EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – New head coach. New offensive and defensive coordinators. A roster shock full of new players. Yet these looked like the same old New York Giants.
There were some positive signs. A lovely evening for Darius Slayton with 102 receiving yards and two touchdowns. A sack for Leonard Williams, which means he has already doubled his total value of 0.5 in 2019. Some good moments from the defense. A 19-play drive at the offense.
Yet far too much was known about the Giants’ 26 -16 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Giants’ offensive line was a disaster when it came to run-blocking. Saquon Barkley had 1
Jones committed two turnovers, both interceptions. The first one simply looked like a great game by TJ Watt. The other was unforgivable and probably ended the giants’ hopes of a disturbance.
On the 19th game of an impressive 87-yard, 8:50 drive, Jones rolled to his left. Under duress from Bud, Dupree Jones had two acceptable choices. Throw the ball away or eat it. Instead, he did this:
We spent an entire offseason talking not only about Jones’ tendency to fumble, but his decision-making under pressure. This was not a good decision.
“It’s something we can not have done,” coach Joe Judge said.
Jones said the wiretapping was “obviously a piece I would like to have back.”
Here’s another illustration where you can clearly see that Jones had no chance of completing this passport no matter where he threw it.
The Giants could not take advantage of a muted Pittsburgh point that gave them the ball at the Steelers’ 3-yard line and settled with a field goal.
The Giants couldn’t close out the first half, giving up an eight-play, 78-yard drive at the end of the half that allowed the Steelers to go to the locker room with a 16-10 break lead.
The Giants could not convert on the third down (1 of 6) or stop Pittsburgh often enough on the third down (5 of 9).
The Giants could not get any points out of a 19-play drive.
Perhaps worst of all, the Giants sounded like they’ve done it too often in recent years. Players made available through Zoom calls continued to answer questions by saying they needed to see the movie. That they needed to get back to work.
Here is Lorenzo Carter:
“I really have not had a chance to see the film, but I know we have some warriors. I know we need to get out of there, we need to scratch and itch. No one gave up, even at the end of the game when it was really over, we went out there and just kept fighting and that’s what we have to do. Week in and week out, we keep fighting, we have fighters on this team. It’s nothing new, it’s not something I did not see the whole camp, and we will continue to do so and just try to get better.
“I just see the progress we have made and trust the coaching staff. We put in the work. The whole offseason, the whole camp, we have been working on. Getting out there and just getting short, it hurts, it definitely hurts, but we see the kind of guys we have. We have some tough guys in this locker room, a group of leaders. We’re ready to get in there again, watch the movie tomorrow and get back to work. ”
They need it. There is obviously a lot of work to be done.
Kudos to …
Darius Slayton – Six catches on six goals, 10-2 yards, 2 touchdowns. Yes, this child is pretty good.
Blake Martinez – It is dangerous to judge a linebacker by the number of tackles. As a member of the Green Bay Packers, Martinez had a mixed reputation. Yes, he did a lot of tackling. However, he did not make much of an impact on one. He did so on Monday. Martinez had 12 tackles, perhaps at or near the line for scrimmage.
Jabrill Peppers’ point return – Peppers averaged 13 yards on three points return, including a 20-yard, which he almost broke for a much larger return.
Leonard Williams – Complain about Williams all you want, he was really good Monday night. Williams had one sack, one tackle for loss, two quarterback hits, one handed defense and five tackles. He was an impact player most of the night. Lorenzo Carter was active early on and Dexter Lawrence had a sack, but it was Williams who played as the true defensive creator.
Wet Willies at …
Driving block – The Giants got 29 yards on 20 passes and 22 of them came on four scrambles by Jones. Barkley had the ridiculous state line. Dion Lewis had a carrier for 1 yard. Per Pro Football Focus, the fighters running in the back were, on average, hit 1.3 yards behind the line. Barkley lost yardage on eight of his 15 carries.
The Steelers’ defense is good. But, to well? Sorry about the new starting center Nick Gates. Sorry right tackle Cameron Fleming. Sorry for the play-calling. Sorry for the pandemic. Sorry who or what you want. The Giants’ best player never had a chance.
Press box PA system – You do not care about this, but it made a strange, kind of unpleasant night even worse. I do not know what was going on with the PA system, but I’m not sure we heard a complete sentence all night without the system cutting out. Ridiculous. And annoying.
Evan Engram – The Giants needed a big night from their tight end. They did not get one. Engram caught two passes for just 9 yards on seven goals. Engram dropped the first pass thrown to him and got a 24-yard catch negated when. he was called to offensive interference. Engram also didn’t seem to get out of scrimmage well on a third-and-goal finish from Jones.
Cameron Fleming – The veteran tackle against TJ Watt would never be a favorable matchup for the Giants. Watt, however, had his way with Fleming as he had an interception, a tackle for losses, two passes defense and two quarterback hits. If Fleming continues to play like that, Giants fans might want Nate Solder not to opt out of the 2020 season.
Kwillies to …
If you do not know, a ‘Kwillie’ is a combination of ‘Kudo’ and ‘Wet Willie.’ These guys did things that ended up both helping and hurting the Giants.
Daniel Jones – Jones did a lot of good things. He completed 26 of 41 passes for 279 yards. He threw a couple of touchdown passes, including a 41-yard pass to Darius Slayton. He made some play with his legs. However, he threw the terrible interception. Also on a third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Jones missed what should have been an easy flip to Evan Engram for a touchdown.
Jones’ two interceptions led to nine Pittsburgh points, and the other took pretty much any hope the Giants had of winning the game.