Oct 042022
Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants (October 2, 2022)

Dexter Lawrence – © USA TODAY Sports


The third straight home game for Big Blue brought in another classic NFL franchise, the Chicago Bears. Speaking of classic, the Giants wore their what is now considered “retro” uniforms. The old school “Giants” written on a navy-blue helmet with the royal blue uniforms, white numbers, and red trim. One of my personal oldest memories of watching NYG football dates back to January 13, 1991. The opening round of the playoffs, NYG (in these uniforms) faced off against Mike Ditka’s Bears, quarterbacked by Mike Tomczak, as starter Jim Harbaugh (current Michigan Head Coach) injured his shoulder late in the regular season. Fast forward to 2022 and the two historic franchises came into their Week 4 matchup at 2-1 each. Both teams in the rebuild mode and not in credible form of contention, the Giants or Bears would walk out of this one at 3-1 (unless they tied).

Chicago, the least-frequent passing team in the league by a wide margin, threw the ball two times on ten plays on their opening drive after forcing a three-and-out of the NYG offense. Justin Fields, who the Bears traded up for in the 2021 Draft via NYG, gained 20 yards on separate scramble attempts and had another 15 yards tacked on because of an Unnecessary Roughness penalty on linebacker Micah McFadden. The defense held up though, keeping CHI to a field goal attempt which kicker Michael Badgley, signed just days prior, nailed through the uprights.

NYG responded with a balanced drive, showing quality movement off the ball by the line and a lot of bootleg action with the athletic Daniel Jones. It took them just six plays to move 75 yards with the smallest gain being six yards. Jones scampered into the end zone at the tail end of a 21-yard run thanks to play design, speed, and downfield blocking. CHI was able to put another three points on the board via another short field goal. Two drives, two trips inside the NYG-15 yard line, two field goals.

As the second quarter got under way, NYG was forced to punt for the second time and CHI reached NYG territory again with a one-point deficit. The Bears had not yet ended a drive without points. They breached the 30-yard line and on 1st-and-10, the NYG created a game-changing play. A sack-fumble by Azeez Ojulari was recovered by rookie and fellow outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux. This team played the first two games without these two and both looked rusty in Week 3. Now, under a week later, they combined for a much-needed big play. The offense turned that fumble into another 7 points, this one also on the legs of Jones via a similar play design where the downfield blocking was on point following a bootleg.

The defense kept their foot on the throat of the CHI offense but a fumble by Richie James on the punt gave them the ball back at the NYG 35-yard line. This turned into three points, the third field goal by Badgley, and that is where the game went into the half, NYG up 14-9.

Badgley, a New Jersey native, continued to earn his paycheck as he started the second half with a 35-yarder to put the NYG lead at two. Fields, the least-used and productive starting quarterback in football through three weeks, was at 158 yards, just 16 yards shy of a season high. Fortunately, the offensive scheme and play calling by Bears Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy (a first time playcaller in the NFL) lacked innovation and creativity.

The score stayed locked in at 14-12 for a couple back-and-forth drives. They were anything but uneventful, however. Three plays before Graham Gano nailed a 44-yarder to lengthen the lead to five, Jones was sacked and had his ankle badly twisted. He limped off the field and because of how much this game’s offense was dependent on quarterback mobility, the decision to bring in backup Tyrod Taylor was made. To make matters worse, right tackle Evan Neal was out of the game with a neck injury. The fourth quarter was under way and NYG was playing with a depleted receiver group, a backup quarterback, and without their starting right tackle.

Taylor did convert a 3rd-and-2 via a 13-yard run. But his first pass was a deep ball to Darius Slayton, and it was intercepted by CHI safety Eddie Jackson on an incredible play by the sixth year safety, his NFC-leading third of the year. Fortunately, the NYG defense forced a three-and-out and the NYG offense gained momentum right away. Taylor converted another third down via his legs but this one ended with a direct hit to the head, a fumble (that did not result in turnover), and a concussion. Just like that, in a matter of 13 minutes of game clock, the starting and backup quarterbacks were both injured.

Jones came on the field with a heavily taped ankle, but NYG kept him split out wide as Saquon Barkley, who was putting together another masterful performance, handled the wildcat snaps. The next four plays may not make the highlight reel, but they were as impressive as any other string of plays in the game. Everyone in the building knew NYG was in a run-only situation. They proceeded to gain 18 yards on four carries to bring them into field goal position. Gano sealed the drive with a 43-yarder to give them the vital 8-point lead.

The NYG defense held CHI in check, rookie returner Velus Jones muffed a punt which NYG recovered, and NYG continued to move the ball enough in their run-only attack and keep the clock moving. CHI did get the ball back after a missed 37-yarder by Gano, but they had just a few seconds left and no timeouts. After an attempt at throwing the ball back and forth between a handful of players as time expired, rookie Dane Belton recovered the loose ball.

NYG wins, 20-12.


-Daniel Jones: 8/13 – 71 yards / 0 TD – 0 INT / 76.1 RAT

Jones’ biggest impact was felt on the ground. He gained 68 yards on 6 carries and scored two touchdowns, the only two for NYG on the day. He also did not play real-quarterback after being injured halfway through the third quarter. Yes, he was on the field and took a few shotgun snaps, but we cannot include those snaps into his evaluation. The innovative game plan and play-calling set Jones up well for success in this one. While we did not see him air it out, he made some tight throws and had his one deep ball dropped by Darius Slayton. He made a solid-tasting meal with expired ingredients. The value of how athletic he is truly could have been the deciding factor in this game. I won’t go as far as saying it was THE reason, but the ability to turn on the jets in addition to Barkley’s status as NFL-leading rusher were why NYG scored points, plain and simple. If Slayton catches the ball, less would freak out about the passing line.


-Saquon Barkley: 31 att – 146 yards / 2 rec – 16 yards

The strong season is getting stronger. Like a tidal wave, Barkley’s impact on this offense and team is just compounding week to week. A week after I said this guy simply needs the ball 20+ times at minimum and probably closer to 30 on average, he gets 33 touches in a tight game. The number was a tad inflated because of the quarterback situation in the second half, but this is where Barkley’s sweet spot is. He is electric and there is no other word that best describes him. The defense knew he was getting the ball and the forward lean, foot-in-ground burst, and vision combination of traits is the best we have seen. The injury risk will always be there with backs but if NYG wants to win, this is who needs the ball 30 times.

-Matthew Breida gained 18 yards on just 3 carries and Gary Brightwell impacted the game as a lead blocker on a couple of occasions in addition to the fumble recovery on the CHI muffed punt in the fourth quarter.


-Another low point to the day. The group totaled 8 targets. Before the Monday night game, 17 individual players around the league had more than 8 targets in their respective Week 4 games. Again, perhaps the number is skewed by the quarterback situation in the fourth quarter but make no mistake here, the Giants are currently playing football in the most pass-happy era of football history without a credible group of wide receivers. Darius Slayton had a catch for 11 yards and a drop. David Sills had a catch for 5 yards and a drop. Richie James had 1 catch for 9 yards. Kenny Golladay went catch-less for the third straight game. If Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson remain out, it is time this team brings in new blood at the position. Hopefully whoever they bring in has a passport.


-Rookie Daniel Bellinger led the team with 23 yards and 3 catches. Considering the team threw the ball 13 times and he was targeted on just three of them, it was another solid performance by the fourth rounder. He had a key block on Jones’ first touchdown, but his overall blocking grade fell just below average. He allowed a TFL and got beat up at the point-of-attack when he faced off against linemen.

-Tanner Hudson is firmly entrenched as the number two passing game threat at the position. He caught a pass for 18 yards and dropped his other target. One thing I see from the All-22 is separation as a route runner. He can get open in all directions and I project him to be a bigger part of the passing game next week. His downfield blocking was key to NYG’s success on the ground as well.


-After a horrid Week 3 performance against DAL (one of the top defenses in the league), the offensive line came back strong. This is exactly what we wanted to see, and while the CHI front isn’t keeping anyone up at night, they are a respectable group. NYG won in the trenches from start to finish.

-Evan Neal missed the final 23 snaps of the game with an injured neck. At the time of this writing, I do not have an update. As for his game, I saw a noticeable improvement over his Week 3 debacle. Again, a rookie struggling in the NFL should be assumed more than expected. That is not worthy of criticism or negative thoughts. How they respond is what should be tracked. Neal responded with his best game of the year (albeit minimal passing and limited snaps). Tremendous run blocking and he kept the feet more active in pass protection on the edge.

-Andrew Thomas threw a shut out in the passing game and graded out above average in the running game. He did get beat to his inside shoulder a couple times, but it ended up not hurting the play.

-Inside, I still see some to be desired. Ben Bredeson allowed a pressure and a TFL and was having a hard time staying on his feet. One of the biggest things I look for in offensive linemen when scouting (and this is from multiple pro OL coaches) is the ability to simply end the play on their feet. It is a red flag when guys are on the ground often and I saw that with Bredeson multiple times. Mark Glowinski missed 8 snaps with an ankle and appeared less stable than usual. He allowed a pressure and was flagged for illegally being downfield. Center Jon Feliciano has some of his twitch back, which helped a lot on their zone running looks. He reached the second level in a hurry and stayed on his man there. He still struggled with some of the gap looks where he could not create movement off the ball by himself.


-It was week two of the Ojulari + Thibodeaux duo, as both missed the first two games. While their impact was not as consistent as it needs to be, they were much better than what we saw Monday night against Dallas. They teamed up for a turnover as Ojulari recorded the sack-forced fumble and Thibodeaux recovered it. Ojulari added a pressure and 2 tackles and Thibodeaux had 3 pressures along with 3 tackles.

-Jihard Ward continues to be the Swiss army knife of the entire front. He finished with 4 tackles, 1 sack, and a pressure. He is such a solid scheme-based fit and an energy stick for everyone around him.

-Tomon Fox and Oshane Ximines were the clear backups with the latter adding one pressure to his season total and the former adding 2 tackles and stout edge setting against the run. With Ojulari re-aggravating his calf injury they kept him out weeks 1 and 2, Ximines should see an uptick in playing time again.


-Dexter Lawrence was the team MVP of the game and I don’t think anyone was even close, especially on defense. He was a one man-wrecking crew who totaled 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4 pressures. If I am a defensive line coach, I am using this tape to teach players technique and versatility. He two-gapped against the inside run, put pass blockers on ice skates via the bull rush, and finished when he was within striking distance. Fields never got comfortable in the pocket and Lawrence was the reason. In the first quarter of the NFL season, Lawrence is playing at an All-Pro level.

-No Leonard Williams had me a bit nervous in this game, but Justin Ellis and Nick Williams stepped up. Ellis played a sturdy inside game which mightily helped the linebackers. Williams was active, finishing with 5 tackled and a pass deflection at the line. D.J. Davidson had a tackle on just 9 snaps and Henry Mondeaux played 8 snaps, accruing a pressure, before injuring his knee and being taken off on a cart.


-We saw some extra juice out of Tae Crowder in this one. He led the team with 11 tackles and added a sack and a pressure. Against a vanilla offense that clearly lacked creativity, Crowder went off. He did not have to think a lot, he did not have to cover much in space. He had blinders on and chose violence when he woke up. That, with the combination of the defensive line playing at a high level, gave Crowder the opportunity to shine. He did exactly that. The one negative I have is a missed tackle in the fourth quarter that, for the second time this year, looked like a business decision against a downhill ball carrier.

-Jaylon Smith, just promoted to the 53-man roster, essentially split the other linebacker snaps with rookie Micah McFadden. Smith was active and rangy, finishing with 7 tackles (second most) and 1 TFL. He missed a tackle and was beat in coverage twice. McFadden added 4 tackles and 1 pressure but was flagged for an Unnecessary Roughness penalty when he hit Fields after he slid. He still appears limited against blockers. He is a downhill force but when moving left to right, he looks a step behind, and he can’t get off the blocks yet.


-Adoree’ Jackson is playing at a high level. He got off to a rough start, 2 big plays in the first 2 drives, but was outstanding in man coverage from there on out. He added 3 tackles and a TFL as well. This is the most physical I have seen Jackson play so far in his career.

-Aaron Robinson went down with an injury after being bent backward in the wrong direction, but Fabian Moreau stepped up. He had 2 pass break ups and 2 tackles. Both break ups were downfield and could have easily changed the trajectory of the one-score game. His catch-up speed is solid but the issue is he is slow out of his breaks. Assuming he will see more playing time now with Robinson being out, that will be something opposing offenses easily see on tape.

-Darnay Holmes was not tested much but finished with 2 tackles and provided two plays where he set a physical edge against the run, forcing the ball carrier into traffic inside. Excellent job by him and I give credit to how willing he takes on tight ends and linemen.


-Xavier McKinney and Dane Belton both finished with 4 tackles and graded out well in coverage. There were two instances from the All-22 that I saw where Fields had a shot downfield but he either did not see it or did not want to air mail it. McKinney is more of a risk taker who appears to be jumping routes and Belton appears a step slow in recognition. But when it comes to pursuit and downhill run defense, both are doing a nice job.

-Julian Love was injured early, and if this ends up being significant time missed, NYG has a problem on defense. He has been a vital piece to their initial defensive success, and it is a hard role to fill. Holmes is the one I would want to see shift into his role.


-K Graham Gano: 2/3 (Made 44, 43, Missed 37)
-P Jamie Gillian: 5 punts / 54.6 avg – 42.8 net


-DT Dexter Lawrence, RB Saquon Barkley, QB Daniel Jones


-OG Ben Bredeson, WR Darius Slayton, LB Micah McFadden


1. Multiple instances throughout this game, I could not help but be reminded of the Jason Garrett-version of NYG offense. Some of the play calls in specific third-down situations were eerily similar to what we saw under him. The contrast between the offensive system we are watching right now led by Daboll and Mike Kafka and what the Bears are running is crystal clear.

2. To build on the offensive talk with Chicago, there are some whispers that the relationship between Justin Fields and the new regime is not a good one. I can recall some people who have better connections than I do telling me there were several teams that did not view Fields as a first rounder in the 2021 Draft. The former Bears GM, Ryan Pace, obviously liked him. They made an aggressive offer to move up in the draft with NYG including multiple firsts for him. Fast forward less than a year and we are looking at an entirely new group of decision makers. I won’t pretend to know what is being said within those walls, but his tape these first four weeks has been poor. Like Daniel Jones, the supporting cast is awful. But Fields doesn’t do much besides make the occasional play with his legs that makes anyone think he has it. Don’t be surprised to see him moved if CHI ends up picking in the top 5 next April, when they could be in position to draft their own guy and start their rebuild (this year was about clearing the cap) with a fresh rookie QB contract.

3. I understand CHI had limited resources this year and we all saw this coming two years ago. It was smart to rip off the band-aid in 2022 and start from scratch in 2023. Are there any pieces in place to get excited about? I have a hard time believing Roquan Smith will be there beyond this season (a big trade candidate too) considering the in-house drama they’ve had over the past few months. Robert Quinn is a stud edge rusher but is 32-years old and another guy teams may want to trade for. Eddie Jackson will be 30 next season. They lost a ton of their defensive firepower this past offseason and the offensive cupboard is bare. There are some rough times ahead for this franchise unless Fields takes a massive step up. I projected them to finish 3-14. And while they already have 2 wins, I don’t see that projection finishing far off.


1. NYG sits 3-1 heading into a tough matchup in London against the Packers. That team would be hard to beat as is, but if they are marching out with a third-string quarterback and multiple key starters on defense missing, it has the potential to be ugly. GB is a different team than what most of you may be assuming based on recent history. This is a defensive-dependent squad. They are 5th in yards allowed, but 22nd in yards per carry allowed. Their wins are against CHI, a ravaged TB offense, and a NE team that played with backup quarterbacks. If we use 2021 as an indicator, this defense is legit. NYG does match up well with them on the ground but the key will be keeping Rodgers and his raw set of pass catchers out of the end zone so NYG can control the tempo and use Barkley to full capacity. Time for the pass rushers to step up.

2. We are a quarter into the season. This is the first time I take a look at the league and evaluate teams. Any timeframe shorter than that is premature. I use a four-tier system. Tier 1: Super Bowl + home field advantage contenders. Tier 2: Likely playoff teams. Tier 3: Bubble playoff teams. Tier 4: Start thinking draft. NYG is in that tier three right now and it is a refreshing feeling. They do not have a strong roster. They have not played convincing football week to week. However, they are 3-1 and clearly a notch above what I currently consider that fourth tier. To me, this is 95% on the shoulders of the coaching staff. If the front office can make educated, correct personnel decisions, there are plenty of reasons to believe this gut feeling I have on NYG is real when looking at the future.

3. If NYG does end up entering the mid-way point of the season with a winning record, at what point do they make a roster move to improve their current chances at a playoff run? I know fans may want more losses for the sake of the draft position, but I can assure you when coaches and players smell blood in the water, they want their shot. It may never come again for them. The biggest roadblock on this roster resides at receiver. They cannot have anything close to a credible passing attack with what they are currently marching out at the position. Do they pursue a free agent like Odell Beckham, TY Hilton, Will Fuller, Isaiah Ford, or Mohamed Sanu? Or do they tap into a practice squad player who lacks experience but who makes more sense economically? Cornell Powell from KC is a guy I personally liked, and Kafka has experience with. Tanner Gentry was off and on the Buffalo roster in 2021 so I would assume there is at least some interest and knowledge and appreciation for him coming from both Daboll and Schoen. They are both possession receivers who play a power game. Something to keep an eye on.

Oct 022022
Gary Brightwell, New York Giants (October 2, 2022)

Gary Brightwell – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants gutted out a tough 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, but the team lost a plethora of key players to injury. Quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle), quarterback Tyrod Taylor (concussion), wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee), offensive tackle Evan Neal (neck), offensive guard Mark Glowinski (ankle), defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux (ankle), outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux (back), outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (calf), cornerback Aaron Robinson (knee), and safety Julian Love (concussion) all left the game due to injuries.

The Giants are now 3-1 on the season.

The overall team statistics were relatively equal. The Giants out-gained the Bears in first downs (21 to 16), total offensive plays (61 to 60), total net yards (333 to 304), and time of possession (31:17 to 28:43). However, the Giants held a big advantage in rushing yards (262 to 149) while the Bears doubled the Giants in net yards passing (155 to 71). The Giants won the turnover battle 3 to 2.

The Giants received the football to start the game, but quickly went three-and-out and punted. Chicago’s first possession resulted in a 10-play, 65-yard drive that stalled inside the red zone. The Bears settled for a 29-yard field goal and a 3-0 early lead. New York responded quickly. A mixture quarterback Daniel Jones’ passes and running back Saquon Barkley carries moved the ball to the Chicago 21-yard line in five plays. Then on a designed run, Jones scrambled 21 yards for a touchdown. The Giants were now up 7-3.

On Chicago’s ensuing drive, their second of the contest, quarterback Justin Fields connected on a 56-yard pass on the first play of the possession. However, for the second time, the Bears were forced to settle for a short field goal inside the red zone. The 22-yard kick cut the score to 7-6 near the end of the first quarter.

The Giants gained a couple of first downs on their third possession, but were forced to punt. The Bears once again moved the ball on their third possession, driving 53 yards. But on the 10th play, at the New York 27-yard line, Fields was sacked by outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari. The ball came loose and outside linebacker Kavyon Thibodeaux recovered at the 25-yard line. The Giants kept up the momentum as the offense then drove 75 yards in seven plays. Barkley broke off a 29-yard run to start the drive. Jones connected on passes of 18 and 15 yards, the latter coming on a highlight-reel run after the catch by Barkley on 3rd-and-9. Jones finished the possession off with his second touchdown run of the game, this one from nine yards out. Giants 14 – Bears 6.

The Giants’ defense finally forced a three-and-out on the Bears’ fourth possession. However, wide receiver Richie James fumbled the punt away, with the Bears recovering at the New York 35-yard line. The Bears gained one first down, reaching the 23-yard line, but settled for yet another field goal. Giants 14 – Bears 9. Neither team scored on their final possessions of the half.

Chicago received the ball to start the 3rd quarter and immediately proceeded to cut into the Giants’ lead once again. The Bears gained 58 yards in nine plays, but for the third time in the game, settled for a red zone field goal. Giants 14 – Bears 12. That would be the last points Chicago scored on the day.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants moved the ball 60 yards in five plays to set up a successful 44-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. The big play play on this drive was a 40-yard pass interference penalty against wide receiver Darius Slayton. Giants 17 – Bears 12 near the end of the 3rd quarter.

Chicago went three-and-out. Tyrod Taylor, who was now in the game for the injured Daniel Jones at quarterback, gave the ball right back as his deep pass intended for Slayton was intercepted at the Chicago 7-yard line. Nevertheless, the New York defense held again, forcing another three-and-out. The Giants’ offense then put together their final scoring drive of the game, a 13-play, 54-yard effort that took 6:34 off of the clock and resulted in a 43-yard field goal by Gano. Giants 20 – Bears 12.

With 5:31 left in the game, the Bears picked up a first down, but were stuffed on 3rd-and-2 at their own 45-yard line. The Bears’ head coach decided to punt with 3:15 left, the kick being downed at the New York 3-yard line. The Giants could only gain four yards and punted with 2:13 left. However, it was Chicago’s turn to fumble the punt away, the muffed kick being recovered by running back Gary Brightwell at the Chicago 37-yard line.

Barkley picked up 13 yards on the first play of the ensuing possession. However, the Giants failed to put the game away as Gano missed the 37-yard field goal with 17 seconds left. The Giants had to sweat out a series of desperate laterals on the final play of the game before safety Dane Belton recovered a fumble at the Chicago 28-yard line.

Jones finished the game 8-of-13 for 71 yards. He also rushed the ball six times for 68 yards and two touchdowns. The leading receiver was tight end Daniel Bellinger who caught three passes for 23 yards. Barkley carried the ball 31 times for 146 yards.

Defensively, the Giants were credited with six sacks, including two by defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and one each by linebackers Tae Crowder, Jihad Ward, Azeez Ojulari. There was also a team sack. Crowder led the defense with 11 tackles.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants signed ILB Jaylon Smith from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster. The team had a vacant roster spot and did not have to make a corresponding roster move.

The Giants activated (standard elevation) WR Marcus Johnson and DL Henry Mondeaux from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster on the same day.

Inactive for the game were WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), DL Leonard Williams (knee), CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), OT Tyre Phillips, and ILB Austin Calitro.

QB Daniel Jones (ankle), QB Tyrod Taylor (concussion), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), OT Evan Neal (neck), OG Mark Glowinski (ankle), DL Henry Mondeaux (ankle), OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (back), OLB Azeez Ojulari (calf), CB Aaron Robinson (knee), and S Julian Love (concussion) all left the game due to injuries.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Sep 302022
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 26, 2022)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Brian Daboll said something that we all have to regularly remind ourselves of: “It’s never as good as you think, never as bad as you think.” This is why I got annoyed with fans, who just a few weeks ago were predicting a 4-13 record, quickly changed their tune in anticipation of a 4-0 start after the first two wins of the season. Yes, I’m being annoyingly preachy myself. But always keep in your mind who and what this team is at this particular moment in time. It’s a rebuilding ball club that will be replacing core elements of the roster in March and April. The Giants are still so hamstrung by their salary cap situation that they can’t cut certain players who they would probably prefer to part ways with.

A poster in The Corner Forum lamented this week that some fans are now more interested in offseason than the actual season. To be honest, I find myself in that spot right now. I see 2022 as a prelude to part two of the Schoen/Daboll housecleaning and roster overhaul. I find it difficult to become too invested in a quarterback, wide receivers, and possibly even running backs who won’t be on the roster in a few months. The defense is more settled, but one gets the sense that Wink Martindale is going to make some significant changes on that side of the ball too.

What I am looking at is the process. As I’ve asked previously, will the team be better in December than it was in September? That’s what fans should be looking at. Right now, this isn’t a good team. There are going to be ups and downs. With a softer schedule, the coaches may be able to eke out a respectable record near the .500 mark. That would be an improvement…something to build upon moving forward. There is no point for fans to lose their shit on a weekly basis over an ugly win or painful loss. If that’s you, you may be better off taking a break from the team. In other words, stop living in denial and accept the reality that the Giants are at the very beginning stages of a rebuilding process.

As for this particular game, just nine months ago, on January 2nd, the 6-11 Chicago Bears humiliated the Giants 29-3. Sy’56 wrote in his game review, “This turned into as close to an unwatchable game as it gets in today’s NFL. It almost seemed like we weren’t even watching professional football.” So what am I looking for in this game? A win would be great. But I’m evaluating how the Giants of 2022 perform vis a vis the Giants of 2021 against the same opponent.


  • WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring – out)
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee – out)
  • DL Leonard Williams (knee – out)
  • OLB Jihad Ward (knee – probable)
  • CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf – out)
  • CB Aaron Robinson (appendix – probable)
  • CB Nick McCloud (hamstring – out)
  • CB Justin Layne (concussion – probable)

We have no idea what Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll really think about Daniel Jones. We can speculate, but that’s all it is, speculation. The most important question facing this franchise is what to do at quarterback. His detractors will say he’s proven he sucks. His supporters will say despite being surrounded with a weak cast, he has done OK.

The reason why this is the #1 issue for the team is bigger than many think. If Jones is the guy moving forward, then keeping Saquon Barkley makes sense. If Jones is not the guy, and the team intends to replace him in the 2023 NFL Draft, then listening to trade offers for Barkley may be an appropriate course of action. The fate of Barkley is the #2 most important decision this team must make, and the fate of Jones and Barkley seem interconnected. If you thought drafting Barkley in 2018 was a luxury a rebuilding ball club could ill afford, then you should feel twice as strongly about it now, given that Barkley will be five years older with a major injury in his profile and costing a ton of cap space. Also keep in mind that the Giants likely won’t be picking in the top 10 in the 2023 NFL Draft and don’t have a lot of draft capital to move up in the first round for that franchise quarterback. Barkley is the team’s best offensive skill player. It’s not close. Without him, they are a much worse team. But the Giants need to listen to offers. If someone blows them away, they may have to pull the trigger.

Why am I bringing all of this up in a Week 4 game preview? Because the clock is ticking. Jones hasn’t moved the needle. It’s not completely his fault. His pass protection was a disaster on Monday and is trending in the wrong direction. He has the worst receiving corps in the NFL right now. To his credit, the team only had one turnover on Monday and that was due to a receiver falling down. So he didn’t lose the game. And the coaches continue to publicly praise him. Nevertheless, the questions remain: is Jones what Schoen and Daboll want at quarterback? Is he actually capable of dramatically elevating his game, and those around him, soon? Most fans suspect not. And the trade deadline is approaching. Teams will likely start inquiring about Barkley.

I’m rambling, so let’s cut to the chase. Every play and every game is now an evaluation of Jones. Every play and every game is an opportunity to market Barkley. The receiving situation is a joke. Take the Miami Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa has two targets who he can throw short passes to and then watch them run 70 yards for touchdowns. Schoen and Daboll had visions of Wan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney doing that for the Giants, but both can’t or won’t get on the field. The Giants passing game was going to be predicated on quick, short passes to elusive targets who would do damage after the catch. That’s gone right now. And the receivers who remain can’t separate from coverage so Daniel is left holding the ball. Sterling Shepard has likely played his last game as a Giant. Who the heck knows what happened to Kenny Golladay but if the Giants could afford to do it, he probably would have been cut by now. David Sills? Richie James? Darius Slayton? No one is afraid of these guys. Teams are going to load up against Barkley – both as a runner and receiver – and dare anyone else to beat them. 

Long story short, unless Robinson and Toney come back soon and start making an impact, the Giants simply don’t have the talent this season to run a fully functional NFL offense. Passing the 20-point margin is still a major issue for this team. And guess what? Robinson and Toney aren’t playing again. Sigh.

As for the offensive line, like last year, the injury to Shane Lemieux was a major wrench thrown into the machinery. That is not an indictment of Joshua Ezeudu. Odds are he will end up a starter this year or next. Losing Marcus McKethan also hurt as this could have been a good developmental season for him. The Giants have one stud at left tackle in Andrew Thomas. I am not yet worried about Evan Neal. I think he has the character and temperament to handle the inevitable growing pains. The Giants need better play out of Jon Feliciano (one-year rental) and Mark Glowinski (who has been too up and down). But the overall feeling is a starting player or two is missing from this group. Whether Nick Gates remains in the picture is a mystery. I doubt he is a factor this year.

What I want to see moving forward is the offensive line being physical like it was against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Be the tougher team. I don’t have much to look forward to on offense, but I can look forward to the offensive line mauling opponents again. This group can run block. Do it.

I was very curious to hear Wink Martindale speak to the press this week about his unit’s performance against the Dallas Cowboys. At least publicly, Martindale was a lot more measured than I expected him to be. Privately, he’s got to be very upset about how his until got pushed around by the Cowboys’ running game. Leonard Williams is still a vastly underrated player and was missed, but the defensive deficiencies were greater than that. And snippets of Wink’s opinions did sneak through:

(Kayvon Thibodeaux) really hasn’t practiced that much since the injury. He’s done a lot of rehabbing and all that stuff, but he hasn’t done a lot of 11-on-11 work… I’m just expecting great things from him.”

There was a lot of runs Monday night where the guys were falling forward for four and five yards. We’ve got to get better knock back up front and play as a unit, all 11, and make sure we start moving piles backward that way.”

I mean, a 3rd-and-12 toss, that was one of those plays I was telling you about. Just having some football awareness with the backs in the home position, which he never is on 3rd-and-12. We’ve got to see that and recognize that as a defense.”

We’re still in the process of finding the right fits for who’s going to play inside (linebacker). I want guys who can run and hit and tackle. As a unit, as all 11, we need to tackle better. We had too many missed tackles. Like I said, going against this offense, it’s going to be a great test for us to see how much we’ve improved from Monday to Sunday.”

Overall, I think most of us understand the state of the defense. The defensive line is very thin. If something happens to Leonard Williams (like it did) or Dexter Lawerence, the Giants are in trouble up front. Darrian Beaver would be starting at ILB right now if he hadn’t torn his ACL. Wink is quickly learning that Tae Crowder is an issue. The two outside edge guys the team were counting on are way behind because of how much time they missed and are still on a pitch count. They have to play to get into game shape, but in doing so, the defense is weaker in the short term until they are fully ramped up. Meanwhile, the secondary is still a bit shaky due to the lack of depth at corner.

Wink is all about his defenses being physical. Being pushed around like his defense was on Monday has to be killing him. They have to get back to playing like they did in Week 1 against Derrick Henry. Be the more physical team… at all three levels of the defense. They are going to tested this week. The Bears have only thrown the football 45 times in three games. That’s an average of 15 attempts (not completions, attempts) per game! Part of that is their quarterback is not very good throwing the ball, but a lot of it is the Bears have a physical offensive line, a quarterback who can do damage with his feet, and two backs who can tote the rock (although David Montgomery is a bit banged up).

The key to beating the Titans was stopping the run. The Giants did that and won. The key to beating the Cowboys was stopping the run. The Giants failed to do that and lost. The key to beating the Bears is stopping the run. Tune in Sunday.

Giants special teams were up against the Panthers. Except for Graham Gano, they were down against the Cowboys. There was a long return and a blocked field goal. My guess is most of the Giants’ games this year will be close. In those type of contests, special teams can actually decide as many as four or five games (one season, the Eagles won almost half their games because of their special teams). Historically speaking, Thomas McGaughey’s coverage units have been very good. They haven’t so far this year. The injury to Nick McCloud is bigger than many of us realize.

Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale on the Chicago Bears:One of the reasons why they’re 2-1 is playing complementary football. They’re running the football, trying to control the clock and playing good defense. The biggest thing is, I don’t want to say you take away the runs, but you better limit the big runs, the explosive runs.

One of the best comments I read in The Forum this past week was a poster stating that when every game you play is close, you’re going to win some of those and lose some of those. Those are just the odds. There is something to that, especially when your team has so many question marks still at so many positions. So from here on out, I think all we can expect are mostly tight football games that will either end on positive or negative note. Nevertheless, my guess is the team that is more physical on Sunday will prevail. The Giants had better strap on their chin straps and get to work.

Jan 052022
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (January 2, 2022)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports


On the opening night of the 2021 NFL Draft, NYG and CHI paired together for one of the biggest trades of the weekend. CHI traded up, offering their own first rounder, a fifth rounder, and 2022 1st and 4th round picks. It was quite the haul on paper for NYG, and CHI finally got their hands on a big time QB prospect, Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Fast forward to week 17 of the 2021 season. The two teams were a combined 9-21, they were both bottom-5 in offensive yards per play, and their 1st round picks (Fields and Kadarius Toney) were both on the sidelines with respective injuries. The two have played in just a combined 17 out of 32 possible games. The futures are looking bleak for the two storied franchises, cornerstones of the NFL in two of the biggest markets in the country. Both general managers are unlikely to be back and both head coaches are on the hot seat. Bears vs. Giants, one of the most irrelevant games of the NFL season.

The struggles of the NYG offensive line have been beaten into our minds over and over for close a decade now. I know it gets old reading about it and, trust me, it has gotten even older to write about it. On the first play of the game, Mike Glennon was sacked by Trevis Gipson, forcing a fumble that was scooped up by Bilal Nichols and returned to the NYG 2-yard line. CHI running back David Montgomery scored a play later to give CHI the 7-0 lead before 19 seconds ticked off of the game clock. NYG gained 20 yards on 4 rushing plays on their next drive before they tried to drop back and throw the ball again. Glennon then proceeded to throw an interception to Tashaun Gipson. CHI turned that into another 7 points, this time a pass from Andy Dalton to Darnell Mooney. The 5-10 Bears were up 14-0 less than 7 minutes after the game began. It was the first-time all-season CHI scored more than 7 points in the opening quarter.

The next NYG drive ended with NYG trying to throw again. Glennon was sacked. Drive over. The two horrid offenses traded a few scoreless drives. NYG was actually having some per-play success on the ground which shouldn’t have caught anyone off guard. CHI’s run defense came in having allowed the 24th-most rushing yards in the league (3rd least against the pass). NYG did all they could in regard to the offensive game plan to maximize the disparity. Extra linemen, Saquon Barkley in the wildcat, and a 21:4 run/pass ratio on their first 25 plays. The issue was an immediate 14-0 deficit. A 38-yard field goal brought the sore to 14-3, but a 21-yard field goal by CHI quickly restored the lead back to two touchdowns.

With 1:00 left in the first half, a blunder on the kick return by Pharoh put NYG on their own 5-yard line. Devontae Booker lost 3 yards on the first play, Derrick Kelly was flagged for a false start on the next play, and all the sudden the NYG offense that had a front line less sturdy than water trying to simply get the clock to run out in desperation to avoid a safety. It did not work. Booker was tackled for a loss, giving CHI another 2 points via the safety :46 left. It ended up being enough time for CHI to move the ball into field goal range, getting CHI yet another 3 points via a 44-yard kick through the uprights. 22-3 at the halfway point.

CHI started the second half with the ball and scored via David Montgomery’s second touchdown of the day. That would be it for the scoring. Glennon and Dalton both threw interceptions. Glennon lost another fumble on another sack. NYG turned the ball over on downs. CHI running back Montgomery threw an interception, yes you read that right. This turned into as close to an unwatchable game as it gets in today’s NFL. It almost seemed like we weren’t even watching professional football.

NYG loses 29-3.


-Mike Glennon: 4/11 – 24 yards / 0 TD – 2 INT / 5.3 RAT

Add in the four fumbles (2 lost), and we are talking about worst quarterback and overall passing-performance in the NFL this season and right up there with the worst we have ever seen within this franchise. That will be a theme of this review. Worst, ever. Glennon once again was overmatched by a defense that is one of the best in the league against the pass. Partially because he doesn’t belong on the field, partially because the support system around him is at a near all-time low. I don’t want to give Glennon a pass. On multiple occasions, he held on to the ball too long, made errant throws, and did not find the open man.


-Saquon Barkley: 21 att – 102 yards

For the first time since 12/22/19, Barkley rushed for over 100 yards. He hit that mark 7 times as a rookie in 2018. This game against CHI was only the 9th time since. The poor CHI run defense helped the cause here. One more observation I will share in regard to Barkley’s current skill set: hHis burst and straight-line acceleration are there. I expect them to be even better next season. What seems to be missing is the agility-speed. He is losing too much momentum and needing too much time to change direction and alter his path. When it comes to athleticism, that is most important for a back.


-David Sills was the only receiver to walk away from this game with a catch. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse than what we saw a week ago against PHI, this happens. I wish I had more for you guys regarding this position, but I don’t. Kenny Golladay was thrown to once, Pharaoh Cooper twice, and Sills once. When an offense looks like this top to bottom, the receivers are the ones you just can’t truly evaluate.


-Evan Engram tied for the team-lead in receiving on his 1 catch, which was 12 yards. The coaching staff opted to bring in help via extra linemen on running plays. Engram’s performance there has always been poor, and they seem to have phased him out of that role for the most part. Kyle Rudolph performed better in the trenches, as expected.


-Tackles Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder both played every snap. Thomas allowed 1 sack late in the game, but otherwise was very solid. He seemed to get out of his stance late and just couldn’t make up that time to the edge. Solder allowed 2 sacks and looked overmatched. I cannot wait until the day I know longer have to study his tape and write his name. He’s been done for a long time now.

-Matt Skura played center for Billy Price. Please do not mistake me for a Price apologist, I don’t think he is a starting-caliber player. However, you can easily see the gap between him and a guy like Skura who was downright awful. He allowed 3 TFL and a pressure. CHI is really strong along the interior defensive line, and they give plenty of players a handful, but Skura did not belong on the field with them. What a rough end of year for him!

-Will Hernandez allowed a TFL and a sack. Both of those negative plays were textbook for what you tell an offensive lineman NOT to do. He was actually very good on the gap-blocking when he could get on his man straight ahead and try to bulldoze. Wherever he ends up in 2022, and it better not be here, he will need to be employed in a more gap-blocking than zone scheme. But even then, he just can’t pass block.

-Wes Martin, Derrick Kelly, and Ben Bredeson rotated at left guard. None of them stood out in any positive manner. Martin was the worst, allowing 2 TFL. Bredeson is the only one I would want on this roster moving forward.


-I continue to be impressed with the hustle and grit we are seeing from Leonard Williams. He led the team with 8 tackles and 2 pressures while playing with an injured elbow. He has become a barometer for the versatile DL prospects I scout. I usually use 2-3 guys from around the league from every position as the ceiling and Williams is one of them. Austin Johnson added 5 tackles, building off his solid season (maybe the best of his career).

-Because Dexter Lawrence and Danny Shelton were out with Covid, we saw an uptick in playing time for David Moa. The second-year undrafted free agent was overwhelmed at the point-of-attack. CHI was running over him with a lot of success.

-We didn’t see much from Raymond Johnson III or Woodrow Hamilton. They didn’t play much, and when they did, there wasn’t much to note in either a positive or negative way.


-If this team was in contention, we would be celebrating the signing of Jaylon Smith a bit more. He’s brought the needed combination of speed and power to the front. He had 7 tackles and a sack. I will say this: I can see where teams like GB and DAL didn’t see the scheme-fit. He is very much a freelancer who evades gaps and kind of does his own thing. When it works, he makes plays. When it doesn’t, the defense can get torched. It will be interesting to see what happens in free agency. Get him in the right scheme and I think it can work out in a big way.

-Tae Crowder had 6 tackles and missed 2. He also had a garbage-time interception.

-Lorenzo Carter, yet again, continued his late-season surge. He had 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, and a PD to earn the team’s highest grade. Even some things that do not show up in the box score were impressive. His backside pursuit and angles were outstanding. Carter is playing with a ton of hustle and is finishing his hits with power. This will be one of the more interesting guys to watch this offseason because he is now playing very well, and the coaching staff loves him.

-The trio of rookie Azeez Ojulari, Quincy Roche, and Elerson Smith did not have a lot to look back on. Ojulari had a TFL and a PD but was shut down as a pass rusher. Roche added 5 tackles but had several negatives on my scoring sheet when it came to run defense. He also didn’t pressure the quarterback. Smith played about a third of the snaps and finished with 1 pressure where, once again, his technique and bend were on display. He just isn’t stout enough for quality run defense especially when he is inside the tackle or head up.


-James Bradberry had a solid game in a tough matchup against Allen Robinson. He had an interception and broke up 2 passes. Adoree’ Jackson lined up as the starter on the other side and finished with 4 tackles. He gave up a lot on crossing routes.

-Rookie Aaron Robinson was beat for a touchdown and was lucky to not be beaten for a second one. He had a hard time playing sticky to the quicker Mooney who has quietly become one of the more underrated receivers in football. Robinson, like almost all young corners, has shown a lot of back and forth to this point. I think he is going to be a solid player though; I like how he responds to getting beat.


-Logan Ryan was all over the field. He had 5 tackles and 2 pass break ups. He dropped 2 interceptions. He was consistently at the right place, right time but he didn’t seal the deal on those 2 occasions.

-Xavier McKinney added 6 tackles and an impressive pass break up down the field where he came from midfield and showed the range we have seen several times. That is hard to find in this league and McKinney has it.

-Julian Love didn’t play much. I am interested to find out what the deal is with their usage of him. He has been all over the place this season with his snap counts even though I think he can be an incredibly valuable player in the secondary with his versatility.


-K Graham Gano: 1/1 (Made 38)
-P Riley Dixon: 4 punts / 39.0 avg – 38.8 net


-OLB Lorenzo Carter, RB Saquon Barkley, S Logan Ryan


-QB Mike Glennon, OC Matt Skura, OG Wes Martin


(1) There are some similarities between CHI and NYG. Their roots come from strong defensive football and the running game. Their cold-weather setting, hot/cold fan base, and place in NFL history still mean something. However, their inconsistent management and poor front-office performances have made the teams lose touch with what made them such a big deal in this league. CHI Ryan Pace has dropped the ball on so many occasions, but his track record far exceeds what NYG has dealt with. I do believe they are on the track toward contention but Pace, like Gettleman, needs to go. He was hired in 2015 and the team has gone 48-64 since and their salary cap is in poor condition.

(2) CHI is second in the NFL in sacks and that is with their premier rusher Khalil Mack playing in just 7 games. Robert Quinn is the main catalyst here, leading the league with 18 sacks. But what else has created one of the better pass defenses? Their second level (linebackers and box-safeties) have been superb. The NFL is such a quick-strike league and that part of the field needs to be better than just OK at coverage. They need to be fast, they need to be smart, and they need to react quickly. When looking at what NYG needs to elevate their defense, it can’t only be about the pass rush. It should start there, but I will be tapping on the door in the coming months reminding how much this team needs another inside linebacker and possibly a box safety.

(3) How close are the Bears? I think they are VERY close. Their record does not indicate where I think they currently sit. Not having a 1st rounder in 2022 will hurt a bit, but this will all come down to Fields taking the step up and the team finding more OL help. They won’t have the money to go out and get someone, but with how deep this OL class is coming up, I think they can find a legit starter on the outside in round 2. Fix that, get some more help next to Roquan Smith at LB, get Mack back in the fold, and this team can be a 9+ win team in a hurry.


(1) The worst 2 games of Glennon’s 9-year career have come in the last 3 weeks. He has been on some bad, bad teams including the Jaguars last year. We are currently hearing a lot of talk about how Judge should be given a pass based on how rough the NYG roster and injury situations are. I go the other way. NYG wasn’t dealt a good deck of cards, I agree. Some bad luck and some really bad front office decisions. But how is anyone going to tell me this coaching staff is adjusting game plans to maximize the potential of the team? Nobody is winning 9 games with this roster, that isn’t the point. This is a team that cannot even compete with anyone in the league. Good coaching staffs will find a way to be competitive for at least part of the game. Instead, we are watching Matt Skura pull from his OC position and attempts to block a blitzing OLB? We are watching deep drop backs in the passing game? We are rotating the left guard, but not Will Hernandez? We still use play-action and pre-snap motion at near-bottom rates?

(2) One more game to watch, and then it is finally the offseason for NYG. I love football and I have an appreciation for NYG because they were the team I followed growing up. I now watch them as much as I watch everyone else in the league, but I still find myself pulling for them as do many of you. I get paid to do what I do, and I have aspirations to take this further. All that said, these games are actually hard to watch. I feel like I’m not even watching football. It looks like a high school game…one of those high school games where one team is playing with not one kid who will play in college against a team loaded with Division 1 recruits. That is the only comparison I can think of.

(3) Seeing all of the off-the-field talk brewing like a bad summer thunderstorm overhead is disheartening. Pat Hanlon losing control and flexing on Twitter, former scout Steve Verderosa finding ways to trash the organization publicly (he may be writing a behind-the-scenes book too), and a few other media outlets giving some damning information on ownership has made this organization look like an even bigger league-wide joke. Perhaps this is what we need, however, to get things truly shaken up beyond just a new coach. These are dark days, we all already know that. History as a way of repeating itself for those who choose to ignore it.

Jan 022022

The Chicago Bears, one of the NFL’s worst teams, absolutely bitch-slapped the pathetic New York Giants 29-3 on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. It was the fifth loss in a row for the Giants, who are now 4-12 on the season with one game left to play. The Giants have been out-scored 141-49 in their last five games.

You want to know how bad the day was for the New York Football Giants? Starting quarterback Mike Glennon played the entire game and completed FOUR passes for 24 yards. He threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball twice, losing two to the Bears. In other words, he was responsible for as many turnovers as completions.

The Giant finished the game with -10 passing yards, the lowest in franchise history!! The team’s longest play from scrimmage was a 13-yard run by Glennon in the 4th quarter. Chicago players were spotted literally laughing at the Giants.

For all intents and purposes, the game ended on the first play from scrimmage. On 1st-and-10, Glennon was sacked by an unblocked rusher. He fumbled and the Bears returned the loose ball 12 yards to the New York 2-yard line. On the very next snap, the Bears scored the game-winning points with an easy 2-yard touchdown run. The game was basically over in 18 seconds.

The rest of the “contest” was just viewing punishment for fans of the Giants. Five plays after the Bears’ first touchdown, Glennon threw his first interception. Two drives, two turnovers. Seven plays after that, Chicago scored their second touchdown on 4th-and-1. Bears 14 – Giants 0.

After both teams exchanged punts twice, the Giants’ only scoring drive of the game came in the 2nd quarter with a 10-play, 35-yard drive set up a 38-yard field goal. All ten plays on this drive were running plays. Bears 14 – Giants 3.

With less than eight minutes to play in the 2nd quarter, the Bears responded with a 14-play, 69-yard drive that took 6:44 off of the clock and ended with a 21-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-3.

If you already thought the game was an embarrassing for the Giants, it got worse in the last minute of the half. Returner Pharoh Cooper misjudged the kickoff that he thought was going to bounce into the end zone. It didn’t and he was forced to scramble for the loose ball at the 2-yard line and was tackled at the 5. The Giants lost four yards on the next two offensive snaps before running back Devontae Booker was tackled in the end zone for a safety. Then, after the free kick, the Bears were able to drive 39 yards to set up a 44-yard field goal with no time left. And for those keeping track, the Giants have now been out-scored 76-0 in the final two minutes of games this season.

At the half, the Bears led 22-3.

The Bears received the ball to start the 3rd quarter and immediately proceeded to put the final points of the day for either team on the scoreboard. Chicago drove 75 yards in 11 plays, tacking on another touchdown. Bears 29 – Giants 3.

New York’s final six possessions of the game resulted in two punts, two turnovers by Glennon (another interception and another fumble), a turnover on downs, and the end of the game when the Giants were just running out the clock to end their misery.

On the day, the Giants ran just 55 offensive plays. They were 1-of-11 on 3rd-down conversion attempts (9 percent) and 0-of-1 on 4th down. The Giants finished the game with just 151 total net yards (-10 passing, 161 rushing).

The Bears’ last five possessions resulted in three punts and two interceptions. The Bears were held to 249 total net yards (87 rushing, 162 passing).

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

On Saturday, the Giants activated S Julian Love from the Reserve/COVID-19 List to the 53-man roster.

WR Alex Bachman and DL Woodrow Hamilton were activated from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster for this game. In addition, the team activated WR Pharoh Cooper, WR David Sills, OT Derrick Kelly, and DL David Moa from the Practice Squad as COVID-19 replacements.

Missing the game due to COVID-19 were WR Darius Slayton, OT Korey Cunningham, DE Dexter Lawrence, and NT Danny Shelton.

Inactive for the game were WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder), WR John Ross (knee/COVID ramp), WR Collin Johnson (hamstring), OL Billy Price (personal), and LB Oshane Ximines.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

The Giants did not score a touchdown for the third time this season and the third time in their last five games. They have scored 72 points in their last seven games and four touchdowns in the last five games.

The Giants lost their sixth consecutive road game and finished 1-8 as visitors.

The Giants finished with minus-10 net passing yards, which is the lowest in franchise history.

Dan Reeves, who served as head coach of the New York Giants from 1993 to 1996, passed away on Saturday at the age of 77. In his four seasons with the Giants, Reeves was 31-33  in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. Legendary quarterback Phil Simms and linebacker Lawrence Taylor played their last seasons on his 1993 playoff team.

“Dan Reeves had a legendary NFL career as both a player and a coach,” said team President/CEO John Mara. “He made an indelible mark on the League and all of the people he played with, coached and worked alongside. He was one of the finest men I have ever been around in this business.”

“He was a great coach, great man,” said former running back Rodney Hampton, who rushed for 4,161 yards in four seasons under Reeves. “He’s going to be truly missed… He was a teacher, too. He taught us how to be men.”

Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Dec 312021
Michael Strahan, John Mara, and Steve Tisch; New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Michael Strahan, John Mara, and Steve Tisch – © USA TODAY Sports

An open letter to ownership of the New York Football Giants:

Dear Mara and Tisch families,

If you are even aware of my website, I’m sure you don’t place much value in my opinion or the opinions of the many fans of your franchise who post on it. Aside from the harsh criticism your families have received from us, you probably hold the same views so famously espoused by Jim Mora in 1989:

You guys really don’t know when it’s good or bad, when it comes right down to it… And I’m promising you right now, you don’t know whether it’s good or bad. You really don’t know, because you don’t know what we’re trying to do, you guys don’t look at the films, you don’t know what happened, you really don’t know. You think you know, but you DON’T KNOW, and you never WILL, okay?

And you would be right. We don’t know what really is going on inside your franchise. And we never will know the full story. Yet while we may never know what lurks below the surface, we do see what rests on the waves. And it isn’t pretty.

Furthermore, while we may not see the full picture, you run significant risks of (1) group think, and (2) not being able to see the forest for the trees.

The fan base believes the following: NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had to intervene in the ownership dispute between Wellington and Tim Mara in 1979, which led to the hiring of George Young who built the front office structural foundation that continues to this day. I was personally raised in an era of Giants’ football when George Young’s philosophy was “owners own, managers manage, and coaches coach.” Right or wrong, I still believe in that overall philosophy when it comes to running a sports franchise. And we all witnessed the fruits of this structure with the team appearing in five Super Bowls, winning four of them.

I don’t think most fans are suggesting ownership moves away from this philosophy. But as with any private- or public-sector organization, the success or failure of the enterprise depends on the quality of the people operating within it. You may have surrounded yourself with people you have personally become attached to, but that does not mean they are good at their jobs. Some people burn out. Others can’t adapt to changing times. Some were never really good at their jobs in the first place and don’t deserve the reputation you think they have.

We fans may not know much, but what we know is this…your franchise is broken. You have spent almost a decade spinning your wheels trying to improve the team. You are about to change general managers for the third time. You are currently on your fourth head coach. This has become a very unstable team and the rest of the league must know it too. Because George Young was the paragon of stability, this has to gnaw at you. But don’t let your fear of further instability prevent you from doing what is necessary to structurally fix this mess once and for all.

Let’s cut to the chase and be brutally honest here. You messed up. It’s OK. We’re all human. It happens. Ernie Accorsi’s two GM recommendations did not work out. Dave Gettleman told you what you wanted to hear, that is, you didn’t need to completely rebuild the team, you still have time to win with Eli Manning. That was a huge error. Now the fear is you will likely be swayed by GM and possibly HC candidates who tell you what you want to hear, that is, we can still win with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. The alternative is almost too painful to contemplate, the team blew the #2 and #6 picks in the draft. Don’t fall into that trap again. If mistakes were made, no matter how catastrophic, move on. Or you will remain in the same position you are in right now. Purgatory.

I have three unsolicited recommendations for you:

(1) Use non-team-related surrogates you trust to ask around the NFL what others think of your team, including ownership, front office, and player personnel. Actually listen to what others are saying. You won’t like what you hear, but you need to hear the truth, not what people know you want to hear.

(2) For Christ’s sake, get your family members out of the personnel department. Even if they are good at their jobs, which is a matter open for debate, this is a terrible look for you and your franchise. The negatives far outweigh the positives. And those family members who are involved in the day-to-day, front office positions should fully recognize this themselves. Do what is right for the organization.

(3) Don’t be afraid to blow this up again. You may like Joe Judge, but he has not earned any political capital to influence what you do moving forward. Any QUALITY prospective GM must feel as if he can hire the coach he wants to work with. Get your GM-HC hires in sync with each other. Fans are OK with the short-term instability if they see a long-term plan. Right now, no one sees any plan. Nothing is getting better. It’s only getting worse. Your moves should not be reactive, based appeasing the angry masses, but simply putting the team on the right path. The added benefit is the fans will eventually come along when the product improves.

On a final note, you do run a significant risk here if the team remains a bottom feeder. This isn’t the 1970’s anymore where young people will blindly follow a losing franchise because their parents did. Worse, you are not only losing young fans but long-time ones who are tuning the team out. The team often isn’t even competitive when losing. My interest has waned. My teenage kids want to like the team, but now they just kind of laugh at the franchise, preferring to spend their free time on more enjoyable activities. They have more to choose from than kids in the 1970s. So do the adults.

We may all sound like unappreciative, hyper-critical assholes to you. But we’re the ones still here and watching. We’re pissed because we care. The moment you stop hearing from us is when you should really start to panic. And that time is rapidly approaching.

Go Giants!

Of those on Reserve/Covid-19 List, only Julian Love and possibly Danny Shelton are likely to play.

  • RB Saquon Barkley (ankle – probable)
  • FB Cullen Gillaspia (shin – probable)
  • WR Darius Slayton (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (shoulder – out)
  • WR John Ross (knee/COVID ramp up – out)
  • WR Collin Johnson (hamstring – out)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle – probable)
  • TE Chris Myarick (hip – questionable)
  • OL Billy Price (personal – doubtful)
  • OT Nate Solder (COVID ramp up – questionable)
  • OL Ben Bredeson (ankle – probable)
  • OL Korey Cunningham (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • NT Austin Johnson (foot – questionable)
  • NT Danny Shelton (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • DE Dexter Lawrence (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • DL Raymond Johnson (illness – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad/COVID ramp up – questionable)
  • CB Keion Crossen (COVID ramp up – probable)
  • S Julian Love (Reserve/Covid-19 List)
  • PK Graham Gano (illness – probable)
Sep 202020
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 20, 2020)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants battled back from a 17-0 first-half deficit against the Chicago Bears and almost stole the game late, being stopped 10 yards short from the go-head touchdown. The Giants lost 17-13 to the Bears and fell to 0-2 on the season. Worse for the Giants, running back Saquon Barkley may have suffered a very serious injury to his right knee. The NFL Network is reporting that Barkley suffered an ACL tear, ending his season. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was also forced from the game with a toe injury.

The Bears received the ball to start the game and immediately drove 82 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 early lead on quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s 28-yard touchdown pass to running back David Montgomery. Chicago converted on four 3rd-down attempts on the drive including on 3rd-and-7 on the touchdown. Matters got immediately worse for the Giants when quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked and stripped of the football on 3rd-and-6 on the ensuing drive, setting up the Bears at the Giants’ 20-yard line. Chicago could not pick up a first down but went up 10-0 on the 34-yard field goal.

The Giants went three-and-out on their second drive. After a Chicago punt, the Giants drove to the Bears’ 28-yard line, but on 3rd-and-8, Jones threw an interception to halt the scoring threat. It was on this drive, on the first play of the 2nd quarter, when Barkley was hurt.

Both teams exchanged punts and the Bears took a commanding 17-0 lead on their final possession of the half by driving 80 yards in 11 plays, with Trubisky throwing a 15-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-8. With 14 seconds left, the Giants did gain 36 yards on two plays to set up a last-second 57-yard field goal attempt, but the kick failed.  The Giants gained only seven first downs and no points in the first half.

The Giants received the ball to start the 3rd quarter, picked up one first down, but were then forced to punt again. However, two plays later, cornerback James Bradberry tipped a pass that was intercepted by safety Julian Love and returned to the Chicago 25-yard line. New York had to settle for a 39-yard field goal as the Giants could not pick up even one first down. Bears 17 – Giants 3.

The Bears moved the ball 33 yards on their second possession of the half, but were forced to punt, pinning New York at the 5-yard line. However, the Giants responded with an impressive 11-play, 95-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-goal by running back Dion Lewis early in the 4th quarter. Bears 17 – Giants 10.

The Giants got the ball back again with Bradberry picked off a deep sideline pass at the New York 34-yard line. The Giants were able to drive 47 yards in 10 plays to set up a 37-yard field goal to cut the score to 17-13. Fortunately for the Giants and Jones, a 54-yard pick-6 interception was erased by a defensive pass interference penalty on this possession.

With 7:43 left in the game, the Bears were able to drive 44 yards in 12 plays to take off 5:41 from the clock and set up a 50-yard field goal. However, the Bears missed the kick. Frustratingly for New York, Chicago was able to pick up a key 1st down on 4th-and-2 when a pass deflected by the Giants was caught for a 1st down by a Chicago offensive lineman.

Nevertheless, with 2:02 left in the game, New York had the ball at their own 40-yard line, down 17-13.  Jones threw a 22-yard pass to tight end Evan Engram on 3rd-and-10. Then on 4th-and-4, he connected with Lewis for six yards to keep the drive alive at the Chicago 26-yard line with just over half a minute to play. On 4th-and-1, Jones threw a 3-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton. After Jones spiked the ball to stop the clock, New York was facing a 2nd-and-10 at the Chicago 14-yard line with eight seconds left in the game. Jones threw a 4-yard pass to Lewis. With four seconds left, Jones’ pass intended for wide receiver  Golden Tate fell incomplete as Tate was flagged with offensive pass interference. Game over.

Offensively, the Giants gained 295 yards (75 yards rushing, 220 yards passing). The team only held the football for 25:31. The Giants were 3-of-13 (23 percent) on 3rd down and 3-of-3 on 4th down. Jones completed 25-of-40 passes for 241 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He also was sacked four times and fumbled the ball away once. The leading receiver was Engram with six catches for 65 yards. Barkley was the leading rusher with 28 yards on four carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 304 yards (135 yards rushing, 169 yards passing), controlling the ball for 34:29. The Bears were 9-of-16 (56 percent) on 3rd down and 1-of-1 on 4th down. The defense picked off two passes (Love and Bradberry) and garnered four sacks (defensive lineman B.J. Hill and linebackers Blake Martinez, Lorenzo Carter, and Kyler Fackrell).

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

With teams now allowed to activate two players from the Practice Squad on game day, the Giants activated CB Ryan Lewis and S Sean Chandler.

Inactive for the game were RB Wayne Gallman, TE Eric Tomlinson, OT Jackson Barton, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB T.J. Brunson, LB Carter Coughlin (hamstring), and S Adrian Colbert (quad).

RB Saquon Barkley (right knee) and WR Sterling Shepard (toe) were injured and did not return.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Head Coach Joe Judge will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Sep 182020
Game Preview: New York Giants at Chicago Bears, September 20, 2020


In reading through last Monday’s Giants-Steelers game discussion thread, it quickly became clear to me that a lot of Giants fans are still in denial. They either can’t or won’t accept reality.

What is that reality? When you start over with a new coaching staff, you are literally starting over. The uncomfortable truth that many can’t accept is that the franchise wasted the last four years by hiring Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur. Any “building” you do with the wrong coaching staff is erased when you hire a new coaching staff. No progress was made. The Giants are back at the starting line. Fans who complain, “nothing has changed” don’t seem to get this. We’re starting over again. Deal with it. It is what it is.

The most important questions moving forward are:

  1. Is Joe Judge the right man to lead this team forward?
  2. Are Dave Gettleman and his successor the right men to provide Judge with the tools he needs?

Throwing a hissy fit because the playoff-caliber Steelers beat the team with THE WORST record in the NFL over the span of the last three years doesn’t make much sense to me. The Steelers were expected to win that game. Their loaded defense was expected to give the Giants offense all sorts of problems, especially up front. The fact the game was as close as it was until the 4th quarter was a pleasant surprise. A loser’s boast? Yup. But again, the Giants are starting over.


  • WR Golden Tate (hamstring – questionable)
  • LB Tae Crowder (hamstring – probable)
  • LB Carter Coughlin (hamstring – questionable)
  • S Adrian Colbert (quad – out)


The height of absurdity was Giants fans “surprised” that a restructured offensive line, with two new tackles (including a rookie), and a new center who has never played the position at any level, would struggle with a loaded, All-Pro laden front seven. This line had no OTAs, no mini-camps, no preseason, and just 14 practices to get ready for the season. This reality isn’t going away. Lack of familiarity, cohesion, and practice are going to impact the line all season. The best we can hope for is that the growing process moves along at a reasonable rate.

“Gates sucks! They need to replace him!” With whom? Spencer Pulley? Unless the coaching staff comes to the conclusion that Gates will never develop into a decent center, switching back to Pulley seems like more wasting time to me. If you thought Gates was going to immediately do well, then you are not thinking straight. Gates is going to spend the 2020 season LEARNING THE POSITION. It’s not going to be pretty. We’re living in the real world, not a video game.

The good news is that the left side of the line, rookie LT Andrew Thomas and 3rd-year guard Will Hernandez performed adequately against top competition last Monday. The bad news is the veteran right side, RG Kevin Zeitler and RT Cam Fleming, did not. More is expected of them. They are the ones who should bring some much needed stability to the offensive line and they failed to do so in their first effort together. Again, given the quality of the opponent and the lack of practice time, I would suggest not overreacting. However, if issues continue in Weeks 4, 5, 6 with these two, Joe Judge, Jason Garrett, and Marc Colombo may want to think about what is best for the future and consider Shane Lemieux at right guard and Matt Peart at right tackle.

What hurt the blocking against the Steelers was not just the offensive line, but the poor work of the tight ends. We’re on our third coaching staff in a row who insists Evan Engram can serve as an in-line blocker. He can’t. The one or two good blocks he may make are erased by the ones where he gets easily tossed aside. If you screw up a block, your 1st-and-10 becomes a 2nd-and-11. That’s hard to overcome. Teams only get about 10 possessions per game. Levine Toilolo also needs to step up his game.

Sy’56 said it last year and I’m sure he will continue to make the same point this year. Quarterbacks who regularly turn the ball over are not long for the NFL. You can’t win that way. On Monday, Daniel Jones continued to give Giants fans a reason to be optimistic (clutch plays under duress without a lot of help) and pessimistic (two killer turnovers). The zone-blitz interception doesn’t bug me as much… young quarterbacks struggle with zone-blitzes. The turnover down on the goal line was the real killer. It happens. We’ve seen Eli Manning make stupid plays like that even in his 10th season. But it’s plays like that that also lose football games. I don’t want to see Daniel Jones play too conservatively. That’s not his game. But we all want to see him play a clean game.

As for the skill positions, enough attention was spent on Saquon Barkley’s pass protection issues this week. But until he proves otherwise, teams are going to keep testing him. They are also going to keep loading up on the run and dare Jones and his receivers to make them pay. Darius Slayton did some of that last week, but he needs more help from Evan Engram (who really came up small in Week 1), Sterling Shepard (needs to be more of a game-changer), Golden Tate (please get back on the damn football field). One of the debates in the offseason was how good was the receiving corps (including Engram). The returns from Week 1 were not good outside of Slayton.


My take on the state of the defense is perhaps a bit too negative. After all, the Giants have been one of the worst defenses in the League for the last three years. There is a big hill to climb. And there were actual signs of improvement against the Steelers as New York held Pittsburgh to 16 points until the 4th quarter. BUT… the Steelers scored on half of their 10 possessions (three touchdowns and two field goals). The Steelers rushed for 141 yards (averaging 4.7 yards per rush). The Giants did not force a turnover on defense (this has become an alarming trend for the Giants). And at times when the team REALLY needed a stop… after both turnovers, right before halftime, and late in the 4th quarter, the defense couldn’t make that stop (another alarming trend). So progress made, but nowhere near good enough.

To me, the weak spot is what I mentioned in my last preview. Teams are going to continue to attack Corey Ballentine until he proves he can cover on a consistent basis. Isaac Yiadom also gave up an easy touchdown. I don’t think the Giants have the horses at cornerback to stop the bleeding but we shall see. As I also mentioned last week, I would try to arrange packages that have Darnay Holmes and Logan Ryan playing corner more than Ballentine and Yiadom.

Important positives from last Monday include the play of ILB Blake Martinez and DL Leonard Williams. Now if Patrick Graham and company can get more out of DLs Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawerence, along with OLB Lorenzo Carter, the Giants really may make some important strides.

The loss of Xavier McKinney is hurting in the defensive backfield as his presence would have enabled Graham to use Jabrill Peppers in more of a hybrid role. Nevertheless, Peppers once again is proving to be a frustrating player, alternating between impact plays and screw ups. Those types of players are coach killers.


The Giants special teams are going to win them at least two games this year. Jabrill Peppers is going to break one soon as a punt returner.


Head Coach Joe Judge on what he wants to see this weekend: “There are a lot of levels of improvement. We have to see, not only this week but throughout the year, we have to grow as a team. We’re still working on really getting our identity and our base set as a program and as a culture. The things I want to see this week, on top of playing together as a team for 60 minutes which I was pleased with how we did it last week, is I want to see the guys go out there and execute and not set ourselves back with mistakes.”


Yeah I know, I didn’t spend any time discussing the Bears in my Giants-Bears preview. But there were other things I wanted to get off my chest. As for this game, keep in mind that when the schedules were released other teams and their fans react by saying, “The Giants? That’s a win for us.” We’re the team everyone else wants to play. We’ve been that way for years.

That all said, this is a winnable game for the Giants. Yes, the Bears’ defense will give the Giants problems up front again. But there is no home field advantage for Chicago. The Bears were on the ropes against a bad Detroit team last week and should have lost that game. Their quarterback sucks. Call me naively stupid, but I think this is a game the Giants can win, provided the Giants don’t lose the turnover battle.

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

Julian Love – © USA TODAY Sports

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

Chicago Bears 19 – New York Giants 14


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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


-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.


EDGE Markus Golden, DT Dexter Lawrence, S Julian Love


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


  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.


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

Alec Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports

[contentblock id=1 img=html.png]

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.

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.

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)

Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday.