Giants Week 10 Report Card: Embarassing
No one was expecting the Giants to contend for a Super Bowl championship this year. But what people were expecting was to see growth in a revamped roster that cleaned up its locker room culture, drafted its future franchise quarterback, and installed a head coach that supposedly was adult-enough to help this team navigate through the ups and downs.
So what do we have after ten games?
We have a Giants team that is 2-8, and that is stuck in the middle of a six-game losing streak.
We have a coaching staff that can't seem to fix the problems that continue to sabotage this team's performance.
We also have a growing number of players whose tongues must be raw and bleeding from all the biting they've done when asked about the team's struggles
It's rock bottom for the Giants, who can't get out of their own way. And something is going to need to give over the bye week as this team cannot continue down the path it's been on.
Passing Offense: C+
Daniel Jones had a solid day throwing the ball, finishing 26 of 40 for 308 yards and four touchdowns. The stain on his record continues to be turnovers, a problem he and the coaching staff say they're working on but which has shown zero progress week after week.
Another problem is running back Saquon Barkley's pass protection. Barkley was responsible for two of the six sacks allowed against Jones today.
Now perhaps that's due to his ankle still being an issue, but whatever the case, Barkley's pass blocking has taken a significant and alarmin step backward.
On the plus side, Darius Slayton and Golden Tate both had productive games. Slayton finished with ten receptions out of 14 pass targets for 121 yards and two touchdowns; Tate caught four out of eight balls for 95 yards, and two touchdown passes.
Rushing Offense: F
For the second time this season, the Giants leading rusher was Jones, who finished with 20 yards on three carries. So what does that tell you about Barkley, who should be the leading rusher?
Right. He finished with ONE YARD (no that's not a typo) on 13 carries and just a long of three yards.
Yes, the Giants had some injuries to the offensive line, but the run blocking left a lot to be desired. Every time the Giants sent fullback Eli Penny onto the field for a standard I-formation, even I was calling out the play and the direction (accurately at that) before the snap.
Run Defense: C
Overall not a horrible job by the guys up front, who allowed 76 rushing yards on 29 carries and two rushing touchdowns. On the plus side, Le'Veon Bell was a nonfactor, rushing for 34 yards on 18 carries and the one touchdown.
Dalvin Tomlinson finished as the team leader in tackles with nine. Still, the linebackers again had trouble getting off blocks and filling holes as the run defense allowed two big-play runs of 24 yards (to quarterback Darold) and 13 yards (to Bilal Powell).
Pass Defense: F
Darnold completed 19 of 30 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, which doesn't sound bad, but those numbers don't tell the whole story. First, the Giants managed just two sacks, often coming close but not quite getting home, as Darnold cleared the ghosts from his head.
And the defensive secondary continues to struggle with playing a loose zone. Cornerback DeAndre Baker committed a 33-yard pass interference penalty, which ended up being the difference in the game as the Jets were able to cash in with a touchdown. Antoine Bethea and Alec Ogletree looked like they forgot what to do when Jamison Crowder caught a 23-yard touchdown, and the coverage by the linebackers left a lot to be desired this week.
Special Teams: C
Is it time yet to be concerned about the place-kicking unit? The Giants blew two PATs. The first after a bad snap forced holder Riley Dixon to try to throw the ball to no avail. The second missed PAT came when Aldrick Rosas couldn't connect on a 43-yard PAT, which was the result of a holding penalty called against Golden Tate on the 2-point conversion.
The only other negative of note from this unit was Corey Ballentine's decision to take the ball out of the end zone from two yards deep. Otherwise, the group had a decent game as a whole.
Do we start with the fact that the Giants plugged in Eric Smith at left tackle after Nate Solder left the game with a concussion although Smith didn't practice there this week and it probably would have made more sense to move Nick Gates, who did have experience at left tackle, to that side?
Do we point to the fact that the staff didn't give Smith chip-blocking help on that critical fourth-quarter drive that ended up in a sack? Or what about the clock mismanagement when the Giants blew threw all three of their timeouts before the 2:00 warning?
And on defense, do we look at the fact that DeAndre Baker continues to make the same mistakes, or that this defense can't stop anyone in coverage?
Wherever we start, it's clear that something needs to be done with this staff because this team is going in the wrong direction despite the talent.