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Giants- Dolphins Week 13: By The Numbers

Our weekly look inside the numbers that mattered most breaks down the numbers from the Giants' Week 13 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The New York Giants thought they had left the worst of their offense behind them in Tampa Bay on Nov. 22 following the crushing primetime defeat and the subsequent dismissal of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

As it turns out, the anemic group was just getting their misery train started as the second half of the season began. This week, heading down to South Florida for an inter-conference matchup with the Miami Dolphins, the Giants continued their red zone scoring famine while giving up two touchdowns on the other end as part of a 20-9 loss. 

That loss dropped them to 4-8 on the season and put another dent in their already slim chance at grabbing the final playoff spot in the NFC.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continued his streak of quality performances dating back to Week 11 by completing 30 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns.

Giants quarterback Mike Glennon, in for the injured Daniel Jones, went 23-of-44 for 187 yards and an interception. The veteran gunslinger was sacked three times for 28 yards and was under duress 15 times thanks to another bout of miserable protection by the offensive line.

With five games left on the 2021 schedule and Jones's status uncertain due to a neck injury, the only question left to ponder is whether things will get worse for the Giants as massive offseason change is growing completely inevitable.

Until then, here are the stats and numbers that mattered most in the Giants’ latest embarrassing loss to the Dolphins:

The "Dead" Zone

A recurring weekly theme for the Giants offense is its utter mediocrity. Now led by interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, who on Sunday entered his second game this year calling plays after the firing of Jason Garrett, nothing has improved.

After a 1-3 red zone success rate and dismal 13 points against the Eagles in a Week 12 win in Kitchen’s first week, things only got worse on Sunday against the rolling Dolphins.

Led by Glennon, who made his first start of the season in Jones's absence, the Giants offense went 0-1 in the red zone and managed to score just nine points, all from kicker Graham Gano’s reliable leg.

The Giants' offense never came close to the end zone, as not a single drive eclipsed the Dolphin’s 15-yard line. The closest the Giants got to the goal line was Miami’s 16-yard line, that coming in the third quarter, where they were stopped on 3rd-and-9, and kicked their second field goal to cut the deficit to 10-6.

Glennon and company received tremendous support from their defense, as defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s group held Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense to three straight three-and-out drives and a fourth that went for only 19 yards to start the third quarter.

Yet, all the Giants' offense did in return was punt three times on their first four possessions of the half and produce only 80 of their total 250 yards of production.

The Giants ' offense has scored only two offensive touchdowns in the previous three games, including Sunday’s loss. One of those two scores came courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in Week 11, who threw an interception inside his own 5-yard line to give the Giants offense a chip shot touchdown drive.

The Giants still hold the worst red-zone conversion rate in the NFL (41.94 percent), down from the 44 percent they held entering the game. Going zero for one this week didn't help.

Tua’s Pass Completion Rate: 73.2%

One of the most remarkable quarterback stories of the 2021 NFL season has been Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Drafted fifth overall in the 2020 draft, the former national champion at Alabama spent most of his first season in Miami learning behind the veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.

When Fitzpatrick departed last offseason, it opened the door for Tagovailoa to assume the role as starting quarterback and see if he can lead the long-losing Dolphins to new levels of success.

With the opportunity in front of him, Tagovailoa held up despite earlier season rumors of the Dolphins having an interest in Houston's Deshaun Watson and has ascended to become one of the best young quarterbacks in the league.

After missing three games earlier in the season with bruised ribs and seeing his team start the year 1-7, Tagovailoa has carried his team to a string of five consecutive victories and a 6-7 record that puts them within reach of the final AFC Wild Card with five weeks to go in the regular season.

Among the impressive stat lines from his recent performances, one category that has stood out is his completion percentage.

Tagovailoa has completed 60 percent or more of his passing attempts in his last four games and has thrown for 200 yards in his previous three games. He also has thrown five of his 12 touchdowns on the year in his last three games.

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Against a Giants defense that ranks 20th in pass completion percentage by opponents (66.7 percent), Tagovailoa completed 73.2 percent of his pass attempts this week (30 of 41), his fourth-best completion rate of the season, and with an average of 6.0 yards per attempt.

Tagovailoa also targeted nine different receivers during Sunday’s game and connected with eight of them. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was his most consistent receiver, securing nine receptions on 11 targets for 90 yards, including a long of 25 yards.

Tight end Mike Gesicki also had 11 targets and completed seven for 46 yards.

Giants Defense’s Takeaway Streak Ends

Unlike their offense, the Giants' defense has begun to play better as the season has gone on.

While they’ve struggled to stop the run game--they're ranked 25th (122.8 yards/game)--and have been good in the red zone (23 red zone touchdowns, 18th in the league), the Giants defense entered Week 13 with the fifth-most turnovers (21) in the league, 13 of those takeaways being interceptions.

The Giants' defense came into Miami with a streak of eight consecutive games with at least one turnover, which stood as the NFL’s longest active streak for that category.

In last Sunday’s 13-7 win over Philadelphia, the Giants defense forced quarterback Jalen Hurts to throw three interceptions and later recovered a fumble to extend their streak and effectively limit the Eagles to one red-zone score.

That streak ended Sunday as the defense couldn’t throw Tagovailoa off his game very much despite a few close calls throughout the contest.

Instead of accumulating turnovers, the Giants' defense allowed the Dolphins to tally 297 yards of total offense and convert 6-15 on third downs en route to 19 total first downs. Miami also converted on two trips to the red zone, the Giants' defense unable to catch a break to help their struggling offense.

91 Rushing Yards

Both the Giants and the Dolphins had abysmal afternoons moving the ball on the ground.

The two teams combined for 156 rushing yards despite nearly tripling that number in passing yards (431). The Giants averaged 5.4 yards per rush compared to the Dolphins 2.7--that averaged helped by a 23-yard long run by Saquon Barkley--unable to get a running game going.

The Giants' 91 yards were gained by Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker. Barkley ran the ball 11 times for 55 yards and averaged 5.0 yards per carry. He also chipped in 19 yards on six receptions in the passing game.

Booker, who had two 100-yard offensive performances earlier in the season while Barkley was out with an ankle injury, earned just 36 yards on six carries.

Perhaps most alarming, though, was the Giants went away from the run despite the game still being in reach until late in the fourth quarter. The Giants ran the ball 17 times, eight of those in the first half and nine in the second half. While the run blocking wasn't solid, the Giants ended up becoming one-dimensional by not putting more on Booker and perhaps even Eli Penny to push the pile.

Gano's 89

To no one's surprise, kicker Graham Gano is the Giants' leading scorer and a major factor in the Giants' offensive production weekly.

With a constantly injured offense incapable of making plays, moving the chains past midfield, and scoring touchdowns in the red zone, the Giants have had to lean heavily on Gano to produce a hefty number of their points this season.

He's delivered. Gano has scored 89 of the Giants 211 points. The next closest teammate to Gano's total are running backs Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker, both of who have 18 points scored.

Were it not for Gano's leg this week, the Giants might very well have been shut out. The 34-year-old went 3-of-4 on field-goal attempts Sunday, putting one through the uprights in the second, third, and fourth quarters, respectively, to account for all nine of the Giants' points.

Gano’s first successful field goal came early in the second quarter with a 39-yard make to cap off a seven-play, 16-yard drive that put the Giants on top for their sole lead of the game, 3-0.

Then, with 10:29 left in the third, Gano would repeat from nearly the same distance, converting from 34-yards deep to cut the Dolphins lead to 10-6, the closest the Giants came to catching Miami.

Most importantly for Gano, he finished a ten-play, 25-yard drive with a 51-yard blast to put the Giants at nine points and slash the deficit to a one-score affair with just under five minutes remaining in regulation.

With that third successful kick, Gano officially set a new Giants single-season record for most made fields from a distance of 50 or more yards with six. Gano also broke his previous record of five during the 2020 season, and his first with Big Blue and his 11 long field goals are a franchise career record.


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