Oct 312019
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 27, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

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OCTOBER 31, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
All 53 players on the active roster practiced on Thursday.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion), cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion), and cornerback Grant Haley (knee) practiced fully. However, Shepard and Ballentine still remain in the concussion protocol and are waiting to be cleared.

“(Shepard is) still in (the protocol),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He was full, but until he’s finally cleared, he’s in (the protocol). You’re either in or you’re out.”

GIANTS SIGN PUNTER TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed punter Sean Smith to the Practice Squad. The left-footed Smith was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2019 NFL Draft, but waived a few days later.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Thursday 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…
The New York Giants practice on Friday, with the team’s coordinators also addressing the media.

Oct 302019
 
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (October 27, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

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OCTOBER 30, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Because they play on Monday, the New York Giants were not required to issue an injury report today. That said, everyone on the 53-man roster practiced. Although he is still in the concussion protocol, wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) fully practiced.

Cornerback Sam Beal (hamstring), who is currently on Injured Reserve, continues to practice and is eligible to be added to the 53-man roster. “He’s making good progress,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We have until next Wednesday to make a final decision on him, and so we’ll just see, again, what the next week brings.”

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
With the trade for defensive end Leonard Williams official, the New York Giants have waived linebacker Tae Davis, who was claimed by the Cleveland Browns today. The Giants signed Davis as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. Davis not only made the team, but he played in 14 games with four starts in 2018, accruing 33 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 pass defense. This year, Davis played in four games with one start, accruing six tackles.

The Giants terminated the Practice Squad contract of linebacker Jake Carlock. The Giants originally signed Carlock as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft.

GIANTS RESTRUCTURE RHETT ELLISON’S CONTRACT…
According to ESPN, the Giants have restructured the contract of tight Rhett Ellison in order to create more cap space for defensive end Leonard Williams. They did so by converting $1,876,765 of Ellison’s base salary into a signing bonus, creating $938,382 in cap space against the team’s 2019 salary cap.

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…
The New York Giants practice on Thursday.

Oct 282019
 
Leonard Williams, New York Jets (December 24, 2017)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

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GIANTS TRADE FOR LEONARD WILLIAMS…
Although not official, the New York Giants have acquired New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams by trade. According to The NFL Network, the Jets will receive the Giants’ 2020 3rd-round pick plus a 2021 4th-round pick if the Giants and Williams agree to a new contract before free agency. If they do not, then the Jets would receive the 2021 5th-round pick. The Jets will also pick up $4 million of Williams’ 2019 compensation. Williams is in the final year of his 5-year, rookie contract and is scheduled to make $14,200,000 in salary this year.

The 25-year old, 6’5”, 302-pound Williams was the sixth player taken overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jets. In four and a half seasons with the Jets, Williams has started 70 games, accruing 240 tackles, 17 sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles. His best season was 2016, when he was credited with 68 tackles and seven sacks. In seven starts this year, Williams has accrued 20 tackles and no sacks.

GIANTS SHOPPING OTHER PLAYERS…
The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants have shopped and are open to trading linebacker Alec Ogletree, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and possibly left tackle Nate Solder.

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 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions:

Q: What was your reaction last night when you heard the players wanted a players only meeting? What is your history and experience over the years with players only meetings and what does it say that they want to do that?
A: I think it’s good, I was made aware of their comments after the game. I think we are all disappointed that we lost, I think it’s pretty obvious we fell a couple plays short of winning that football game. I think they are going to get together and discuss it, that’s a players only thing. I think this was addressed after the game with the coaches and the players, we need to keep working, we have to be very intentional with how we do things, which we have been, but we have to find ways to get better at everything we do so that shows up on game day and we make more plays.

Q: As you look at Daniel through six games, how would you assess the totality of his development? Where have you seen the most progress?
A: I think there’s areas in each game where he has shown improvement just playing quarterback. Just focused on yesterday, I think we had the play where he gets hit, the ball goes backwards, and it becomes a fumble, but he stays in the moment and he just keeps playing. I keep saying this each week, but he’s tough and he’s resilient and he competes, and he fights and he tries to do everything right. There’s plenty of production, things he did in terms of getting us in the right protection. There were some run checks he executed properly, I think he made some nice throws, he scrambled around, a couple of zone reads. I think the important thing for him is to continue to put more good plays on tape, continue to get the ball off on time and try to eliminate the mistakes that can wrongly affect the game.

Q: You alluded to those pre-snap checks, are you guys as a coaching staff adding more of those to him in terms of stuff he can check out of at the line of scrimmage?
A: It’s been part of what he has been able to do since we put him in against Tampa. I think that’s part of what he’s able to do and you have to be able to do that. Defenses are too good, they are too multiple, and they do things within plays that changes need to be made. That’s part of why he’s had success.

Q: Where do you think is the biggest area he can still grow in this learning process?
A: I think he can improve in all areas of his game. That’s what happens with a young player, he goes through the game, there are a handful of throws that he maybe could throw better. There’s a couple times maybe he could have done something different with the football. You are always working on your decision making, your timing, your accuracy and just in general what the quarterback has to do to in terms of managing the game. That’s constant, that’s a continual process for a rookie, as it would be for anybody that’s even a veteran.

Q: Any news on the injury front, particularly Sterling Shepard?
A: No, not really. Everything we did today was in the meeting room, we weren’t on the practice field. He’s still in the protocol, so to speak, he’s been out there running around. We’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: The trade deadline is tomorrow, what are your expectations for that?
A: I really don’t have anything expectation wise, there’s really nothing to add to all that.

Q: There has been talk of Janoris Jenkins possibly being moved, how would you look at that, losing a good player if that were the case?
A: I guess it has been rumored that he is being moved all the time. I don’t know of any conversations to do that. It’s purely hypothetical with regards to him.

Q: How much input do you have around these times? Obviously, Dave (Gettleman) makes the decisions of who stays and who goes, but can you kind of characterize what kind of input level you have?
A: We talk about everything. We talk about everything with regard to how the games play out, we talk about everything personnel wise. Put trades aside, we’re always making little roster adjustments each week, depending on covering up for injuries or trying to improve the roster. We talk. It’s pretty fluid in terms of our conversation.

Q: They seemed to want you to return the kickoffs. Why were you unable to get anything going there?
A: I think it just pretty much came down to execution. I thought they… That’s something that they do. That’s part of what they do. As we looked through it today, it’s a block here and a block there. It’s not the same thing every time. But I certainly think we need to clean that up moving forward.

Q: How did you think (Deone) Bucannon played in his first time out after you had a chance to check out the film?
A: He had a handful of reps in there. I thought he did a pretty good job really for the first time out. Obviously, look forward to giving him more reps as we go. So, pretty good outing for the first time.

Q: Is there anything you could do, you could figure out to try to avoid some of these slow starts? 14-0 in the first quarter the last two games is really unprecedented around the Giants. Is there anything you can do to help the defense, help the offense change something, do something to change, because these slow starts are really putting your team behind these last four games?
A: Yeah, I think that’s true. I think we just need to play better early. We find a way through the middle and the later part of the games to make enough plays. Defensively, we get settled down throughout the middle and later in the game and make plays that are significant. Then certainly, you don’t like the turnovers that go for scores. That’s something that you obviously want to avoid at any point. But you’re right, because what happens is you have to get away from some of the things that you had planned to do when the game was in the balance. You never want to do that.

Q: My colleague, Ian Rapoport, I just saw on Twitter, is reporting that Leonard Williams from the Jets has been traded to the Giants. Do you have a reaction to that?
A: I don’t. I don’t. Again, I wouldn’t comment on all of that until anything was public.

Q: I know after the game, you said there weren’t any injuries you knew of. Has that changed at all?
A: No, not really. Just I would call them game soreness. Nothing. No injury changes. Nothing significant. We actually, as games go, we pulled out of this one pretty well.

Q: What do you think of the way your d-line has played, and I’d hearken back as well to Paul Schwartz’s question about the slow starts that have been apparent the last couple of weeks?
A: Each guy up front has had an impact and played pretty good at times. Forget just the d-line. I think we’ve been inconsistent in all of the groups. Yesterday was probably one of B.J. Hill’s better outings. Going forward, I think Dexter Lawrence is battling and playing hard, and Dalvin (Tomlinson). Those are the three guys that come to mind right now that are very steady. I think we have to get better and certainly we all have to play better to win these games. But I think they’re making improvements.

Q: Where would another starting-caliber defensive lineman sort of fit into the mix in your estimation?
A: On our defense? I think we’re looking to upgrade in really every area. So yeah, he’d be in the mix if we added one.

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 are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Oct 282019
 
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (October 27, 2019)

Darius Slayton – © USA TODAY Sports

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Detroit Lions 31 – New York Giants 26

QUICK RECAP

With the signs becoming more and more clear that the Giants 2019 season is a one-way street to the cellar yet again, Big Blue traveled to middle-of-the-pack Detroit just days after the Lions traded away their second best defensive back while also missing their top defensive back and starting running back. After an embarrassing loss at home against the Cardinals, NYG had to set the tone early and prove they were past it. Prove they are better than they were in 2018. Prove they are on the way up. All of that against a 2-3-1 team.

The Giants got the initial momentum with a Janoris Jenkins’ interception, his fourth of the year, from the volatile Matthew Stafford. However, as we have grown accustomed to, NYG turned it over just three plays later. The league-leader in turnovers, NYG has made this a habit we are all too familiar with. Jones was hit by an untouched blitzer who came directly up the middle, a major no-no for offensive line play, and the ball traveled backward out of his hand even though he was in a clear throwing position. Saquon Barkley didn’t seem to match the urgency going after the loose ball that former Giant Devon Kennard had. The result was a scoop-and-score for DET as the home team went up 7-0 early.

After a NYG 3-and-out, DET got the ball back and on a 3rd-and-15 from midfield, Stafford went deep to emerging big play threat Marvin Hall for a 49-yard touchdown as he got behind safety Michael Thomas. And just like that, NYG was losing by double digits in the first half for the fourth straight week and 7th time in 8 weeks.

As Daniel Jones has already proven multiple times, he was able to get this team back on track and stay unrattled. They opened the second quarter with a touchdown scoring drive, capped by a Jones-to-Darius Slayton pass. DET kicker Matt Prater missed a 53-yard attempt on the ensuing drive, giving NYG prime field position, and Jones once again connected with Slayton for the second score in as many drives. Kicker Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point, however, making the score 14-13 DET, but the momentum had clearly shifted.

The refs clearly hurt NYG with a poor call on the next drive. They forced a DET punt but David Mayo was flagged for running into the kicker. By running into the kicker, they actually meant he grazed the punter’s shoelace and thanks to an NBA-caliber flop job, the flag was thrown and DET had the ball back with a fresh set of downs at midfield. DET was able to move the ball up enough to give Prater another shot, this time from 52 yards, which he made to give DET a 17-13 halftime lead.

DET came out and scored on their opening drive in the second half. It was a 10-play drive that ended with a pass from Stafford to Kenny Golladay, one of the emerging young stars in the league. NYG was down 24-13 and if they were going to prove they had some fight, it had to be on this drive. NYG was aided by two DET penalties, one of which was on a failed 3rd-down conversion attempt that led to a Jones-to-Engram 2-yard pass for 6. With a 3-and-out forced on the next DET drive, NYG had their first real shot at taking the lead as the third quarter was closing out.

On 1st-and-10 from midfield, Jones hit Golden Tate for a 14-yard gain on a flea flicker. NYG was starting to step on the throat of DET, but the play was called back as Nate Solder, the second highest paid offensive tackle in football, was flagged for a hold. Instead of 1st-and-10 from the DET 38, it was 1st-and-20 from the NYG 38. The Giants punted three plays later.

DET took their shot at their own flea flicker/double pass-type trick play; they were able to convert it into a 41-yard touchdown. No holding on the left tackle, either. DET took a commanding 31-19 lead but there were still 12 minutes left in the game.

After a back-and-forth drive that included two sacks allowed by the second highest paid offensive tackle in football, NYG did cross into DET territory and were faced with a 4th-and-6 situation. Being down 12, they had to go for it because a long field goal would have still kept it a 2-score game. Jones was bombarded by a 7-man pass rush and threw an incomplete pass to Tate.

The defense remained stout as DET had issues getting a first down to keep the clock moving, but the Giants kept coming up short when it mattered most. Jones took two straight shots into the end zone to his man Slayton, neither of which was converted. Slayton was interfered with on the first attempt and even though the pass interference challenges almost never work, I thought it was puzzling why Pat Shurmur didn’t throw the red flag. That was a crucial play and not using the challenge was a poor decision.

NYG did get the ball back one more time, and thanks to a 25-yard pass interference penalty, they were able to get into the red zone. Jones connected with Barkley for a 4-yard touchdown, Jones’ fourth of the day. NYG got to within 5 but a failed onside-kick attempt led to a couple Stafford kneel-downs.

NYG lose 31-26.

QUARTERBACK

-Daniel Jones: 28/41 – 322 yards – 4 TD / 0 INT – 124.2 QBR. Jones also added 13 yards on the ground. He fumbled the ball twice, both on hits that occurred as he was throwing, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Jones has ball security issues to clean up but neither of these fumbles can be put on him, as they weren’t an issue of holding onto the ball during and after contact. Jones kept NYG in this one with several throws into tight windows. His confidence is growing every week and he is proving to be a guy who plays with no fear. He dealt with a dirty pocket most of the game and after seeing someone like Sam Darnold completely alter his approach because of pressure, it is an encouraging sign to see Jones playing with toughness in the face of adversity so often.

RUNNING BACK

-Saquon Barkley: 19 att / 64 yards – 8 rec / 79 yards / 1 TD. Barkley was just an inch away from breaking off a big play on two occasions. Even with that, Barkley gained 143 yards from scrimmage, which is above his career average. Looking at the numbers, it was a productive day. However after re-watching the game, I came away saying Barkley left some out on the field. His blocking was atrocious on two straight plays where he allowed a pressure and then a sack. There seems to be a lot of hesitation in his game right now, perhaps he isn’t fully mentally back from the ankle injury. He gets a pass because he did gut out some tough runs in the second half but as the guy this team is going to build around, he needs to, at least, make more impact without the ball as a blocker.

-Wayne Gallman, on the other hand, quietly had a solid game in limited snaps. He had a 20-yard run on a 3rd-and-26 play that put NYG in position to convert a 4th own late (which they failed). But his biggest impact came as a blocker. He really stuck his nose in there on a couple of occasions that enabled big gains.

WIDE RECEIVER

-Golden Tate: 8 rec / 85 yards. Really gutsy performance by Tate. He has turned into quite the 3rd-down weapon for Jones. He is playing tough and hard nosed as he approaches the ball and after the catch.

-It looked like it would be a big day for rookie Darius Slayton, as he caught 2 touchdowns in the second quarter on consecutive drives. Both catches were great adjustments to the ball with a corner draped all over him. Those ended up being his only 2 catches of the day, however, and he dropped an easy catch later on. Slayton also allowed a TFL and did not block well overall.

-Cody Latimer had 2 rec / 28 yards and Bennie Fowler brought in 2 rec / 21 yards. Latimer is a guy I wish got more looks because it seems he can make big-time catches in traffic when given the opportunity. He had a really nice one-handed catch in this one. Fowler was flagged for an offensive pass interference but also came up with a clutch catch.

TIGHT END

-Evan Engram: 4 rec / 40 yards / 1 TD. Not a bad day for the inconsistent, but high-ceiling Engram. He continues to flash the elite ability we know he has on all fronts as a pass catcher. Quickness, explosion after the catch, route running…etc. However his blocking received a really poor grade in this one. Many will point to the middle of the offensive line when trying to figure out why NYG had so much trouble inside, but the Engram had a really hard time sealing the edge. He allowed a TFL, and on a few occasions got squeezed to the middle which gave Barkley no wiggle room when the lanes were clogged. Really poor day in the trenches for him.

OFFENSIVE LINE

-The ugly gets uglier for Nate Solder. He completely fell apart in the second half and it had a major impact on this team’s comeback effort. It is now at the point where this offense may need to alter its approach and shift constant help in his direction. He allowed 2 sacks and 1 pressure and was flagged for a big holding penalty. His balance and footwork are very poor right now and good pass rushers eat that up with ease.

-Mike Remmers graded out average, which is better than what we have seen lately. He allowed 1 pressure but had a couple of key blocks in the running game.

-The interior got pushed around all game, as NYG just couldn’t get the inside running game going. They also were schooled by delayed inside blitzes. You are NEVER supposed to see an untouched linebacker up the middle on passing plays and it happened multiple times. Jon Halapio allowed a pressure and a TFL. In addition, any communication issues need to come back to him. Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez were good in pass protection for the most part, but they got minimal-to-no push in the running game.

EDGE

-Lorenzo Carter and Markus Golden both registered a sack and two TFLs, respectively. They combined for 9 tackles and both are emerging as consistent, reliable, yet limited threats. Golden has a lot of “gamer” in him, finding the ball often and making impact on contact. Carter is still very much a work in progress that gets stifled and rendered ineffective too easily, too often, but his talent is making things happen on occasion nearly every week.

-Really quiet day for Oshane Ximines, who has been struggling these past 2 weeks. We have known this for awhile – the lack of power and strength is an issue and this offseason will be huge for him.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

-Overall the trio of B.J. Hill, Dexter Lawrence, and Dalvin Tomlinson held the point-of-attack well. They were up against a group of backup running backs as DET tries to get past the injury of Kerryon Johnson. Tomlinson was the highlight of the group, finishing with 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 TFLs. The interior of the DET offensive line has struggled this year but their center, Frank Ragnow, is a quality player. Tomlinson schooled him with quickness and effective arm-over techniques a few times.

LINEBACKER

-Alec Ogletree had 5 tackles and made solid physical impact on a few occasions. Most importantly, he played 100% of the snaps and the play of the front seven was better because of it. A healthy Ogletree may be limited in some fashion still, but I think we got a reminder just how much better he is than the replacement players we had behind him.

-The debut of the newly-signed Deone Buccanon was lackluster. He was on the field for just 11 plays and he finished with a tackle and a missed tackle.

CORNERBACK

-Janoris Jenkins brought in his NFC-leading 4th interception of the season on the opening DET drive. The Lions avoided him much of the day afterwards, and it led to a really quiet day by Marvin Jones.

-Deandre Baker continues to impress, which is obviously stemming from an increase in confidence which is making him faster and more balanced. He was tested deep a couple of times and he stayed right on his man. While he did allow a touchdown to Kenny Golladay, he actually got a hand on that ball and I can’t fault him for it. He had really tight coverage on the route. Baker finished with a team-high 8 tackles.

-Grant Haley, a week after he made the “stud” list, was up and down in this one. He was picked on early as DET targeted him multiple times on third down and succeeded. He did remain active though and made a couple of nice tackles in space. Haley also had a sack.

SAFETY

-The big passing day for Stafford was largely a result of all three safeties getting torched downfield. All three were responsible for long touchdowns and all three had missed tackles on the day. Poor game for Antoine Bethea, Jabrill Peppers, and Michael Thomas. The one positive was a forced fumble by Peppers and recovered by Bethea, however. So those two did save face to an extent.

SPECIAL TEAMS

-K Aldrick Rosas: No FG attempts. Missed 1 out of 4 extra point attempts.

-P Riley Dixon: 3 punts / 45.0 avg / 43.7 net

3 STUDS

-QB Daniel Jones, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, CB Janoris Jenkins

3 DUDS

-OT Nate Solder, OC Jon Halapio, S Antoine Bethea

3 THOUGHTS ON DET

  1. During the game and during the re-watch I came away with the same thought on DET receiver Kenny Golladay. This kid is heading towards superstardom. At 6’4+ / 220+ with good speed and ball skills that are approach the elite level, he may be the next uncoverable target in the Mike Evans mold. He came from a lower level of college football, thus it took some extra time to initially develop but he is in the midst of becoming the league’s next big thing.
  1. There is often debate with Pro Football Focus and their grading system. For the most part, fans use their grades as proof when it supports their opinion and they think it is useless when it goes against their opinion. I lean towards the latter, as there is too much missing information when they grade players. I do use them for snap counts and other objective information, though. I bring this up because they have been very hard on DET linebacker Jarrad Davis. I have seen DET 4 times this year and I think he is a top 10 ILB in this league, at worst. He was a wrecking crew in this game on multiple fronts.
  1. How close is DET to contention? They have the QB. They have the CB. They have an above average OL. They have a balanced and deep pass rushing attack. They have a budding superstar at WR. There are a lot of pieces in place but I think they need more dependability at running back which has been a sore spot for years (yes RBs are important) and another piece or 2 along the interior of the offensive line.

3 CLOSING THOUGHTS

  1. The trade winds are in full force now. NYG is 2-6 and all but out of this divisional race. As I type this, NYG is acquiring DT Leonard Williams for an 8-week rental to see if he fits the system and is worthy of being signed to a long-term deal. If not, they will get a compensatory pick back for him in 2021, which somewhat offsets the early 3rd they are sending to NYJ and a day three pick in 2021. Next up? I think a team will come in and offer a 3rd-round pick for Janoris Jenkins, leaving NYG with the same volume of picks they entered the week with.
  1. Of all the scouting I do weekly, and knowing I watch 8-9 NFL games each week, there is something I am beginning to notice with Saquon Barkley. He tries really hard to avoid contact and there are times that I think he does this too much. He isn’t a soft player, although it looks like the fear of injury combined with the desire for the big play, hurts his inside running at times. Rarely do you see him shoot out of a cannon and make a quick decision to drive himself into a hole and gain the extra yard or two. He doesn’t fall forward like Ezekiel Elliot does and I think it holds this offense back a tad.
  1. What to do at left tackle? I disagree with the notion that Nate Solder may be traded. I can’t see it happening because he stinks and he is really expensive. How many teams would he actually help ? Not many, especially not the teams that are winning and aiming for a playoff spot. I’m not opposed to making a change and giving one of their young guys a shot. Both Chad Slade and Nick Gates did impress during preseason and while I know they may be slight drop offs from Solder’s current level of play, it wouldn’t be much. And then there is the possibility they could actually be better, don’t forget that.
Oct 272019
 
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 27, 2019)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

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DETROIT LIONS 31 – NEW YORK GIANTS 26…
The New York Giants lost their fourth game in a row, falling to 2-6 on the season, with their 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday. On the plus side for the Giants, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had a strong performance, throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns.

The game started off in sloppy fashion. New York’s initial drive ended with a punt. The Lions responded by gaining 47 yards and moving to the Giants’ 40-yard line before cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked off an errant deep throw from quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, three plays later, Jones was hit as he attempted a throw to the flat to running back Saquon Barkley. The errant pass was ruled a lateral and returned for a touchdown by former Giants linebacker Devon Kennard.

After a three-and-out on New York’s third “drive,” the Lions appeared to take command of the game by driving 71 yards in six plays, culminating with a 49-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open wide receiver Marvin Hall. Detroit now led 14-0.

The Giants got back into the game early in the second quarter on their fourth possession with a 10-play, 88-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jones to rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton. After the Lions missed a 53-yard field goal, the Giants tightened the game even further with an 8-play, 57-yard effort that finished with another touchdown pass from Jones to Slayton, this one from 28 yards out on 3rd-and-7. However, place kicker Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point and the Giants trailed 14-13.

Unfortunately for New York, the Lions were able to extend their lead before halftime. After it had appeared the Giants had stopped Detroit near midfield, linebacker David Mayo was flagged with a bogus running-into-the-kicker penalty on 4th-and-4. This kept alive a 14-play, 41-yard drive that ended with a 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. The Giants returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards and might have had a shot at a long field goal, but Slayton dropped a deep pass from Jones.

At the half, the Lions led 17-13.

The Lions once again appeared to take command of the game on their initial possession of the second half, driving 75 yards in 10 plays with Stafford throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Lions 24 – Giants 13.

To New York’s credit, the team responsed with a 10-play, 78-yard effort of their own, with Jones throwing his third touchdown of the day, this one for two yards to tight end Evan Engram on 3rd-and-goal. However, the 2-point conversion failed. Lions 24 – Giants 19.

The Giants’ defense forced their first three-and-out of the day on Detroit’s second drive of the half. The Giants could not take advantage of the opportunity and punted the ball away as well. The Lions made the Giants pay by easily driving 80 yards in five plays, scoring on a 41-yard flea flicker from Stafford to Golladay. With just over 12 minutes to play, the Lions now led 31-19.

The Giants gained 52 yards in 11 plays on the ensuing drive but turned the ball over on downs at the Detroit 39-yard line with 6:25 left in the game. New York received a faint glimmer of hope when safety Jabrill Peppers forced Golladay to fumble, with safety Antoine Bethea recovering at the Detroit 38-yard line. However, the Giants once gain turned the ball over on downs, this time at the Detroit 14-yard line with 3:27 left to play.

After a three-and-out by the Lions, the Giants made things a little bit interesting by driving 50 yards in four plays with Jones throwing his fourth touchdown of the game, this one a 4-yarder to running back Saquon Barkley. With just over a minute left to play, the Giants onside attempt went out of bounds, effectively ending the game.

Offensively, the Giants gained 24 first downs and 370 net yards. Jones finished 28-of-41 for 322 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 124.2 quarterback rating. His leading targets were wide receiver Golden Tate (8 catches for 85 yards) and Barkley (8 catches for 79 yards). Barkley only rushed for 64 yards on 19 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 17 first downs and 375 net yards, 316 of which came through the air. The Lions were 8-of-14 (57 percent) on 3rd-down conversions. The Giants did sack Stafford four times, with cornerback Grant Haley, linebacker Markus Golden, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson all picking up sacks. The Giants forced two turnovers, the interception by Jenkins and the forced fumble by Peppers.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), CB Corey Ballentine (concussion), QB Alex Tanney, OT Eric Smith, OT/OG Chad Slade, LB Tae Davis, and LB Devante Downs were inactive.

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)
  • WR Golden Tate (Video)
  • CB Janoris Jenkins (Video)
  • CB Deandre Baker (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)
  • S Antoine Bethea (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Oct 252019
 
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (September 22, 2019)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

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OCTOBER 25, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion) did not practice on Friday and remains in the concussion protocol. He has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) practiced on a limited basis. Shepard remains in the concussion protocol, wearing a non-contact jersey. He also has been ruled out of the game.

“(Shepard) is (making progress),” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “He’s had a really good week. He’s in the (concussion) protocol. Unfortunately, it’s just an element of time.”

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), wide receiver Cody Latimer (quad), and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (ankle) fully practiced. All three are expected 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 Lions on Sunday in Detroit.

Oct 252019
 
New York Giants Fans (October 20, 2019)

No Joy in Gotham – © USA TODAY Sports

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Game Preview: New York Giants at Detroit Lions, October 27, 2019

THE STORYLINE

I miss the old days where BBI game previews used to be about Xs and Os and match-ups against the opponent. Instead, for years now, the previews have become a status report on the current messy state of the once-proud franchise that only a few short years ago had won their eighth NFL Championship. At that time, it looked like Tom Coughlin was ensconced for life as the team’s head coach and Eli Manning was halfway through a sure-fire Hall of Fame career and destined for more post-season glory.

Fast forward to 2019 and the Giants are now back near the 1960s-1970s nadir of the franchise, with a 40-63 record since 2013 and a 10-29 record since 2017. Let me say that again, the Giants have won 10 games in three years.

On paper, the Giants may have two important parts: (1) a potential franchise quarterback and (2) an impact player at running back. However, after a fast start and despite continued flashes of brilliance, Daniel Jones has become a turnover machine. It remains to be seen if he can clean that up. And as we approach the midway point, Saquon Barkley is having a sophomore season to forget.

Two regimes now can’t seem to fix what has been holding this team back: (1) atrocious offensive line play, (2) atrocious defense, and (3) subpar coaching.

With respect to the latter, I wrote last week:

Brewing in the background is growing fan discontent with Pat Shurmur, who continues to make questionable in-game decisions. While it is difficult to see the Giants parting ways with their third coach in five years, especially given his “quarterback whisperer” relationship with Daniel Jones, the franchise must decide if Shurmur is capable of becoming a winning head coach. This is a big game for Pat Shurmur too.

Against an Arizona Cardinals team that had been the NFL’s worst team in 2018 and facing a must-win situation, Shurmur’s 2019 New York Giants were not ready to play, sleep walking through the 1st quarter and quickly finding themselves in a 17-0 hole that they could not recover from. In addition, once again, Shurmur made questionable game-management decisions. His offense only scored 14 points against one of the NFL’s worst defenses. And his defensive coordinator continues to look overmatched, as some no-name back-up running back did what Saquon Barkley should be doing to opposing teams.

I hate being a debbie downer. It sucks. But this team sucks. They have a coaching problem. But barring a complete collapse with multiple blowout losses, it’s pretty easy to predict what will happen this offseason. John Mara will use 2006 as a guide. Like he did with Tom Coughlin, he will force coaching changes on Shurmur, and possibly also take away his play-calling responsibilities. Mara will hope that lightening strikes twice. Coughlin looked like dead man walking after 2006 and turned it around with two Super Bowl wins. I was wrong about Coughlin back in 2006 and I could be wrong about Shurmur now. But I don’t think so. By the end of 2006, Coughlin was a .528 coach whose teams had made the playoffs six times. Shurmur’s .304 winning percentage is below that of Ray Handley and Ben McAdoo. A Shurmur-led team has yet to win more than five games in a season.

The Giants don’t have the luxury of time. I hope a year from now I am not writing the same type of game preview. I said it before and I’ll say it again, welcome to year 8 of the team’s 20-year rebuilding program.

THE INJURY REPORT

  • RB Saquon Barkley (ankle)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (concussion – out)
  • WR Cody Latimer (quad)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter (ankle)
  • CB Corey Ballentine (concussion – out)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE

Last week, I wrote “…as long as the offensive line does a reasonable job, Jones should be able to do some damage against the Arizona Cardinals’ 30th-ranked defense. This will be a nice change for the Giants’ offense after facing the Cowboys (9th), Bills (3rd), Vikings (5th), and Patriots (1st).”

The result? The Giants offense scored 14 points as Daniel Jones was sacked eight times. Against the Arizona Cardinals!

Once again, the offensive line is playing like dog shit. They can’t pass block. They can’t run block. It’s worse than the band-aid line that finished the 2018 season. The Giants should bench both starting tackles and start playing the young guys. Yeah, they may do worse. But Nate Solder and Mike Remmers are not the answer. It’s time to move on.

Daniel Jones continues to make enough “wow” throws to cause fans to be hopeful. However, while interceptions for a rookie quarterback are understandable, the fumbles are getting ridiculous. In five starts, he has six fumbles, losing five. In all, Jones has turned the ball over 12 times (7 interceptions, 5 fumbles), the chief reason why the Giants are leading the league in give-a-ways with 18. You can’t win like that.

Barkley’s 2019 season has been sabotaged by a high-ankle sprain. But I’m not convinced that Pat Shurmur and Mike Shula know how to use him properly either, especially in the passing game.

Tight end Evan Engram remains inconsistent, one week looking like an All-Pro, the next week being invisible and dropping passes.

Sterling Shepard, in the first year of his current 4-year, $41 million contract, is having yet another season to forget. He’s never accrued more than 900 yards in his four NFL seasons. Cody Latimer has 10 catches.

The Lions have the NFL’s 31st-ranked defense. So what? Arizona had the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense. Expect more misery.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE

Some guy named Chase Edmonds ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns against the New York Giants last Sunday. So in addition to New York’s superlative pass coverage (sarcasm off), the Giants are now making no-name back-ups household names in the running game.

The Giants can’t stop the run. They can’t stop the pass. And they have only forced eight turnovers all year.

Management keeps importing Arizona Cardinal defenders for James Bettcher. At some point, you have to come to the conclusion that the guy isn’t a very good coach.

The Lions have the NFL’s sixth-ranked passing offense. Expect more misery.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS

For the past two seasons, the best part of this team has been the special teams unit. Thomas McGaughey is the best coach on the staff.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH

Meh. I’ve started to tune this guy out. The media is starting to get under Pat Shurmur’s skin. Look for him to lose his cool soon.

THE FINAL WORD

One of the most important predictors of team success – perhaps the most important – is turnover differential. The Giants are second-worst in the NFL with a -10 turnover differential. Only the Miami Dolphins are worse at -11.

The Detroit Lions are 2-3-1, the same record as the Cardinals last week. Teams get well playing the New York Giants. Expect more misery.

Oct 242019
 

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (October 20, 2019)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

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OCTOBER 24, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion) did not practice on Thursday and remains in the concussion protocol.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) practiced on a limited basis. Shepard remains in the concussion protocol, wearing a non-contact jersey.

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), wide receiver Cody Latimer (quad), and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (ankle) fully practiced.

TUZAR SKIPPER SIGNED TO THE PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed linebacker Tuzar Skipper, who was waived on Tuesday, to the Practice Squad. The 6’3”, 246-pound Skipper was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The Giants claimed Skipper off of waivers from the Steelers in September 2019. Skipper played in six games for the Giants this year with no starts, being credited with three tackles and 0.5 sacks.

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 Detroit Lions.

Oct 232019
 

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

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

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OCTOBER 23, 2019 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Corey Ballentine (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday. He is still in the concussion protocol.

Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) practiced on a limited basis. Shepard remains in the concussion protocol, wearing a non-contact jersey.

“Saquon was limited today,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “Just some game soreness. I expect him to play this week though.”

“(Shepard is) been out there practicing pretty much full,” said Shurmur. “But he’s still in the protocol.”

Wide receiver Cody Latimer (quad) and linebacker Lorenzo Carter (ankle) fully practiced.

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

Oct 222019
 

Deone Bucannon, Arizona Cardinals (December 27, 2015)

Deone Bucannon – © USA TODAY Sports

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GIANTS SIGN TWO LINEBACKERS, INCLUDING DEONE BUCANNON…
The New York Giants have signed free agent linebacker Deone Bucannon, who was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 9th, and signed linebacker Devante Downs from their Practice Squad. To make room for Bucannon and Downs, the team waived linebacker Tuzar Skipper and tight end Garrett Dickerson.

The 27-year old, 6’1”, 211-pound Bucannon was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. A former safety, the Cardinals converted him to a hybrid linebacker/safety “money backer” role. In five seasons with the Cardinals, Bucannon played in 70 regular-season games, with 56 starts. His most productive season came in 2015, when he accrued 112 tackles, three sacks, three pass defenses including an interception, and three forced fumbles. Bucannon only played in five games with the Buccaneers with no starts.

The Giants signed Downs to the Practice Squad in October 2019. The 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Downs played in 13 games with the Vikings, with no starts, accruing three tackles. The Vikings waived him in late September.

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

The Giants signed undrafted rookie free agent Dickerson in June 2018. He spent a couple of stints on the team’s Practice Squad and 53-man roster in 2018 and made the 53-man roster this year. Dickerson has played in seven regular-season games for the Giants, but he did not have a catch.