Oct 122018
 
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Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 11, 2018)

Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

FRIDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Friday to discuss the team’s 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: I think I hit it last night, we didn’t play well enough to win in any area and we got beat by a good football team. I still will stand by it’s important that we as players and coaches just do our jobs and do them better. When you look at the game, there’s a lot of things that happened — the score got stretched out early, we had an early turnover, they score a touchdown, we go down and kick a field goal instead of getting seven, which we’ve got to do a better job of. When you look at it, they had four explosive plays, we had seven, but they were very good on third down and very good in the red zone. That kind of translated into points for them and not for us. There’s a lot of areas you could go to to discuss or talk about the game, but I’ll just try to answer your questions.

Q: As you head into this long weekend, is a change of quarterback on the table?

A: No. We believe in Eli.

Q: How about a number-two quarterback? Would you consider moving Kyle (Lauletta) up above Alex (Tanney)?

A: The guys behind, Kyle and Alex, are both working and improving. They’re working each day trying to get themselves ready to play. There’s no reason to discuss that right now.

Q: You said you were not concerned at all about Eli yesterday. Do you feel the same way about all the players in that locker room?

A: I do.

Q: What makes you feel that way?

A: Because I know these players enough now to know that they’re going to keep fighting and try to get better. We’re certainly not where we want to be record-wise, I will acknowledge that, but I do know this – this group of players is going to stay in there, keep working, keep fighting to win a game, and our next one is against Atlanta on Monday night.

Q: Obviously a lot of expectations coming in here and you’re new. How much of a challenge is this for you to keep the locker room together?

A: We lost games. I think what’s important is we keep trying to improve, we keep working, and we keep doing what we can to win the next game. I don’t know anything about expectations. I know there’s reasons why there’s new coaches, I happen to be one of the new coaches in the league from last year, and you’ve got to do what you can to get your locker room right, get everybody playing the right way and coaching the right way, and do it in a way where you can win games.

Q: Am I right that your team has after today, four days of the next five will be off?  Are they off all weekend?

A: We’re going to give them the weekend off. We’ll be back to work early next week, then they’ll get the traditional day off, and then we will be back to work.

Q: Do you tell them after today, clean your mind of this? Or do you want them to figure out what the heck is going on here?

A: When you get to this point, and every team deals with a Thursday night, the schedules for Thursday night are pretty traditional, the players will have the weekend off. It’s been that way everywhere I’ve ever been. So I think what’s important is you try to reflect on where you’re at and where you want to go. Right now, we’re not where we want to be record-wise, so I encourage them to reflect on that and then just try to think of ways that they individually can get better.

Q: How about the idea that on first and long and then continuing through the series, especially third down, you’re not throwing even close to the sticks? There was one play in particular to Odell where he would’ve had to dodge I don’t know how many Eagles rallying to him to even come close to a first down.

A: We had a couple of situations where it was third and super long, so it’s very hard sometimes to throw it to the sticks, and the way that the Eagles and some teams play defense is they did play the sticks, so you throw a little screen and try to run for it. That is that third down situation. In the other ones where it’s third and manageable, you certainly have the ability to throw it past the sticks, which we did.

Q: This is almost like a bye week. Do you approach this as a self-scouting week – “what are we doing right, what are we doing wrong?”

A: Along the lines of what I already said, we will reflect on where we’re at, where we want to go, and the areas we need to get better. I wouldn’t consider it a bye week. It’s a long weekend. And again, it’s not time off, it’s time away.

Q: Saquon Barkley had over 225 yards in total offense. It seems like that’s not translating to opening things up for the rest of the offense. Why is that?

A: I don’t agree with that narrative. He had production and he got the ball in the end zone, and he is part of the offense. I think we go back and forth with this – why didn’t he touch the ball, he touched the ball, he really touched the ball a lot, he didn’t touch the ball enough.

Q: My question is why isn’t it opening up other opportunities for other players within the scheme, given his production?

A: The way the game played out yesterday, it made sense to run the ball in certain situations and he did a good job with the ball in his hands. Then there were areas where we tried to pass the ball when we didn’t have as much success for whatever reason. It always starts with protection and then obviously the receivers and the passer doing the right thing as well. I don’t think that’s it. We got the ball down in the red zone a couple times, we didn’t score. I think that would have made a difference, and then if we don’t turn the ball over early and spot them seven points, that makes a difference. There’s details to it, there’s things that we need to do better. When you sit back and you look at the film critically, that’s what you go back and learn from.

Q: Did you see the video with Odell and the cooling fan?

A: I did not see that. I have obviously been told about it. I think he explained what he was doing, right?

Q: Yeah. You said you didn’t want him doing that stuff.

A: He said he was trying to fire himself him. In my mind, I wouldn’t try to give myself a headache to fire myself up.

Q: Do you have to say something to him about that though?

A: It’s important that all players in all situations keep their composure.

Q: You know that it gets looked at as symbolic of maybe the frustration of the team and sends out some sort of message, you don’t view it that way at all?

A: We all know that everybody’s always watching, so it’s very important what we say, what we do, how we carry ourselves, and when something like that happened, everybody asked him what was going on and he said he was trying to fire himself up. That’s what it was. Is that what I would have done? Absolutely not. Is that what I want my players doing? No. That’s it.

Q: Any injury updates coming out of the game?

A: Cody Latimer hurt his hamstring. You saw it on the one play where he was the gunner, he couldn’t stop. So we’ll have to see where that goes. Other than that, we just have some normal game wear and tear.

Q: What would you say to the idea that has and will gain steam that given your situation this season, and the age of your quarterback, that at number two overall, it was now a mistake to take a running back when you could have taken a quarterback?

A: The idea that Saquon Barkley was a mistake? I don’t see the logic in that. And I just told you that I believe in Eli.

Q: At the end of the half there when Odell went out, did you know prior to him walking off that he needed an IV or is that something you found out later?

A: At the time, I didn’t know that he left, no.

Q: You would have wanted him on the field, I’m assuming?

A: Yes.

Q: Should he have stayed on the field for that play?

A: He had to get an IV, so that’s about what I know about it. He obviously wasn’t available, so I put in another guy.

Q: It looked like Aldrick (Rosas) wasn’t able to get a full swing on that field goal there. Was that his quad?

A: Yeah, it fell short. Bummer. I don’t know. When we talked to him, he was healthy enough to kick for us, it looks like he just mishit it a little bit. It was on track, it was just a little short.

Q: What did you think his max was?

A: We thought that he could make it from there. That’s why we attempted it.

Q: Not in the locker room but on the field, is Nate Solder what you thought he would be?

A: Absolutely. In the locker room, very competitive, very outstanding player. Yes.

Q: You’ve talked about you were the new coach, (Dave Gettleman) came in and reset the culture here bringing in a lot of new players. For the guys that are still here, the questions they’ve gotten is it a carryover from last year or the year before? Do you have to address that with the guys that are holdovers, more so than maybe you would have to address the entire team?

A: We’re trying to grow away from 3-13, so the young players that weren’t here – the Saquon Barkley’s and the Will Hernandez’s, and the guys that are getting a lot of experience, the rookies have to understand that, they weren’t part of it. But they are going to help the guys that were here a year ago, we want to try to help forget that and keep moving, and the record doesn’t speak to that right now. I get that. But you just keep playing and keep working.

Q: That’s the biggest responsibility that you’ve taken on from the very beginning – you weren’t here but you inherited that baggage to deal with.

A: I think the word ‘expectations’ was thrown out earlier, and your question a week ago was panic versus urgency – there is always urgency to grow away from what was bad season. There is urgency. I think that you’re always talking about doing what you can in the moment to win the next game, and that’s how it all starts.

Q: Given your quarterback’s obvious age, do you feel like you have to at some point advance Kyle Lauletta beyond third string snaps and do you feel like if this season doesn’t go the way you hoped that you’d have to take a look at him in a game at some point?

A: What you miss, to your point, I guess because he’s not active on game day, naturally it feels like he’s third, but during the week, he gets as many reps as Alex does, so we are developing him behind the scenes just like we would any rookie. Aside from putting him in the game, he is getting all the work that he can get.

Q: Would you feel the need to put him in a game at some point if the opportunity arises in the season?

A: We’re not talking about a quarterback change.

Q: You said you believe in Eli. It’s very clear that Dave (Gettleman) and John Mara believe in Eli.

A: Sure – and we believe in all the players, that’s important to mention, too.

Q: His teammates, do you get the feeling they all believe in Eli? There are reports that some of them have started to lose some confidence.

A: I don’t know where that came from and nobody has ever said that to me. People that write reports tend to be very resourceful, so I don’t know where that comes from.

Q:  When you look at the season, a lot of us looked at what you did with the Vikings offense ast year – is it confounding to you at all after going to great lengths to fix the offensive line, with the play makers around Eli Manning, that you just don’t score points at a representative level compared to other NFL teams?

A: We haven’t scored enough points, you’re right. Actually, there were games last year when we didn’t score a heck of a lot of points in Minnesota. I think what’s important is, you just keep trying to do that. We moved the ball in the position to score points last night and did not do it. We were stopped on the fourth down, kicked a couple of field goals, and that is where we need to get better. We moved it down there and we didn’t put it in the end zone. The Eagles did. The Eagles won, we lost. That’s the challenge right now is to finish that up the right way. There’s two things – you’re trying to grow away from the season a year ago and everybody’s trying to predict that you’re going to do exactly what you did, and these are different situations. But again, everything is urgent, and we’re trying to make everything as good as we can be. This is a different roster than what we had in Minnesota – different types of players, different skill sets, so we’re trying to just make sure we’re doing the things that they do more.

Q: With one win on October 12th, do you still have hope for this season?

A: Absolutely. That’s why you do this. We just keep going. Everybody around us is doing the math. We don’t do the math, we just keep playing.

Q: Has this turned into more of a rebuilding season than maybe you or others anticipated?

A: When you come into a new situation, you don’t know what to expect because every situation is different. I don’t know what my expectations are. I expect us to win every week, and I think we have a team that can go out and win every week if we play the right way. That’s what I expect.

Q: Do you know why aren’t they playing the right way?

A: We’re playing hard, we’re just not executing throughout the game at the level that we need to, up to our standards.

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

MARSHALL KOEHN RELEASED FROM PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contract of place kicker Marshall Koehn.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off until Tuesday when they return to practice.

Oct 122018
 
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PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 34 – NEW YORK GIANTS 13…
Aside from running back Saquon Barkley, the New York Giants did not bother to show up for their Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles. In a game that was never competitive, the Giants lost 34-13 at a rainy MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants fell to 1-5 on the season and remain dead last in the NFC East. The Eagles have now won 17 of the last 21 games in the series.

The game got out of hand quickly. On the second offensive snap of the game, quarterback Eli Manning was picked off at the Giants’ 40-yard line. The interception was returned 24 yards to the New York 16. Three plays later, quarterback Carson Wentz threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Due to a 46-yard run by Barkley, the Giants were able to set up a 33-yard field goal on their second possession. The Giants trailed 7-3.

The Eagles gained field position in an exchange of punts and a 23-yard punt return by the Eagles. This set up Philadelphia on the Giants’ 44-yard line. Six plays later, running back Corey Clement scored from one yard out and the Eagles were up 14-3.

Both teams then exchanged punts twice. A superlative 55-yard catch-and-run by Barkley enabled the Giants to get into field goal range again, with Rosas cutting the scored to 14-6. But that meager momentum disappeared in a flash as the Eagles drove 75 yards in four plays to go up 21-6 on Wentz’s 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz. Another quick three-and-out by the Giants and poor punt coverage was followed by a 6-play, 35-yard drive by the Eagles that set up a 33-yard field goal and a 24-6 first-half advantage. The half ended with each team missing 50+ yard field goals.

For all intents and purposes, the Eagles ended the game on their first drive of the second half. The Eagles drove 75 yards in 12 plays with Wentz connecting on his third touchdown pass of the game, and second to Jeffery. The Eagles now led 31-6.

Barkley tried to keep things interesting by scoring from 50 yards out on the Giants’ first drive of the half. However, it was the only touchdown the Giants would score and the last points the team would score on the night. The Eagles followed up that New York score with a 13-play, 64-yard, 6-minute drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.

Neither team scored for the remainder of the game. The Giants reached the red zone midway through the 4th quarter but turned the football over on downs at the Philadelphia 5-yard line.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 24-of-43 with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked four times and the Giants averaged an embarrassing 5.4 yards per pass play. Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. was limited to six catches for 44 yards. Really, the only offensive player of note was Barkley who caught 9 passes for 99 yards and rushed 13 times for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 23 first downs and 379 total net yards with the Eagles converting on 9-of-16 (56 percent) third-down attempts. The Giants picked up only one sack (by linebacker Olivier Vernon) and did not force a turnover.

The Eagles were 4-of-6 in red zone opportunities while the Giants were 0-of-3.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were wide receiver Russell Shepard (neck), tight end Evan Engram (knee), tight end Rhett Ellison (foot), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, center Evan Brown, defensive tackle John Jenkins, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (concussion) and wide receiver Cody Latimer (hamstring) left the game with injuries.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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

Oct 082018
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (October 1, 2017)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS TO DUMP ERECK FLOWERS…
Multiple media sources reported on Monday that the New York Giants are going to cut right tackle Ereck Flowers unless they can trade him by 4:00PM on Tuesday. Head Coach Pat Shurmur did not deny the report when asked about it.

“That’s accurate,” said Shurmur. “If that’s the case, then if and when that happens, then certainly we’ll make a roster move… He was not out there today… I think it’s just kind of run its course. We appreciate Ereck’s efforts, and we just wish him the best. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for a person, and we’re just hopeful he can go out and continue to have a good career.”

Flowers was drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In his first three seasons, he started 46 games at left tackle. The Giants moved him to right tackle this offseason. He started the first two games of the season there before being benched for Chad Wheeler.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Tight end Rhett Ellison (foot) and place kicker Aldrick Rosas (right quad) did not practice on Monday.

“A little bit of wear and tear from the game yesterday – Rhett Ellison’s got a sore foot, and then Aldrick (Rosas), our kicker, has a sore quad,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’re hopeful that he’ll be back, but I think it’s worthy of talking about.”

Tight end Evan Engram (knee), wide receiver Russell Shepard (neck), wide receiver Jawill Davis (shoulder), defensive end Josh Mauro (groin), and linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle) were limited in practice.

“Evan Engram is coming back, it looks like he has a shot to make it this week, and we’re hopeful with (Vernon) as well,” said Shurmur.

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 33-31 loss to the Carolina Panthers (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: A little bit of wear and tear from the game yesterday – Rhett Ellison’s got a sore foot, and then Aldrick (Rosas), our kicker, has a sore quad. We’re hopeful that he’ll be back, but I think it’s worthy of talking about. Evan Engram is coming back, it looks like he has a shot to make it this week, and we’re hopeful with (Olivier Vernon) as well. Aside from that, there’s a little wear and tear. We went through our walk thru today and technically this is a Wednesday. When the plane landed yesterday, we moved onto Philadelphia, so we just had a walk-thru really. Today was Wednesday, tomorrow will function like a Thursday of game week, and then Wednesday will function like a Friday, and then the walk-thru on the day of the game will be like our mock game. That’s sort of how we go through our week here. We’ll run tomorrow, then we’ll walk or tempo through the other days and get ready to play Philly. We’re looking forward to it, a division game at home, and our guys are excited to get ready to play Philadelphia. I’ll take your questions.

Q: Since kicker is such an unusual spot and you only have one, do you have to bring in somebody for a workout just in case?

A: Yeah, we probably will make a roster move to bring somebody on the practice squad just in case.

Q: Short week is kind of tough, but with the loss yesterday, is everyone a little more anxious to get playing on Thursday?

A: Yeah, we all play this game. Everybody has a Thursday night game. For the most part we are pretty healthy, and so we’re looking forward to getting back at it. The key is to get their bodies back quickly, and put together a plan that works.

Q: Are you going to make a roster move with Ereck Flowers?

A: Possibly, yeah. Is there a report out there? Tell me what it is.

Q: He will be traded or released by tomorrow at 4 PM.

A: There you go. That’s accurate. If that’s the case, then if and when that happens, then certainly we’ll make a roster move.

Q: Is he still with the team right now?

A: Yeah, until that happens.

Q: He was out there today?

A: He was not out there today.

Q: What made now the right timing for that?

A: I think it’s just kind of run its course. We appreciate Ereck’s efforts, and we just wish him the best. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for a person, and we’re just hopeful he can go out and continue to have a good career.

Q: So nothing of how he reacted to his benching?

A: No. None of that.

Q: On not being particularly deep at the tackle position and getting rid of Flowers who has experience:

A: We’ve got a lot of new faces. I think we’ve got, you guys do the math, but I think we’ve got 30 or 35 new faces from last year’s team. A lot of new faces, I don’t think anybody has great depth this time of year, so we’ll try to add a tackle to the roster when that move does happen.

Q: Who is your swing tackle right now?

A: We’ll have to make a move and we’ll figure that out, but we’ve got guys in there that have played tackle. We’ve got Spencer (Pulley) obviously that’s played tackle, we’ve also got (John) Greco who’s played a little bit of tackle, so we’ll just move guys around. That’s the way it works.

Q: Chad (Wheeler) is ok? He wasn’t on the injury report but he left the game at some point.

A: He’s fine, he was just dealing with a finger.

Q: What happened to Cody Latimer?

A: He’s still dealing with a sore knee. We sort of used him in a back up role if we needed him yesterday. The guys that filled in for him did a nice job.

Q: You said when the flight landed you moved on to the Eagles, which you would have done win or lose I’m sure with a Thursday Night game. But because of the nature of that loss, I don’t think anybody every wants to play a Thursday Night game, but is this good to have right away?

A: I don’t know. Again, all the coaches and the players, we all have our iPads, we all looked at the film, we went through it on the plane ride, made the corrections necessary, and then when we landed we moved on. We’re sort of creatures of habit and our week this week is short and compressed, so you move on win, lose, or draw.

Q: Obviously it was an emotional game, but they showed video of Sterling (Shepard) on the side getting upset, B.W. Webb got a penalty – How do you handle that when guys have emotions like that?

A: Each situation – we need to all keep our composure, and when that happens it is addressed immediately. I was not aware of the Sterling, I found out about it later, so as soon as I found out, I communicated with him and there was good dialogue between player and coach.

Q: You said Saquon (Barkley) was fine yesterday, but everything ok?

A: Yeah, he’s fine. He’s healthy and ready to go.

Q: How do you think your team is doing mentally – you’re 1-4, that was a tough loss – what do you see from them?

A: I love my team. I love our team. I think our guys are competitive, they fight, and I think our improvement was on display yesterday. There’s no moral victories, so we’ve got to improve this much more. We’ve got to improve 63 yards more and get that victory. That’s what it is. I watched a bunch of guys battle from the first play to the last, I watched a bunch of guys make more plays on both sides of the ball, I watched when we didn’t make it on fourth down our defense go in and stop them, I watched a couple of turnovers on their part, I watched the offense score points, I watched contributions in good ways, but not to the point where we won the game. So, we just keep trying to get in this case, 63 yards better.

Q: The nature of the division, after tonight there might not be any team with a winning record, does that help a team that’s 1-4?

A: The key is to win your division and then give yourselves a chance to compete, and then go on from there. That’s what we’re battling for. That’s why I think we as coaches and players understand that there’s – I think the question was asked last week – there’s no panic, it’s urgency to win every week, and that’s what we’re fighting to do. Along the way, every team goes through stuff. We’re in it, so we’ve just got to go win a game.

Q: The dominant conversation we had last week was about downfield throws. There were a lot more of them this week. Is that because they played you differently, you changed how you called the game?

A: They played us differently. I would say I probably made as many calls to get the ball downfield the week before but we faced different coverage. I thought Eli (Manning) did a good job of getting the ball down the field, our guys did a good job of executing and catching it. Forget the downfield throws. We scored 31 points, that’s the message. So whether you walk it across, you crawl it across, you roll it across, you throw it across – give me something else – you swim it across, it doesn’t matter. Getting it across the end zone is what matters, and that’s important.

Q: It just seemed like there was a correlation between a lot of the downfield throws set up a lot of the plays.

A: Maybe so. That would be for fun for everybody to talk about and write about, but the reality is we found a way to score 31 points. We needed to score three more though.

Q: Saquon (Berkley) mentioned you had called that pass play before that Odell (Beckham) threw?

A: I’ve called it in my past, but not as a Giant.

Q: What goes into the thought process, you have it in the play book, when to pull the trigger on it?

A: Just kind of get a feel for when the time is right, and I felt like the time was right. We go into games with more plays than we call, and you put them on the front burner, the back burner, there’s plays you’d like to call sometimes, you don’t get the right situation for it, so you just keep working and practicing it, and then it’s there when you need it.

Q: How well does he do in practice with that completion?

A: I don’t think it’s ever been incomplete in practice. He’s got a nice arm. Saquon can catch the ball, so it worked out well. I thought the rest of the guys executed it well as, well. There was a lot of deception to it, and to our credit, that was one we executed well.

Q: What prompted putting B.J. Goodson in for those final couple series for (Ray-Ray) Armstrong?

A: I thought they all battled. What played into it? It was just substation. There was nothing to it.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players practice on Tuesday in preparation for Thursday’s home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Oct 072018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (October 7, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

CAROLINA PANTHERS 33 – NEW YORK GIANTS 31…
The New York Giants lost a heart-breaking, poorly-officiated game, 33-31, to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday. Carolina won the game on a last-second 63-yard field goal after the Giants had dramatically taken the lead 31-30 with just over a minute to play. With the loss, the Giants fell to 1-4 on the season.

Both teams punted the ball away on their initial drives. New York was the beneficiary of great field position on their second drive after a 15-yard punt return by wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. gave the Giants a first down at the Carolina 39-yard line. The Giants only gained one first down, but it was enough to set up a successful 42-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas.

The Panthers quickly responded with a touchdown, however, as shoddy New York tackling allowed two big plays, one an 18-yard gain on a end around, and the second a short throw to wide receiver Curtis Samuel who took it in from 25 yards out. The Panthers led 7-3.

Things quickly got worse for New York. First, the Giants went for it on 4th-and-3 from the Carolina 39-yard line and Beckham dropped the football, turning the ball over on downs. The Giants’ defense held. But on the ensuing punt, Beckham foolishly ran towards a ball that he should have stayed away from. When it glanced off of him, cornerback Janoris Jenkins tried to pick it up but failed. The Panthers recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown and a 14-3 advantage. The Giants then went three-and-out and the Panthers responded with a field goal drive that gave them a 17-3 lead midway through the 2nd quarter.

The Giants clawed back into the game with a trick play two snaps after a 20-yard run by running back Saquon Barkley. On 2nd-and-18, quarterback Eli Manning threw a pass behind the line of scrimmage to Beckham, who then threw deep across the field to a wide open Barkley for a 57-yard touchdown catch-and-run. The Giants now trailed 17-10.

The change in momentum did not last long. Rosas kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving Carolina the ball at their own 40-yard line. Eight plays later, Carolina place kicker Graham Gano connected on a 48-yard kick with less than three minutes before halftime. The Giants did respond with their own field goal drive, gaining 40 yards in seven plays. And Rosas hit a 53-yarder right before intermission.

At halftime, the Panthers led 20-13.

Carolina went three-and-out on the first possession of the second half. The Giants put together a 13-play, 75-yard drive that unfortunately only resulted in a 36-yard field goal after reaching the Panthers’ 14-yard line. Panthers 20 – Giants 16.

The Panthers put together a long drive on the ensuing possession, but it ended with a turnover when free safety Curtis Riley intercepted quarterback Cam Newton at the 10-yard line and returned the ball to the Giants’ 22-yard line. However, Carolina got the ball back four plays later when Manning was intercepted at the Panthers’ 14-yard line. It was quite the momentum shift as Carolina then drove 68 yards in nine plays, with running back Christian McCaffrey scoring on an 18-yard pass reception. With less than 12 minutes to play in the game, the Panthers now led 27-16.

The game appeared over when Manning threw his second interception just two plays later. However, the Giants got the ball back when Jenkins intercepted Newton at the Giants’ 37-yard line and returned it 29 yards to the Carolina 34-yard line. Two plays after that, Manning hit Beckham on a deep pass for a 33-yard score. The successful 2-point conversion attempt, a pass from Manning to tight end Rhett Ellison, cut the score to 27-24 with just over eight minutes to play.

The Panthers responded with a 12-play, 54-yard drive where Newton threw a 27-yard pass on 4th-and-1 from the Giants’ 44-yard line. The play set up a 39-yard field goal to give Carolina a 30-24 lead with 2:16 to go in the game.

Starting at their own 25-yard line, Manning first hit wide receiver Russell Shepard for an 8-yard gain and then a 40-yard pass. On the third snap of the ball, Manning found Barkley who scored from 15 yards out with 68 seconds left in the game. The Giants had their first lead since the first quarter and now led 31-30.

Carolina started from their own 25 yard. Two completions in four attempts put the Panthers in a 3rd-and-1 situation at the Giants’ 45-yard line with 30 seconds left. It appeared the Giants had stopped McCaffrey short of the marker, but the Panthers were given the first down and Newton then spiked the ball to stop the clock. Two plays later, Gano connected from 63 yards away to win the game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 22-of-36 for 326 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. His leading receivers were Beckham (8 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown), Barkley (4 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown), and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (4 catches for 75 yards). Barkley carried the ball 15 times for 48 yards as the Giants only ran for 50 yards on the day.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 350 total yards (118 rushing and 232 net passing). Riley and Jenkins each had interceptions. The Giants only picked up one sack, by linebacker Connor Barwin.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (knee), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, center Evan Brown, defensive tackle John Jenkins, cornerback Mike Jordan, and safety Kamrin Moore.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)

JOSH MAURO REINSTATED, STACY COLEY PLACED ON IR…
The NFL’s 4-game suspension of New York Giants defensive end Josh Mauro has ended, and Mauro was reinstated to the team’s 53-man roster on Saturday. To make room for Mauro, the Giants placed wide receiver Stacy Coley (hamstring) on Injured Reserve.

In March, shortly after he was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Giants, Mauro was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 NFL season by the NFL for the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). For the last four weeks, he has not been allowed to practice with the team.

The 6’6”, 282-pound, English-born Mauro was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2014 NFL Draft. He did not make the team, but was signed by the Cardinals after he was cut. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Mauro played in 47 regular-season games with 26 starts, 20 of which came in the last two years. In 2017, Mauro started seven games and finished the season with 22 tackles and one sack.

The Giants claimed Coley off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings in September.

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

Oct 032018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injury were wide receiver Sterling Shepard (cyst on back), tight end Evan Engram (knee), nose tackle Damon Harrison (knee), and linebacker Connor Barwin (knee).

“Looks like we’re going to get more guys out there practicing today, I don’t know what that will mean for the game but we’ll have more guys out there,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur before practice. “(Shepard) had a little thing taken off the base of his back that is just going to take him a day or so to get back from, otherwise he’ll be fine…Just a little cyst. It’s fine.”

Wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), and cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin) practiced on a limited basis.

GIANTS SIGN JYLAN WARE TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed offensive tackle Jylan Ware to the team’s Practice Squad, filling the vacancy created last week when wide receiver Jawill Davis was promoted to the 53-man roster. The 24-year old, 6’7”, 317-pound Ware was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders waived him before the 2018 regular season started. He has played in one regular-season game with no starts.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s away game against the Carolina Panthers. The team’s coordinators will address the press on Thursday.

Oct 012018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 33-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: Last night, certainly we had a good start, we go down and score and you play a half of football, we turned the ball over, they go down. Our defense keeps them out of the end zone, and we’re in there at halftime down by one score against a really good football team, and then we came back out and really didn’t do enough. Offensively, I think we moved the ball in a two-minute scenario at the end of the game, but when you get penalties and you have minus-yardage plays and get knocked off schedule, that affects you, and we’ve got to eliminate that. Then you can’t turn the ball over like we did early as well, so that’s the name of that. Then again, defense, I thought in the bulk of the game battled, kept the score down, and that’s really the key to defense is keeping them out of the end zone, a very high-powered offense. We didn’t do enough in the end to win the game. On special teams, it’s kind of the devil is in the details in the return game, we’re a block or two away from making more yardage. We’ve got a young kick returner back there, probably one questionable decision, and then we dropped the snap on a punt, so those types of things. We’ve got to get those cleaned up and we move forward and get ready for Carolina. That’s what I told the team this morning. We’ve just got to clean up the details and keep moving, and we believe in our guys, we believe in our team, and we’ve just got to do what we do better. I’ll take your questions.

Q: What do you attribute to not being able to hit a lot of downfield passes?

A: Again, I mentioned it yesterday, we took some shots and they were playing in two-shell, so the ball gets checked down. That’s one reason for it.

Q: So you’re saying you called them?

A: Yeah, we called them. There were deep routes called that we couldn’t get the ball downfield, so you check it down. Then you move on.

Q: A lot of coaches say the best teams dictate on offense. What is the fine line between, you want to dictate on offense and you also have to be cognizant of how they’re playing. Moving forward, how can you dictate more on offense?

A: You call plays to be aggressive. If they’re there, you take your shots. That’s how you dictate. And if they’re not there, you check them down, and then the backs catch the ball and run with it. You’re talking about seven-eight yard gains, which is fine, so that’s how you dictate. Then you make them defend those. That’s how you dictate, and then when you choose to run the ball, you make yardage.

Q: Obviously we know (Saquon Barkley) can hit some home runs, but is getting more consistent run production the best way to get a team out of a soft zone defense?

A: Looking back on it, I think Barkley had 18 touches yesterday. I’d like to have a couple more probably, and those being runs certainly. We want to run the ball, we want to run the ball and when we want to throw it, we want to throw it, and we want to be explosive and efficient doing it. That’s the reality of it.

Q: Why do you think you got away from the run, or didn’t give him as many runs?

A: I wish I would’ve called more runs. That’s the reality of that, because I think the ball in Saquon’s hands is a good thing.

Q: The quarterback is such a vital position. Your quarterback has four touchdown passes in four games. What is your overall evaluation of him so far?

A: Eli, the quarterback. Let’s call him Eli, his name is Eli. He’s done some really good things, and each game he’s had a handful of plays he wants back, but that’s no different than any player on our team.

Q: Having a deep threat like Odell (Beckham), even if they have the coverage, isn’t it worth sometimes just taking a shot; he can make spectacular plays?

A: At times, when it’s a one on one scenario, sure. Absolutely.

Q: Is the same true for the red zone? Odell wasn’t really involved in your red zone passing.

A: He was actually. He actually picked on the two-point play, and he was available. What teams do in the red zone typically is they’ll double your star and then you move on.

Q: Understanding that the check-down might sometimes, and perhaps more than sometimes, be a smart play, does your offense though need Eli (Manning) to be a little more of a gunslinger and to take some chances because of the positive upside it could have, not only with the playmakers you have but also the penalties on offense. In Week 1 Odell was able to draw one, which were at the time really big plays in that game?

A: Sure. I think we had 45 yards of penalties in the first game. It’s important to take shots, you need to be aggressive and not reckless. I think that’s fair.

Q: Do you think (Eli) has shied away for any particular reason, afraid of an interception, afraid of something like that?

A: No, I don’t sense that from Eli.

Q: Are you happy with his level of aggressiveness?

A: Yeah, I am. I think if it’s there, he’ll take a shot. He understands it’s important to protect the ball, as well, and we are getting to it with these last couple questions – there’s a fine line between being aggressive and reckless with the football. I think that’s the line you walk all the time.

Q: How do you keep your defense from becoming frustrated with the offense?

A: Just keep playing, because I think we on all three sides of the ball have things that we need to get better at, and that’s what the focus is. It’s not becoming frustrated with the other side of the ball, it’s about trying to become better at what you do, and I think the way you keep that from happening too is you have a locker room full of guys like (Alec Ogletree) and good guys that are good players that understand you just keep playing, and understand that the first step is to try to win your division, and we’re one game out of that right now. We’ve just got to play our way back into it. That’s the reality of it, and that’s the world that we live in as coaches and players, and we all have things we need to do better.

Q: How important is that to instill that message for the long term?

A: It’s a constant conversation. We talk about that all the time. It goes back to establishing what your team is all about.

Q: We haven’t asked you about Jonathan Stewart since he went on IR. It didn’t seem like at this time last week you were that concerned, did his injury get significantly worse? And if his season is over, he has six carries for 17 yards. How much does that hurt the cause when a big free agent signing doesn’t really produce much?

A: Once a player is a player on your team, what he signed for or where he was drafted doesn’t matter. In the case of Jonathan last week, he came in after the game with some foot soreness and then we were going to try to let it play out to see what could happen throughout the week, and it didn’t improve, and that’s why we put him down.

Q: Does he need surgery? Is his season over? Can you bring him back?

A: He’s a potential to bring back. I think that’s an eight-week thing.

Q: You mentioned after the game the idea of maybe doing some things differently offensively.

A: Keep looking for that right combination of things that gets us in the end zone. Again, it showed up in sections of the game during certain drives and you’ve just got to keep getting back to those things. We’re constantly looking for and trying to do the things that our players are good at. Eli is not a zone read quarterback, that’s just an example. Our receivers are a little different than some of the receivers on other teams. We have a running back that can make yardage when we run it. As I mentioned earlier, I will always wish that a good player like Saquon, he’s got to touch the ball. That’s the reality of it.

Q: Can you understand from the outside where those of us who do look at even without (Evan Engram), you have (Sterling Shepard), Odell, Saquon and others, and say how is this offense not scoring?

A: They’ve had their production. We got down and scored twice yesterday. It’s not enough, I get that. I get it.

Q: When you look at all the plays, you had a fumble and a return, but your quarterback saved a touchdown. Do you mention that to the players?

A: Absolutely. That kind of goes without comment outside the building, but those are things we comment on, we hit all those points, we obviously are able to see the details of the full game from the coach’s copy and that’s what we go through today.

Q: Did you think on that play (Eli Manning) had a chance to run him out of bounds there?

A:  We stopped him from getting in the end zone, that’s typically what a quarterback should do.

Q: How did you feel the pass protection held up yesterday?

A: I thought we made progress in that regard in terms of pass protection. Again, Chad Wheeler drew a tough draw with number 94 (Cameron Jordan) and he made progress. He played better than he did the week previous, and then a couple other guys. Again, I say that knowing we didn’t win, but there were some things that we made progress on and we just need to build on that.

Q: A couple of Saints defenders said that they felt there were opportunities to be had downfield but Eli didn’t take them. When you’re watching film back, did you see any of that?

A: I don’t know. It’s easy for a defender to say that, but again, there’s a handful of things we should’ve done better.

Q: Did you have any meaningful injuries coming out of the game?  Significant?

A: Meaningful – they’re all meaningful. Especially if you’re the guy that got hurt.  Nothing really we haven’t talked about yet, just normal wear and tear.

Q:  Is Josh (Mauro) back this week?

A: He will be back. He’ll be out there. We’ll get him out there practicing, and I think we have a week before we have to put him back on the roster. We’ll see how that goes. I think we’ve got to make the official move by next Monday.

Q: (inaudible) quoted James Bettcher saying he’s optimistic (Olivier Vernon) returns this week. Are you?

A: I’m optimistic, yes.

Q: Were you aware an official apparently told (Alec Ogletree) that ‘I wouldn’t have made that call if it was in the Super Bowl’?

A: I was made aware of that. Mr. Hanlon over here told me that about 15 minutes ago. That’s a unique comment. I have no comment.

Q: Are there any calls you guys are going to look for an explanation from the league on?

A: Oh yeah. There’s a handful of things, but that’s typical of any week. I have a bigger handful this week.

Q: Was that rule changed where that was a horse collar, because it wasn’t a horse collar unless they changed the rule?

A: We’re going to inquire and try to get an answer.

Q: Will you let us know?

A: Oh, I can’t. I think it’s silly. When we start talking about the O word – officiating – then that’s excuse-making. We don’t do that.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Sep 302018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 30, 2018)

The Agony of Defeat – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 33 – NEW YORK GIANTS 18…
The New York Giants were beaten by the New Orleans Saints 33-18 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. With the defeat, the Giants fell to 1-3 on the season.

For the bulk of the game, the problem for the Giants was once again an offense. The Giants could not score 20 points, nor gain 300 yards, against what had been the NFL’s worst-ranked defense. And the team’s long play of the day against the Saints was only 28 yards. Running back Saquon Barkley was only given 10 carries and team backs only had a total of 12 carries. Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. only caught seven passes for 60 yards. And while quarterback Eli Manning completed 31-of-41 passes, he only passed for 255 yards with his longest completion being 27 yards late in the game. The Giants also fumbled the ball away twice.

The game actually started off great for New York. The Saints received the ball to start the game, but went three-and-out and were forced to punt. The Giants responded on their first possession with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. The Giants were up 7-0.

It looked as if the Giants had stopped New Orleans for a second three-and-out on their second possession. But on 4th-and-2 from their own 33-yard line, the Saints bravely ran a fake punt that picked up 10 yards and a first down. The Saints went on to set up a successful 42-yard field goal and cut New York’s lead to 7-3.

The Giants picked one first down on their second series but were forced to punt after an offensive pass interference penalty called on wide receiver Russell Shepard set the team back. The Saints drove the ball 69 yards in nine plays to set up a second field goal, this one from 34 yards out. Things quickly got worse as on the subsequent series running back Wayne Gallman fumbled the ball away after a short completion (some felt it should have been ruled an incompletion). The loose ball was recovered by the Saints and returned 37 yards to the New York 11-yard line. While the Giants’ defense held, the Saints kicked a third field goal to go up 9-7.

The Giants’ fourth possession resulted in a three-and-out with less than three minutes before halftime. That allowed the Saints to extend their lead 12-7 with a 7-play, 40-yard drive that set up their fourth field goal. So after the Giants’ initial offensive drive, the next three series resulted a turnover and two quick punts.

The third quarter did not go much better for the Giants, who picked up one first down and then punted. The Saints then took charge of the game by responding with a 7-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on their initial possession of the half to go up 19-7 (running back Alvin Kamara scored from 9 yards out). The Giants finally got on the scoreboard again with a 10-play, 75-yard effort. But that long drive did not result in a touchdown, but only a 33-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas.

Near the end of the 4th quarter, the Giants’ defense did force a three-and-out. But New York’s momentum quickly fizzled as Barkley lost seven yards on the drive’s first play. The Giants punted three plays later. The dagger came with the Saints’ ensuing possession as they drove 74 yards in 14 plays. Kamara scored from three yards out and the Saints were now up 26-10 with less than seven minutes left to play.

The Giants scored their final points on the following series, but it was too little too late. Barkley scored from one yard out on a 10-play, 75-yard possession. The 2-point conversion attempt also succeeded, but the Giants still trailed by eight points with just under four minutes to play. Any hope of sending the game into overtime with a second score and 2-point conversion quickly disappeared when Kamara ran for his third touchdown of the game, this one from 49 yards out. In garbage time, New York’s final possession ended with a sack and fumble by Manning.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), tight end Evan Engram (knee), wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, and center Evan Brown.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

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

Sep 262018
 
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Donte Deayon and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (September 23, 2018)

Donte Deayon and Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN GARRETT DICKERSON TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
With tight end Evan Engram (MCL) ailing, the Giants have signed tight end Garrett Dickerson to the 53-man roster from the team’s practice squad. The Giants originally signed Dickerson in June 2018 as an undrafted rookie free agent and then signed him to the Practice Squad in September. The 6’2”, 244-pound Dickerson is a versatile player who can play a variety of positions including tight end, fullback, and H-Back.

To make room for Dickerson, the Giants waived/injured wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle), who the Giants claimed off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills on September 2nd.

To fill Dickerson’s place on the Practice Squad, the Giants re-signed wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, who the Giants waived before the season started. The 6’1”, 208-pound Etta-Tawo was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time on the Practice Squads of the Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, and Giants in 2017.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday due to injury were tight end Evan Engram (knee), wide receiver Cody Latimer (knee), running back Jonathan Stewart (foot), nose tackle Damon Harrison (knee), linebacker Connor Barwin (knee), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), and cornerback Antonio Hamilton (groin).

Linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain) practiced on a limited basis.

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

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s home against against the New Orleans Saints. The team’s coordinators will address the press on Thursday.

Sep 232018
 
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Rhett Ellison, New York Giants (September 23, 2018)

Rhett Ellison – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 27 – HOUSTON TEXANS 22…
The New York Giants may have saved their season on Sunday with a 27-22 victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston. It was the team’s first win on the season and the Giants are now 1-2.

Some drama began before the game was even played as it was revealed that the Giants had benched right tackle Ereck Flowers for Chad Wheeler. The Giants will also have to hold their breath as tight end Evan Engram left the game with a knee injury and he will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Statistically, the game was pretty even. The Texans out-gained the Giants in total net yards 427 to 379 and both teams accrued 21 first downs. But the Giants won the turnover battle 2-0 and were 3-of-4 (75 percent) in red zone opportunities. The Giants also held the ball 10 minutes more than the Texans as the Giants out-gained them in rushing yards 114 to 59.

The Texans received the ball to start the game. They drove the ball 69 yards in 11 plays to set up a 23-yard field goal. To the defense’s credit, they held Houston to three points after they had set up a 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line.

The Giants responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by running back Saquon Barkley. Quarterback Eli Manning kept the possession alive with two 3rd-down conversions to his wideouts. The Giants forced a three-and-out on the Texans’ second possession and the Giants added to their lead with a 44-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas after a 9-play, 58-yard drive. Giants 10 – Texans 3.

The Giants’ defense kept up the pressure on the Texans’ third possession, causing another three-and-out. The Giants then had their third scoring drive in a row by driving 64 yards in 10 plays to set up Rosas from 30 yards out. Big plays on the drive included a 19-yard catch by tight end Evan Engram and a 24-yard run by Saquon Barkley. Houston again went three-and-out and the Giants appeared to take firm control of the game with a 6-play, 71-yard drive that included a 17-yard pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard, a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham, and a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rhett Ellison. Giants 20 – Texans 3 with the Giants scoring on all four of their first-half possessions.

The Texans did manage to add three points right before halftime by driving the ball 65 yards in nine plays to set up a 28-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.

At the half, the Giants led 20-6.

The game got uncomfortably tight in the second half as the Giants’ offense was shut down for most of the rest of the game. The Giants were held to three first downs and 30 yards on their first four drives of the half, all ending with punts. Houston also cut into the lead again on their first possession in the 3rd quarter with a 54-yard field goal.

New York’s defense kept the game from getting tighter by forcing two turnovers. Defensive end Kerry Wynn forced a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Donte Deayon at the Giants’ 25-yard line. But Houston drove the ball deep again on their subsequent possession, reaching the Giants’ 8-yard line before a penalty and sack by defensive end B.J. Hill pushed the ball back to the 25-yard line. Then inside linebacker Alex Ogletree made an athletic interception in the end zone, resulting in a touchback.

After yet another three-and-out by the Giants, Houston drove 67 yards in seven plays with quarterback Deshaun Watson throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass with under eight minutes to play. The Texans failed on their 2-point conversion and the Giants led 20-15.

At this critical moment in the ball game, the New York offense finally came back to life. Manning threw a 23-yard pass to Shepard, a 17-yard pass to Ellison, and a 21-yard pass to Barkley. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-goal, Manning found Shepard over the middle for a 7-yard touchdown. The Giants now led 27-15 with just over two minutes to play. The Texans did make the game appear tighter than it was late by scoring one final touchdown with one second left.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 25-of-29 for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 132.3 quarterback rating. His top targets were Beckham (9 catches for 109 yards) and Shepard (7 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown). Barkley gained 82 rushing yards and one touchdown on 17 carries and also caught three passes for 35 yards.

Defensively, the Giants held what had been the League’s #1 rushing attack to 59 yards, with Houston running backs only gaining 23 yards on 14 carries (the other 36 yards were by the quarterback). The Giants also picked up three sacks, one each by Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and defensive lineman Mario Edwards. Wynn had a strong game with five tackles, a tackle for a loss, a pass defense, and a forced fumble.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were linebacker Olivier Vernon (ankle), cornerback Eli Apple (groin), wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, center Evan Brown, cornerback Michael Jordan, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Tight end Evan Engram left the game with a knee injury and did not return. He was wearing a knee brace after the game will undergo an MRI on his knee on Monday. “We don’t know how bad it is yet,” said Head Coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ll just have to see.”

Running back Saquon Barkley (knee) left the game but returned.

Cornerback Antonio Hamilton injured his groin in warm-ups.

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

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (Video)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (Video)
  • LG Will Hernandez (Video)
  • LB Alec Ogletree (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)
Sep 212018
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (May 21, 2018)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – ELI APPLE AND OLIVIER VERNON OUT…
Not practicing on Friday due to injury were linebacker Olivier Vernon (high ankle sprain) and cornerback Eli Apple (groin). Both have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

Tight end Evan Engram (ankle), wide receiver Kaelin Clay (ankle), and linebacker Connor Barwin (knee) fully practiced. All three are expected to play on Sunday.

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

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Texans in Houston on Sunday afternoon.