Another loss in the books as the New York Giants fall to the Los Angeles Chargers 37-21 in Hollywood. The Giants played this week like a horror film that was hard to look away. The Giants fell to 4-9 on the season and have clinched their 5th straight losing season since their last playoff appearance in 2016. It was hard to find any good takeaways from this game, as there were none. This is a game that you can file away and hopefully burn the tape.
If anything this shows fans what an NFL offense should look like in watching Justin Herbert and the Chargers have their way with this Giants defense. Another thing to take away from this game is that there is no doubt Dave Gettleman will not be back next year. But more so, if things continue to spiral out of control, Joe Judge might not be back either. But let's talk about yesterday's game.
The offense sputtered early and still struggle to move the football
The Giants offense for the most part struggled to move the ball consistently again when the game was in reach. While the Giants scored on their second possession of the game, they couldn't muster meaningful offense until the 4th quarter. The Giants had a 7 play, 75-yard drive that ended in an Elijhaa Penny touchdown pass. This was one of the few red zone touchdowns the Giants have achieved this season. For the most part the Giants struggled to stay in the game and match the Chargers score for score.
Matt Glennon started today after a long week of concussion protocols. We all thought he wouldn't make the start and that newly acquired Jake Fromm might make his first career start. but put in an okay day. Glennon finished with 191 yards passing, 2 TDs and 1 INT. But a lot of those stats were gained in the second half as the Chargers really held the Giants down in the first half. The Giants punted on 5 of their first 7 possessions, which included 4 three and outs.
Kyle Rudolph had his best game as a giant, two catches for 66 yards. It was also nice to see Sterling Shepard back on the field, but he and golly day combined for four catches for 42 yards. Just not the level of production we need from the receiving corps. The receivers all season have struggled to get into the passing game as the offensive line issues have regulated passes to running backs and tight ends. The offense needs to open up and be more explosive on the outside.
The Giants even tried a fake punt to open their second half but the Riley Dixon pass went over the receiver's head. I commend your judge for trying to get a first down and be creative, but at that point it's a lot to ask a punter to achieve a 4th and 9 play for first down. Last week was the fourth down play where you go for it. Another fourth and nine attempt at the end of 3rd quarter ended with a strip sack by DE Joey Bosa that was the nail in the coffin.
One of the few bright spots for the Giants was that they were able to rush the football. The Giants finished with 135 yards rushing an average 5.2 yards per carry. But again, most of these yards were picked up in the second half when the game was out of reach. The Giants were able to run the ball like this in the first half this might have been a different ball game. But the Giants were able to score over 20 points in the game, the first time they had done that since the Raiders win in over a month. But still the offense has a long way to go.
The defense was outmatched by Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense
The Giants defense had been doing all they could to keep them in games the last few weeks. However, this Sunday they just couldn’t couldn't stop Justin Herbert and the Chargers. The Chargers high-power offense, without Kennan Allen who is in COVID protocols, gained 289 total yards and 18 first downs by halftime. QB Justin Herbert sat out the 4th quarter but still had a ridiculous stat line of 23-31 for 275 yards and 3 TDs. The defense was on the field for over 34 minutes in the game, most of that time was spent in the first 3 quarters and the Charger offense wore the defense down to gain 152 yards on the ground also.
Herbert was able to sit in the pocket and pick the Giants secondary apart. Herbert wasn't under much pressure most of the day as the Giants defensive front was only able to generate 2 sacks on the day. Dexter Lawrence was one of the few defensive linemen with a good day as he tallied 6 total pressures,1 sack, 3 hurries, 2 QB hits. Leonard Williams left with an elbow injury and didn’t return to the game.
Yesterday showed why we have been screaming for the Giants' to pick an edge rusher in the next draft. When the Giants defense has been at their best in the past, it always started with a dominant pass rush. When they matched up against the elite passers this season like Prescott, Mahomes, Herbert, Stafford, etc., the Giants just couldn't get to the QB to help out the secondary. The top QBs this season vs. the Giants have completed over 68% of their passes and averaged 280+ yards per game.
Barkley looked the best has looked all season
The Giants offense was able to get some traction in the second half when the game was completely out of reach. As it may have been garbage time, it was still good to see Saquon Barkley get some good snaps out of it. The offensive line was opening holes as the Chargers looked to play more pass defense and didn’t load the box. Barkley finished the game with easily his best stat line of the season (95 total yards, 3 catches, 1 TD). He looked explosive but more decisive in his cuts and reading the holes. He also put his head down to get tough yards which is not his style but something he’s adapting to more.
Devontae Booker looks like the better back with the naked eye as he had less yards than Barkley (56 yards for Booker vs 65 yards for Barkley) but had a stronger yards per average than Barkley (7 yards per carry vs 4 yards per carry). Booker is a downhill runner that fits better with the blocking style of the offense. But Barkley is the more talented back. The Giants need to build a line and scheme better around the talented back so Barkley can be the weapon the team envisioned.
Under 2 minutes in the first half is still a nightmare
The Giants this year have had the worst times with under 2 minutes to go. Coming into this game, the Giants I've been outscored 59 to 0 with under 2 minutes to go in the first half. This game would be no different, but the change in momentum in this sequence spelled DOOM for the Giants.
The Giants were down 17-7 with just around 2 minutes to play and had the Chargers pinned deep in their territory. The Giants defense forced a punt and the Giants gained possession of the ball inside Chargers territory. But the Giants were unable to even get into field goal range as a field goal would have made it a one score ball game. What made it worse was on 3rd down, RB Devontae Booker dropped a pass that would've gotten them into field goal range. But this play was indicative of the Giants on the whole day, as the past was high and behind the intended receiver. The Giants three and out and were forced to punt back to the Chargers with over 52 seconds left on the clock and the punch sailed into the end zone. The Chargers got the ball back at the 25 yard line.
The Chargers proceed to move the ball down the field and in less than 23 seconds in position to score. Then stud QB Justin Herbert threw a deep 67 yard dime to WR Jalen Guyton for a TD with 17 seconds on the clock and the game was instantly out of reach for Big Blue. Guyton got behind Logan Ryan, but the 67 yard throw in the air but Herbert was indefensible and simply impressive. Mind you it only took 23 seconds for the Chargers to get into the end zone as the Giants went three and out and struggled to lose 2 yards on their drive.