Oct 102023
Jason Pinnock, New York Giants (October 8, 2023)

Jason Pinnock – © USA TODAY Sports


-Daniel Jones: 14/20 – 119 yards / 0 TD – 0 INT / 85.2 RAT

Jones added 24 yards on 4 carries, including the team’s biggest gain on the ground of 11. He was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter on a brutal blind side hit by Andrew Van Ginkel. The neck is an injury that needs to be closely monitored. In 2021, Jones suffered a neck injury that was “almost” serious. I will avoid getting ahead of myself here, but fingers are crossed for Jones that this will not be the same injury, but multiplied in severity. If it is, worst case scenario is on the table.

As for his play, Jones took another beating. Between the amount of pressure and hits he took in the pocket, he also took three big hits as a runner. And I know the QB-sneak is the new craze in the NFL right now, but watch Jones’ helmet on these plays and his neck takes a beating there too. During the Seattle game, I said to the people I was with, Jones is never going to last taking all these hits. Here we are, a week later and staring at another injury to the fifth-year pro. Beyond the beating, Jones started and ended with similar poor throws: third-down passes to the right flat to a speedy Wan’Dale Robinson that, if placed correctly, would have resulted in a first down. Both throws were poor (they were easy passes to make), both resulted in a punt instead of a fresh new set of downs. Jones is still hesitant post-snap on hot reads and there is a disconnect between him and the offensive line calls. Who’s fault is that? I’m not sure. But he is showing up to the fire with a can of gasoline, not a water hose.

-Tyrod Taylor played the majority of the fourth quarter. He completed 9 of 12 passes for 86 yards and added 14 yards on the ground. Pressure was in his face repeatedly as well. There is no debate on who the starter is and should be, but I will be intrigued to see how different this offense looks with him under center. He has better footwork/quickness and a faster release to physically get through a play faster than Jones. He is not built to take the hits Jones does. But if he can get the ball out faster like some of the surging quarterbacks in the NFL can, it may hide some issues and help Jones out in the long run. If Jones is out Sunday night, Taylor goes back to Buffalo to take on a franchise he led to the playoffs in 2017.


-Eric Gray: 12 att – 25 yards / 1 rec – 1 yard

With Saquon Barkley still sidelined with an ankle injury, Eric Gray got his first real running back action. His initial contributions have come on special teams as a punt returner, a role he has not yet appeared comfortable with. He got off to a nice start early on, showing contact balance and late movement to get off arm tackles. His best run of the day was called back by a holding penalty. Gray also missed a crease in the third quarter and tried to bounce it outside. He was taken out and took an earful from the coach. Gray is quick, but he is not quick enough to forego sure yards to bounce it out for more. He needs to get downhill, stay downhill. He also fumbled and fortunately for him, it did not result in a turnover.

-Matt Breida added 21 yards on 9 carries. The slasher had two nice runs up the middle and keeps proving that if things can get initially blocked at the point-of-attack, his burst and aggression will make things happen. Breida began his career with San Francisco for three seasons, the first three seasons Mike McDaniel was the team’s run game coordinator. It is not a coincidence that was the best stretch of Breida’s career.


-The group combined for 12 catches / 108 yards. Wan’Dale Robinson is still the focal point, leading them with 6 targets but the two misfires from Jones kept his production line to just 18 yards on 5 catches. Darius Slayton had the longest gain of the day, 20 yards, during garbage time. He was also a victim of a poor Jones throw on a ball he came down with downfield, but was out of bounds.

-The veterans Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, and Sterling Shepard were targeted 6 times. Jalin Hyatt? Zero. Since his big game in Arizona, the rookie has been on the field for 72 passing plays. He has been thrown to twice.


-Darren Waller: 8 rec – 86 yards

I appreciate the grit and hustle from Waller, one of the oldest and most established players on the team. This was the most involved and productive we have seen him to this point. Jones threw two downfield passes to him, both on the money, both hitting his hands, neither ending up complete. I did not dock him with a drop, but those two plays could have changed the momentum of this game. Very few players could have come down with it, the best would have. Waller also got beat up in the running game as a blocker and allowed a pressure.


-It is always hard to know where to start. Nobody played well, multiple injuries and an in-game benching occurred, and we saw multiple plays where blockers were not even competitive. There are plays where the result would be the same had the blocker stayed in his stance. We have seen poor OL play for years. This is rock bottom.

-Evan Neal allowed 5 pressures and had a sack called off by a MIA illegal contact penalty. He fell apart in the second half. Plain and simple he looked tired, out of shape, and unathletic. After a rough week in which he insulted NYG fans, the people who provide the money for him to play a game (poorly), he only added to the notion that he cannot handle the speed of this league. Joshua Ezeudu was benched after allowing the sack that took Jones out. He did not even get hands on Van Ginkel, a major no-no for a blind side protector. Ezeudu was flagged three times on one drive, including two false starts on consecutive plays. The holding penalty was declined, but it was a bad look for a guy who is clearly on the ropes with this coaching staff. It is safe to say this experiment is over, but I still want to see looks at guard. I broke down every play as I normally do, and he had the most positives in the group as much as that may be hard to believe. His negatives were just, loud.

-Ben Bredeson had his worst game as a pro. He was abused by the power and speed of Miami’s interior. He allowed 2 sacks, a TFL, 2 pressures, and was flagged for a hold on a big play. The amount of complete whiffs at the point-of-attack concerns me. The book is out on him. He cannot adjust, he is not agile, and he cannot recover. He ends up on the ground too often and just seem overmatched. Mark Glowinski allowed a sack late but for the most part, played well enough. His 2 pressures had more to do with crisscross traffic caused by stunts and twists up front. The main issue I had, which prevented a positive grade, was the lack of push he got in the running game. It disrupted at least two plays where everything else was lined up.

-Guard Jalen Mayfield, tackle Matt Peart, and center Jaylon Thomas all saw action from backup roles. Mayfield saw the most playing time, just under half of the team’s offensive snaps and he struggled mightily. He allowed 3 pressures and was flagged for holding twice. Markus McKethan, who left the game after tweaking his knee, allowed 3 pressures. I’ll touch on the guard play below. Thomas was in at center for just three plays and allowed a TFL. Lastly, Peart saw 24 snaps, allowed 2 pressures, and was flagged for a false start.


-Kayvon Thibodeaux made two big plays on a defense that has been starving for them. He recovered a fumble and recorded a sack, a nice win to the inside shoulder of backup Miami tackle Kendall Lamm. He added 2 pressures, one of which he was untouched. Thibodeaux was part of the problem, albeit not a glaring one, when examining why the defense allowed 9.7 yards per carry on the ground. It is almost assumed he will not come off the blocker and make a tackle. He does make hustle plays and I respect that, but I can count on one hand how many times he has made a stout play against the run over his career to this point.

-Azeez Ojulari is injured again, this time his ankle. Yet another lower body ding to a guy who has a game completely build on burst. He had zero impact over his 23 snaps.

-Jihad Ward and Boogie Basham are the two edge defenders Miami loves to play against. Get them moving sideways and they have no shot at impacting anything. Neither pressured the quarterback, both had multiple run game losses.


-The best players on the defense, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, combined for one pressure and 2 tackles. Miami got so horizontal, making them chase action to the sideline and hiding their upfield prowess. Tua Tagovailoa was also getting the ball out on average 2.15 seconds, an incredibly quick number. Add those two together and it is easy to see why these two were nearly unheard of in this game.

-The backups A’Shawn Robinson, D.J. Davidson, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches are cut from similar cloths. Big and strong, but slow and ineffective in space. None of them came in and made an impact. The latter did have one pressure early in the game.


-Isaiah Simmons played a season-high 54 snaps because of the injury to Micah McFadden. It was clear to see why he cannot be an every-down inside guy. He is late to fill lanes, which creates creases and space for the fastest offense in football. He also gets crushed against linemen who get a clear shot at him. Multiple times he was airlifted and pushed backward by blockers on some of Miami’s big runs. He did have 9 tackles, but also missed 2.

-Bobby Okereke had another solid game, as he was a part of the two biggest plays of the game by the defense. He tipped a pass at the goal line that Jason Pinnock intercepted and returned for a touchdown. He then intercepted one himself that gave NYG the ball at the MIA 23-yard line. He led the team with 10 tackles, including one for a loss. The run defense has several issues, he is not one of them. And the fact he is making plays against the pass is a huge positive.


-I will start off with the positive in a young season that has so few. Rookie Deonte Banks has evolved in a short time. The All-22 angle is encouraging. He had several cover-wins against Jaylen Waddle and while it did not matter much from a game perspective, his route anticipation and reaction are meshing well. He broke up a pass in the end zone and made a great tackle on a 3rd-and-1 complete pass with no margin for error on an island. Miami punted because of it.

-Cor’Dale Flott had a nice cover win and pass defended against Tyreek Hill. The acceleration, his best trait, was tested and he passed. I trust him in man coverage as much as anyone on this team.

-Adoree’ Jackson and Tre Hawkins both allowed 100% completion rate. Hawkins got burned by Hill on a play where there might be two or three corners who could have prevented the play. He had pre-snap confusion, lining up on the wrong side. He got to Hill late, Tua knew, and it was over before it started. Such is life with young corners in this league.


-Once again, Xavier McKinney and Jason Pinnock played every snap. In a game where so much of the action went through the first two levels of the defense without any speed bumps, much was put on these two. McKinney stood out with 8 tackles, a pass break up in the end zone, and a forced fumble that NYG recovered. His sheer hustle was notable on several plays as well. Pinnock caught the deflection off Okereke and returned it for a touchdown, the only one of the game for NYG. He added 5 tackles, but also allowed a touchdown on a broken play while trying to shadow Waddle.

-Dane Belton played 21 snaps over 4 games prior to the matchup in Miami. He played 39 in this game. He plays fast and aggressively, but he is such a hit or miss defender. Two times he exploded downhill as the Miami running play was getting horizontal. He overshot the lane and was the culprit on big gains. He finished with 4 tackles, 2 missed tackles, and allowed completions on all four passes thrown his way.


-K Graham Gano: 3/4 (Made 49, 37, 51 / Missed 55)
-P Jamie Gillan: 4 Punts / 40.3 avg – 40.3 net


-LB Bobby Okereke, S Xavier McKinney, CB Deonte Banks


-LB Isaiah Simmons, OC Ben Bredeson, OG Markus McKethan


1. Prior to the season, I picked two teams to finish with 14 wins. One, Philadelphia. Two, Miami. The combination of the fastest and most dangerous offense in football paired with Vic Fangio calling the defense (without their best player, Jalen Ramsey), is going to get a ton of wins on the board. Why did not I not pick them to win the Super Bowl? Or even reach the AFC Championship? We do not know how well this offense can operate in cold/poor weather and there are a lot of questions surrounding the durability and take-over ability of their quarterback. We also know that postseason football experience is worth something, which they have very little of.

2. Speed kills. We know. Copycat league. We know. The game now favors offense. We know. Miami’s team speed is unlike anything I have seen before. Mostert, Achane, and Hill have been measured as the fastest players in the league this season. They’re all on the same team and they’re all football players, not just track stars. It is a formula that appears to be working but it only happens when the engineer at the top (McDaniel) knows how to use it. And that he does. Teams will try to replicate this, but they’ll need the right coach.

3. Christian Wilkins may be thrown into the discussion when listing the best interior defensive linemen in the league. It was not a quick, smooth ride. Here is the final note I have from my report on him in 2019: “Wilkins can be a stud. Top notch kid and a culture-builder.” We can discuss several positions that need to be upgraded and guys who need to be let go, but I think the key is to find more Wilkins’ type players. They do not grow on trees, I know. But what I mean is getting your best football players to also be the most influential leaders and culture pillars. Also, a fun note. Quinnen Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Jeffrey Simmons, and Wilkins all come from the same draft class. Those are 4 of the best 5 or 6 DTs in the league.


1. In 2021, Miami rated dead last in the league in pass block win rate. In 2022? 24th. So far in 2023? 16th. Is there anything NYG can do (this season) to help hide the mismatches they are working with in the trenches every play? Besides Andrew Thomas getting back on the field, the only applicable takeaway I have in relation to Miami is running the ball more. Basic, I know. But when Jones drops back, the risk/reward is heavily tilted to the negative. NYG can run the ball with success on a more consistent basis. The likelihood of penalties is less and so are the 3-4-5+ yard losses that just kill the drive. I think Daboll and Kafka need to go Arthur Smith (Atlanta) style and run the ball 30-40 times next week in Buffalo.

2. So the Giants are now hoping for the best with linemen signed off the street. Jalen Mayfield, Jaylon Thomas, Justin Pugh. It is more likely we continue to see the major communication and assignment mishaps. That aside, what kind of blocker needs to be on the field? Mayfield was hard to watch, yes. But seeing how many times McKethan can’t get hands on his opponent and watching Bredeson allow pressures under 1.5 seconds leads me to the notion they have to put the best athletes out there if they are going to remain pass-heavy. If you can’t move your feet, you cannot block.

3. The Giants had no answers for the MIA speed. Their players are big and slow up front. Their pass rushers are not quick enough to impact the passer. They have confusion on the back end. Is Wink Martindale stuck in the past? We are seeing younger, fresher, more modern minds taking over coaching staffs and front offices league wide. I am looking around the league and seeing similar trends to other “old school” coaches (check out what is going on in NE). Martindale appears to be a step below the guys he is up against. Harbaugh saw it in 2022 when he parted ways with him.

Oct 082023
New York Giants Defense (October 8, 2023)

Giants defense gave up over 500 yards

For the fourth time in five games, the New York Giants were obliterated by their opponent, this time losing 31-16 to the Miami Dolphins. Worse, quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a neck injury in the 4th quarter. X-rays were taken after the game and he will undergo further scans on Monday. Jones suffered a neck injury in Week 12 in 2021, which caused him to miss the rest of that season.

As for the game, it was more of the same for the Giants. New York still has not scored an offensive touchdown in the first half of a game this season, and did not score an offensive touchdown in this game. An offensive line already missing three players lost another during the contest. Jones was sacked six times and back-up quarterback Tyrod Taylor was also sacked once. The defense finally created a turnover, actually three, but gave up over 500 yards of offense.

Miami out-gained New York in first downs (22 to 15), total net yards (524 to 268), net yards rushing (222 to 85), and net yards passing (302 to 183). The Giants did win the time of possession (35:59 to 24:01) and turnover (3 to 0) battles.

The Giants received the ball to start the game, picked up one first down, and then punted. The Dolphins then easily drove 89 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 early lead with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throwing a 2-yard touchdown pass. The Giants held the ball for more than seven minutes on their second possession, but only netted 38 yards on 13 plays. Place kicker Graham Gano missed his 55-yard field goal on the first play of the 2nd quarter.

Miami’s second possession ended when safety Xavier McKinney forced running back De’Von Achane to fumble with linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux recovering the loose ball at the New York 38-yard line. However, the Giants’ offense went three-and-out. The ensuing punt was downed at the 6-yard line. Three plays later, Achane redeemed himself with 76-yard touchdown sprint to give the Dolphins a 14-0 advantage.

New York’s offense finally put points on the board on their fourth and final possession of the first half, as the team took another six minutes off of the clock with a 13-play, 44-yard drive that ended with a 49-yard field goal by Gano to cut the score to 14-3 with 3:41 left before halftime.

Highlighted by a 64-yard pass to wideout Tyreek Hill, it only took Miami two plays to reach the Giants’ 4-yard line. However, on 3rd-and-goal, Tagovailoa’s pass to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was deflected by linebacker Bobby Okereke and intercepted in the end zone by safety Jason Pinnock. He returned the pick 102 yards for a defensive touchdown.

Despite the one-sided game, the Giants only trailed by four points with 1:35 to play. Miami’s offense did put more points on the board before halftime, moving 50 yards in nine plays to set up a 40-yard field goal.

At the half, the Dolphins led 17-10.

A back-breaker occurred early in the 3rd quarter. On Miami’s third play, on 3rd-and-4, Tagovailoa completed a 69-yard touchdown to Hill. In less than a minute, the score was now 24-10. The Giants responded with a couple of first downs and punted. Nevertheless, New York was still very much alive when Okereke intercepted Tagovailoa on 3rd-and-4, returning the ball to the Miami 22-yard line. A holding penalty on reserve offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield pushed the Giants back on 3rd-and-3 and the team settled for a 37-yard field goal by Gano. Dolphins 24 – Giants 13.

For all intents and purposes, the Dolphins put the game away on their next possession. An 8-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 2-yard touchdown run at the end of the 3rd quarter. Every yard of this possession was gained on the ground.

Both teams went three-and-out early in the 4th quarter. Jones was then knocked out of the game on the first play of the second New York possession of the quarter. Taylor replaced him at quarterback with the Giants only netting 18 yards in 10 plays to set up a 51-yard field goal to make the score 31-16 with just under nine minutes to play.

After another three-and-out by the Dolphins, Taylor and the Giants gained 66 yards on 13 plays, but the possession ended with Taylor being tackled just short of the first-down marker on 4th-and-3 at the 19-yard line with 1:21 left to play. The Dolphins then ran out the clock.

Jones was 14-of-20 for 119 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. He was sacked six times and left the game injured. Taylor was 9-of-12 for 86 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He was sacked once. The leading receiver was tight end Darren Waller with eight catches for 86 yards. Running back Eric Gray led the team in rushing with just 25 yards on 12 carries. Running back Matt Breida had 21 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed over 500 yards of offense, including chunk plays of 76, 69, and 64 yards. The Giants finally did create their first turnovers of the year, with three, including a defensive score. Thibodeaux had the team’s only sack.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants activated offensive linemen Jaylon Thomas and Jalen Mayfield from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring), OC John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), OL Shane Lemieux (groin), ILB Micah McFadden (ankle), DL Jordon Riley, and S Gervarrius Owens.

QB Daniel Jones (neck), OG Marcus McKethan (knee), and OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle) all left the game with injuries. QB Tyrod Taylor also had the wind knocked out of him and CB Deonte Banks injured his ankle late in the contest.

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 will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Oct 062023
Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 2, 2023)

Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season began with such high hopes. However, with only one-quarter of the season completed, the campaign is all but officially over. In two weeks the team will be 1-5 after the Dolphins and Bills embarrass them. After that, it’s not a given the team will win another game.

Hyperbolic? No. We have enough of a sample size to judge the product. The Giants have been outscored 122 to 46, for a league-worst net point differential of -76. No one else is close. The Giants have not scored a touchdown in two home games, managing a only a 55-yard field goal.

The loss to the San Fransisco 49ers was defensible. The 40-0 loss to the Cowboys and the 24-3 loss to the Seahawks were not, especially given Seattle’s injury situation. The Giants haven’t been remotely competitive in all three of their losses.

The only comparable situation in team history that I can remember is the 1995 New York Giants, which ironically was the season when I started this website. That team was coming off a 9-7 season in 1994 with very high expectations for the upcoming season. That changed when the Cowboys humiliated the Giants in the home opener on Monday night, 35-0. The Giants would finish 1995 with a 5-11 record. However, that Giants team was extremely competitive in almost all of their other defeats. They may have lost 11 games, but they were not an easy team to beat. In eight of their 11 losses, they had a chance to tie or take the lead late in the game. It was a painful season because of the what-could-have-been moments, but the team was watchable.

To date, the 2023 New York Giants have been unwatchable. They are the butt of jokes from pundits, fans, and even other NFL players. We were supposed to be beyond this, and beyond seasons being over in October. But here we are.


  • RB Saquon Barkley (ankle – questionable)
  • RB Gary Brightwell (ankle – probable)
  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee – probable)
  • TE Daniel Bellinger (knee – questionable)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring – out)
  • RT Evan Neal (hand/ankle – probable)
  • OC John Michael Schmitz (shoulder – out)
  • OG Marcus McKethan (knee – probable)
  • OG Shane Lemieux (groin – out)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring – probable)
  • ILB Micah McFadden (ankle – questionable)

Many fans are overthinking the offensive woes. It’s great for the site as it keeps the discussions going. Fingers are being pointed at the head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterback. Some of the criticism has merit. However, no NFL offense can function with an offensive line as bad as the New York Giants. I don’t care if you have Joe Montana and Jerry Rice back there. There is no running game. The quarterback is under pressure and getting hit on every other snap. Love or hate Daboll and Jones, but when the offensive line was only average in some games in 2022, both looked good. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

The problem is there is no way to fix this in 2023. Because of a god damn special teams disaster, Andrew Thomas, the team’s best offensive player, is sitting on the sidelines and likely will be limited the rest of the season. Now the team’s second best offensive lineman, John Michael Schmitz, is hurt and out. The weakest unit on the team now has five of its nine players on the 53-man roster on this week’s injury list.

The Giants are not going to be able to block the Dolphins on Sunday. Because of that, they will lose. It’s that simple.

Meanwhile, the collateral damage is going to be catastrophic. It’s unlikely that Daniel Jones will survive the mental and physical beatings. He was clearly pressing against Seattle. Fans once again have turned on him. He is unlikely to recover from this, which means the decision to re-sign him to a 4-year, $160 million contract instead of tagging him and letting Saquon Barkley depart in free agency was a colossal mistake that is going to set this team back. The light at the end of the tunnel just got dimmer.

Wink Martindale seems remarkably unfazed by the early-season struggles of the defense. Indeed, if you review his presser right before the season started, Wink was pretty upfront that he expected growing pains due to the youth of the secondary. The defense didn’t play poorly against the Seahawks. I suspect we will still see ups and downs, but I think the defense will be trending in the right direction as long as the players remain committed.

The real head scratcher here is the absence of turnovers. The Giants don’t have one single interception or fumble recovery through four games. None. It’s mind-boggling. And it is contributing to a -8 turnover differential. You can’t win like that.

Thomas McGaughey’s special teams have had two disastrous games in the first four games. The first was against the Cowboys. The second was the six penalty affair against the Seahawks. His time in New York may be running out.

Head Coach Brian Daboll: “I’m not satisfied with anything right now.”

Spoiler alert. The Giants season is already basically over. But it’s not for the players and they had better keep this in mind. Every snap and every game now is a job interview for the Giants and other NFL teams. My advice to any player is this: play hard, have fun, and see where the chips fall. Don’t worry about the W-L column. Take it one play at a time. But you had better do your job. This general manager and head coach are not going anywhere.

Dec 072021
Billy Price, New York Giants (December 5, 2021)

Billy Price – © USA TODAY Sports


Week 13 brought NYG down to Miami to face off against the Dolphins, a team that started off 1-7. Their defense had taken a huge step back after leading the NFL in turnovers in 2020, their young offensive line was getting torched on a weekly basis, and their quarterback situation was messy because of injuries. However, they came into this one winner of 4 straight and inching their way back into AFC playoff contention. NYG on the other hand was without starting quarterback Daniel Jones thanks to a neck injury and still without 2 of their top 3 receivers, Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney. Two former Bill Belichick disciples from a coaching tree that has had very little success trying to lead their respective teams out of the bottom third of the league and into the top half.

Mike Glennon was under center at the start of the game for the first time with NYG. It was his 28th career start over his 8-year career. He completed his first 8 passes but the biggest play of the 1st quarter came on a deep shot to Darius Slayton into double coverage. One of those 2 defenders was cornerback Xavien Howard, a physical 6’1”/203, sixth-year veteran who leads the NFL in interceptions since 2018. He was the one that came down with the ball. But after review, his long return past midfield was erased. MIA had to start their drive inside their own 5-yard line. MIA went 3-and-out, giving NYG the ball back at the MIA 37-yard line thanks to a 15-yard punt return by Pharoh Cooper.

After reaching the 21, NYG went 3 straight plays without gaining a yard. Kicker Graham Gano then booted one through the uprights for field goal, giving NYG the initial lead. MIA responded with a field goal of their own to tie it up. NYG could not respond with anything of note, and with Kenny Golladay off the field with an injury to his ribs, they were simply trying to play a field position battle.

MIA got the ball back with just over 4 minutes left in the half. They were in a somewhat-hurry up offense heavily consisting of a quick, short passing game. Tua Tagovailoa completed 9 of his first 10 passes, spreading the ball out effectively. He then completed 2 more to end the drive, the second one being a 5-yard touchdown to Mack Hollins with under 30 seconds left in the half. NYG opted to let the clock run out once they got the ball back and MIA went into the half with a 10-3 lead and getting the ball back to start the 3rd quarter.

After a MIA 3-and-out, NYG put together their best drive of the day. Thanks to a pass to Evan Engram and a run by each Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker, NYG gained 57 yards on 3 plays. They got into the red zone with a 1st-and-10, but the worst red zone offense in the NFL gained 1 yard on 3 plays, forcing another field goal attempt. Gano nailed it from 34 yards, making it 10-6.

The two offenses then traded 6 straight punts, with four 3-and-outs. The NYG drive that ended the 3rd quarter was about as ugly as one can create after gaining some momentum. After converting a 3rd-and-7 with a run by Barkley, the wheels fell off and we were quickly reminded what this Giants franchise has become. NYG “earned” a 2nd-and-23 thanks to a sack by rookie Jaelan Phillips; they used a timeout to avoid a delay-of-game penalty, and then Phillips record yet another sack. The final kick between the legs came on a delay-of-game penalty. 3rd and 33. NYG ended up punting by the way.

There was blood in the water and winning teams take advantage of it. Is MIA a winning team? They’re approaching that tier, and even though September + October was a complete nightmare for them, this was the point in the game where NYG seemed most vulnerable. The MIA response would say at least something about them. Tagovailoa went 5/5 on the drive, spreading the ball out to 5 different pass catchers. The final one was a 2-yard touchdown to Isaiah Ford and gave the home team a 17-6 lead.

In today’s NFL, an 11-point lead with over 11:00 left is not near-secure. Unless, of course, the losing team has scored the least number of touchdowns in the NFL and is being led by a backup quarterback with multiple injuries to the skill positions. Glennon was misfiring left and right and the NYG pass protection had a hard time with the blitz-heavy defensive scheme deployed by MIA. They did add 3 points via a 51-yard field goal by Gano to get within 8. However, MIA responded with another 3 points of their own.

This game was all but over as NYG got the ball back with 1:11 left. They got the ball across midfield as MIA softened up the defense. Gano was sent out on a 2nd down to try and get the team within 1 score so they could try an onsides kick + Hail Mary attempt. Gano missed the 56-yarder and MIA then took a knee to end it.

NYG loses 20-9.


-Mike Glennon: 23/44 – 187 yards / 0 TD – 1 INT / 53.9 RAT

Expectations cannot be high for a backup, especially one who has been in the league for 8 years and won’t take anyone by surprise. Especially one who cannot move in space with any sort of fluidity or speed. And especially one who is playing in this kind of offense surrounded by such a poor supporting cast. I said before the game I would be surprised to see this offense put-up double-digit points. Glennon fought an uphill battle but the blame still needs to be put on him. He was downright terrible. He lost track of his timing in the pocket, he missed open receivers, and he was throwing the ball into double coverage. He started off 8-for-8, then went 15-for-36 from there. He is also being evaluated for a concussion.


-Saquon Barkley: 11 att – 55 yards / 6 rec – 19 yards

Barkley’s per-touch production was better than what we’ve seen pretty much all year minus the win at New Orleans. The positive mark is that he had multiple solid plays rather than just a lone run that padded the stats. He showed a little more toughness between the tackles, pushing piles and falling forward. However, Barkley still ended with a negative grade here. He dropped 2 passes and allowed 2 pressures. There is so much more to playing running back than breaking off the big play here and there. Barkley appears to fear contact and lack natural skill/fluidity.

-Devontae Booker added 54 yards on 10 touches. He continues to bring the same, if not better, level of play to the offense as Barkley. Something to keep in mind this offseason when looking at the team’s economics.


-Kenny Golladay had 3 catches for 37 yards, all of which came in the first half. He was forced off the field for a while because of a minor rib injury, but he insisted on coming back into the game. Admirable effort, but he didn’t do a thing from that moment-on.

-Darius Slayton added 2 drops to his season. He is approaching a 10% drop percentage, one of the worst in the NFL among receivers (3rd in the NFL). Poor against contact, inconsistent hands, and a fragile frame.

-John Ross played under a third of the snaps and received 1 target, a poorly placed ball by Glennon. It may be time for him and Slayton to switch roles.


-Evan Engram had a solid game. His 61 yards were a season high, and he came up with 3 first downs. The one negative was on a deep ball downfield where he turned in the wrong direction while tracking the ball, leading to an incomplete pass on what should have been the biggest offensive gain of the day.


-The offensive line was attacked with a blitz heavy game plan by MIA. A lot of extra bodies, a lot of stunts and twists. They, and the backs/tight ends in charge of providing aid, did not respond well. There weren’t any bright spots on the line besides backup Ben Bredeson, who filled in at left guard during the 3rd quarter. He played 30 snaps (just under half) and performed well. I would like to see him more in there. Starter Matt Skura allowed 2 TFL and a pressure during his half of the snaps and offers no upside.

-Nate Solder allowed another 4 pressures and was getting manhandled at the point-of-attack in the running game. Zero push or sustainability led to many of the no-gain rushing attempts. On the other side, Andrew Thomas allowed 1 pressure and 1 sack. A case can be made that Glennon held on to the ball too long on that sack, but Thomas was beat on the play by the rookie Phillips.

-Will Hernandez allowed 2 sacks, both a result of him simply not moving his feet when engaged. We are 57 games into his career, and he still shows zero comprehension of staying home against stunts. Other teams know and exploit it weekly. Billy Price allowed 2 pressures and mightily struggled in the run game.


-It was a quiet day from this group overall. I was expecting more because of how much the young MIA offensive line has struggled all year. Even though they have played better over the past month, Leonard Williams and Austin Johnson especially didn’t make their presence known very often. Yes, the quick passing game hurt NYG’s chances of making a difference up front, but the opportunities that did come their way were not exploited.

-Dexter Lawrence led the group in snaps. That hasn’t happened often and I’m not completely sure why that was the case.


-Tae Crowder led the team with 9 tackles and added an untouched pressure. He played solidly in this game; I would say one of the better performances we have seen in his two years. The speed and twitch are a nice add-on to a defense that has the slower guys Reggie Ragland and Benardrick McKinney playing alongside of him.

-Azeez Ojulari and Quincy Roche were the 2 bright spots on defense. They both recorded a sack while Ojulari added a pressure and pass break up. I liked what I saw out of them in run defense as well. They set the edge, got off blocks, and finished plays.

-Throw in the 21 snaps we saw out of Elerson Smith, and this was the best takeaway from the game for me. Smith didn’t produce anything, but I want to see him out there more and more and he did show off some fancy technique work. The movement, suddenness, and pad level further proved in my mind that this guy has a good shot at being a good player. Now we just need to see him on the field instead of Lorenzo Carter.


-Rookie Aaron Robinson played every snap. That was nice to see, as it would be a big deal to have a strong idea what NYG has here heading into the offseason. He had 7 tackles and a pass break up. While there were some negatives when it came to his ball skills in general, Robinson is proving he can be what he needs to be. His reaction speed is excellent.

-James Bradberry was beat on two 3rd downs and allowed a touchdown while in zone coverage. He added 2 tackles, one of which was a nice play and big hit. Teams seem to be attacking him more and more underneath and intermediate.

-Jarren Willams saw his first action of the year and performed well. Good lower body movement and burst.


-Logan Ryan was back on the field after missing a couple games wit Covid-19. He made 8 tackles and was solid in coverage. Ryan and Julian Love, who added a pass break up and 2 tackles, are such key assets to a defense that remains playing at a solid level. They just don’t get the attention from most because of how bad this team is.

-Xavier McKinney recorded 6 tackles and a TFL. He allowed a touchdown and was beat on 3rd down once. Not a bad game for him, but he was tricked by Tagovailoa’s eyes a few times. It almost looked like the two knew each other from college or something.


-K Graham Gano: 3/4 (Made 39, 34, 51 / Missed 56)
-P Riley Dixon: 6 punts / 41.3 avg – 36.8 net


-OLB Azeez Ojulari, OLB Quincy Roche, K Graham Gano


-OT Nate Solder, OG Will Hernandez, QB Mike Glennon


(1) Can MIA really bounce back from 1-7 and into the playoffs? This is something all fan bases should keep in mind. Sure, a rough start creates very low odds of moving on to the postseason, but these things happen. As short as a football season seems in contrast to other sports, a lot can and does change after October. Miami went 10-6 last year and is now 6-7 in the middle of a 5-game winning streak. They have a bye followed by a game against the Jets (3-9) and Saints (5-game losing streak). An easy slate of games along with confidence that they know how to win games combine for something very noteworthy to say the least.

(2) What can we make of Tua Tagovailoa? His first 2 years have been cloudy partially because of injuries and a coaching staff that yanked him back and forth for a bit. When breaking him down, there doesn’t appear to be a “wow” factor with his arm. He is an average athlete at best. He isn’t very big. But what I like here is the accuracy he has short and intermediate. He shows tremendous touch, he throws catchable balls. I wouldn’t call him a sure thing yet, but I feel safe with Tagovailoa at the helm. He has created the most from a poor overall offensive situation in Miami.

(3) What is the key to the Miami turnaround? Two things in my opinion. Their defense is forcing turnovers like they did in 2020. They have forced 11 of them over their last 5 weeks. They had forced just 9 in the previous 8 games. Second, their young offensive line is maturing. Right tackle Jesse Davis was signed to the Practice Squad in 2016. Besides that, all 4 starters were drafted in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd rounds over the past 3 years. It hasn’t been all positive, however. Their line was atrocious early in the year, similar to what NYG has been showing. Patience and development paid off, however, and they are clicking at the right time for a cheap price.


(1) Is there anything to take away from MIA that can apply to NYG and their short-term future? Their head coach is from the Belichick family. They’re under .500 since the transition. They have a quarterback under a rookie contract. They’ve used multiple offensive coordinators. Their offensive line has been awful. They’ve had a hard time scoring points. There are a few deeper, more detailed analytic-type similarities between the two, but I will stop there. The point is the gap between these 2 teams is minuscule at the same time as it is enormous. Much discussion in the coming months will center on how NYG can improve the team. This will come down to the draft. Over the past 4 drafts, MIA has derived big time results. I would subjectively say they have hit on 22 out of 36 picks. More importantly, they’ve hit on all 16 selections from rounds 1-3. Success rates above 66% in that tier is considered good. Regardless of who leads the Giants next year, the emphasis must be on improved drafting. It can turn around fast if that is the case. Organic growth.

(2) I write this just a few hours after the Patriots won in Buffalo using 3, yes 3, total passes in the entire game. The weather dictated the approach, obviously. But NE went into a hostile environment against a top 5-defense, a top 5-run defense in particular. They ran it 46 times. I watched this game and naturally reflected further on NYG. Even though the game has changed a lot even within my lifetime (I’m only 35), the ability to pound the ball with the running game is still the most economic and safest way to play football. NYG won’t ever run the ball without 3, maybe even 4 new starters on this offensive line. I already have some thoughts in relation to how this organization needs to build for 2022 and beyond, but I will let the rest of the year play out first. However, I will say this right now: if this team wants to succeed and get on track, their draft resources noted above need to be thrown into this position group. Over and over.

(3) Looking forward, NYG has games against 4 teams with credible playoff chances. They’ll be underdogs in all of them (not including the game vs Chicago). These teams will be hungry and much of football revolves around collective effort and desire. NYG will be overmatched on paper, but I am looking for who will be playing hard and who hustles for all 60 minutes. I am old fashioned in that regard. It means something to me and it should mean something to whomever builds this team’s future. Between that and the young guys, there is a ton to watch and look for. The guys I am most excited to watch are Elerson Smith, Aaron Robinson, Xavier McKinney, Andrew Thomas, Azeez Ojulari, and Kadarius Toney. They can be a huge part of the turnaround but the on-field play and passion for the game need to be demonstrated at a high level.

Dec 052021
Oompa Loompas

New York Giants offensive line in action!

For all intents and purposes, the New York Giants’ season ended on Sunday when they were decisively beaten by an unimpressive Miami Dolphins team 20-9. With the loss, the Giants fell to 4-8 with five games left to play in the 2021 regular season.

The dreadful New York offense looked even worse with Mike Glennon subbing for the injured Daniel Jones at quarterback. The Giants scored a season-low nine points. (The team has scored more than 20 points this year in only four games). After the game, Glennon was diagnosed with a concussion.

Overall, team stats were comparable with the Dolphins holding slight advantages in offensive plays (68 to 64), first downs (19 to 16), total net yards (297 to 250), and time of possession (30:40 to 29:20). The Dolphins held a significant advantage in net passing yards (229 to 159), while the Giants out-rushed the Dolphins (91 to 68). Miami also won the turnover battle, 1 to 0.

The Giants only gained six first downs and scored three points in the first half, the results of their drives being:

  • 6 plays, 28 yards, 1 first down, punt
  • 7 plays, 45 yards, 3 first downs, interception
  • 7 plays, 16 yards, 1 first down, 39-yard field goal
  • 6 plays, 23 yards, 1 first down, punt
  • 1 play, 7 yards, end of half

It wasn’t much better in the second half, as the Giants only gained 10 first downs and six points (5 of those first downs and 3 of those points came when the game was out of reach):

  • 10 plays, 69 yards, 4 first downs, 34-yard field goal
  • 3 plays, 0 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • 3 plays, 8 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • 6 plays, 2 yards, 1 first down, punt
  • 3 plays, -8 yards, 0 first downs, punt
  • 10 plays, 25 yards, 2 first downs, 51-yard field goal
  • 6 plays, 32 yards, 3 first downs, missed 56-yard field goal

Glennon finished the game 23-of-44 for just 187 yards (4.25 yards per pass play) with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked three times and was credited with a 53.9 quarterback rating. In terms of catches, running back Saquon Barkley was his “leading” receiver with six catches for 19 yards. Tight end Evan Engram caught four passes for 61 yards. Barkley rushed 11 times for 55 yards and Devontae Booker rushed six times for 36 yards.

Defensively, the Giants performed decently, but they yet again gave up a touchdown drive right before halftime as the Dolphins drove 84 yards in 14 plays to take a 10-3 halftime lead. Two of Miami’s first-half drives resulted in points. The defense also allowed a 7-play, 61-yard touchdown drive early in the 4th quarter that all but sealed the game with the Dolphins now up 17-6. This was after the defense had forced four straight punts in the 3rd quarter. When the Giants cut the score to 17-9 with five minutes left in the game. The defense could not hold again, allowing a 10-play drive that ended with a field goal. Overall, the defense did not force a turnover and was credited with two sacks.

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

On Saturday, the Giants signed S Steven Parker to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. In addition, the team elevated WR/returner Pharoh Cooper and CB Jarren Williams from the Practice Squad.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (neck), WR Kadarius Toney (quad), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad), OG/OC Wes Martin, and LB Oshane Ximines.

WR Kenny Golladay injured his ribs in the game, but later returned. After the game, QB Mike Glennon was diagnosed with a concussion.

Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • RB Saquon Barkley (Video)
  • WR Kenny Golladay (Video)
  • CB James Bradberry (Video)
  • S Logan Ryan (Video)

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

Dec 032021
Chris Myarick, New York Giants (November 28, 2021)

Chris Myarick – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants defeated the hated Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. That would normally be a source of great joy but fans came away largely unimpressed. Not only did the offense score only 13 points, but the Giants were a Jalen Reagor catch away from one of the more devastating losses in a rivalry that is filled with devastating losses. The Giants forced a turnover, got the ball back near midfield with 1:34 left on the clock, and still almost lost the game. Imagine the fallout from that potential catastrophe!

After a 1-5 start to the season, the Giants have gone 3-2 over the course of the last five games. The W-L-W-L-W results have team fans alternating between tepid hope and apathetic despair. Nevertheless, because of the sorry state of the NFL playoff race, the Giants are still alive. Can the Giants go 5-1 or 4-2 in the last five games? Probably not, but there is still a glimmer of hope. The Giants must beat the 5-7 Miami Dolphins. With teams like the Chargers and Cowboys coming up, the wiggle room is gone.

Two weeks removed from the bye week and the Giants are still one beat up team.

  • QB Daniel Jones (neck – out)
  • FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf – questionable)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (quad – doubtful)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (oblique/quad – doubtful)
  • WR John Ross (illness/quad – questionable)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle- questionable)
  • TE Kaden Smith (knee – out)
  • OT Nate Solder (elbow – questionable)
  • LB Trent Harris (ankle – out)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad – out)

On losing teams, fairly or unfairly, the two most reviled individuals are almost always the head coach and quarterback. After a promising rookie season, Daniel Jones has opened himself up to immense criticism as the quarterback of a team that struggles to put points on the board and win games. Now for the third year in a row, Jones is out with an injury. Joe Judge has not definitively said if he will return this year. Enter Mike Glennon, who holds a lousy 6-21 record as a starting quarterback (Jones is an almost equally lousy 12-25). Daniel Jones’ detractors eagerly await to see if the quarterback change will cause any sort of offensive improvement from a team that is currently averaging a pathetic 18 points per game.

(Quick aside, if Jones is done for the season, the team can’t feel good about its quarterback situation entering 2022. Combine that with Saquon Barkley’s productivity falling off a cliff and 2021 is turning out to be a worst-case scenario disaster for the franchise).

A month ago, Miami was 1-7. Today they are 5-7. Some will question the caliber of competition, but a 4-game winning streak is impressive in today’s mediocre NFL environment. The Dolphins are hot, and much of that is due to their aggressive, blitz-heavy defense. Indeed, Miami leads the NFL in blitzes. This is going to put tremendous pressure on New York’s struggling offensive line and a starting running back (Barkley) who doesn’t do well picking up the blitz. It doesn’t help that Kadarius Toney (a perfect blitz-beating weapon) is most likely out yet again. Slot receiver Sterling Shepard is likely to miss another game too.

The Miami game plan seems pretty obvious. As bad as Barkley has been in running the ball this year, they have to come into this game concentrating on him and forcing Mike Glennon to beat them. I expect Miami’s defense to stack the line of scrimmage, give Barkley no room to operate, and blitz the heck out of Glennon. They know New York can’t block and that Glennon has thrown 27 interceptions in 27 starts.

How do you beat the blitz? Screen passes to Barkley. Quick slants to the wideouts. If the protection holds up, take your shots on one-on-one match-ups down the field. This is where Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and Darius Slayton could make an impact. But it comes down to protection. Furthermore, Miami is tied with the Giants in forcing 19 turnovers this year. Protect the football.

One more aside, for those who missed it, watch Offensive Coach Rob Sale describe why Matt Peart isn’t playing right tackle in this video, starting at the 21:15 mark. Sales’ facial expressions tell the story. The Giants came into 2021 hoping that Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez, and Matt Peart would be the future. Lemieux missed the season with a knee injury and remains an unknown. Gates suffered a potentially career-altering leg fracture. In his fourth season, Hernandez has only proven to be an incredibly inconsistent player who can’t be completely relied upon. And the Giants’ offensive line coach all but called Peart a “pussy.” In other words, the Giants are no further along on their offensive line rebuild than they were a decade ago with the exception of Andrew Thomas. The next GM of the Giants may be forced to spend both 1st-round picks on an OL-rich offensive line draft.

Patrick Graham’s defense won the game last week. It may sound over-the-top picky to complain, but I am still not thrilled with his defense’s play at the end of halves. A bad throw by Jalen Hurts saved New York at the end of the first half, and two drops by Jalen Reagor saved the team at the end of the game. Finish must be the mantra moving forward.

Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (a lefty) has missed four games this year. The Dolphins are 3-4 with him starting. His best football has come in the last two games where Miami has scored 57 combined points. RPO and play-action is a big part of Miami’s offense and Tagovailoa gets rid of the ball quickly, preferring the short game. Much of this is a reflection of a bad offensive line, which has allowed too much pressure. The Dolphins also struggle to run the ball, with only the Texans averaging less yards per game. Turnovers are also a problem for Miami, as they have 20 on the year (the Giants have 14 by comparison).

The most dangerous weapon on the team is rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle. He’s been target 103 times on the season, catching 77 passes and four touchdowns. He’s an incredibly quick and fast player who can run by defenders, but the emphasis on the short passing game is highlighted that Waddle is still averaging less than 10 yards per catch. Don’t be lulled by that figure. Also highlighting the dink-and-dunk nature of this offense is that the other primary targets are tight end Mike Gesicki (52 catches on 79 targets) and running back Myles Gaskin (43 catches on 54 targets). The Dolphins will also throw to back-up tight end Durham Smythe.

Bad news is that Adoree’ Jackson and Darnay Holmes (on IR) are out. Good news is that Logan Ryan is back and Aaron Robinson is coming off a strong game. Nevertheless, the Giants are down to James Bradberry, Robinson, and Keion Crossen at corner. Ryan and Julian Love will probably have to play some corner in this game, particularly Love in the slot.

In a nutshell, as long as the Giants stay disciplined with the RPO and play-action and don’t give up the big play to Waddle, this is an offense that they should be able to mostly keep in check. Tagovailoa gets rid of the ball quickly, making it hard to get pressure, but this is an offensive line that can have issues in pass protection. We may see a good game from some of the Giants’ pass rushers. That said, the underneath coverage against the backs and tight ends is key. The Giants still very much miss Blake Martinez.

Riley Dixon is an overpaid, underperforming punter. In general, Giants’ special teams are not hurting them this year, but they aren’t winning games either. Joe Judge did mention this week that the Dolphins like to run gadget plays on special teams.

Offensive Line Coach Rob Sale on what Matt Peart needs to do to improve:Go out there and put your hands around somebody’s neck and freaking choke ‘em. Plain and simple.

The season is on the line. The Giants either improve to 5-7 or fall to 4-8 with five games left. It’s up to them.

Teams often will rally around the back-up quarterback for a game or two. It will be interesting to see how Glennon performs.

Dec 162019
Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 15, 2019)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

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New York Giants 36 – Miami Dolphins 20


That time of year where players and fans alike start to mail it in has arrived. We are fast approaching mid-December and despite the fact the NFC East is at its weakest in decades, the Giants are on the outside looking in. Winless in their last 9 games, NYG hosted the equally-bad Miami Dolphins in a game that could have major NFL Draft implications. Also adding some flavor to this otherwise stale game was Eli Manning potentially making his final start in front of the home crowd, or what was left of it anyway. He entered the game with a 116-117 career record and while the wins and losses aren’t a make or break on his legacy, the taste in everyone’s mouth would be a bit sweeter if he could get that ratio back to .500.

The Dolphins were led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, a 37-year old who has been aging like wine since his career began in 2005. While nobody mistakes him for Dan Marino, Fitzpatrick has made a habit in recent years of pulling off upset wins with his sneaky, slippery ways. He led the first MIA drive in to NYG territory but the December winds of North Jersey pushed kicker Jason Sanders’ attempt wide right.

The Giants’ opening drive ended in a Nate Solder allowed-sack before MIA took the ball back and marched right down the field into the red zone. Instead of trying to get the initial points on the board with a 27-yard field goal, Head Coach Brian Flores kept Sanders on the sideline this time to give the MIA offense an opportunity to convert a 4th-and-1 from the NYG 10-yard line. It was stuffed by safety Julian Love and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson for a 3-yard loss.

NYG did cross midfield for the first time but that is where the drive stalled and they had to punt it right back to MIA. They drove down the field yet again and the third time proved to be a charm. Thanks to several missed tackles by both the second and third levels of the defense, MIA found themselves in the red zone and Fitzpatrick hit DeVante Parker up the seam between Corey Ballentine and Antoine Bethea for the game’s first score.

NYG was about to go 3-and-out following an incomplete deep ball to Darius Slayton, but thanks to a pass interference by rookie Nate Brooks, NYG had the ball with a fresh set of downs at midfield. On the very next play Manning hit Golden Tate, who fought through another pass interference, tipped and bobbled the ball, and came down with it before bursting into the end zone to tie the game back up.

After a quick stop by the NYG defense, Manning got the ball back but he threw an interception to MIA linebacker Vince Biegel on a zone blitz that he simply did not recognize. MIA was able to put up three more points via a 24-yard field goal and take a 10-7 lead. A second interception from Manning kept the score there heading into halftime. The Giants were losing by 3 at home to a team that many have said is purposely tanking the 2019 season.

Halftime created a completely opposite result from what we saw just 6 nights prior in Philadelphia. They came out on fire and scored on a touchdown pass from Manning to Slayton. The momentum was back on NYG’s side after they forced a MIA 3-and-out, but Manning threw another horrific interception. There are times where a quarterback gets unlucky when an interception is added to his box score. We have seen several of those in Eli’s career where a receiver tips a ball or someone ran a wrong route. But all three of these were low-level, rookie-caliber mistakes. MIA ended up turning this one into 3 points to bring the game back within 1 point.

After forcing a stop, MIA got the ball back on their own 3-yard line. They opted to try and run outside with an undrafted, on-the-slower side running back with an untouched defender in front of him. It resulted in cornerback Sam Beal recording a tackle for loss in the end zone, netting NYG 2 more points with the ball coming back to them. It was the first safety of the season for NYG and ended up being the turning point of the game.

The Giants scored on their next two possessions via Saquon Barkley touchdowns. Barkley had a career high 28 touches. Pat Shurmur nearly faltered, by not giving him the ball enough as they tried to bleed out the clock with a lead against a bad team. But he quickly reverted to feeding him the rock behind an offensive line that was dominating the point-of-attack. The Giants scored one final touchdown on the legs of Buck Allen and MIA added one of their own on a charity score from Fitzpatrick to Parker.

Eli Manning was pulled and received a standing ovation and “Eli” cheer. If only more than a third of the stadium was full. Oh well.

Manning got his record back to .500 and NYG took the W for the first time since Week 4.

Giants win 36-20.


-Eli Manning: 20/28 – 283 yards – 2 TD / 3 INT – 87.9 RAT. The two touchdowns really saved Manning’s supposed last start at MetLife Stadium. His three interceptions were all on him and he had a multiple misses on short passes. However, as we have grown to know well with Manning, he came up big in multiple spots and didn’t let poor plays carry over into the next series. One slight positive out of this game that the common fan won’t notice was Manning’s ability to change blocking schemes and plays at the line to set up Barkley. That’s one thing a rookie like Jones just doesn’t do yet and a veteran like Manning can do as easily as put his helmet on. It was nice to see Manning get a win and play well enough to contribute to that win in what we think will be his final start at home.


-Saquon Barkley: 24 att / 112 yards / 2 TD – 4 rec / 31 yards. Just over a year ago was the last time Barkley got 24 carries (12/8/18 – a Giants win). His 28 touches were the second highest of his 2-year career (29 touches on 11/18/18 – also a Giants win). Barkley looked like the elite, rare-level talent who we saw all of last year and were excited about going into 2019. He made lateral cuts that sent defenders straight to the ground without contact, his short area burst created separation from defenders at all levels, and he got into the end zone twice. Barkley was also running hard because he actually had some room to work with up front and it was such a breath of fresh air to see him produce. Don’t worry NYG fans, this is still one of the top talents in the league. Now the front office better take note what happens when they have an advantage rather than a deficit up front.


-Sterling Shepard: 9 rec / 111 yards. Shepard had a bad drop and was flagged for offensive pass interference, but beyond that he was dominant over the green MIA corners. He was getting open underneath time after time and was a major weapon on 3rd down. He also had 2 key blocks that went unnoticed.

-Darius Slayton had 2 catches including a 5-yard touchdown and Golden Tate had one catch that went for a 51-yard score. They weren’t targeted a ton (7 combined) but the weather somewhat inhibited the downfield attack and Manning was clicking underneath with Shepard. Cody Latimer added a catch for 21 yards.


-Kaden Smith had 3 catches for 38 yards on 3 targets. He made an impressive catch up the seam and showed some toughness after the catch. As a blocker, he graded out well but did allow a TFL.


-If only the Giants could play against the Dolphins defensive line each week. The right side of the line was dominant. Second-year undrafted free agent Nick Gates, who has seen more time at OT this season, played exceptionally well at RG. He was the top graded lineman on the team and had the second-highest grade of any OL performance from the team all year. Mike Remmers also kept things quiet next to him and NYG made an effort to run behind these two when tough yards were needed. I really hope to see more of Gates against WAS and PHI where his level of competition will be much higher.

-Nate Solder allowed a sack early and 1 pressure in the second half but otherwise played solidly. He was fooled by some twists and stunts and his balance wasn’t there to recover. Will Hernandez had the lowest grade on the OL, grading out just above average. He allowed a TFL and was flagged for a hold. He, too, looked lost on a couple run blitzes where he just didn’t see things coming fast enough.

-Jon Halapio didn’t make much of a difference. He got some decent movement off the ball which helped open up the running game.


-Rookie Oshane Ximines out-snapped Lorenzo Carter. It wasn’t by much (34 to 32) but it is something to keep an eye on. Carter has been a disappointment this season and Ximines has flashed. He continued to do so in this one, recording a half-sack along with 2 pressures. Carter recorded 1 tackle and 1 pressure.

-Markus Golden added to his team lead in sacks with a half-sack of his own but also added 3 pressures, all in the second half. He had 3 tackles on the day and was stout against the run.


-Similar to what I opened the offensive line discussion with, if only the Giants could play against the Dolphins every week. The trio of Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Dexter Lawrence owned the line of scrimmage. Tomlinson remained red hot with 3 tackles and a sack, along with a couple penetrations that caused the Dolphins running game into the waiting hands of other defenders. Williams had 3 tackles / 2 pressures / 1 forced fumble that was recovered by NYG.

-B.J. Hill and R.J. McIntosh both got involved in the action despite limited playing time. They both made a play behind the line of scrimmage, with McIntosh’s play being a sack.


-Alec Ogletree appears to have at least somewhat checked out. I remember saying this last year after this loss to the Titans. His hustle and urgency just wasn’t there and it was partially the reason why he missed 4 tackles and was flagged for a hold. He just looked sloppy and stiff. He did add a pressure and a pass break up in the second half but I see a guy who lacks both emotion and leadership from a position where they are needed. He shouldn’t be back in 2020.

-David Mayo added 6 tackles / 1 TFL. He has half the talent of Ogletree but I can’t say their production and impact combined are that far off. He plays hard and even though he was eaten up in coverage a few times. I always want a roster spot for a guy like Mayo.

-Deone Bucannon continues his tryout for NYG and the future. He made a really physical and athletic tackle near the sideline and got involved in some disruption behind the line of scrimmage. He finished with 6 tackles and was effective in coverage.


-The youth movement at corner is officially under way after the release of Janoris Jenkins, who had too much pride to simply apologize for what he said to someone on social media. Imagine if someone had used a racial slur on him and justified it by stating it was a “culture thing.”

-Sam Beal had his finest game and moment as a Giant and it was important for him, as he has been either injured or ineffective for nearly 2 seasons, and that can put a guy in danger when it comes to his roster spot. He finished with a team-high 11 tackles, the one big play being a safety. Beal isn’t an overly big guy, but he played really physical on several occasions. I think his footwork and reactions are a little behind the curve still but he was a key contributor to the NYG win.

-Deandre Baker’s play continues to move in the right direction. If he ends on this high note, we can feel good about his rookie season overall. He did allow a late touchdown on a 50/50 ball, but his technique and urgency have been notably better.

-Corey Ballentine has been getting a good amount of action at nickel. I don’t see the fit because his hips and feet just don’t change quickly and efficiently. He is a better straight line athlete, which can be used better outside. He allowed a touchdown on a seam route but he did break up a pass and finish with 3 tackles.


-Julian Love’s role with this team will be interesting to watch in the offseason. He finished with yet another strong game. He had 5 tackles / 2 TFL / 1 pressure / 1 pass break up. He is playing the versatile role of Jabrill Peppers with a lot of action in the box and excelling. Can he be moved back into the role of Antoine Bethea? On paper that is ideal, but I’m not sure he can produce from that spot. All of that aside, his play has been stellar.

-Antoine Bethea had 5 tackles and a pass break up but also missed 2 tackles and was late in zone coverage. I can respect the leadership he provides but I am keeping safety in my top-3 needs for this team moving forward.


-K Aldrick Rosas went 4/5 on extra points with no FG attempts.

-P Riley Dixon: 5 Punts / 41.8 avg / 41.8 net. Solid game on a windy day. Dixon ranks 6th in the NFL in average net per punt.


-RB Saquon Barkley, OG Nick Gates, CB Sam Beal


-LB Alec Ogletree, EDGE Lorenzo Carter, OG Will Hernandez


  1. Back in September, everyone and their mother were completely positive that MIA was tanking the 2019 season so they could end up with the top pick of the 2020 Draft and select Tua Tagovailoa. Fast forward via real life and here we are. They are playing their butts off, no longer picking in the top 2 (most likely), and both Tua and Chase Young may not even be in the draft class. I have never believed that tanking is a thing and I still don’t. They cleared a lot of cap room, they began a new culture, and they used 2019 to find some key contributors for their future.
  1. Where does this team go now? First, I would love to know what their plans for Josh Rosen are. Part of me thinks Ryan Fitzpatrick simply beat him out and the other part of me says they are using 2019 as a rookie year for Rosen to let him sit and observe rather than run for his life behind a bottom-tier offensive line for the second year in a row. MIA has the resources to improve both the OL and DL this offseason and that is exactly where it needs to begin.
  1. Give me a guy like Brian Flores all day. He gets the most out of his players via leadership and intensity. He is a guy who can scare the kids but also work with the veterans. He knows the game exceptionally well (and we all know that is not a given for NFL head coaches). I think MIA is in really good hands.


  1. Even though the Giants won, the offensive-strategy bothered me as the Giants did not consistently attack newly-acquired, undrafted free agent Nate Brooks, who was playing in his first game. We have seen other teams throw at Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine and Deandre Baker over and over this year. Whenever NYG did target the receiver that Brooks was covering, it was near 100% successful. Darius Slayton beat him multiple times off the ball but they didn’t even look that way.
  1. Lets not go crazy with Nick Gates just yet. I know we are starving for good news, particularly along the offensive line, but the MIA defensive line is the worst in football. I have a couple friends who grade defensive line play around the league in a detailed manner and they have Miami ranked 32nd, with the 31st-ranked team not being close. Gates did what he had to do and he deserves the “stud” label this week but we need to see him against better competition.
  1. If Daniel Jones had a significant shoulder injury I would say he needs to be on the shelf the rest of the year. But a high-ankle sprain? He should play these next 2 weeks if he is even somewhat able. Jones has a ways to go and every week he misses is a lost opportunity for him. This is the time you want him to make the mistakes and learn from them. NYG will head into 2020 looking to win right away; thus Jones needs to get as much experience as possible. No question.
Dec 152019
New York Giants Fans (December 15, 2019)

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The New York Giants ended their 9-game losing streak by defeating the Miami Dolphins 36-20 on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the win, the Giants’ overall record improved to 3-11 on the season with two games left. Quarterback Eli Manning, who might have played in his last game as a Giant, also improved his career regular-season win-loss record as a starter to 117-117. He received a standing ovation at the end of the game.

“I don’t know what the future is,” said Manning after the game. “I don’t know what lies next week, let alone down the road. Obviously, the support and the fans, their ovation, chanting my name from the first snap to the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate them always and all my teammates coming up to me. It’s a special day, a special win and one I’ll remember.”

The Dolphins gained 39 yards on their first 10 plays of the game, but came away empty when their kicker missed a 49-yard field goal. The Giants picked up one first down on their initial drive before punting. Miami drove 52 yards in 10 plays on their second possession, but on 4th-and-1 from the New York 10-yard line, safety Julian Love and nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson stuffed the back for a 3-yard loss as the Dolphins turned the ball over on downs.

The Giants gained two first downs on their second possession, but punted again. The Dolphins responded with a 9-play, 89-yard drive that culminated with a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to wide receiver DeVante Parker. Dolphins 7 – Giants 0.

The New York offense finally produced a scoring drive of its own as the Giants quickly responded with a 3-play, 75-yard effort that ended with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Golden Tate. The game was now tied at 7-7.

After a punt by Miami pinned the Giants down at their own 1-yard line, the New York offense managed to reach their own 41-yard line before a holding penalty pushed them back. On the next snap, Manning was intercepted and the Dolphins had the ball at the New York 28-yard line. The Dolphins gained one first down before settling for a 24-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the half. Manning was intercepted for the second time on the final play of the 2nd quarter.

At the break, the Dolphins led 10-7.

The Giants took the lead for good on their first possession of the second half. Assisted by a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton and a 21-yard pass to wide receiver Cody Latimer, the Giants drive 70 yards in six plays with Manning finishing the possession with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Slayton. Giants 14 – Dolphins 10.

Both teams then exchanged turnovers. After a big hit from linebacker Alec Ogletree, defensive end Leonard Williams forced Fitzpatrick to fumble with safety Sean Chandler recovering at the Miami 33-yard line. However, three plays later, on 3rd-and-1, Manning was intercepted at the Miami 15-yard line and the pick was returned 34 yards to near midfield. The Dolphins picked up one first down before kicking a 47-yard field goal. Giants 14 – Dolphins 13.

The Giants only gained one first down and punted on the ensuing drive. However, the Dolphins were pinned inside their own 5-yard line. Cornerback Sam Beal then tackled the Miami running back in the end zone for a safety. The Giants now led 16-13.

New York began to take control of the game after the free kick. Wide receiver Da’Mari Scott returned the ball 34 yards to the Miami 40-yard line. Two passes from Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a total of 39 yards set up the Giants at the 1-yard line. Running back Saquon Barkley then scored and the Giants were up 23-13.

After the Dolphins went three-and-out, the Giants responded with their third touchdown drive of the half, marching 66 yards in eight plays. Barkley scored his second touchdown, this time from 10 yards out on the first play of the 4th quarter. Giants 30 – Dolphins 13.

Both teams gained one first down before punting on the next two possessions. Then the Dolphins turned the football over on downs at their own 44-yard line. With 6:35 left in the game, New York put the contest to bed with a five play drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown by running back Buck Allen. Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point. Giants 36 – Dolphins 13.

The New York defense got a bit sloppy on the ensuing possession as the Dolphins easily drove 75 yards in eight plays to cut the score to 36-20 with less than two minutes to play. The Giants began to kneel on the ball, but took Manning out of the game so he could receive an ovation from the home crowd. The Dolphins got the ball back with 46 seconds remaining but chose to simply run out the clock.

Manning finished 20-of-28 for 283 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. His leading target was Shepard, who caught nine passes for 111 yards. Barkley carried the ball 24 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the Giants surrendered 384 total net yards (122 rushing, 262 passing). New York forced one turnover on a fumble recovery and picked up three sacks: Tomlinson (1), defensive end R.J. McIntosh (1), linebacker Markus Golden (0.5), and linebacker Oshane Ximines (0.5).

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (ankle), TE Evan Engram (foot), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), RG Kevin Zeitler (ankle/wrist), RB Wayne Gallman, and OT/OG Chad Slade. There was no seventh player inactive because the Giants came into the game with only 52 players on the roster.

Cornerback Deandre Baker hurt his knee but returned to the game.

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:

Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Dec 132019

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Game Preview: Miami Dolphins at New York Giants, December 15, 2019


I’m going to be honest with you guys and gals, I just want this season to be over. This is as depressing a season in my late middle-aged life as I can remember.

So rather than dwell in the current bleak state of affairs, and in the spirit of the holidays, let’s look to t he future!

Here are my 12 Days of Christmas wish list:

  1. Fire the defensive and offensive coordinators. I don’t care what James Bettcher did in Arizona. I can only judge him on what he has done the past two years in New Jersey. His defense is a confused mess that routinely allows struggling offenses have their best days. On the offensive side of the ball, I’m still not sure what Mike Shula even does. Only a case can be made for Thomas McGaughey (special teams), but let the new coach decide his fate.
  2. Fire the position coaches. Has any position on this roster gotten better under the tutelage of the position coaches the past two years? Running back (Craig Johnson), offensive line (Hal Hunter), wide receivers (Tyke Tolbert), tight ends (Lunda Wells), defensive line (Gary Emanuel), linebackers (Bill McGovern and Mike Dawson), and defensive backs (Everett Withers)? Think about it.
  3. Fire Pat Shurmur. Last Monday night should have convinced even fence-sitters that he is the wrong guy. I don’t want him anywhere near the team. We’re in Bill Arnsparger, Ray Handley, and Ben McAdoo territory here. Heaven help the Giants if ownership’s take is that Shurmur is fine and he just has to replace assistant coaches.
  4. Fire the General Manager. Dave Gettlemen said before the season that he did not know if this was a playoff team but he should be judged on whether the product is getting better or not. It’s not. Moreover, Gettlemen is near retirement age and the next GM should not be encumbered with Gettlemen’s coaching staff and roster. The trade for Leonard Williams should be the final nail in the coffin. Not moving Evan Engram and Janoris Jenkins also looks bad. The Giants are going to have another top five pick in the draft and tens of millions of dollars to spend in free agency. I wouldn’t give that responsibility to Gettleman, especially since his free agent decisions have been terrible.
  5. Tell Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Chris Mara that his “expertise” in no longer needed. He’s been a failure. His position is duplicative and probably causes unspoken internal confusion. Time to focus on his horse racing career.
  6. Conduct a real general manager search. Don’t just pretend to do so and give the job to Assistant General Manager Kevin Abrams. He’s responsible for the failed product too.
  7. Do not hire Ernie Accorsi to serve as a consultant. I shouldn’t even have to explain this.
  8. That said, ownership should not rely on just their own instincts on who to hire as general manager and head coach. Those instincts have caused the Giants to fire Tom Coughlin while keeping Jerry Reese and Marc Ross, hire Ben McAdoo in a panic for fear of the Philadelphia Eagles “stealing” him, and hiring Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur. In other words, their instincts are dreadful. Seek professional outside counsel.
  9. Strongly consider hiring a defensive-minded head coach. While Tom Coughlin worked out marvelously, I’m sick to death of “offensive gurus” like McAdoo and Shurmur. Get back to your franchise roots and build this team around a kick-ass defense.
  10. For the love of God, fix the freaking offensive line. It’s been almost a decade now since players like Kareem McKenzie, David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Chris Snee, and Shaun O’Hara hung it up. You ruined the second half of Eli Manning’s career. You are ruining the young careers of Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones before they have entered their prime. What good are the second and sixth picks in the draft if they don’t have a line?
  11. Find some players who can cover the middle of the field. Again, the team’s linebackers and safeties have been chronically abused for years. Jason Witten should pick John Mara to give his Hall of Fame induction speech.
  12. In the spirit of the season of miracles, go get Bill Belichick. Call me stupid, naive, foolish, hopelessly unrealistic, but I think he can be pried away from New England. There have been whispers of a break-up with Patriots for years. The Tom Brady era is coming to an end. This is the time to strike. We have a need. He may be looking to leave. Offer Bill full authority to run the entire football operation. When he’s done with coaching, he can still build the team. He loves the Giants. Don’t play it safe here, swing for the fences.


  • QB Daniel Jones (ankle – out)
  • WR Golden Tate (foot)
  • TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
  • TE Rhett Ellison (concussion – out)
  • RG Kevin Zeitler (ankle/wrist – out)
  • CB Corey Ballentine (concussion)


The Dolphins suck but they are playing hard and having fun. The Giants just mailed in the second-half against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Giants haven’t hit rock bottom yet. It’s coming.

Aug 132016
Andre Williams, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Andre Williams – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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Miami Dolphins 27 – New York Giants 10


Minus their two best players – Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, the Ben McAdoo era began with a bit of an anti-climatic, uneventful game sabotaged by horrendous quarterback play by Ryan Nassib. The first preseason game is usually a bit sloppy and this contest was no exception. McAdoo needs to get this team to play more disciplined football and execute at a higher level. There were too many turnovers and the Giants were lucky there weren’t a lot more. Nassib could have been picked off more than twice. And the Giants fortunately recovered four of their six fumbles.

The primary take-aways from this game were:

  • Ryan Nassib stunk.
  • The starting defense played at a high level.
  • The team is holding its breath awaiting news on Eli Apple’s knee.
  • There appears to be little depth on the offensive line.
  • The Giants have some promising young players on both sides of the ball.

Giants on Offense

Not good. Aided by two Miami Dolphins penalties. the Giants drove 74 yards on nine plays on their opening drive to score their only touchdown of the evening. The only other points were set up by a turnover returned to the Dolphins 11-yard line. The Giants gained five first downs on their first drive and only seven others on the remaining 13 drives. The passing game was beyond pathetic, accruing a net of 69 yards. The running game was far more productive with 158 yards rushing but it couldn’t compensate for the terrible quarterbacking.

Something to keep an eye on is that Mike Sullivan called the plays in this game, not Ben McAdoo. If the offense continues to struggle, that may have to change.


Ben McAdoo decided to not play Eli Manning.

Ryan Nassib was handed an opportunity that all back-up quarterbacks who aspire to one day start in the NFL hope to receive: play the bulk of a preseason game, including starting with the first unit. Nassib failed miserably. Rather than confidently raising the level of play of the offensive unit, he appeared to be the one holding it back. Nassib seemed jumpy, missed seeing open receivers, and had trouble on almost all of his outside throws. Indeed, the only strikes he really threw were between the hashmarks. Two of his deep throws were underthrown, late, and picked off. He was lucky at least two other passes were not intercepted. Nassib sloppily fumbled away one ball after a scramble, setting up an easy touchdown for the Dolphins. He also had issues on a couple of snaps where the football ended up on the ground. Nassib had a chance to hit Sterling Shepard in the end zone on 3rd-and-goal, but also underthrew him there.

The final stat line was ugly: 7-of-15 for 75 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 1 lost fumble, and a quarterback rating of 22.2. Logan Thomas received playing time in the 4th quarter but was only threw for 12 yards.

The primary reason the Giants lost this football game was Nassib. He held the entire offense back.

Running Backs

Hampered by a pathetic passing attack, the running game was probably more productive than should have been expected as the Giants ran for 158 yards on the night (146 yards from the running backs). Andre Williams was the leading rusher with nine carries for 41 yards (4.6 yards per carry). He had runs of 16 and 12 yards and appeared more nimble and instinctive. New York’s best run of the night was a 19-yarder by Shane Vereen who put on a nifty spin move to avoid a free defender behind the line of scrimmage. Rashad Jennings only had three carries but scored from three yards out, running through a tackle to do so. Bobby Rainey received playing time earlier than expected (2nd quarter) and had four carries for 17 yards (4.3 yards per carry). Paul Perkins gained 36 yards on seven carries (5.1 yards per carry), including a 14-yard run, but he botched a handoff. The turnover gave the Dolphins a short field to put the game away. Orleans Darkwa had two carries for 16 yards and Marshaun Coprich two carries for six yards.

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham (coach’s decision) and Victor Cruz (groin) did not play.

The quarterback play was so shoddy that it was tough to get a good read on the receivers. Giants quarterbacks completed nine passes – and only five to wide receivers!!! Sterling Shepard had the catch of the night, when he kept alive the Giants sole TD drive with a diving 24-yard catch on 3rd-and-6. Only one receiver had more than one catch and that was Geremy Davis who caught two passes for 21 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. Only one other receiver – Dwayne Harris – had a catch longer than 10 yards (Harris had an 11-yarder). Roger Lewis received a lot of playing time earlier than expected. He had one catch for nine yards.

Tight Ends

Again, quarterbacking was so poor that it was tough to get a good read on the tight ends in the passing game. Will Tye had a nifty 15-yard catch-and-run called back due to an illegal formation penalty on Byron Stingily. The only official catch was the 7-yarder caught by Jerell Adams late in the 4th quarter. Larry Donnell was flagged with an unnecessary holding penalty on an outside run. Donnell did have an excellent block as an up back on Andre Williams’ 16-yard run. Tye and Matt LaCosse seemed to do a reasonable job run blocking.

Weston Richburg, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Weston Richburg – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Offensive Line

The Dolphins sat their top three defensive linemen so this wasn’t a real good test for the starting five. On the first drive, Ereck Flowers allowed one pass pressure and was flagged with a false start. The Giants had some issues running around end early; there was on play where RT Marshall Newhouse was pushed back, disrupting the play. Overall, the starters were pretty steady however.

The second-team line featured LT Byron Stingily, LG Ryan Seymour, OC Brett Jones, RG Adam Gettis, and RT Bobby Hart. Gettis was a train wreck. He got flagged for holding three times and botched his initial block on a screen pass that led to a sack. Stingily was flagged for an illegal formation penalty that wiped out a 15-yard reception by TE Will Tye (Stingily also allowed Nassib to get hit on this play). Seymour got beat on the play that led to the Nassib fumble that was returned to the 5-yard line; he had some issues with the bull-rush.

In the third quarter, Gettis moved to center and Emmett Cleary came in at right guard. This is where Gettis promptly was flagged with his third holding penalty. Late in the quarter, Dillon Farrell played center with Jones at left guard and Cleary still at right guard. In the 4th quarter, the line featured LT Jake Rodgers, LG Shane McDermott, OC Dillon Farrell, RG Brett Jones, and RT Emmett Cleary. Rodgers and McDermott had good blocks on a 14-yard gain by Paul Perkins. Rodgers was flagged with a false start and the running game pretty much sputtered for much of the rest of the final quarter. Cleary also gave up a pass pressure on 3rd-and-9.

Giants on Defense

The starting defense played very well. The Giants stuffed the run and got after the passer. Miami did not gain a first down until their sixth drive of the game. The reserves did not play as well, but they were also not helped by the Giants offense setting up the Dolphins on short fields after turnovers. Miami scored 17 points after drives of 33, 5, and 25 yards. A 51-yard touchdown pass came on a fluke play where the intended receiver tipped the pass to another receiver who easily ran into the end zone.

Defensive Line

DT Jay Bromley (ankle) and DE Kerry Wynn (groin) did not play.

The starting four of LDE Jason Pierre-Paul, DT Johnathan Hankins, DT Damon Harrison, and RDE Olivier Vernon looked as good as advertised. They were tough against the run and applied tremendous pressure on the quarterback. Hankins and Harrison – who flipped between both tackle spots – are a brick wall in the middle. Vernon stood out with his lightning quick pass rush, hitting the quarterback twice and almost getting a safety. JPP also flashed with his pressure on the quarterback and caused a holding penalty on a running play.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa had his best game as a Giant, lining up both at defensive tackle in pass rush situations and outside in the base defense. He had three quarterback hits and two sacks. His first big hit came with the starters, forcing the quarterback to unload the ball quickly. He also caused a holding penalty on one pass rush. Odigizuwa did get handled on the 5-yard touchdown run however.

Two other relatively unknown defensive ends had their moments too. Stansly Maponga accrued a sack and rookie free agent Romeo Okwara played a lot. Okwara has good size and made some noise both in run defense and applying pressure. Like Odighizuwa, Okwara played defensive tackle in passing situations. Mike Rose had one big hit near the end of the 3rd quarter on the quarterback.

Among the reserve tackles, Greg Milhouse had one sack and four tackles. He combined with safety Andrew Adams to stuff one 3rd-and-1 run. Louis Nix had a few decent moments against the run.

Jonathan Casillas, New York Giants (August 12 2016)

Jonathan Casillas – © USA TODAY Sports Images


Linebackers Keenan Robinson (groin) and J.T. Thomas (hamstring) did not play.

Jonathan Casillas looked good in pass coverage, picking off one pass and returning it to the 11-yard line and almost coming down with another interception off a deflection. He was also pretty active flowing to the football on running plays (two assists). In limited time, Jasper Brinkley had two solo tackles and Kelvin Sheppard one assist. Devon Kennard was quiet.

B.J. Goodson (7 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss) stood out as a physical presence with strong, sure tackles. However, he did miss a tackle at the start of the 3rd quarter on a 26-yard run. Later on this drive, Goodson was badly beaten in coverage by the tight end (fortunately, the pass was dropped). Goodson did a nice job of reading a screen pass and causing a 3-yard loss.

Brad Bars seemed to get hung up a little too long on blocks and was caught chasing ball carriers who got around him. Ishaq Williams made a nice tackle on an inside run but later couldn’t make a play on the back on 3rd-and-3 when the Dolphins were running out the clock.

Defensive Backs

Corners Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins were never tested. Neither were safeties Darian Thompson and Landon Collins. Ben McAdoo said that Thompson was near perfect in his assignments.

Eli Apple had a couple of throws in his direction, but made a sure tackle to keep the receiver short of the first down and had tight coverage on another short throw. Apple also helped to disrupt an outside running play.

Leon McFadden was beaten a couple of times, including on key 3rd-and-8 and 3rd-and-6 plays that kept drives alive. Donte Deayon and Michael Hunter couldn’t get off their blocks on a 3rd-and-16 screen play that picked up 24 yards. Deayon was beaten for 14 yards on 3rd-and-4 later on this scoring drive. In the 4th quarter, the Dolphins tried the WR screen again but Hunter this time read it beautifully, disrupting the entire play.

Nat Berhe made one very good play in run defense, but later left his side of the field wide open on the 5-yard touchdown run by misreading the play. Cooper Taylor missed a tackle near the line of scrimmage on a 26-yard run. Andrew Adams made a nice play in short yardage on 3rd-and-1 but he bit on the 4th-and-1 play-fake and may have been responsible for the tight end being wide open for the catch-and-run touchdown. Bennett Jackson did a horrible job of over-running this play too and letting the tight end score.

Giants on Special Teams

I’m sorry but Tom Quinn doesn’t do it for me. He should have been let go a long time ago.

Brad Wing punted seven times, including a 65-yarder and two kicks downed inside the 20-yard line. But kickoff and punt coverage could have been much better. Miami’s Jakeem Grant returned kickoffs for 26 and 27 yards. More damaging were his four punt returns for a total of 60 yards (15 yards per return), including a 28-yarder. Orleans Darkwa did have a strong tackle on a third kickoff return that only gained eight yards.

Bobby Rainey received most of the return work for the Giants. He returned three punts for a total of 17 yards (5.7 yards per return) and two kickoffs for 36 yards (18 yards per return). More alarmingly, his old ball security issues appeared as he fumbled a punt return and bobbled another. He also had issues with one kickoff return. Dwayne Harris’ job appears very safe.

Cooper Taylor was flagged with an unnecessary roughness penalty, wiping out a 15-yard punt return by K.J. Maye. Leon McFadden was also flagged with a holding penalty on a punt return.

(Miami Dolphins at New York Giants, August 12, 2016)