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Instant Reaction: Giants Fall to Dolphins 20-9

It didn't matter who was at quarterback or who was calling the plays. The Giants offense lacks a pulse.

There was no Daniel Jones for the Giants in this game, and there was still no offense as Mike Glennon was consistently under pressure the entire game. Glennon finished 22 of 44 for 187-yards with one interception. 

He missed a few open receivers that would have extended Giants’ drives as he was at times high with his throws, while at others putting some into harm's way. That he only had one interception is a miracle.

New York’s expectations were low heading into the game with no Jones and an offense that averaged 18 points per game (8.6 points in its last three games). It was always a tall task to ask newly promoted offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to devise a game plan centralized around an unathletic quarterback and an offensive line that struggles to maintain a clean pocket.

The struggles with the run game didn’t help. Saquon Barkley had two nice runs, the longest going for 23 yards, but other than that, the Giants had little space in the trenches. The overall stats aren’t nearly as bad looking because of three longer runs by the Giants. New York averaged 5.4 yards per carry, but the rushing attack was unreliable.

Miami’s defense was second in the league in blitz percentage heading into this game, and they consistently applied pressure on Glennon. Head coach Brian Flores’ defense blitzed, ran stunts upfront, and won their one-on-one matchups frequently against a Giants offensive line that is among the worst in the NFL.

The Giants' offensive line was consistently out-schemed two rushers vs. one pass protector, and Glennon typically wasn’t quick enough to find a receiver accurately. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay was in and out of the lineup after being dinged up upon catching his third pass (ribs).

Darius Slayton failed to rise to the occasion on some of Glennon’s less than optimal throws. Tight end Evan Engram led the team with four catches for 61 yards. Devontae Booker and Barkley had the most receptions for the Giants with four; Booker had 18 yards, and Barkley was minus-3 until he caught a couple of garbage-time passes to bring his total to six for 19.

This is the third straight game where the Giants offense failed to score more than 13 points, the team averaging 8.6 points per game. Let that sink in for a minute. The lack of offensive output has been egregious from a team that invested so much into the offense this off-season. Injuries haven't helped, and no, former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett wasn’t great, but there’s much more to this frustrating puzzle than those two realities.

Patrick Graham’s defensive unit surrendered 298 yards and had critical third-down stops throughout the game. Still, they couldn’t halt Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s offense on the final Miami drive that took the Dolphins' lead from 8 points to 11 points.

Cornerback James Bradberry was beaten on the sideline by DeVante Parker with a back-shoulder throw, and then safety Julian Love was out-muscled by tight end Mike Gesicki to help set up the game securing field goal.

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New York’s defense held a bad Dolphins rushing attack to 2.7 yards per rush. Graham’s defense failed to slow down the RPO quick passing attack of Tagovailoa, who finished 30-of-41 for 244 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tagovailoa did a great job getting the football out of his hand.

Cornerback Adoree' Jackson’s absence hurt the Giants and rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle took advantage. He finished the game with nine catches on eleven targets for 90-yards; he suffered an injury but later returned. Tagovailoa hit four receivers four or more times in the game.

This loss is similar to many of the Giants' losses throughout the season. The offense was nowhere to be found, and several confusing coaching errors didn’t help the result for the Giants.

Head coach Joe Judge called a timeout right before the end of the first quarter as the play clock and the quarter length were aligned in time. That was peculiar but not as bad as the Giants burning a timeout on a 2nd-and-23 play backed up in their end. For a team that is conservative and plays field position, that’s odd.

Furthermore, Judge also punted at midfield in a 4th-and-2 situation in the second half. That decision should come as no surprise to anyone who watches the Giants in 2021.

The Giants have struggled for just about a decade now, other than a 2016 season under former head coach Ben McAdoo that resulted in a playoff berth. The offense for the Giants is and has been unwatchable, and the offensive line is far from repaired--a promise by Dave Gettleman that wasn’t kept.

According to early reports, Gettleman’s tenure with the team is probably over after the season. Judge’s job was thought to be safe, but with errors every game and a team that is almost unwatchable for a second straight season, can anyone say for sure that his job is secure?

We at Giants Country believe the Giants must be evaluated on a game-by-game basis, including the longevity of Judge with this team. However, it seems like every game, we mention odd coaching mistakes, a conservative nature that’s not always conducive to modern football success, and terrible use of timeouts.

Judge’s second season has been more than a disappointment; will he have a third opportunity? Tell us in our forums.


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