The Giants continue to show that despite being short-handed, they are a tough out for any team in the NFL. While the record says that this team is 2-6, it is not difficult to imagine how good they would be with a healthy squad all season.
The Giants have continued to be competitive, whether it has been juggling offensive linemen, rotating receivers, plugging in defensive backs and linebackers, or playing without their star running back.
They put themselves in a position to win, so the 20-17 loss to Kansas City was disappointing. There are always plays in the game that could have swung things in favor of the G-Men.
These are the five plays that spoiled New York’s upset attempt.
Play 5: 2nd-and-8, NYG 22, 7:43, Q1
The Play: Interception leads to points for Kansas City
The Chiefs have had issues with turnovers all season, so it was not surprising when they turned it over deep in Giants territory. Patrick Mahomes has been careless with the ball, especially in the red zone. That was a break for the Giants defense, who were able to avoid giving up points early in the game.
The fact that two plays later, the Giants offense would give it back to them is unexpected. Daniel Jones tried to throw a quick hitch to Darius Slayton and never saw Willie Gay coming from his linebacker spot.
Gay was able to undercut the pass and pick the ball off, giving the Chiefs the ball inside the 15-yard line. Four plays later, they scored the touchdown that they squandered when they turned the ball over on the previous possession.
Play 4: 4th-and-2 KC 4, 2:45, Q2
The Play: Giants kick a field goal instead of going for it.
One of the keys to the game was to finish drives. As good as Graham Gano has been this season, the Giants need to put more points on the board, especially against a team that has been known for putting up massive points.
Down 14-7 late in the second quarter, knowing you are getting the ball again after halftime, this would have been the perfect opportunity to show some faith in your offense, especially your quarterback.
Instead, head coach Joe Judge decided to kick a field goal when faced with a fourth down and two yards for a first (four for a touchdown). That brought the score to 14-10, but it did not invigorate the offense or the confidence of those watching the game.
Play 3: 3rd-and-1 NYG 34, 13:34, Q3
The Play: QB run stopped for no gain.
The defense held the Chiefs offense to 14 points in the first half, and the offense was only able to generate 10. New York gets the ball to start the second half. Usually, the offense does well with scripted plays, and it would be customary for the offensive staff to come out with a clear understanding of how they want the first drive to unfold.
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As an offense, you must take pride in picking up a yard, so on third down, when they keep it in the hands of their quarterback, that yard needs to be picked up. Jones could not pick up the first down on his run and had to punt the ball away to Kansas City.
Play 2: 3rd-and-3 NYG 47, 7:44, Q3
The Play: After an explosive play, the Giants go 3-and-out on an incomplete 3rd down pass.
After another defensive stop for the Giants, the offense received the ball backed up to their 18-yard line. The first play was a 22-yard pass from Jones to John Ross, a combination that has produced a few explosive plays this season.
The next play was a three-yard Booker run followed by a four-yard pass from Jones to Toney. That brought up a very manageable 3rd and short close to mid-field. Jones tried to come back on third down to Toney again, but they could not connect this time.
There seemed to be no thought about going for it on fourth down, and the ball was punted away. It was yet another opportunity to sustain a drive that was squandered.
Play 1: 3rd-and-1 NYG 27,7:28, Q4
The play: Taunting penalty erases a big 3rd down gain.
Giants fans had to feel optimistic about their chances of pulling off an upset with a tied-up ball game in the fourth quarter and the defense playing well. A critical third downplay on a pass from Jones to Penny had many feeling better. After the play, Penny was called for a taunting penalty.
The 16 yards gained on the play were negated by the 15 yards on the penalty, and while the result was still a first down, it stripped away any momentum gained on the play. The Giants ran six more plays after that play and were unable to gain the same yards as the one play.
They would eventually punt the ball back to Kansas City, who would drive down the field in nine plays and make a field goal to take the lead with 1:07 seconds remaining. The Giants' offense was unable to get the ball downfield to set up a tying field goal.
If the Giants came into the game and said that they would hold the Chiefs to 20 points, many would believe they would win the game. Unfortunately, the offense's inability to be consistent and score touchdowns cost them another opportunity to win.
The positive that you pull from this game is that the defense is beginning to resemble the defense ranked as one of the best in the NFL last year. The offense can be explosive. There are still improvements to be made and enough time left in the season to get things on track.
The question is, will they?
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