Takeaways from New York Giants' Week 13 Loss


Photo Credit: GiantsWire - USA Today


Another week of misery is ahead for Giants fans as the Giants fall to the Dolphins 20-9 in Miami. But hey, if you traveled for the game at least you got nice weather. The Giants struggled to make this a competitive game on the offensive side of the ball. The combination of poor quarterback play, key play-makers not coming up with plays, typical poor offensive line play, operational meltdowns leading to either penalties or wasted timeouts, our redzone / near-red zone inefficiency, conservative 4th down decision-making led to a perfect storm of a garbage performance. So much to unpack, let's get it over with.


Offensive line just can't get it done

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On Sunday against the Dolphins, the Giants offensive line needed to help carry this offense. With Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney not available to play, the offense needed to help keep it simple for Matt Glennon. The easiest way to do that is to run the football. But again the Giants cannot open any holes for Saquon Barkley or Devontae Booker. The scouting report is that the Dolphins like to bring pressure with all types of blitzes, yet the Giants looked unprepared to combat that. The Dolphins overloaded the left side of the offensive line in particular and often three linemen were left to block two men, leaving two blitzers free on the outside.


Will Hernandez struggled all game and looks like a complete second round bust. Hernandez on one play in particular all he had to do was pull to the outside and protect glennon's backside. Not only did he barely get a hand on the outside rusher, he stumbled and watched Glennon get pulled down for a crippling sack deep in their territory. That drive ended with another penalty in a 3rd and 30 from inside the 5 years line.


Offense couldn't get into a rhythm

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The offense on the surface looked over matched against the aggressive Dolphins defense. But the offense was out of sync the whole game. It felt like every other play, the offense was running up against the play clock. Either it was a struggle to get the play in our coaches deciding what to do, but Matt Glennon was furiously trying to get the play off with 2 seconds or less.


Evan Engram and Pharaoh Cooper were the lone bright spots on the day. Engram's stat line wasn't overly impressive (4 catches for 61 yards), but every catch he made was a impactful one. Engram either extended drives on 3rd down or just had a critical catch for a struggling offense. WR Kenny Golladay was able to get going early as he got 3 catches for 37 yards on 5 targets. But the torso injury knocked him out and lent him to be ineffective for the 2nd half. Graham Geno continues to be a rock in the special teams games, he should be as he gets all the attempts in the world. He is as steady as they comes as he converted 3 of 4 field goal attempts for the day.


Even when the offense had chances to move the chains and try to put points on the board, something went wrong. Barkley looked as explosive as he had all season since coming back from injury. But Barkley dropped two easy throws that he could've covered to nice gains. It's something that he rarely does, to make it crazy is that he had two one handed catches before that in the first quarter. He just hasn't been able to get going, as he's trying to hit home runs every time he touches the ball. He finished with 11 carries for 55 rushing yards and 6 catches for 19 yards, but he just can't get going behind this poor offensive line.


WR Darius Slayton couldn’t catch a Glennon pass on 3rd and long that would have been a first down. Evan Engram got all turned around (for no reason mind you) on a deep ball that should have been a touchdown. Then when WRs we're running open, Glennon kept putting his receivers in harm’s way with inaccurate throws. Glennon was reading defenses, something Jones struggles to do consistently, but he was taking too long in his reads and missing players. He missed WR John Ross over the middle on an easy pitch and catch.


The defense did all it could to keep this game close

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Defense once again show that it is an NFL caliber defense. Defense showed up and did everything in their power to keep this a close game. Secondary struggled in the red zone, as miscues led to open receivers in the end zone. But for the most part the defense played pretty well. They were able to pressure quarterback Tua and completely take away the rushing attack for the Dolphins. The Dolphins gained only 68 yards in the ground for a 2.7 yards per rush average. Giants got two sacks on the day, but their eight game interception steak was snapped.


CB Aaron Robinson played well filling in for Adoree Jackson. He missed the first 2 months after landing on the PUP list, but the Dolphins game saw him make an impact. He was picked on write a bit and held up well against the Waddle/Parker duo.


Azziz Ojulari continues to play some solid football in his rookie campaign. Ojulari’s sack on Sunday gave him 6.5 on the season, which is now a Giants franchise rookie record. Ojulari also generated 3 QB hurries and 4 stops. According to BigBlueView, Ojulari scored a 82.5 overall Pro Football Focus grade on Sunday. He was 2nd on defense behind Austin Johnson (who a 83.3 PPF grade).


Quincy Roche also continues to state his case to be a mainstay in the defensive line (thank you, Pittsburgh Steelers) Roche was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh and continues to provide pressure and consistent line play. Roche tallied 1 sack, 6 tackles, a pressure and three stops. While Carter was healthy and played well for the Giants, Roche is a rotation guy with a motor that needs to play.


The failure to execute on the little details are Giant mistakes

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Despite the struggles in offense, the G-Men was in a winnable game with the score 17-9 late in the 4th quarter. But the small details ended up being the difference in yet another game that slipped away. The decision to punt instead of going for it on 4th and 2 was a crisp mistake. The offense struggled and couldn't be trusted to pick up the needed yards. But head coach Joe Judge needed to be aggressive and try to put that Dolphins defense on it's heels. Judge decided to play the field position game instead of keeping the offense on the field and keep the drive alive. The special teams group failed to track down a punt that touched down inside Miami's 5-yard line. The punt instead went into the end zone for a touchback and wiping out a chance to win a field-position battle.


As we notes before, Mike Glennon missed a couple of throws (to Evan Engram and John Ross) that could potentially have given the Giants big plays. The Engram throw should've gone for a touchdown. The dam eventually broke on the Giants in the second half as Glennon took consecutive sacks and followed it with a delay of game penalty, which combined to wipe out a chance to take the lead in a 10-6 game. Miami responded with a seven-play, 61-yard touchdown drive from which the Giants failed to recover. In a tight contest between two somewhat similar teams, one proved to be better at paying attention to detail, and it wasn't Joe Judge's squad.


Giants head coach Joe Judge is being to sound like a broken record at this point. He is saying the same thing about correcting mistakes but getting the same results. His game management continues to be God awful as the offense looked lost all game.


In his postgame, Judge said “There was a lot of things that I saw today in the way we played, a lot of things that are moving in the right direction, a lot of things I’m very pleased with in terms of how we competed.” Judge added, “And we were able to make some stops at critical moments, able to make some good decisions.”


I mean the defense completed, but the offense couldn't do anything right. This did not look like a professional offense even with Freddie Kitchens calling the shots. The game management, coaching and timeout management continues to be a problem area for this team and it starts with the head coach.


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