The Giants traveled down to Miami as defensive coordinator Patrick Graham returned to the previous team where he held the same position. A winning effort from his defense was squandered once again by an offense that could never get on track and left the team in negative positions.
Let's take a look at the grades.
Rushing Offense: C
Even though it didn't seem to be a big part of the game plan, the run game was solid. Saquon Barkley carried the ball 11 times for 55 yards. He had a 23-yard run and picked up a fourth down.
Devonte Booker continued to fill his role as the number two back admirably, rushing six times for 36 yards. They failed to eclipse 100 yards on the ground as a duo, but a combined 5.4 yards per carry average is good.
A lack of opportunity kept them from having a better day. The Dolphins have been known to give up yards on the ground, so why the offensive game plan did not include a more concerted effort to run the ball is baffling.
Passing Offense: F
When you throw the ball 44 times, you expect to gain more than 187 yards, and that's because you expect to complete more than 52 percent of your passes. But Mike Glennon, the veteran backup quarterback in for the injured Daniel Jones, was not good this week.
After his performance against the Cowboys earlier this year, one might have expected a better game against Miami, but he was ineffective against Miami's defense. Most of the completions were underneath or to receivers with defensive backs draped all over them.
We did not see a lot of receivers running open or even making people miss after the catch. The deep shot Glennon took early in the game was into double coverage and intercepted. That seemed to make him more gun shy the remainder of the afternoon.
Twenty-two of his 44 attempts went to running backs or tight ends, and 16 of his 23 completions were to those positions for only 116 yards. That's extremely poor production.
Glennon extended drives on third down with the pass in the first half, but the more the defense began to sit on the underneath stuff, the less effective he was in the second half.
Rushing Defense: A
Last week, the run defense gave up over 200 yards rushing to the Eagles, so it wouldn't be surprising if the emphasis this week during practice was on stopping the run.
Although Miami's rushing attack isn't nearly as potent as Philadelphia's, it poses some threats for a defense that is not locked in. That was not the case in this game. The Giants held Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin to 44 yards on 15 carries--2.9 yards per carry.
Backup Salvon Ahmed was equally as ineffective as a rusher. He ran for 23 yards on eight carries, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa rushed once for one yard. It was a performance that harkened back to what they did against the Carolina Panthers earlier this season.
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Passing Defense: C+
The pass defense was not as solid as the rush defense. While it wasn't as if they were torched for a ton of yards, it was more of a case of death by a thousand paper cuts.
In reality, it only took 30, as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed 30 of his 41 attempts, doing so efficiently and effectively. The coverage didn't make his double-clutch often, which would have helped the pass rush cause more disruption.
The Giants continue to hesitate in pressing up against defenders; thus, they allowed free releases to a receiver like Jaylen Waddle, and he was able to win matchups all afternoon.
Waddle, tight end Mike Gesicki, and Devante Parker, who just returned from the IR, were all able to be effective against a Giants backfield that could not take the ball away from Tagovailoa.
New York tried to make Tagovailoa meticulously drive the ball down the field, but unfortunately, he had many possessions to do it and was able to cash in a couple of times. And with the Giants offense playing so poorly, that's all that was required to pull out the win.
Special Teams: B+
The punt team performed well all afternoon. They flipped the field a few times, got the ball out from deep in their territory, and pinned the Dolphins' offense back on the 11-yard line a couple of times. The one time Jaylen Waddle returned a punt, he was corralled for a seven-yard gain.
The field goal until was good once again, going three for four on field-goal conversions. The only miss came at the end of the game when kicker Graham Gano missed a 56-yard attempt that would not have brought the team within a score of winning.
Gano also put two kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, and the two that Waddle returned were covered pretty well by the coverage team. The kickoff team never had a chance to return a kick. Pharoh Cooper returned a couple of punts for good gains, but the team also had a penalty that backed the offense up.
Graham's defense played well enough to win. The offense let the team down.
It wasn't just all on the ineffective quarterback play, but in the game plan, which seemed not to include running the ball more often and playing ball control with the backup quarterback in the game.
Yes, there are injuries, and yes, there are players that were out there that perhaps the coaches weren't initially expecting to rely that heavily on. But what happened to John Ross, especially after Kenny Golladay got hurt? If there is one thing Glennon is known for, that's having arm strength. A couple more deep shots could have opened up receivers underneath, or the running backs could have had one less guy in the box. Instead, it was dink-and-dunk, which played into Miami's hands perfectly.
Over two weeks, the offense has not progressed from when Jason Garrett was running it. In fact, it looks worse. This was a winnable game, and with the Eagles and Washington both recording victories, this was also a game that the Giants could not afford to lose if they wanted to make a playoff run.
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