Rob Gronkowski was able to find open holes in the zone and Tom Brady had time to go through progressions to find him.
On to Week 12 against our hated rivals and hot Philadelphia Eagles. This will be the first meeting of the season against the Eagles and seeing QB Jalen Hurts.