Nov 292019
 
Zak DeOssie, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Zak DeOssie – © USA TODAY Sports

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NOVEMBER 29, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (foot), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), safety Jabrill Peppers (back), and long snapper Zak DeOssie (knee/wrist) did not practice on Friday. All five players have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

“I think in the Jets game (DeOssie) got banged up a little bit,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He was just fighting through it being a tough guy. He was just unable to go Thursday and Friday.”

Media reports indicate DeOssie will be placed on Injured Reserve before Sunday’s game and that the Giants will sign long snapper Colin Holba from the team’s Practice Squad to replace him.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Nov 292019
 
New York Giants Super Bowl Trophies (January 5, 2016)

© USA TODAY Sports

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Game Preview: Green Bay Packers at New York Giants, December 1, 2019

THE STORYLINE

During the dark times, it is easy to forget that the New York Giants have been one of the NFL’s most successful franchises, winning eight NFL championships and playing in 19 NFL championship games. It’s not just the quantity of success, but the quality, with the 1990, 2007, and 2011 playoff runs being some of the most memorable in pro football history. The latter two playoff runs included never-to-forgotten upsets against the Green Bay Packers on their home field. While it may seem like ancient history, it’s not. Both of those games were played within the last 12 years.

Which brings us to 2019. In the team’s long and storied history, there have been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There was the 1964-1980 playoff drought that included 2-10-2 (1964), 1-12-1 (1966), 2-11-1 (1973), 2-12 (1974), 3-11 (1976), and 4-12 (1980) seasons. During this 17-year time frame, the Giants averaged FIVE wins per season. It was a dreadful time to be a New York Giants fan.

But the 2019 New York Giants earned a disgrace that even those pathetic teams of the 1960s and 1970s never achieved: it went winless during both months of October and November. Two months ago, the Giants were 2-2. They now enter December 2-9. Almost unbelievably, they are out of the playoff hunt in a division where the front runner has a .500 record.

The New York Giants have won 10 games in three seasons. They are currently averaging THREE wins per season during that time span. They will finish the year either in 3rd or 4th place in the NFC East with losing records for the sixth time in seven years.

Something is wrong. Everyone has a theory as to why, but we all know something is wrong. We all feel it. Even with a rookie quarterback who is showing signs of being the real deal and a second-year running back who flashed greatness as a rookie, there is little hope among the fan base. The Giants are not getting better. And the games are not fun to watch. It’s become a chore. This is as depressed as I’ve seen Giants fans since I began covering the team in 1995.

Wellington Mara and Robert Tisch passed away in 2005. Their sons, as newbie owners, were in charge of the team when it won NFL titles in 2007 and 2011. John Mara and Steve Tisch got cocky. They let their guard down. The franchise rapidly deteriorated into a laughingstock in the blink of an eye. And one gets the sense that they pretended it wasn’t happening, that the downturn was a temporary anomaly. It wasn’t. And with each passing day, fan ire now turns on them as they have hand-picked the staff who were supposed to turn this around.

Wellington once famously said, “It’s nice to see arrogance humbled” when talking about the Dallas Cowboys in 1996. Those words are now haunting his son, even if he chooses not to recognize it. John is now going through the same growing pains that his dad did as an owner many decades ago. Whether he can learn from his mistakes and make the right adjustments will determine how long the Giants remain a joke. Hopefully, it won’t be another 17-year stretch.

THE INJURY REPORT

  • WR Golden Tate (concussion – out)
  • TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (concussion – out)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (back – out)
  • LS Zak DeOssie (knee/wrist – out)

THE FINAL WORD

The Giants are going to lose their eighth game in a row on Sunday. And there is a good chance that this game gets ugly in front of a half-empty stadium.

The Giants will then finish a 4-game stretch that includes two annual beat-downs by the Philadelphia Eagles, including one game in prime time.

It’s going to get much worse my friends.

Nov 272019
 
Kareem Martin, New York Giants (July 25, 2019)

Kareem Martin – © USA TODAY Sports

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NOVEMBER 27, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Golden Tate (concussion), tight end Evan Engram (foot), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), and safety Jabrill Peppers (back) did not practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker Kareem Martin, who has been on Injured Reserve since September 11th with a knee injury that he suffered in the season opener, has been designated for return from Injured Reserve by the Giants. He is now eligible to return to the 53-man roster in three weeks.

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have waived wide receiver Bennie Fowler and signed wide receiver Da’Mari Scott from the team’s Practice Squad. The Giants also re-signed wide receiver Reggie White, Jr. to the Practice Squad.

Fowler originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Broncos (2014-2017), Chicago Bears (2018), and New England Patriots (2018). After signing late with the Giants in October 2018, Fowler surprisingly played in 10 games in 2018 with five starts, finishing the year with 16 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. Fowler made the 53-man roster again in 2019. The Giants cut him in early October and re-signed him two weeks later. This year, Fowler has played in eight games with two starts for the Giants, catching 23 passes for 193  yards.

The 6’0”, 205-pound Scott was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns waived him in December 2018 and he was then signed by the Bills. The Giants claimed Scott off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills in July 2019, waived him in August, and re-signed him to the Practice Squad in October 2019.

The Giants originally signed White as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The team signed him to the Practice Squad in September but terminated his contract two weeks ago.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Thanksgiving. The players practice on  Friday with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the team’s coordinators addressing the media.

Nov 262019
 
Julian Love, New York Giants (November 24, 2019)

Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

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Chicago Bears 19 – New York Giants 14

QUICK RECAP

A comfortable, if not somewhat chilly and breezy day, in Chicago was on tap after the Giants bye week to face off against the underwhelming Bears. A defense that ranked 8th in the NFL paired with an offense that ranked 30th has given CHI a lack of identity to this point of the year. They came in at 4-6, losers of 4 out of their last 5. NYG was coming off of 13 days of rest with an offensive line that was fully healthy after injuries at three of five starting spots and Sterling Shepard out of the concussion protocol. This was a solid match-up on paper.

Two weeks after Saquon Barkley gained 14 yards on 13 carries against the Jets, he was tackled for a 5-yard loss on the first carry of the game. It was a quick and easy sign that despite the extra time off, nothing had changed. On the second CHI drive, they marched down the field but a drop by tight end Ben Braunecker that would have surely ended in a touchdown gave the NYG defense another life. Mitch Trubisky, who averages less yards per game than any QB in the league, threw an interception to a leaping Alec Ogletree in the end zone.

A few drives later, NYG started with the ball in Chicago’s territory. The Giants took advantage of the field position as Daniel Jones hit tight end Kaden Smith in the flat off of play-action for a 3-yard touchdown. They took the initial lead and after forcing a three-and-out on the next drive, Jabrill Peppers returned a punt 40 yards, ending at the CHI 29-yard line. After three plays that accrued a total of 5 yards, Aldrick Rosas missed the 42-yard field goal attempt as a result of Zak DeOssie rolling (literally) the snap back to Riley Dixon. The game remained 7-0. After a 13-yard punt following another three-and-out by the CHI offense, NYG began this time at the CHI 48 yard line. Rosas would soon be presented with a 43-yard attempt but instead of redeeming himself, he pulled it wide left, his fourth miss of the season. The score remained 7-0.

CHI’s offense clicked on their final drive of the half as they finally found and decided to absolutely, relentlessly attack the weak point of the NYG secondary. Corey Ballentine got picked on over and over as CHI drove inside the 10-yard line. The Giants were able to keep them out of the end zone but CHI did put up 3 points via a 26-yard field goal by Eddy Pineiro. They cut the score to 7-3 and would receive the ball to start the second half.

Rosas cemented this as the worst game of his young career as he booted the opening kickoff of the second half out of bounds, giving CHI the ball at the 40-yard line. The CHI game plan seemed to fully focus on Ballentine, as they continued to throw the ball to whomever he was trying to cover. This approach ended with a 32-yard touchdown to Robinson over Ballentine, giving CHI their first lead of the game at 10-7.

The next four offensive drives for NYG resulted in zero first downs, a sack-fumble that resulted in a turnover, and 15 total yards. The anemic performance and even worse play-calling made the Giants completely stall while the CHI offense, third-worst in the league, was able to put another 10 points on the board to lengthen their lead to 19-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

Despite all of the quality field position they had in this one, up until this point in the game, NYG couldn’t muster more than a lone score. Thus it only makes sense that on a drive that started on their on 3-yard line ended with their second touchdown. On a 4th-and-18 from the CHI 23, Jones evaded pressure and chucked it into the end zone. Somehow Golden Tate got behind the secondary and came down with the ball. NYG was all of the sudden within 5 and they quickly forced a three-and-out on the ensuing CHI drive.

Another late-game, puzzling decision arose here. On 4th-and-2 from their own 33, CHI kept their offense on the field. Nobody actually believed they would go for it, and at the last second, they took their entire unit off the field and replaced them with their punting team. The NYG defense remained on the field, no returner came on, and it resulted in a punt that rolled and rolled, resulting in a 61-yard punt that  was downed at the NYG 6-yard line. It was a brilliant move by CHI Head Coach Matt Nagy, as Pat Shurmur hopelessly looked on as if he knew he just got toyed with by a superior coach.

The Giants had one last shot to make this game a heroic 4th quarter comeback but the offensive line continued to falter and Jones couldn’t find open targets. The drive lasted 8 plays and gathered a total of 29 yards. They turned it over on downs. Would have been nice to have those 6 points lost by Rosas.

Giants lose 19-14.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 21/36 – 150 yards – 2 TD / 0 INT – 2 att / 27 yards. Jones fumbled for the 14th time and lost that fumble for the 10th time. While this one wasn’t a result of poor ball protection, this has become a major issue.  Otherwise, Jones played a solid game but had a few hiccups that luckily didn’t end in turnovers. He threw two late balls right into the hands of CHI defenders but they couldn’t close the deal. His second touchdown was a bit of a “chuck it” type play but he deserves credit for hanging in the pocket and getting rid of it nicely with trash all around him. Jones didn’t givie us any “wow” moments or throws but he played solidly as he has all year.

RUNNING BACK

-Saquon Barkley: 17 att / 59 yards – 2 rec / 1 yard. While this wasn’t as ugly a performance as we have seen the past couple of weeks, Barkley is still lagging big time. He continues to dance around too much instead of putting his 230-pound frame close to the ground to simply pave his own path. To be honest, it is really frustrating to watch. He also dropped a pass on 3rd-down that would have ended in, at least, a first down and a 15+ yard gain. There was a play in the 3rd quarter where he caught a pass in the flat and danced his way out of bounds rather than drive over a defensive back who was on heels. Shurmur, rightfully so, was not happy with Barkley on that one.

WIDE RECEIVER

-Golden Tate: 3 rec / 33 yards / 1 TD. Tate also had a drop and one other that he should have caught albeit it was a difficult throw to deal with from Jones. Tate’s touchdown salvaged his poor day.

-Darius Slayton: 4 rec / 67 yards. The lone big play threat in this WR corps continues to impress as a route runner and after the catch. He did have another drop though.

-Sterling Shepard: 3 rec / 15 yards. First game back for Shepard since October 6 because of a second concussion. He didn’t make the great impact many were hoping for but he did gain 22 yards on a reverse run and converted a 3rd down. This offense needs more out of him moving forward, not just dinky-dunk passes.

TIGHT END

-With Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison both out, the job was left up to Scott Simonson and Kaden Smith. Smith, still somewhat newly-signed from SF, scored the first Giants touchdown on a play-action bootleg. He ended up catching another 4 short passes and Simonson got one of his own. Neither are going to scare anyone as route runners and pass catchers but they blocked the edge well, as they were asked to do a lot there.

OFFENSIVE LINE

The first half wasn’t bad for tackles Nate Solder and Mike Remmers. After all, they were up against Khalil Mack and company and on Jones’ 14 first-half drop backs, Solder allowed 1 pressure and Remmers none. However, once we got into the third quarter, Solder allowed 5 pressures and a sack that led to a fumble. He was, once again, abused and it impacted the entire passing attack. Remmers wasn’t much better, as he allowed 2 pressures but also graded out poorly as a run blocker. He kept losing ground time after time, showing absolutely no anchor.

-Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez were relatively quiet in a good way. They each allowed just one pressure in the fourth quarter against a CHI defensive tackle group that may be one of the most underrated in the league. They didn’t get movement in the running game and they, along with Jon Halapio, were the main culprits for a lack of interior run success. None of the offensive linemen could walk out of Chicago proud of their performance.

EDGE

-Despite a separate offsides penalty called on all three edge rushers, they played well as a group. Markus Golden recorded his 7.5 sack of the year while adding 2 TFL, one of which was in a clutch situation late in the game. Lorenzo Carter had 4 tackles, 1 TFL, a pass break up, and 1 pressure, while Oshane Ximines added a pressure and a tackle himself.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

-B.J. Hill didn’t show up in the stat sheet but he was pretty active despite playing only 26% of the snaps. He had a pressure and made things happen away from the ball in terms of making the ball carrier re-direct. He is a quality guy to have coming off of the bench.

-Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson were stout and rangy against the run. Both had a pressure and Tomlinson finished with 3 tackles. His best football has been played since Williams was brought in. Speaking of Williams, one can fairly ask whether or not he is worth the draft pick they gave and/or the money he will demand in the offseason. He continues on with his “solid, but…” label. He had 1 tackle and 1 pressure in this one.

-Dexter Lawrence was borderline dominant inside against a quality CHI interior offensive line. When this kid gets off of the ball correctly and timely with the right pad level, it is comical to watch two OL not even get him to move his feet. You won’t see him make a statistical impact weekly, as he finished with just 2 tackles and 1 pressure in this one, but he was the key reason why CHI averaged just 2.5 yards per carry. Great game for him.

LINEBACKER

-Alec Ogletree came up with the biggest defensive play of the day. His interception in the end zone prevented CHI from going up 7-0 early and it was an impressive, athletic feat. He had just 2 tackles on the day but he filled lanes hard and opened things up for David Mayo. Mayo finished with 7 tackles including one for a loss and he had a nice pass breakup stemming from his physical style and heavy contact. He did get beat up underneath by backs and tight ends in coverage though.

-Solid game from Deone Bucannon, who seems to be more comfortable in this environment. He had 5 tackles despite the fact he only played a third of the snaps.

CORNERBACK

-Corey Ballentine saw a season-high 64 snaps, but that’s about the only thing his fans are going to want to talk about. Actually, he led the team with 9 tackles, another feather in the cap. But one thing I was taught a long time ago was if a cornerback has a lot of tackles, it is usually an indictment on his poor coverage. It was as clear as day as to who CHI wanted to attack in the passing game. There was a stretch from the middle of the 2nd quarter to the middle of the 3rd quarter where the CHI offense was simple: line up, find who Ballentine is covering, and pass to him. Ballentine’s footwork was atrocious. He had no balance, and he had no feel for routes and throws. In addition to all of the receptions and yardage he gave up, he was fortunate another 60-yard catch was called back because of a penalty along the offensive line. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back because you know Green Bay saw the tape.

-Janoris Jenkins played a really solid game, finishing with a couple of physical tackles and 2 pass break ups. He had a defensive holding on a 3rd-and-10 stop that led to a CHI touchdown, however. Bad timing for a mistake that didn’t need to be made.

-Deandre Baker wasn’t challenged much in coverage, but he did look solid on the few times he had to run deep with the CHI speed guy Gabriel. He finished with a TFL.

SAFETY

-A pretty quiet game for the safeties. Antoine Bethea had 3 tackles and showed quality coverage on a couple of occasions. Jabrill Peppers played a lot of linebacker in this one. He had 5 tackles and 1 TFL. He also returned a punt 40 yards and it got me thinking that it would have been nice to see him back there all year. He is so dangerous with the ball and we aren’t just talking about speed. He is powerful, strong, and aggressive. He is dealing with a hip/back injury that may end up shutting him down for the rest of the year.

-Julian Love got his first real action of the year, 55% of the snaps. He had 1 tackle and 1 interception. Love nearly came down with a second interception and I saw things in him that reminded me why I had a 1st-round grade on him last April. He reacts so well, both physically and mentally, to both where receivers are going and when the ball is thrown. We haven’t seen that from a safety yet this season. Arguably his most impressive play won’t show up on the stat sheet. On the 60-yard pass to Allen Robinson, Love was engaged with a receiver who did a nice job of blocking him. Robinson had a head full of steam and no defender in sight was there to help Love with angles or anything. Love disengaged himself from the blocker, wrapped up a full-speed Robinson, and brought him to the ground. Little things like that go a long way in my book and I hope Love earned his way into more playing time the rest of the year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Aldrick Rosas: 0/2 (missed 42, 43). One can say the first miss wasn’t Rosas’ fault because the snap was so bad, but his second miss AND a kickoff out of bounds to start of the second half now leaves a questionable taste in our mouths. Is he the guy? Or did he get lucky in 2018? Kickers are the relief pitchers of football, just unbelievably volatile and hard to find.

-P Riley Dixon: 6 punts / 41.7 avg / 33.0 net.

3 STUDS

EDGE Markus Golden, DT Dexter Lawrence, S Julian Love

3 DUDS

-OT Nate Solder, K Aldrick Rosas, CB Corey Ballentine

3 THOUGHTS ON CHI

  1. I somewhat noticed this while watching the game live but upon watching it again from the All-22 angle, I respect how disciplined this defense is. Plain and simple, they do not overlook the subtle assignments. They maintain gap control. Their blitzers are well timed and accurate. They take proper angles. Their anticipation is outstanding, most notably at the second level. Yes they have a lot of talen,t but even more than that, their discipline makes a lot of positives happen.
  1. Mitch Trubisky has gone backwards. I can recall watching him early last year and thinking he is making that important jump. Even after his injury where he missed 2 games, he came back and got destroyed by the LAR defense but bounced back well. 2019 has not been friendly to him and it just looks like he isn’t seeing things. His timing is off and he isn’t sure of himself. I bring this up because I think it takes 3 years of starting in the NFL before you can make your decision on a QB. NYG QB Daniel Jones has some similarities to Trubisky and even though I think he is heading toward a higher level, it is another example we can’t say yes or no to Jones until 2021.
  1. I know many may think NYG doesn’t need any more bodies at the hybrid DT/DE spot in this defense but there is a kid on CHI I have been watching all year. Roy Robertson-Harris is going to be a RFA this offseason. Since he was an UDFA in 2015, he could come cheaply. If NYG doesn’t want to spend money on Leonard Williams, I think this kid offers a very similar skill set and I’ll even say a similar level of play for a much cheaper price. Keep that name in mind.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

  1. Not sure if anyone else saw the interesting exchange between Barkley and Shurmur. In the 3rd quarter, Barkley caught a ball in the flat, did a little dance, then trotted out of bounds as two CHI defenders approached him. It was 2nd-and-8, NYG was down 10-7. Shurmur went at him and clearly told him to go north, put the shoulder down and get the few extra yards. Barkley may have been able to get 2-3 more yards and while it wasn’t a major deal, I think it is clear some are getting frustrated with his style. He isn’t playing like he did as a rookie. He is playing soft, and yes, I will keep talking about it until he stops.
  1. I think NYG might as well keep trotting out their young guys in the secondary for the balance of the season. I want to see Beal, Ballentine, Baker, and Love all getting more than 50% of the snaps weekly. I don’t need to see Michael Thomas anymore, I don’t need to see Grant Haley anymore, and I don’t need to see Peppers play through pain. Let’s see how these kids respond to adversity even if they get roasted.
  1. There are 5 games left to play. WAS and MIA are included in there and it’s hard not to think about where the Giants end up in the draft if they lose out and/or win one or both of those match-ups with Chase Young potentially sitting there. He is likely going to grade out higher than Myles Garrett and if there is one guy who can change the entire outlook of this team in a game where one guy almost never makes that much of a difference, it is Young. Tanking isn’t a thing but I do believe in sitting veterans and getting the young guys valuable snaps to see if they can show us something. Something I think NYG needs to consider.
Nov 252019
 
Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants (September 29, 2019)

Jabrill Peppers – © USA TODAY Sports

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JABRILL PEPPERS FRACTURES BACK; CONCUSSION FOR GOLDEN TATE…
The New York Giants announced on Monday that safety Jabrill Peppers suffered a transverse process fracture in his back in the game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The team also announced that wide receiver Golden Tate suffered a concussion on his 4th-and-18 touchdown reception.

“I don’t consider (Peppers’ injury a season-ender),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “I guess he can return, it’s kind of relative to pain tolerance. So, I would say no.”

MONDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 19-14 loss to the Chicago Bears:

Q: We saw the injury update on Jabrill (Peppers). Do you expect that to be a season-ender?
A: I don’t. My understanding, his too, in terms of the evaluation of it, as I knew yesterday he had a sore back. I guess he can return, it’s kind of relative to pain tolerance. So, I would say no.

Q:  He’ll be able to practice and play if he can tough through it?
A: Well, I mean today obviously we’re less than a day removed from the game, so he’s sore today. We don’t practice until Wednesday, so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: What do you think is going on with Saquon (Barkley) in the running game? I think the number is 88 yards on his last 44 carries over three games. If it’s not his ankle, why do you think we’re seeing a different Saquon production-wise than last year?
A: Again, I think some of it, we’re talking about a game where we did not run the ball very well. I thought we ran the ball better yesterday than we certainly did against the Jets. When you’re trying to establish the running game against a defense that is pretty much known for the way they pass rush, you’ve got to try to maximize the amount of yards you get on each run. I think that’s sort of it. Everything comes back to, (when) you clip them all out and watch them like we do— one thing here, one thing there.

Q: Not to focus more on Saquon, but how uncharacteristic was that drop and how did he handle it on the sideline? The pass that could have been a big gain.
A: Yeah, that is uncharacteristic of any player. I thought it was a good throw. We had a chance to, obviously, that would’ve been a third down conversion. That would’ve been an explosive play. (Chicago Bears Linebacker) Roquan Smith was trying to cover him, he was a little behind him. He would’ve been in the position there to make the safety miss for a big gain, maybe a touchdown. Those are the things that obviously are rare, but when they happen, and it’s obviously also magnified because it was a third down. But you just keep playing. I think he did have an impact on the game beyond that.

Q: What did you like, or did you like, the rotation with (DeAndre) Baker and (Sam) Beal and how did that work out for you?
A: As I mentioned last night, some of those changes in the secondary were intentional coming off the bye. I thought Sam had some good plays and I liked the fact that he was healthy and able to be in the game playing corner. We get to see some of what we really liked about him. He had some good reps. He certainly, they caught the deep in-ball on him and it ended up being a penalty, but I thought he battled and for the most part was pretty effective.

Q: How do you think Baker handled it? Sometimes players don’t take it well when their reps are cut like that.
A: Yeah, you don’t see much response from DeAndre in those types of situations. When he’s out there playing, he’s playing, and when he’s standing there, he’s watching attentively.

Q: Is Russell Shepard close to maybe coming back?
A: Potentially. He’s in the designated to return kind of setting, so we’ll just have to see at some point here.

Q: Would that be an option with Golden (Tate) obviously dealing with his concussion?
A: Potentially. That’s one option. I think we may have to consider, if we do something, with regard to the return game being that Jabrill and Golden are both returners. So, let’s just see.

Q: Is there going to be any movement in the sense of bringing in another kicker to pick up the intensity on Aldrick (Rosas) or are you just going to go with him?
A: We’ll talk about that as we go. I’m sure if we do bring any kickers in, it’ll be made public. Certainly, it’s unacceptable to miss the kicks like we did. But I think it’s important that the guys that are here continue to improve. In all areas, become more consistent with what they do. I think that’s the focus with Aldrick at this point.

Q: I’ll ask kind of a big picture question. With seven weeks of losses, in the absence of wins, what do you point to for the fans or to anybody in the building for progress, for signs of progress? How do you say, ‘we’re making progress’?
A: I’ve answered this question. I see the young players improving. I see us competing in games, we’re just falling a little bit short. Most of the games, unfortunately, are within a score for most of the game, or we’re ahead and somehow, we just can’t find a way quite at the end. But I do think that there’s improvement behind the scenes. It seems like each week we add another young player to the mix of guys. Then they go out and do some good things, and then they do some things that remind you that they’re young. That’s part of it. But there’s no excuses for any of it. We need to do what we need to do to win the game.

Q: A lot of times when you talk to coaches, they say the best and most productive way to teach and grow is when you win. Correcting mistakes and things like that. Without the winning now, is it more difficult for you and the coaching staff to kind of get some shots to improve and learn because there’s really not a lot of success that they can take out of it?
A: I think when you look at it, you’re always looking for ways to improve in everything you do. You try to tweak and change things within the way you do things. Our guys practice extremely hard. There’s good attention to detail. Some of these guys are doing it this year for the first time at this level. The challenge then is to make it happen on Sunday. There was a lot of really good things that happened yesterday in the game, especially against a team that was a playoff team a year ago. Defensively, we did a lot of good things. We still gave up some big plays and there are areas that we need to improve. We had some critical errors that affected us. But we had a couple of turnovers and got a stop at the end that gave us the ball with a chance to go down and score. Offensively, they’re a tough team to throw against. We knew that, but I thought we created opportunities for ourselves, and some of them we didn’t take advantage of. But you have to put that all together and do it in a way where you win a football game. That’s obviously the challenge.

Q: On the offensive line, just considering how many veterans are there, where are they? It seemed like they got off to a faster start and they’ve regressed a little bit. Do you feel that way about the offensive line?
A: No, I don’t think I see regression. We did start out, as a unit, pretty well together. Then we had some injuries in the last couple of weeks. That set things back a little bit. I think they’re fighting as a group. It really is no different for that position group as any other position group. A lot of good things and just some critical errors that affect the outcome of the game.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Nov 242019
 
Alec Ogletree, New York Giants (November 24, 2019)

Alec Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports

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CHICAGO BEARS 19 – NEW YORK GIANTS 14…
The New York Giants lost their seventh game in a row, and fell to 2-9 on the season, by losing to the Chicago Bears 19-14 on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. For the first time in New York Giants history, the team did not win a game in the months of October and November.

What kind of day was it for New York? The Giants missed two field goals, committed three neutral zone infractions, and were flagged with defensive holding on a 3rd-and-10 sack, which led to a touchdown on the next play. New York’s longest gain was a 26-yard scramble by the quarterback.

Offensively, the Giants were held to 243 net yards, 14 first downs, and 1-of-12 (8 percent) on third down. Chicago’s 30th-ranked offense gained 335 net yards and 20 first downs.

The Giants and Bears exchanged punts to start the game. After another Giants’ punt, Chicago put together a 12-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a 3rd-and-9 interception by linebacker Alec Ogletree in the end zone. The Giants followed that up with their third punt in a row.

After a punt by Chicago, the Giants took a 7-0 lead after a 6-play, 42-yard drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Jones to tight end Kaden Smith. Unfortunately for New York, these would be the last points the team would score until late in the 4th quarter. Chicago would score the game’s next 19 points.

The Bears would punt the ball twice more on their next two possessions, with four of their first five possessions ending with punts. The Giants could not take advantage as both of their next two possessions ended with missed field goals, from 42 and 43 yards out. The first attempt was set up by a 40-yard punt return by safety Jabrill Peppers.

Chicago’s only points of the first half came on their last possession before halftime, as the Bears drove 59 yards in nine plays to set up a 26-yard field goal.

At the half, the Giants led 7-3.

Place kicker Aldrick Rosas, who is having a terrible season, kicked the opening kickoff of the second half out of bounds. The Bears needed just five plays to go the remaining 60 yards. The killer play came on 3rd-and-10 from the New York 37-yard line. Linebacker Markus Golden had his 3rd-down sack wiped out by a defensive holding penalty by cornerback Janoris Jenkins. On the very next snap, wide receiver Allen Robinson scored on a pass from 32 yards out, beating cornerback Corey Ballentine, as the Bears went up 10-7.

After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Bears extended their advantage to 13-7 after an 8-play, 88-yard drive ended with a 24-yard field goal. On the first play of New York’s ensuing drive, linebacker Khalil Mack beat left tackle Nate Solder and stripped-sacked Jones of the ball. The Bears recovered at the Giants’ 3-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, quarterback Mitchell Trubiski ran in from two yards out. The Bears now were up 19-7.

The Giants went three-and-out again on their third possession of the half. On the first play of the 4th quarter, safety Julian Love intercepted a Trubiski pass at the New York 20-yard line and returned it 30 yards to midfield. However, the Giants could not gain a first down, being stopped after a 1-yard pass play on 4th-and-4. The Giants did not gain a first down on their first four possessions of the second half.

The Bears gained one first down and punted, the ball being down at the 3-yard line. Aided by a 26-yard scramble by Jones, a 19-yard reception by wide receiver Darius Slayton, and a 22-yard run by running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants reached the Chicago 15-yard line. However, the next three plays lost eight yards and the Giants were now facing a 4th-and-18 from the 23-yard line. As Jones was getting smashed by Mack again, he lofted a perfect 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Golden Tate. The Giants now trailed 19-14 with 4:10 left in the game.

The Giants had a chance to win at the end. Markus Golden stuffed the Bears for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-and-1, forcing a punt. However, the Giants were caught off guard when the Bears’ punt team came onto the field late. The Giants did not have a returner in the game and the ensuing 61-yard punt was downed at the 6-yard line. Jones threw a 17-yard pass to Slayton on 4th-and-4 from the 12-yard line, but his second 4th-and-4 attempt four plays later fell incomplete as he was getting hit. Game over.

Jones finished the game 21-of-36 for just 150 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also lost his tenth fumble of the season, including seven in his last five games. His “leading” targets were tight end Kaden Smith (5 catches for 17 yards) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (5 catches for 15 yards). Slayton did have four catches for 67 yards. Barkley was held to 59 yards on 17 carries, with 22 of those yards coming on one run.

On the defensive side of the football, linebackers Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter picked up sacks. Alec Ogletree and and Julian Love both had interceptions.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were TE Evan Engram (foot), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, WR Bennie Fowler, OT/OG Chad Slade, OT Eric Smith, and LB Chris Peace.

S Jabrill Peppers left the game with a hip injury and did not return. He was in a lot of pain after the game and will undergo an MRI on Monday.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • LB Alec Ogletree (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday.

Nov 222019
 
Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (October 20, 2019)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Evan Engram (foot) and tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) did not practice on Friday. Both have been officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), left tackle Nate Solder (concussion), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (concussion) fully practiced. All are expected to play on Sunday.

“Rhett and Evan won’t go,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “They just couldn’t quite make it, so they’ll be out. Then the other guys that we’ve been talking about (with concussions), there’s no reason they shouldn’t be cleared here. They just need to finish the last steps of the protocol and then they’ll be available.”

Late on Friday afternoon, Shepard, Solder, and Jenkins were officially cleared to play on Sunday.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The Giants play the Bears in Chicago on Sunday.

Nov 222019
 
New York Giants Defense (August 16, 2019)

New York Giants Defense – © USA TODAY Sports

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Game Preview: New York Giants at Chicago Bears, November 24, 2019

THE STORYLINE

This is what we need to focus on during the last six games:

Is the team getting better? Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur were hired almost two years ago to make the 3-13 New York Giants a better football team. The Giants were 5-11 in 2018 and are now 2-8 in 2019. The Giants may win two more games (Dolphins and Redskins) this year. They will be hard pressed to upset the Bears, Packers, and Eagles (twice). We may be looking at a 4-12 season.

How the Giants lose in the final six remaining games will also be important. We’re all tired of the refrain, “Well, at least the team played hard and didn’t quit!” It’s a loser’s lament. Yet if the team not only loses but starts losing badly, then that will be another sign that the team still isn’t headed in the right direction.

THE INJURY REPORT

  • WR Sterling Shepard (concussion – may or may not be cleared on Friday)
  • TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (concussion – out)
  • OC Jon Halapio (hamstring)
  • LT Nate Solder (concussion – may or may not be cleared on Friday)
  • RT Mike Remmers (back)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (concussion – may or may not be cleared on Friday)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE

As far as I’m concerned, the #1 goal for the offense for the remainder of the season is to not ruin Daniel Jones. Many disagree with me, but I think any quarterback can take too many hits and that can affect his play, and in the case of Jones, his long-term development. Right now, Jones is taking far too many hits. And many of these hits are violent collisions that are directly contributing to Jones’ ball-security issues. Reduce the number of hits > reduce the physical and mental toll on Jones > reduce the number of fumbles. The latter must also be getting into Jones’ head this point. I know the running game isn’t working, but the already terrible 2019 season will be made disastrous if they permanently damage Jones.

This is absolutely the wrong defense for the New York Giants to be facing at this point. While the Chicago Bears are having a horribly disappointing 4-6 season of their own, encumbered by a dreadful offense, their defense is still #8 in the NFL in terms of yards allowed and #4 in the NFL in terms of points allowed. They are top 10 in both run and pass defense. Surprisingly, the Bears’ defense has only produced 14 turnovers (7 interceptions, 7 fumble recoveries) all season.

The headliner on the Bears’ defense is linebacker Khalil Mack, who has produced four of those fumbles. Mack has been held to 5.5 sacks this year and only one sack in his last six games. He also was tackle-less last week. But don’t let those stats fool you. Mack leads the Bears with 42 quarterback pressures. He is literally quite capable of doubling his season sack total against a weak NYG offensive line. Why is the Bears’ defense so good? Look no further than their linebacking corps. It’s filled with studs. The Bears also have two excellent players in the secondary, cornerback Kyle Fuller and safety Eddie Jackson.

While I think that Pat Shurmur needs to be more conservative with Daniel Jones, I don’t think the Giants are going to be able to simply run, run, pass against the Bears. If they do that, the Giants will be in constant 3rd-and-long situations. The Bears linebackers are going to destroy tight ends Kaden Smith and Scott Simonson in the run game. It’s doubtful that New York will be able to generate any yardage outside of the tackles. I would use the short passing game to attempt to keep the down-and-distance situations manageable. The Bears’ offense is so bad that the Giants theoretically could win a 13-10 game on Sunday if they simply protect the football and play for field position. Don’t be stupid. Play it conservatively and protect Jones (and thereby protect the football).

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE

I think most readers know I’ve pretty much given up on James Bettcher. Last week, the 32nd-ranked New York Jets offense more than doubled their average point total against the Giants’ 27th-ranked defense. As predicted, the Giants were kind enough to allow Sam Darnold to finally get back on track. Will Bettcher’s defense extend the same courtesy to Chicago’s 30th-ranked offense? The Bears are 30th in passing and 29th in rushing. Why do I get the horrible feeling that neither will appear to be a problem on Sunday?

On paper, the Bears can’t run or pass. Their leading rusher has less than 500 yards and is averaging 3.5 yards per carry. His back-up is averaging 3.1 yards per carry. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky stinks, completing less than 63 percent of his passes and throwing just nine touchdowns in nine games. There is only one player on the entire team with more than 251 yards receiving on the year, and that’s wideout Allen Robinson, who is targeted 25 percent of the time on passing plays, yet only has 633 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bears are averaging less than 17 points per game.

The good news for the Giants? Jints Central is starting to play some of the younger players. Corey Ballentine is now seeing serious defensive snaps. Sam Beal played in a handful of plays against the Jets. There were whispers that Julian Love has seen reps with the 1st-team defense in practice. I can live with mistakes from rookies and 1st-year players. But watching end-of-the-line players like Antoine Bethea get abused during a 2-8 season is pointless.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS

Aldrick Rosas has now missed three extra points in his last three games. He’s also only kicking 80 percent on field goal attempts. This is a big game for him.

The Bears punt and kickoff return game is very dangerous and will present a very difficult test for the coverage teams this week. This is the type of game that can be decided by a special teams play.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH

Head Coach Pat Shurmur on the team no longer playing music during practice: “I felt like it was the right thing to do to keep the music off, especially during the individual periods and the group periods, so that we can coach the players and they can hear me and us better. Now we still use music or we use crowd noise for the offense when we’re on the road. But the reason we don’t do it is so that we, as coaches, our voices can be heard and they can be coached immediately. I think it’s the unintended consequence of not having music. As time has gone on, it’s become a trendy thing to have music at practice. But for us and for our football team, I think the right thing to do is to keep the practice field a little quieter so that they can hear our coaching points.”

(Editorial Note: Yes, it’s always good for the players to be able to hear the coaches during practice. SMH)

THE FINAL WORD

I think the Bears are the better team because they have the far better defense. The Bears are holding opponents to 17 points per game. If the Giants’ defense can match against a dreadful Bears’ offense, then New York has a chance in this one if they don’t turn the ball over. But I don’t have confidence that the NYG defense can do the job, and I think Daniel Jones is going to get rocked in this one and turn the ball over again.

It’s a winnable game, but I don’t think the coaches and players are up to the task.

Nov 212019
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 15, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

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NOVEMBER 21, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Evan Engram (foot) and tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) did not practice on Thursday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), left tackle Nate Solder (concussion), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (concussion) fully practiced.

THE COACHES SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice again on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Nov 202019
 
Nate Solder, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Nate Solder – © USA TODAY Sports

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NOVEMBER 20, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Evan Engram (foot) and tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday.

Left tackle Nate Solder (concussion/non-contact) was limited in practice.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), center Jon Halapio (hamstring), right tackle Mike Remmers (back), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (concussion) fully practiced.

All four players with concussions are still in the protocol. “You’re in the protocol until you’re not,” Head Coach Pat Shurmur said. “A lot of the times, what happens is they get cleared at the end of the week, with the anticipation that they will be cleared. I hope that’s clear.”

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed linebacker Tuzar Skipper off of the Giants’ Practice Squad on Tuesday. To fill that open spot, the Giants signed cornerback Derrick Baity to the Practice Squad.

The 6’3”, 246-pound Skipper was originally signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Skipper off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers in September 2019. They waived him and signed him to the Practice Squad in October. Skipper played in six games for the Giants this year with no starts, being credited with three tackles and 0.5 sacks.

The 22-year old, 6’3”, 188-pound Baity was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Texans waived him in late August.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The video of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday, with the team’s coordinators also addressing the media.