The New York Giants’ playoff chances took another hit this week as they dropped their second straight game falling to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football.
With tonight’s loss, the Giants and Cowboys are now both 5-9 and tied for second place in the NFC East. However, Dallas technically holds the tie breaker, which would put New York in third place. Luckily, the Washington Football Team also lost on Sunday, so the Giants and Cowboys remain just a game behind them in the division with two weeks left to play.
Quarterback Colt McCoy started his second game of the season in place of the injured Daniel Jones (hamstring, sprained ankle), but the offense was only able to scratch across three total points.
Head coach Joe Judge was aggressive in the red zone going for it on fourth-and-goal two separate times, but the Giants were unsuccessful on both chances. This included a questionable fake field goal call, where punter Riley Dixon attempted to throw into triple coverage – to center Nick Gates, no less.
The Giants sorely missed top cornerback James Bradberry (Reserve/COVID-19 list) as they were forced to play in a soft zone coverage for much of the night, while getting no pressure on the quarterback. This saw Baker Mayfield and the Browns carve up their pass defense at will.
Here are the winners, losers and mixed reviews from the Giants’ Week 15 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
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Dexter Lawrence: Speaking of revenge games, Dexter Lawrence, whom the Giants drafted with the first-round pick they received from the Browns in the Odell Beckham trade, had a big night with a sack, a pass defensed on fourth down, and several run stops. Darius Slayton: Despite being a non-factor in the last three games, Darius Slayton had four catches for 74 yards. He did have one brutal drop, though. Colt McCoy: In his second start of the season, Colt McCoy went 19-for-31 with 221 yards through the air. Others: Sterling Shepard, Tae Crowder, Blake Martinez, Leonard Williams, Offensive line.
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Joe Judge: Instead of taking the points, head coach Joe Judge was overly aggressive rolling the dice two times in the red zone on fourth down and both times the Giants came away with nothing to show for it. One of these tries was a fake field goal pass with punter Riley Dixon throwing the ball, which was a decision that the first-year head coach likely wishes he had back. Judge also lost a challenge on an onside kick later in the game. Defense: When the Giants’ defense has gotten into trouble this season, it has been a result of: Soft zone coverage, and getting no pressure on the quarterback. Sunday night, Browns’ signal caller Baker Mayfield went 27-of-32 for 297 yards and two touchdowns. And Patrick Graham’s defense had little-to-no answer to stop the Cleveland’s offense without top cornerback James Bradberry. Other: Offense, Devante Downs
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Dion Lewis: Lewis returned the opening kick off for 48-yards to start the night. Unfortunately, his second return wouldn’t go as well as he fumbled for the second straight week. Luckily, the Giants were able to recover it this time.
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