Grading the Giants after Sunday’s 26-7 loss to the Cardinals.
Was Daniel Jones (11 of 21, 127 yards) ready to play on his right hamstring? He never ran and looked stiff in the pocket. He fumbled three times, losing one. It did not help he almost never had anyone running free and that is a recurring problem. Eight sacks allowed (two on Colt McCoy) and did anyone get a glove on LB Haason Reddick (five sacks, three forced fumbles)? This was regression from the offensive line, but several of the sacks were the result of coverage down the field. Running game (78 yards) was not good, but only 17 attempts, which is terrible. Such as: Wayne Gallman (12-57). Too many contested grabs (and non-grabs) for Golden Tate (1-39), Sterling Shepard (3-35) and Darius Slayton (3-31). TE Evan Engram (2-18) was no factor. Getting 10 first downs and 159 total yards is rinky-dink stuff.
Gallant first half, including a wonderful goal-line stand, but these guys wore down in the second half. Chasing around Kyler Murray is exhausting. He went 24 of 35 for 244 yards (1 TD) passing and 13-47 rushing. Kenyan Drake (23-80) was consistent on the ground. It seemed as if the secondary was doing a good job on DeAndre Hopkins and then you look up and he has nine receptions for 136 yards. The usually-stout run defense was gouged for 159 yards. CB James Bradberry got his NFL-high 17th pass breakup in the first quarter, denying the Cardinals in the end zone to complete the goal-line stand. DT Dalvin Tomlinson dragged down Murray for a 13-yard sack, not an easy thing to do. It was the only sack for the Giants. Blake Martinez was able to play despite a back issue but there were not enough answers, especially after halftime.
Where the heck was Dion Lewis going in the second quarter, taking the ball out from the goal line on a kick return that resulted in a Lewis fumble on the Giants 21-yard line? Bad decision, worse execution. There was more bad coverage: Gunner C.J. Board took a dive and missed Christian Kirk on a 24-yard punt return. Later, Kirk had a 17-yard return and then an 18-yard return. Way too much. Riley Dixon had difficulties with his directional kicking and his 51-yard punt late in the second quarter rolled into the end zone for a touchback. This unit has to get its stuff together.
This was the first look at a Joe Judge team after a huge upset victory and the sight was unsightly. Can we question Judge’s decision to start Jones? Jones clearly was not 100 percent and did not look at if he could put a winning product on the field. If this is what Jason Garrett’s offense looks like with an immobile quarterback, it is not pretty. Third-and-one deep shot to Shepard, a pass with little chance of success? What happened to power football? Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham decided not to have Bradberry shadow Hopkins all over the field and Hopkins no doubt enjoyed that. Thomas McGaughey’s special teams unit is leaking all over the place and the breakdowns in coverage need to stop, pronto.
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