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Five Plays that Doomed the Giants vs. Miami

In reality there were more than five plays that hurt the Giants chances for a win, but these five in particular, as chosen by Coach Gene Clemons, stood out like a sore thumb.

We're still unsure what Giants head coach Joe Judge saw that gives him reason to believe the team is headed in the right direction. But what we saw was a disjointed game plan that lacked rhyme and reason, coupled with an offensive line whose performance was offensive to the Nth degree and some questionable decisions and clock management that have plagued this team all year long.

Injuries aside--and yes, they are very much a factor--the Giants are a mess, particularly on offense. It doesn't matter who the quarterback or play caller is, this team has struggled to score, and if you want a really sad fact, check out this statistic.

The Giants, who spent wildly in free agency to get playmakers for the offense, has fallen apart. And while not mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration, the last thing the Giants should be worrying about is not who they'll be playing in late January. 

Instead, they need to focus on when they're finally going to put together a string of four solid quarters of football that they can build on week after week.

As we turn the page on the latest disaster, here is a look at five of the many plays that doomed the Giants in their Week 13 game against the Miami Dolphins.

1st-and-10, MIA 48, 2:51, Q1

The Play: Glennon throws an interception on a deep ball.

On the Giants' second drive of the game, quarterback Mike Glennonwent 4 of 4, and had just completed a 20-yard pass to Kenny Golladay on a 2nd-and-12.

The Giants were across midfield, and Glennon, who at that point in the game had gone 8 of 8 on two drives, seemed to want to test his hot hand. Receiver Darius Slayton was lined up on the left side and took off on a deep fade route, running by Dolphins defensive back Xavien Howard.

Glennon has a strong arm, but it seemed to hang up in the air longer than usual when he threw it up. He didn't drive the ball, and Howard was able to catch up to Slayton, who slowed down in his route. 

Howard, Slayton, and Miami safety Jevon Holland went up for the jump ball, but it was the All-Pro Howard who came down with the ball, putting an end to a promising drive for New York.

4th-and-10, MIA 21, 13:12, Q2

The Play: Giants settle for a field goal

The Giants defense was able to force Miami to punt from their 2-yard line, and Pharoh Cooper returned the punt 15 yards to the Miami 37-yard line.

Two Kenny Golladay receptions later, New York was at the 21-yard line and in position to score. On first down, Glennon threw an incomplete pass to Saquon Barkley. 

On second down, Barkley was stopped for no gain. On third down, Glennon threw an incomplete pass to Cooper, and once again, the Giants had to settle for a Graham Gano field goal.

On the drive, they only picked up 16 yards on seven plays. One of the Achilles' heels of the Giants' offense this season--and a reason they moved on from offensive coordinator Jason Garrett--has been their inability to finish drives with touchdowns. Watching them settle for three points ended up an all-too-familiar song.

3rd-and-6, NYG 12, 1:06, Q2

The Play: Dolphins convert on third down in the red zone.

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New York has become a bend-but-don’t-break defense. Unfortunately, that style of defense can only bend so far before it eventually snaps. 

Miami started this drive on their 11-yard line, and they were able to go 12 plays before they even encountered a third down. When they did, New York had them in a difficult spot. 

Because the field was reduced, it should have been easier for the defenders to take away short passes for the first down and instead make Tua throw the ball over their heads if he wanted a chance for the touchdown.

Extra attention should have been paid to Jaylen Waddle, who has been one of the best receivers in the league over the last handful of games. Instead, he was given a free release, and Tua connected with him for just enough yards to earn the first down.

Two plays later, the Dolphins scored a touchdown. If the Giants had made that third-down stop, they would have most likely held the Dolphins to a field goal and went into halftime down by three instead of seven.

4th-and-9, MIA 16, 10:29, Q3

The Play: Giants settle for another field goal.

The Giants started their first drive after halftime at their 15-yard line. They were able to move the ball down into the red zone. They even converted a 3rd-and-10 on a 17-yard pass from Glennon to tight end Evan Engram.

With 1st-and-10 at the Dolphins' 17-yard line, the Giants needed to find a way to end this drive with a touchdown. Over the next three plays, the Giants' offense could only muster one yard on a first-down Booker run.  

The play calls signaled that it was not four-down territory, and the field goal unit came out on the field, with kicker Graham Gano making a 31-yard field goal, the Giants playing it too conservatively again.

1st-and-10 NYG 27, 2:03, Q3

Sack on Glennon leads to a disastrous series and short field for Miami.

The Giants defense forced four consecutive Dolphins punts in the third quarter, and the only thing the offense could produce was a field goal. 

With time running out in the third quarter and only trailing by four points, the Giants needed to try to get something working. Barkley picked up a crucial third down on a 9-yard run to get the ball out from deep in their territory.

The first-down play was a play-action rollout for a quarterback who isn't known to be near the same level of athlete as Daniel Jones. They also ran the play action with Booker, who does not draw the same attention as Barkley.

Glennon rolled and set up, but he did not see anyone open. Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips corralled him at the 13-yard line, a loss that puts the team back deep in their territory.

The Giants call a timeout, and after play resumed, Glennon was sacked again by Phillips for a 7-yard loss. On 3rd-and-30, the Giants drew a delay of game penalty that moved them back inside the 5-yard line. They ran Booker on third down and eventually punted the ball to Miami, where they fielded it and had only 61 yards to go for a touchdown.

Seven plays later, Tua hit Isaiah Ford for the short touchdown. The Giants offense was not able to score a touchdown to that point, so there was no reason to believe they would all of a sudden turn it on--and they did not. 


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