Oct 042023
Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones, New York Giants (October 2, 2023)

Brian Daboll and Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports


-Daniel Jones: 27/34 – 203 yards / 0 TD – 2 NT / 67.0 RAT

Jones was also the leading rusher with 66 yards on 10 carries. The Giants seemed to protect him against San Francisco ten days ago with very few designed runs and an incredibly quick passing game by design. That approach changed against Seattle. With Saquon Barkley still on the sideline and an offensive line that continues to be a constant unobstructed funnel to the quarterback, Jones took more hits in one game than he’s ever had. He will not last much longer if this continues to be the case. However, on the other hand, him running is by far the most efficient and consistent form of offense this team has.

Jones put this team on his back for most of the game. He did not have time to throw the ball deep. Not once. He took over 20 hits and was one sack away from tying an NFL record. The lack of reliability up front has undoubtedly shaken up his confidence and ability to progress through reads. The receivers had a tough time getting off the line and through initial coverage in a hurry. The offense appears predictable (more on that below) and defenses are not being fooled any longer. All the above are true. And so is the fact Jones appears to have taken a step down the ladder. His interception from the five-yard line that ended in a pick six by a rookie cornerback was the nail in the coffin for both him and this team in their Week 4 matchup. As that rookie cornerback said after the game, he knew where Jones was going to go with the pass before Jones threw it. The play design had created space for the number one acquisition of the offseason for this team, Darren Waller, as he ran toward the back corner of the end zone with enough room. Jones panicked and was responsible for sucking the life out of the comeback effort. The second interception left the coaching staff disgusted. And before both of those, there was a lost fumble that landed SEA inside the NYG ten-yard line and set them up for their first touchdown. Again, a tough play for a quarterback to make but those excuses are no longer valid. Jones, in a rainstorm that was quickly flooding the basement, forgot to turn the pump on. Instead of two inches of standing water that required a quick clean up, the project now started with two feet of standing water.


-Matt Breida stepped in for the injured Barkley again. While he gained just 30 yards on 14 carries, he did lead the team with 5 catches and 48 yards. The 22-yard gain on a broken play, a pass from a scrambling Jones, was the longest gain by the offense. Breida also stuck his nose in there as a pass blocker against the blitz multiple times, allowing zero pressures on 11 pass blocking opportunities.

-Gary Brightwell saw about a quarter of the snaps at running back, gaining just 9 yards on 4 carries. He was flagged twice on special teams, one of which held up. That one was a killer, a personal foul that pushed the putrid offense back to their own 10-yard line to start a drive. Unfortunately, on a team like this in a situation like this, a dumb mental mistake like that feels even bigger.


-Seven receivers saw the field for NYG. There was a slight shift in playing time toward the youngest and most explosive playmakers, the two guys who were drafted by this regime on day two (one in ’22, one in ’23). Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt were on the field for 48 and 45 snaps, respectively. Darius Slayton is still the number one guy when it comes to playing time, but I sense a shift toward the young guns coming.

-Robinson was the one consistent positive on this offense. I know the bar is set low there, but he did play a big game. He had 5 catches for 40 yards and had a rush for another 7 yards. So, 6 touches, just under 8 yards per on average, and five first downs. Robinson’s skill set is unique. Even though the size will limit him in some situations, this is the kind of role player who can move the chains and make the offense more versatile. One of the smallest players in the NFL broke two tackles and gained 30 yards after the catch total. The stutter step quickness and natural vision can be lethal combinations if the scheme can direct attention to other players. He can crush one-on-one coverage and win against lone open field tacklers.

-Isaiah Hodgins had 24 yards on 3 catches (3 targets), Slayton added 23 yards on 2 catches, Hyatt was thrown at twice underneath for 10 yards on two catches, Parris Campbell had 15 yards on 3 catches, and Sterling Shepard had one catch for 6 yards. Combined from all receivers? 20 targets, 16 catches, 118 yards (longest of which went for 12 yards). The lack of production here has much more to do with the offensive line and Jones, but the shift toward younger players and speed is coming if it is not already here.


-The most dominant player of the NYG training camp, Darren Waller, can’t seem to get off the ground in this offense. The thoughts of Mike Kafka turning him into the NYG version of Travis Kelce floated in the air throughout August. Perhaps it was a bit too lofty. Through four games, we are still waiting for an impactful game. He was targeted three times and he ended with 21 yards on 3 catches. Again, I put blame on the situation more than the player here (many keep repeating that line over and over by the way), but at some point, that will not be good enough. Waller is the guy I want to see this passing game revolve around early in games. Lastly, I credit Waller for his downfield blocking and sheer effort. This is a good example of a guy who does not have the tool or skill set to make an impact as a blocker, but effort can win a lot of battles.

-Daniel Bellinger left the game early with an injury after adding 1 catch for 6 yards. He was hurt on the failed QB sneak.


-The offensive line has been a reminder for the game and for life that, “Things could always be worse.” The line, especially without left tackle Andrew Thomas, has been the kryptonite to this offense through four games. The dosage of that kryptonite compounded against the Seahawks in a game where they sacked Jones 11 times, one shy of tying an all-time NFL record.

-Joshua Ezeudu got off to a solid start, but the second half brought his demise into the light. 4 sacks and 2 pressures for the former guard who many were holding out hope for. Evan Neal continues to look overmatched in pass protection. He allowed 5 pressures, one of which was a QB hit. We are seeing whiffs, awful footwork (which is getting worse), and poor balance. Next to him is Markus McKethan (3 pressures, 2 sacks) and it is hard to watch. Neither of these guys can recover, which is an essential component to offensive line evaluation. You cannot expect these guys to win off the ball every time, nobody does. But recovery tactics are a huge part of the margin between good and bad linemen. The two guys on the right side of this line look completely overmatched and incapable in their current state.

-Rookie center John Michael-Schmitz tweaked his ankle on the first play of the game and then suffered a shoulder injury on the failed 4th-and-1 QB sneak attempt. His injury created two problems on the line. Ben Bredeson struggled at center as his replacement. He allowed 2 pressures, a TFL, and was flagged for a hold. He was responsible for a couple of poor shotgun snaps and proved to be incapable of getting across a fast upfield three-tech. The other problem that arose after the Schmitz injury was the fact Shane Lemieux had to step in at guard. He got rag-dolled in the running game by Mario Edwards, creating a stop for the defense and was completely missing the Seattle linebackers in space. He, too, suffered an injury which brought Mark Glowinski in for 25 snaps. Those 25 snaps, by the way, were positive for the group’s most experienced veteran.


-For just the fourth time since Kayvon Thibodeaux was drafted, both he and Azeez Ojulari played 40+ snaps in the same game. And right on cue, they combined to have an impactful performance this defense desperately needed. They pressured the quarterback a combined 6 times and Thibodeaux ended the game with 2 sacks. They were both matched up against backups, as starters Charles Cross (toe) and Abraham Lucas (knee) were out with injuries. The glaring positive within their impact was the fact they were beating one-on-one blocking, forcing penalties, and creating opportunities for their teammates. The main defensive takeaway from this game was the fact these two play a full load of snaps and made an impact from start to finish.

-With the emergence of those two, Jihad Ward play just 19 snaps, the lowest in a game since signing with the Giants prior to 2022. This was a must, and it still is. Ward’s lack of athleticism in space and mere average ability against the run this season should keep him in a backup role. I would not even mind seeing him as an interior pass rusher in certain looks but even in this game where we saw him in space against a banged-up Geno Smith on a bootleg, it is obvious his movement traits are going to hurt this defense more than help it.


-Chalk up yet another big day for the All-Pro Dexter Lawrence who appears to be on that same track yet again. He had 2 pressures and a QB hit, one of which forced a hold. He is top three league wide in pressures and hits from the inside and just like 2022, he is the only one near the top in the league lining up in the A-gap. In fact, Lawrence has 130 snaps from that alignment so far this season. The next highest? 89. The sixth highest? 79. That is easily the most overlooked variable to Lawrence’s performance, and it makes him even more impressive. Leonard Williams added 2 pressures and 2 tackles, but was flagged for a personal foul after getting into a scuffle with a rookie SEA lineman following a SEA touchdown on a play he was clearly beat.

-A’Shawn Robinson, D.J. Davidson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches all impressed in their backup duties. Robinson’s penetration caused tackles for loss on two separate occasions, and it is important to see him clicking now after he barely saw live action in August. Davidson was the overlooked stud of the game. On just 19 snaps, he finished with a TFL and 2 pass break ups. His feel for the play and sheer power were difference makers.


-If you look at the stat sheet, Bobby Okereke had a monster game. 10 tackles, 3 TFL, a pass break up, and a pressure. Collectively, it was his best game as a Giant to this point. However, two missed tackles, one of which was a horrific display on the 51-yard Noah Fant catch and run, are the plays that stand out the most. As I have said about other players on this team (and it generates an odd feeling of responsibility to defend for some), players who are paid to be the best and most impactful are held to a higher standard. That was a whiff by Okereke that cannot happen, plain and simple. On a defense that is undoubtedly struggling to tackle, Okereke needs to step up and stop adding to the problem. I do like the fact he made multiple stops that were indeed big plays in the second half, but they need a complete clean game from him.

-Micah McFadden and Isaiah Simmons added 4 solo tackles apiece, one of which went for a loss by Simmons. He seems to be getting more comfortable in the scheme and it is allowing for faster football.


-Adoree’ Jackson was back outside for the demoted Tre Hawkins after a couple of tough games for the rookie. Jackson was not much better. He missed two tackles and was flagged for a pass interference. Rookie Deonte Banks was beat by D.K. Metcalf for a first down on a couple of occasions, but the physicality and aggression he showed are the traits we want to see consistently at this stage. The one area I want to see improvement is the ball location. Geno Smith hit Metcalf for a touchdown on a broken play where Banks did cover well initially, but completely lost his spacial and play awareness. The ball was thrown his way and completed to the receiver he was covering without Banks ever knowing the play was filtering in his direction.

-Cor’Dale Flott saw his first action of the season at nickel. The difficult tackle in space he made against Jaxon Smith-Njigba was exactly what this team needs from that spot that Jackson did not bring. After just one game, I feel much better about this corner combination than what they opted to roll out there weeks 1-3.


-Jason Pinnock and Xavier McKinney played the majority of the snaps again. Both were quiet, combining for 5 tackles (one missed by Pinnock) and neither we challenged much in coverage. The SEA passing game attacked the outside and they did not need to look in the direction of these two enough to note.


-K Graham Gano: 1/1 (Made 55)
-P Jamie Gillan: 5 punts / 53.6 avg – 45.0 net


-WR Wan’Dale Robinson, DT D.J. Davidson, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux


-OT Joshua Ezeudu, OT Evan Neal, CB Adoree’ Jackson


1. Seattle was without 4 of their 5 starters along the offensive line. While their backups did not exactly play well, it was rather easy to see the difference between “good enough” and “non-competitive.” Are their backups that much better? I think the result had more to do with scheme and situational awareness. Their play-calling was hard to predict. They had a quarterback who understood the situation he was in. And their cohesion appeared to be cleaner.

2. Pete Carroll has my respect as much as any Head Coach in the game. You may not love his style (you would if he were coaching NYG), but the fact he is doing what he is with the ingredients he has without getting away from his principles has been impressive. Sustaining competitiveness like this is incredibly rare. He became the Head Coach in 2010. That was the year Tom Coughlin coached the Giants to a 10-6 season, Ahmad Bradshaw led the team in rushing, Hakeem Nicks broke 1,000 yards receiving for the first time, Terrell Thomas led the team in passes defended, and Matt Dodge accidentally punted to DeSean Jackson which resulted in a game winning touchdown in the fourth quarter of a Week 15 game in year one of the New Giants Stadium (not yet called MetLife). A lot has happened since then, hasn’t it? Carroll has been there ever since with 10 playoff appearances.

3. No team has used more draft picks on running backs since 2016 than SEA (9). They have quietly accepted the idea that investing in young backs (a lot of them) is the way to build the backfield. While they have lacked consistent star power, there is a revolving door of production stemming from the backfield and it is a template I bet many teams wish they used since that time. Their current backfield is, in my opinion, the best they’ve had when it comes to ceiling and potential production.


1. Bill Parcells once said the quickest way to improve a football team (and win 1-2 more games per year) is on special teams. It moves the needle more than the general fan and media understand. On the flip side, a poor special teams unit can swing the needle downward in a hurry. Hidden yards, penalties, points. They all add up. NYG is set at kicker, and punter Jamie Gillan is playing much better as well. But the number of mistakes we are seeing from this unit is utterly pitiful. I will not pretend to know how the schematics are impacting the result, but Special Teams Coach Thomas McGaughey needs to be put on notice. What his group is doing is simply unacceptable. Through all the NYG coaching turmoil since 2018, he remains. Makes one think.

2. The multiple instances of Brian Daboll’s disdain for Daniel Jones on national TV were telling. The re-watch of the tape was telling. With things falling apart all around him, the starting quarterback is only throwing fuel on the dumpster fire. He is not bringing a hose full of water. He is increasing the size of the early season disaster that is historically bad. The interceptions were on him. At least three of the sacks were on him. And multiple missed opportunities were on him. It can no longer be hidden by the excuses. We know the situation around him is dire. We know he is fighting uphill. But even the Head Coach is fed up with what Jones is, and is not, doing. There is no debate here. Jones is not raising his play to a higher level. Case closed, chapter over. Fortunately for him, the book still has another 21+ games left where he can turn it around. The physical ability is there, but the mental game needs to catch up or this will go down as one of the biggest disappointments in franchise history. That is the magnitude of the situation.

3. Does NYG need to make big changes? Like what? Fire coaches? Cut players? Make trades? Unfortunately, I do not think any of the above will help. What they need is Andrew Thomas and Saquon Barkley. Their two best offensive players can create at least some stability and playmaking. But the downfall of this team is a lack of depth. It did not get tested like this a year ago and with the schedule that is much tougher, it is getting exposed on a much deeper level than expected. Roll with the punches will be the only avenue to take. The coaches are the ones who need to adjust, as the league has appeared to adjust to them. The most vital stage and the margin between bad coaching and good coaching is response to adversity. The season is still young, but so far that ingredient is a major failure by this staff. If they cannot respond to adversity, we will soon be scouring the league for the next “big time assistant”.

Oct 032023

Here we go again

The roof has caved in on the New York Giants 2023 season. With 11 days to prepare, in an utterly despicable display, the Giants were out-played and out-coached by an injury-depleted Seattle Seahawks team that did not play particularly well themselves. The game was not as close as the 24-3 final score. The Giants are now 1-3.

While the special teams unit played like canine excrement with a muffed punt and multiple penalties, the primary culprit on the night was a completely dysfunctional offense that handed the Seahawks two touchdowns. Not to be outdone, the defense also allowed a killer 75-yard drive late in the first half to the back-up quarterback, Drew Lock.

How bad was the New York offense?

  • 3 points
  • 11 sacks
  • 3 turnovers

The Giants’ 12 offensive possessions resulted in:

  • Two turnovers on downs.
  • A fumble by quarterback Daniel Jones that was recovered at the Giants 7-yard line (Seattle scored two plays later).
  • Two interceptions, including a pick-6 that was returned 97 yards for a defensive touchdown.
  • Five punts.
  • One field goal (from 55 yards out).
  • Final possession with back-up quarterback Tyrod Taylor just trying to end the game.

The offensive line could not function. Head Coach Brian Daboll was spotted on the sidelines visibly frustrated with Jones. The team was simply not competitive for the third time in four games this season.

Jones was 27-of-34 for 203 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and one fumble. He was the team’s leading rusher with 10 rushes for 66 yards. He was sacked 10 times (Taylor was sacked once). Running back Matt Breida only gained 30 yards on 14 carries. The leading receivers were Breida with five catches for 48 yards and wideout Wan’Dale Robinson with five catches for 40 yards.

The defense only allowed 13 first downs, but it did give up 121 yards rushing. Inside linebacker Bobby Okereke had 10 tackles, including two tackles for a loss. Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux had both of New York’s sacks. Once again, for the fourth game, the Giants did not create a turnover.

GAME VIDEO LOWLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

Inactive for the game were RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring), DL Jordon Riley, S Bobby McCain, and S Gervarrius Owens.

OC John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) and TE Daniel Bellinger (knee) departed the game in the first half and did not return. OL Shane Lemieux (abductor) was injured in the second half and did not return.

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 Tuesday.

Sep 302023
Leonard Williams, New York Giants (September 15, 2023)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

It’s clear the start of the 2023 NFL season has not gone the way New York Giants fans had hoped. The 1-2 start, including two losses by a combined 70-12 score, has readjusted perceptions about the team. 2022 may have unfairly raised expectations and it is becoming clear that this version of the Giants still is not close to competing with the big boys.

Progress is not always linear. Teams on the right track don’t always improve in the W-L column each season. There have been some rumblings among fans that the jury is still out on Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll. Of course it is. The jury is out on every executive and head coach every season. Jim Fassel took a team that probably had no business being in the game to a Super Bowl, and yet he was fired three years later. Tom Coughlin won two Super Bowls and was fired four years later. No one is safe.

However, the Giants will never improve unless there is some stability within the organization. I’ve been warning fans for years that once you start over, any progress made by the previous regime is gone. I can tell many, if not most, fans still haven’t accepted this reality. “How long does it take to rebuild this team? This offensive line? This defense? It’s been 12 years!!!” No, the Giants reset in 2022. It’s been one year for THIS regime, not 12. If you fire the general manger and head coach, the counter goes back to zero. And the odds you are going to do better than Schoen and Daboll are not good, especially with this ownership and their hiring history. My point here is to cut the crap. Stop reacting emotionally to every setback and start using your head. Spoiler alert, the Giants are not going to the Super Bowl in 2023. The last thing this team needs is another regime change.

Many of us warned that the 2023 Giants may be a better team but end the season with a worse record because of the murderous schedule. What’s bothering everyone is how uncompetitive the team was in Week 1 and Week 3. It’s not shocking that the Giants are 1-2, but it is more than a bit surprising how badly they were beaten in their two losses. Regardless of the W-L record moving forward, we need to see a more competitive team, a team making progress and heading in the right direction.

Big picture overview. If you told Giants fans that the team would be 1-2 at this point, most would not be shocked and most would have not preached doom and gloom. It’s still all in front of this team. As Wink Martindale said this week, the Giants can still shape their own destiny. The period between San Fransisco 49ers on September 21 and the Seattle Seahawks on October 2 was a de facto bye week. Hopefully the team reset and got its mind right.


  • RB Saquon Barkley (ankle – doubtful)
  • TE Daniel Bellinger (neck – probable)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring – out)
  • OG Ben Bredeson (concussion – probable)
  • DL D.J. Davidson (elbow – probable)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring – probable)

Speaking of reacting emotionally, the constant search for one or two scapegoats is as tiring as it is misleading. The 1-2 start is not due to the offense or defense as a whole.  And it’s not due to Daniel Jones or Evan Neal. It’s not a copout to say everyone has had a role in this; it’s simply reality. When the offense is not performing, it will affect the defense. When the defense is not performing, it will affect the offense. Special teams can have an impact on both too. So does coaching.

Big picture again. The 31-point second-half explosion against the Cardinals counts. Through three games, Arizona has been a far more competitive team than anticipated, including soundly defeating a Dallas Cowboys team that whooped the Giants. Nevertheless, the Giants’ offense has been a big disappointment through three games. The Giants only had 14 first downs and 171 yards of total offense against Dallas and 10 first downs and 150 yards against the 49ers. Zero and 12 points. You can’t win with those numbers.

What has been the problem? A big portion of the “blame” lies with the fact that the Cowboys and 49ers are two of the very best defenses in the entire league (though the loss of Trevon Diggs is huge). Probably the biggest problem for New York has been the state of the offensive line. The special teams breakdown on the blocked field goal in Week 1 not only changed the complexion of the game, but it led to Andrew Thomas’ hamstring injury that is likely to now nag him all season. It was a disastrous result and bad omen for this team. The best offensive player on this team is not Saquon Barkley or Daniel Jones. It is Andrew Thomas.

Without Thomas, the Giants have the the youngest and most inexperienced offensive line in the NFL. Joshua Ezeudu has started four games since being draft, two at left tackle. Ben Bredeson has started 11 games in his four seasons. John Michael Schmitz has started three games as a rookie. Marcus McKethan has started two games after missing all of his rookie season. Evan Neal has started 16 games in two years. There probably have been times in the long history of the NFL where this happened before, but it can’t be often. And yet we have fans scratching their heads why this unit had issues against Nick Bosa and the 49ers defensive front. Those asking how long will it take to fix the offensive line seem to be completely ignoring that this current unit has collectively 36 total starts. That’s as green as it gets. They have literally started over.

There are those who say Daniel Jones has been a problem this year. Perhaps. I don’t really see it. Could he play better? Sure. But he also demonstrated against Arizona what he can do if the defense forces three-and-outs, the running game presents any sort of a threat, the offensive line can give him even a little time, and his receivers get open and don’t drop the ball. None of that happened against the 49ers. Let’s see how Daniel performs when he has help. No, he doesn’t have to have everything “perfect” to succeed. But the defense has to force the other team to punt. And the running backs have to gain more than 22 yards in a game. Jones also can’t be under pressure literally almost 50 percent of his drop backs.

Which brings us to Saquon, who is doubtful for the game. No one on BBI will accuse me of being a Barkley apologist. After all, I was advocating the team shopping him before the trade deadline last year. But this team and this offense is a different animal with Saquon in the lineup. Don’t believe me. Look at how other teams defend the Giants when he is or isn’t on the field. It’s one of the reasons why I shake my head at those who claim running backs no longer matter in the NFL. Of course they do. And they will always matter. Whether Barkley plays and how effective he plays on his ankle sprain moving forward will be a huge factor in how productive this offense will be. If teams have to focus on Barkley, it opens things up for the receiving targets. And visa versa.

The Seahawks. While Pete Carroll (defensive coach) is one of those guys you love to hate, you have to admire his ability and consistency as a coach as well as multiple rebuilding efforts. Seattle is a young and rising team. They were a surprising 9-8 playoff team last year and have already beaten the Detroit Lions this year. Don’t forget, last year the Giants were 6-1 when the Seahawks soundly beat New York by two touchdowns.

A lot has changed since that day. Marcus Johnson started at wide receiver. The tight ends were Chris Myarick, Lawrence Cager, and Tanner Hudson. Tyre Phillips started at right tackle and struggled. Jon Feliciano was the center, Mark Glowinksi the right guard, and Josh Ezeudu started his first NFL game at left guard.

Seattle is currently ranked 30th in defense in terms of yards allowed and 29th in points allowed. They are 31st against the pass and 6th against the run. Last season, the stats were similar with run and pass rankings flipped. The point here is while Seattle has talent, this isn’t the Cowboys or 49ers. If the Giants are going to finally get it going on offense, now is a good time to do it. Provided the young offensive line can somewhat do their job.

The problem for the New York offense last year had reared its ugly head again this season. The Giants have to get something going early in the game. It was a problem against Seattle too in 2022, as the Giants were scoreless in the first quarter and only had seven points by halftime. Move the ball early, get some first downs, get a lead for your defense.

Despite continued offensive woes, the focal point of fan ire shifted dramatically to Wink Martindale’s defense this past week. The Giants still don’t have a turnover. The pass rush has been a big disappointment. New York is 24th in yards allowed, including 28th in run defense. Missed tackles against the 49ers were a huge problem. Wink’s defense in 2022 was excellent on third down and in the red zone, but so far have disappointed this year, particularly on third down.

Again, each unit affects the other. One of the ways for the offense to become more productive is for the defense to get the opposing offense off of the field. Turnovers also lead to favorable field position and easy scoring drives. It’s all interconnected.

The problem for the Giants is Seattle is averaging almost 30 points per game (4th in the NFL) despite being middle-of-the-pack in both rushing and throwing the football. They also have a number of dangerous players including Kenneth Walker, one of the more dangerous running backs in the NFL. The receivers are very good and compliment each other extremely well, including D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Seattle also has a trio of tight ends they will employ as both blockers and receivers. All of these weapons make it easier for resurgent Geno Smith to perform. Smith threw for 30 touchdowns in 2022 and has done a decent job of protecting the football.

The weak spot right now is a banged up offensive line with injury issues at left tackle, center, and right guard. The time is now for Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Kavyon Thibodeaux, and the returning Azeez Ojulari to make a difference. For the Giants to have a chance in this game and hold Seattle to 20 points or less, the front seven must win their individual matchups. The linebackers and secondary will have their hands full with the receiving targets. First and foremost, the Giants absolutely must get their run defense issues resolved. In all three games thus far, the defense has allowed opposing offenses to do far too much damage on the ground. If Walker gets going, the team will be in for a long night.

Many things have changed in football over the years. But one thing has not and I doubt will ever change. You stop the run and make the other team one-dimensional. Then you can get after the quarterback. It’s always been that simple. Martindale did this in Baltimore. For some reason, it has not translated to New York. If you stop the run, you are the more physical team. By making the other team one dimensional, that will lead to sacks, hits on the quarterback, mistakes and turnovers on their part. The crowd also feeds off of this.

Speaking of physical, I don’t want to see anymore standing around on defense while the ball carrier is still alive. Swarm to the ball. Gang tackle. If you put on the NY helmet, you have responsibility to live up to a defensive legacy that is bigger than you.

Despite the final score (27-13), the game against the Seahawks in Seattle was close into the 4th quarter. Indeed, it can be argued that the game really was primarily influenced by two fumbled punt returns by Richie James. Seattle’s special teams are coached by Larry Izzo, who was an assistant special teams coach with the Giants under Tom Coughlin from 2011-2015.

Mike Kafka on the offense: “We obviously want to start a lot faster.”

Wink Martindale on the defense: “We still control the narrative.”

We all know this is a big game. 1-3 can become 1-5 very easily. At that point, we will all be looking at the NFL Draft again in October. On paper, Seattle is arguably the better team. They certainly have played better and been coached better than the Giants thus far this year. But this is a winnable game.

On offense, get the ball to Jalin Hyatt and Darren Waller. I also think Daniel Bellinger has been underutilized as a receiving threat in two tight end packages. Defensively, stop the run. Then your big four pass rushers (Lawrence, Williams, Thibodeaux, and Ojulari) need to get to Geno Smith.

If the Giants can win this game, and somehow steal a win against the Dolphins or Bills, they will be in respectable shape at 3-3. But it must start with Seattle on Monday night.

Nov 012022
Richie James, New York Giants (October 30, 2022)

Richie James – © USA TODAY Sports


The third road game in four weeks, including the second flight of 6+ hours, dropped the Giants in Seattle. The resurgent Seahawks came into the match-up with a 4-3 record, just months after a personnel move that screamed rebuild. Quarterback Russell Wilson was no longer calling the shots as QB1 for the first time since 2011, which was Pete Carroll’s second year with the club. Once Wilson took that job over as a 3rd-round rookie in 2012, the club had 9 straight winning seasons, 8 playoff appearances, 2 NFC Championship victories, and a Super Bowl win. 2021 saw their streak of .500+ ball come to an end and the Wilson + Carroll + Seahawk relationship was clearly fractured. Fast forward to the last game in October of the 2022 season and Carroll, the oldest coach in the NFL, quickly had his team back atop of the NFC West.

Since Week 3, SEA had averaged scoring 11 points in the first quarter. Their offensive game plan early in games was a key reason for their success. Despite dominating the time of possession by a 2:1 ratio, the NYG defense held them scoreless. The problem? NYG continued their offensive trend of getting off to a slow start by not only going scoreless through the first quarter but also going three-and-out on all three of their possessions. Saquon Barkley touched the ball just once over those first nine plays. Through 8 games, NYG has scored 23 points in the first quarter, an average of less than 3 points.

The second quarter began with SEA in the middle of a marathon drive that lasted 15 plays. It included two fourth-down conversions from inside the NYG 20-yard line as the team was not settling for three points. Geno Smith, a 2013 second-round pick (the year NYG took Justin Pugh in round 1), found D.K. Metcalf alone in the end zone for the three-yard score. On the third play of the next NYG drive and 12th offensive play for the team, the Giants finally picked up their first first down. It came after consecutive touches for Barkley, go figure. The drive was halted at midfield and punter Jamie Gillian masterfully pinned SEA inside their own five. The biggest play of the game to this point ensued.

Smith threw a short pass to Tyler Lockett, the smaller half, but to some the stronger half, of the dynamic SEA wide receiver duo. Adoree’ Jackson knocked the ball loose on the tackle and scooped it up himself. NYG now had the ball, first-and-goal, on the two-yard line. With help from extra linemen, including Nick Gates, Barkley scored his fifth touchdown of the year to tie the game up. NYG then kept ahold of the momentum with two sacks on the next SEA drive. They were about to get the ball back but a Richie James fumble on the punt return gave life back to SEA. The defense stopped the bleeding, holding SEA to a field goal.

NYG had the ball back with 1:31 left following the kickoff with all three timeouts at their disposal. With such low production over the course of the half (46 yards) and knowing they were going to start the second half with the ball, this was the opportunity to get their momentum back. Instead, they ran the ball twice and did not use their timeouts. On 3rd-and-2, they finally opted to pass the ball, but Jones was sacked. SEA called timeout to make NYG punt the ball. They did, and SEA took a knee to take the three-point lead into the locker room. Very odd ending to the half.

NYG opened the third quarter with their longest drive of the game. 14 plays, including a first-and-ten in the red zone. They totaled three yards on three plays from that point and the drive resulted in just three points via a 31-yard field goal. The tie at 10 did not last long, as Myers hit a 51-yard field goal for SEA on the next drive as the third quarter was coming to a close. NYG’s offense was starting to click but they continued to shoot themselves in the foot. On a 1st-and-10 from the SEA 29-yard line, Barkley took an eight-yard loss on a misdirection run. There were quite a few communication-based mistakes in this one. The Seattle crowd, also nationally known as the “12th Man,” did indeed have a major impact on the game.

They had to claw their way back into field goal range before Gano hit a 45-yarder to tie it back up. That would be it for NYG points. The first fourth-quarter possession for SEA needed just five plays. Smith hit Tyler Lockett for a 33-yard touchdown a drive after Lockett dropped a sure-thing touchdown. The eighth-year pro, known for never making mistakes, and that fact very much hiding his diminutive size shortcomings (take notes, Wan’Dale), was having one of the worst games of his career. A fumble that turned into points, a dropped touchdown that led to SEA settling on 3 points instead of 7. Lockett redeemed himself by giving his team a commanding seven-point margin. The NYG offense continued to struggle. Keep in mind they had just 13 points, more than half of which came largely because of the Lockett fumble inside the SEA five-yard line.

They responded to the SEA score with a three-and-out, but then so did SEA. NYG was getting the ball back with just over six minutes left. The scapegoat of the game, if one had to be chosen, Richie James, fumbled his second return of the afternoon. SEA recovered, scored another touchdown on the legs of rookie running back Kenneth Walker III. All of the sudden SEA had a 14-point lead. NYG’s next drive made it inside the SEA 30-yard line. From there, NYG went sack-incomplete-incomplete, giving SEA the ball back with just over two minutes left.

They did gain a first down but because NYG had all of their timeouts and the two-minute warning, they got the ball back one last time. Jones completed 1-of-4 passes and was sacked twice before the clock ran out.

NYG loses, 27-13.


-Daniel Jones: 17/31 – 176 yards / 0 TD – 0 INT / 71.4 RAT

Jones also added 20 yards on the ground. This was the fourth time we have seen Jones finish with under 200 yards of total production in a game this season. The first half was torture for the offense overall (46 yards, just 2 yards per play). We can point to multiple factors when searching for why, and Jones is on the list. My key example there comes from their opening drive of the game. They ran a mesh-concept that every single offense uses in these 3rd-and-3-7 yards to go situations. Two crossers underneath and a third target that sits in the middle. The design worked, the routes were good, and tight end Tanner Hudson was wide open with nobody around him on the other side of the first down marker. Jones did not see it, threw to Marcus Johnson (who was covered tightly), and NYG came up a yard short, punt. Jones did not pull the trigger on that play and four others (I’m being conservative). He also overthrew two downfield passes where his guy had multiple steps ahead of the defender. We can keep repeating ourselves over and over about the lack of weapons Jones has. You know, I know, everyone knows it. But that does not excuse a game like this one. The good quarterbacks in this league raise the level of players around him, plain and simple. He did not get the job done in this one.


-Saquon Barkley: 20 att – 53 yards – 1 TD / 3 rec – 9 yards

Week 8 brought us the lowest production from Barkley we have seen in a game all year. A big part of this was excellent scheming and execution by the SEA defense. Part of it was some poor blocking, and the other part of it was predictable play calling by NYG. They ran the similar power run with two pulling blockers from one side to the other that we saw them run over and over in Jacksonville. The results were very different, and it was obvious the NYG tight ends were going to keep getting blown up in the trenches. Looking back on it, I think Kafka would certainly re-think his approach on the play calls for Barkley. He also dropped a pass and lost his balance a couple times where there was some space available.

-Matt Breida added 5 yards on the ground and 10 yards in the passing game on 3 touches. He played just 14 snaps to Barkley’s 52.


-Darius Slayton stepped up with a solid game. He had 66 yards on 5 catches, two of which were huge third-down conversions. They were both in the second half, they were both physical catches that required plus-ball skills, and they both led to scores. Six of their thirteen points came on these two drives where he came up big.

-Marcus Johnson had 1 catch on 6 targets for 3 yards. That catch came on the first drive of the game and that was all we heard from him. He added another drop. Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson 2 catches for 15 yards and David Sills had 1 catch for 5 yards. I’ll do the math for you. The NYG receivers totaled 9 catches for 89 yards. In week 8 alone, 13 individual receivers had more yards across the league. To those keeping score at home for the season: Tyreek Hill leads the NFL with 961 yards in receiving. All of the NYG receivers, combined, have 875 yards on the year.


-The loss of Daniel Bellinger was expected to be felt at least a little bit. After re-watching, especially from the All-22, it was much more than a little bit. Tanner Hudson was the biggest liability on the team when it came to the running game’s struggles. He allowed 2 TFL and a pressure. Some may look at his receiving line (3 rec / 58 yards) and come away with the notion he had a solid game there. All three of Hudson’s catches came on the final two drives of the game with SEA up by fourteen and playing softer coverage. He also dropped a ball earlier on.

-Chris Myarick and Lawrence Cager both allowed 1 TFL each as well. A terrible game in the trenches for this group. All the talk about bringing in a wide receiver to help spur the passing game overall is warranted. I am confused why there is not more discussion about the tight ends when considering the economics and where this offense as a whole needs help. More on that below.


-The offensive line as a whole lost at the point-of-attack for the majority of the game. Their solid stretches in play brought the offense to another level. When they faltered, it compounded to the skill positions. Inconsistent game overall.

-Andrew Thomas, you guessed it, pitched another shutout. His pursuit of the coveted All-Pro label is not quite there yet, but he is getting close. It will come down to his ability to remain consistent at his current level. NYG could not be asking for better football from their left tackle.

-Tyre Phillips, the fill-in at right tackle for rookie Evan Neal, had a poor game, the lowest grade on the line. He was flagged for two false starts (common in Seattle when the crowd is in it) and he also allowed both a pressure and a sack. His gap-blocking in the running game was the one positive, but he struggled mightily on outside-zone runs. He appeared to be confused and slow to react.

-Inside, third stringer Joshua Ezeudu was good for most of the game. He was heading toward an above average grade, and he threw the best block of the group on Barkley’s touchdown run. However, he allowed 2 pressures and a sack late. His anchor isn’t ready yet for pure bull rushers and the stunt/twist game is moving a bit too fast for him. Right now, he is a one-dimensional blocker who does his best work as a pulling guard across the line.

-Mark Glowinski allowed a pressure and a sack while center Jon Feliciano allowed two pressures and was inconsistent in the running game. He wound up on the ground often, never a good sign for interior blockers.

-Nick Gates returned after nearly seeing his career end after a gruesome leg injury last season that requited multiple surgeries. When it comes to what I know about the human body and rehab, this will be just as much about how he responds to just a little bit of live action (five plays) days later as it was about seeing how effective he still is. From those five snaps, it certainly appears the baseline ability is still there. Now? The team will see how his leg and surrounding joints recover. If he checks multiple boxes, I think Gates is going to be a big part of this offense over the final third of the season. They need him and if he is just 90% of what he was pre-injury, getting him a starting spot is a no brainer. He looked good and brought some of the Gates-type attitude to the offense.


-I start this group off with a rookie. No, not Kayvon Thibodeaux. Tomon Fox made a big impact on this game, and I did not fully appreciate the effort until I re-watched it. The undrafted free agent led the team with 8 tackles and 2 TFL while adding a pressure on his 27 snaps. He played less than half the snaps, plays an OLB/DE hybrid position, and finished with that much production. Maybe LT was onto something. Fox was the most physical player not named Dexter Lawrence in this game for NYG.

-Thibodeaux had a quiet game. He finished with 1 pressure and missed a tackle. I did not like some of the movement we saw out of him in space. Lateral stiffness and poor reaction. We know he runs in a straight line well and his get off is very good. I need to see more suddenness, though.

-Elerson Smith saw his first action of the year with 7 snaps on defense. His lone tackle on the day came on special teams. With Fox emerging and the expected return of Azeez Ojulari and Oshane Ximines, Smith may have a hard time getting on the field. He needs to flash, and soon.

-Jihad Ward continues to set a strong edge as a run defender and showed the versatility to line up inside again even more so after the Nick Williams injury. That is where he broke up a pass from. His limitations in space did hurt the defense a couple times.


-Because Nick Williams went down with a biceps injury early, we saw an uptick in playing time for both Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. For the short term, it wasn’t a bad thing at all. Williams had 8 tackles, 5 pressures, a sack, and was the finisher to a TFL by Fox. He was so dominant in the first quarter that SEA adjusted their blocking scheme on him. He still broke through the line for most of the game. Lawrence finished with 4 tackles and 3 pressures. These two were the driving force behind stuffing the SEA run game, ranked #1 in the league in yards per attempt coming into Week 8, until late in the game. Admirable and dominant effort from these two.

-As noted above, Nick Williams went down early with a biceps injury. Him, D.J. Davidson, and Henry Mondeaux all being injured have left this interior line very thin. Justin Ellis is a two-gap run plug at this point, an average one, and won’t be anything more. This team needs to get more depth on this front. Williams and Lawrence cannot play that much week to week.


-This defensive coaching staff has made a routine of altering their personnel groupings and individual snaps for certain players week to week based on match-ups. So, this may not mean anything, but it may mean something. Tae Crowder was removed from the middle and Jaylon Smith was inserted. Then, rookie Micah McFadden saw five more snaps (27 to 22) than Crowder on the weak side. This is something to keep an eye on. Smith brings a higher level of decision-making and doesn’t miss tackles like Crowder (who missed another 2 in this game). McFadden is not the athlete Crowder is, but he excels at hand-fighting with blockers and has more ability downhill. The rookie finished with 4 tackles and sack, Smith finished with 7 tackles, and Crowder finished with 2. Lastly, I think it was Crowder who was guilty culprit on the blindside block that was flagged on the punt (Jason Pinnock was wrongfully called by the refs).


-Playing cornerback in this league is hard. It is the hardest position to play in football other than quarterback. Playing cornerback in the Wink Martindale scheme is hard because of how often they are left on an island. Adoree’ Jackson was having his best game of the season until the fourth quarter. He broke up a pass on 3rd down, he broke up a pass in the end zone, he forced and recovered a fumble that led NYG to their first and only touchdown of the day. SEA had just 13 points at the 10:00 mark in the fourth quarter and Jackson was one of the catalysts to the group’s effort. He was burned by Tyler Lockett for a near-touchdown but was bailed out by an out-of-character drop by the receiver. On the very next drive, Jackson was burned again for a touchdown that ultimately decided the game. It was not a bad game for Jackson, and it should not be labeled so even though he was on the wrong end of the highlight reel. Martindale is the Bruce Arians of defense. “No risk-it, no biscuit.” It can work often with the right guys, but the law of averages will see the guys lose like that from time to time.

-Fabian Moreau had an early pass break up on a pass intended for D.K. Metcalf. He spent a lot of time one-on-one against one of the biggest freaks and best deep threats in the NFL and fared well. He did this without safety help over the top for most of the game too. Nice game for him and he added 5 tackles.

-Nick McCloud and Darnay Holmes both saw about half of the defensive snaps. McCloud getting the nod at nickel was noteworthy. First, Holmes competed with safety Dane Belton for snaps but they played different positions. Now, we see McCloud getting the nod over Holmes. Interesting development here and he did play well. He had a pressure that caused a sack and Holmes was beat up a bit on short-to-intermediate throws.


-Julian Love had 7 tackles but allowed a touchdown in zone coverage early in the game to Metcalf. Xavier McKinney added 2 tackles and a sack but missed a tackle on the late Kenneth Walker touchdown. And Dane Belton played just 10 snaps. The safety group overall lacked impact in this one.


-K Graham Gano: 2/2 (Made 31, 45)
-P Jamie Gillian: 6 punts / 53.7 avg – 47.7 net


-EDGE Tomon Fox, DT Leonard Williams, OT Andrew Thomas


-WR Richie James, TE Tanner Hudson, OT Tyre Phillips


1. Right up there with NYG is SEA when talking about the league’s biggest surprises. I projected them to go 5-12 and finish in last place in the NFC West. My main reasons for this incredibly wrong prediction were the perceived downgrades in the passing game on both sides of the ball. From Russell Wilson to Drew Lock (many believed he was the guy prior to camp) at QB, two rookies stepping in at OT, two rookies stepping in at corner, and unproven pass rushers led me to believe they would get smoked there. Man, was I wrong. Not only is this team playoff bound, I think they are going to win the NFC West if they stay healthy. And playing at that place in the postseason will be a TOUGH assignment.

2. Through the halfway point of the season, the SEA rookie class is the best in the NFL, and I don’t think anyone is close. Listen to the first 6 picks of this class. OTs Charles Cross (rd 1) and Abraham Lucas (rd 3), who are both among the top 4 rookie tackles in the NFL. Only Ikem Ekwonu (CAR) is ahead of them right now while Tyler Smith (DAL) can be debated. RB Kenneth Walker (rd 2) is among the NFL lead in yards over the last 3 weeks and the best eyes/minds I see in NFL analysis are raising him to be one of the top 10 backs in the NFL right now. All of them. CBs Coby Bryant (rd 4) and Tariq Woolen (rd 5) are their top two corners and the latter shares the league-lead in interceptions. There are strong rookie classes, and there is a class like this that if they keep it up, could go down as one of the most impactful ever in their inaugural season.

3. Love or hate Pete Carroll, and most do despise him (in and out of league), the dude can flat out coach. Perceived as a defensive guy, Carroll is very much involved and in control of the offense from a macro-perspective. There have been interesting situations with him and different play-callers over the years. He wants things his way and the second they go too pass-heavy, he fires them. Russell Wilson leaves town and he looks like a shell of his former self, his Seahawk self. Geno Smith gets a starting job for the first time since 2014 and is all of the sudden in the MVP discussion. That, the fact they are doing this with rookie contributions at major positions, and the fact their defense looked more prepared for the NYG offense than anyone we have seen so far brings me to the idea that Carroll is heading toward a Coach of the Year Award.


1. This will be the final input I have on the trade deadline. At the point of this writing (late Monday night), no trade has been made. The rumors are circulating, and I do think there is validity behind NYG inquiring about wide receiver talent. If this was year three, or even year two of this regime I would lean strongly toward a deal being done. But when reflecting on how many times Joe Schoen has brought up the lack of salary cap health and the fact they are in year one leads me to believe they will not trade pick(s) for a receiver. If there is a trade to be made, I think it is more likely we see them trade a late day-three pick (or a late swap) for a defensive lineman or a tight end. The DLs I think fit the situation (scheme, contract, team) are Michael Brockers (DET), Roy Robertson-Harris (JAC), and Bilal Nichols (LV). The TEs I think fit the situation (scheme, contract, team) are Ian Thomas (CAR) and Eric Saubert (DEN). I still think they will lean no trade but could make a play for Odell Beckham in free agency soon (however I think he wants to be with a more credible SB contender).

2. The bye week is coming at a good time. I mean, mid-year is always a good time. But I like how a few of the key players who are out (Ojulari, Neal, Ximines, Lemieux, Bellinger), but are expected back at some point, will simply miss one less game with the bye coming right now. This has been an eventful first 8 games to the season with a lot of drama and emotion (on and off the field). Regroup, heal up, and come back hungry.

3. What is the one thing I want this coaching staff to spend the most time on as they self-scout this week? The answer is simple. Improve their first-half offense. They are 30th in first-half points. They are 30th in first-half time of possession. Early-game offense is often scripted, especially in the first quarter. Their script (and execution) has been poor. Next up I want to see more pass rush. Despite being the most blitz-heavy team in the league, they rank in the bottom half of every noteworthy pass rush metric. And this is the result even though DT Dexter Lawrence is in the discussion for a spot on the All-Pro team. Looking at you, edge defenders. Let’s see the arrow point up. And lastly, find a new punt returner. That is all.

Enjoy the week off everyone – it has been a fun season so far. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

Oct 302022
Leonard Williams, New York Giants (October 30, 2022)

Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants fell 27-13 to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. The Giants are now 6-2 on the season heading into their bye week.

There was no great disparity in overall team statistics. Seattle held advantages in first downs (19 to 14), total net yards (277 to 225), net yards rushing (87 to 78), and net yards passing (190 to 147). The Giants won the time of possession battle (33:34 to 26:26) and were better on 3rd down, but Seattle converted twice on 4th down. Seattle recovered two fumbles that led to 10 points while the Giants recovered one that led to a touchdown.

Both teams struggled offensively early. Seattle only gained three first downs in their first three possessions, gaining a total of 45 yards. New York’s offense struggled even more, going three-and-out on their first three possessions and only accruing 10 yards.

The Seahawks broke the scoreless tie early in the second quarter after a 15-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Geno Smith to wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. It was on this possession that Seattle converted on both of their 4th-down attempts, including 4-and-1 and 4th-and-2.

The Giants finally picked up their first two first downs of the game on their fourth possession, but the drive stalled near midfield and the Giants punted. Jamie Gillan’s punt was downed by cornerback Justin Layne at the 2-yard line. On the very next snap, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson forced a fumble after a short completion. He recovered the loose ball at the 2-yard line. Two plays later, running back Saquon Barkley scored from one yard out. The game was tied at 7-7.

The first indication that this might not be the Giants’ day came on the subsequent series. The defense held Seattle to one first down and forced a punt. Wide receiver Richie James fumbled the punt and the Seahawks recovered at the New York 19-yard line. Fortunately the defense held and limited the damage to a 35-yard field goal. The Giants could not move the ball in the final 1:31 of the half.

At the break, the Seahawks only led 10-7 despite the fact that New York’s offense had been held to three first downs and 46 yards in the first half.

The Giants received the football to start the third quarter and put together their best drive of the game, moving 79 yards in 14 plays, and taking almost nine minutes off of the clock. A 3rd-down sack was wiped out by a Seattle penalty. And the Giants converted on 3rd-and-12 with an 18-yard pass from quarterback Daniel Jones to wide receiver Darius Slayton. However, the drive stalled at the 13-yard line and the Giants settled for a 31-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. The game was tied at 10-10.

Seattle responded with a 7-play, 42-yard drive that ended with a 51-yard field goal. The Seahawks regained the lead 13-10. Back came the Giants with a 12-play, 45-yard effort. Gano kicked a 45-yarder to tie the game once again, 13-13, early in the 4th quarter.

The Giants, who had been beating teams in the 4th quarter, began to fade at this point of the contest. Smith completed five straight passes for 75 yards, including the 33-yarder that to wide receiver Tyler Lockett that put Seattle up 20-13.

The Giants went three-and-out, but so did the Seahawks. However, disaster struck again as James fumbled his second punt of the game (James was concussed on this play). Seattle recovered at the New York 32-yard line. After a 16-yard pass by Smith, running back Kenneth Walker broke tackles en route to a 16-yard touchdown run that gave the Seahawks a two-touchdown lead, 27-13, with just 5:22 left in the game.

The Giants gained 46 yards on the ensuing drive but turned the football over on downs at the Seattle 29-yard line with 2:32 left in the game. New York got the ball back with 1:07 left but the game ended on a 3rd-and-17 sack.

Jones finished the game 17-of-31 with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He rushed six times for 20 yards and was sacked five times. The leading receiver was Slayton, who caught five passes for 66 yards. Barkley was held to just 53 yards on 20 carries. He did have the team’s only touchdown.

Defensively, the Giants did hold Seattle to 277 yards of offense. But the two 4th-down conversions on the first touchdown drive hurt, as did allowing Smith to complete five straight passes on Seattle’s second touchdown. The Giants were credited with 10 quarterback hits and three sacks, one sack each by defensive lineman Leonard Williams, linebacker Micah McFadden, and safety Xavier McKinney. Williams also had five quarterback hits and one tackle for a loss. Linebacker Tomon Fox was credited with eight tackles and two tackles for a loss. Jackson force a fumble that he also recovered.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants placed OL Ben Bredeson (knee) on Injured Reserve. He will have to miss at least four games. The team also activated OLB Elerson Smith from Injured Reserve to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. Elerson had been sidelined since mid-August with a foot injury.

The Giants activated (standard elevation) LB/S Landon Collins and TE Lawrence Cager from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster on the same day.

Inactive for the game were WR Kenny Golladay (knee), TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), RT Evan Neal (knee), OLB Oshane Ximines (quad), CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf), and ILB Austin Calitro.

DL Nick Williams (bicep) left the game in the first half and did not return. WR Richie James (concussion) left the game in the 4th quarter and did not return.

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

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

Oct 282022
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (October 23, 2022)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

We’re nearing the midway point of the regular and the well-placed bye week for the New York Football Giants. And I suspect most fans of the team have the same thought in their head: let’s squeak out one more win, heal up during the bye, and get some reinforcements back for post-bye sprint to the finish.

This is turning out to be a completely unexpected and entertaining campaign. The Giants have been tied or behind their opponent in the 4th quarter in five of their six wins (and behind in four of them). Their six wins have been decided by 27 points. The oddsmakers have had them favored to lose almost every game this year. How are they 6-1? They are extremely well-coached. They are keeping games within two scores, and they are out-playing their opponents in the 4th quarter. Their resiliency and competitive endurance is off the charts. Thus far, there has been no emotional letdown despite the fact that every game was been an emotionally-draining nail-biter.

The NFC is not terribly impressive this year. There are only five teams in the conference who currently have a winning record. Unfortunately for New York, the NFC East has three of those five teams. And until proven otherwise in head-to-head match-ups, the Giants are still only the third-best team in their own division. The Eagles clearly appear to be the cream of the crop in the NFC. The Cowboys already beat the Giants once and get them at home again on Thanksgiving. The Giants will play five division games in their last seven contests. That’s where their fate will be determined.

One of the five teams in the NFC with a winning record is the also-surprising Seattle Seahawks, who are leading the disappointing NFC West with a 4-3 record. Seattle was supposed to be bringing up the rear in that division. Nevertheless, the other three teams all have three wins and things can change quickly. It’s quite possible that the Giants and Seahawks may be vying with each other for a final Wild Card playoff spot, making Sunday’s game much more important than it seemed when the schedule was first released.


  • WR Kenny Golladay (knee – out)
  • TE Daniel Bellinger (eye – out)
  • RT Evan Neal (knee – out – out)
  • LG Ben Bredeson (knee – out)
  • DL Leonard Williams (elbow – questionable)
  • OL Tyre Phillips (toe – questionable)
  • OLB Oshane Ximines (quad – out)
  • CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf – out)
  • S Jason Pinnock (foot – questionable)

Before the Giants became a hopeless, ongoing joke from 2017-2021, long-time readers of this site should remember my tediously predictable approach to this team: it’s never as good as it seems when you’re winning; it’s never as bad as it seems when you are losing. I’ll charitably call it me playing Devil’s advocate. Get ready for a bit of Debbie-downerism.

The Giants are largely succeeding offensively with smoke and mirrors. A poster in The Forum pointed out this week that the Giants don’t have a player on their roster who has more than 200 yards receiving. I immediately thought that can’t be correct. Well it is. Richie James, who hasn’t caught more than 18 yards in a game in the last four contests, is leading the team with 191 receiving yards. The top pass-catcher is Saquon Barkley with 25 receptions. It’s 2022. Not 1940. These are historically-bad figures for a 6-1 team. And barring a trade that may be unwise for a still-rebuilding club, these numbers are not likely to get much better in the final 10 regular-season games unless Kenny Golladay has a massive turnaround.

In last week’s game preview, I wrote that it was not a coincidence that Daniel Jones threw his first 2-touchdown game since the opener in a contest where both Wan’Dale Robinson and Daniel Bellinger played together. The problem is the team just lost Bellinger for an unknown length of time. One can legitimately argue that the only healthy targets on this team who likely to be on the team next year are Robinson and Barkley. To be blunt, the New York Giants’ offense is not terribly difficult to defend at this point. No one is worrying about Darius Slayton, Richie James, David Sills, Marcus Johnson, Chris Myarick, and Tanner Hudson. They just aren’t. Hell, these guys sometimes “defend” themselves because they can’t catch the football.

So the Giants’ coaches are going to have to continue to desperately out-coach their opponents who are going to be completely focused on Barkley, and to a lesser extent Robinson. That’s a tough task. Remember, the Giants lost two starters on the offensive line last week as well. The early returns are that while Joshua Ezeudu may be an asset in the running game, he still has a lot to learn in pass protection. Tyre Phillips did a nice job at right tackle, but he is not Evan Neal.

Why am I being negative here? I’m just trying to prep the fanbase for the inevitable game where the offense can’t do just enough to pull out the victory. A thin team just got a lot thinner by losing Bellinger and two starters on the OL. Teams in the NFL can’t just play six or seven offensive linemen and just pound the football. That may work at the end of game when the other team has been worn down, but it won’t work for a full game. Plus, at some point, other teams are simply not going to keep falling for bootlegs by Daniel Jones.

Keep things in perspective. Recognize that despite the team’s superb record, it is still a weak roster that needs a big infusion of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Other teams have good players and excellent coaches. When adversity strikes, as it will, don’t start yelling and screaming that the coaches screwed up or ALL of the players suck. As JonC smartly posted this week, the Giants are playing with house money. Enjoy the season but be realistic about it.

The good news? Seattle is 29th in defense in terms of yards allowed (23rd in pass defense, 30th in run defense). They are 29th in scoring defense. If there was a team the Giants may be able to line up against and pound the football with some success, this is one of them. The weather also may be a factor with rain in the forecast. The Seahawks are also very young on that side of the ball, so misdirection and trickery may work. The Seahawks are bad on third down. They also give up big plays. When Seattle does blitz, their secondary has problems.

Let’s start with the negative again and get that out of the way. I think most fans have picked up that I love Don Martindale. Heck, a few years back I wanted him to be our head coach. I think he’s done an excellent job with a unit that had a major question mark at one corner spot, has talent issues at inside linebacker, and has been hit hard by injuries (Azeez Ojulari, Leonard Williams, Aaron Robinson). However, I’m a bit shocked that the Giants have remained weak in run defense. It’s a weekly problem now and the Giants are currently 28th in run defense. Why this is so strange is that Wink’s defenses in Baltimore were always top tier against the run, even in his last year with the team. Other than the Dallas game, this hasn’t cost the Giants yet. But it will if they don’t get it fixed. They are also coming off a game where the defense gave up 450 yards of offense and had no sacks or tackles for losses.

Enter a Seattle team that is performing remarkably well on offense, 12th overall in yards and 5th overall in points. Pete Carroll was mocked when the team named Geno Smith the starter. Well Smith (107.8 rating) is vastly out-performing Russell Wilson (83.4 rating) who was traded to Denver. Smith, who was presumed to be merely back-up material, has thrown for 1,712 yards (7th in the NFL) and 11 touchdowns (tied for 6th in the NFL). He’s also thrown only three interceptions (though he has gotten a bit lucky in this department with some dropped picks).

Helping Smith is the fact that Seattle is also 10th in the NFL in rushing. The revelation has been rookie Kenneth Walker, who filled in when Rashaad Penny was lost for the year and is averaging over six yards per carry. In a limited number of carries (67), he has already broken off a number of big runs. The threat of the Seahawk running game allows Smith to use play-action effectively on first down. They have also done a good job of scoring early in games, putting teams in a hole early. Getting Seattle off of the field has been a problem on 3rd down as well.

Surprisingly, Seattle is having all of this offensive success despite two rookie tackles. Giants fans will note that Charles Cross, who was in play for the team in 1st round, is Seattle’s starting left tackle. Aside from the presence of a strong running game, Smith has benefitted from dangerous targets. Wideout D.K. Metcalf will likely miss this game due to a knee injury, but Tyler Lockett (41 catches, 468 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Marquise Goodwin (2 touchdowns against the Chargers last weekend) can get the job done. Both are fast. Seattle’s three tight ends have 56 catches and five touchdowns, with Will Dissly leading the way with three TDs.

The game plan here is obvious. Stop the run and make Geno Smith beat you with his arm. However, the Giants must remain disciplined on first down and not allow Seattle’s play-action game to lead to big chunks of yardage. The linebackers in particular will be on the spot, both in run defense and not being overly aggressive with the play-action. This is a game where the Giants need Tae Crowder and Jaylon Smith to play well. Wink also has to find a better solution to the team’s woes in run defense, or they will lose.

As I mentioned last week, the Giants’ special teams units are starting to find their rhythm and now are making plays to help the team win. Last week’s contribution was a blocked extra point. For a team that plays a style that keeps every contest close, these types of special teams contributions are invaluable.

Don “Wink” Martindale on his defense giving up a lot yards: “I just know that we’re sixth in points and we play real well in the redzone. That’s the name of the game defensively is to try to keep them out of the endzone. We’ve done a good job doing that. I think each game, you look at it differently, so I’m not really worried about where we’re at statistically with that. I just want to know how many wins we have and how many losses we have.”

In some ways, the win against the Jaguars was as impressive as the upset wins against the Titans, Packers, and Ravens. The Jaguars are a much better team than their record. They are well-coached. And they were desperate. The officials also put their hand on the scales of that game. It didn’t matter. The Giants still found a way to win.

I keep expecting reality to set in and the team to lose. The odds say they can’t keep this up. However, this Seattle team is probably not as good as its record. This is a game the Giants can win if they can somehow pull out another close game. Find a way to get to 7-1, got into the bye on a positive note, and get some reinforcements back.

Dec 082020
Jabaal Sheard, New York Giants (December 6, 2020)

Jabaal Sheard – © USA TODAY Sports


The Giants’ 3-game winning streak landed them in 1st place this past week, albeit with a 4-7 record. That has been the way of 2020, however. The NFC East hadn’t collectively beat a team with a winning record to this point in the season and NYG traveled to Seattle to start off a four-game span matched up against four winning ball clubs. This test would be extra difficult, as quarterback Daniel Jones was sidelined with an injury and the Seahawks ranked 3rd in the NFL in points scored. SEA quarterback Russell Wilson entered this game with a career 53-16 record at home and on the other side was Colt McCoy, who hadn’t won a game as a starter since 2014.

The SEA offense easily drove the ball down the field on the game’s opening drive. Their first five plays gained 5, 6, 11, 24, 11 yards, respectively. The NYG defense has specialized in a bend-don’t-break style for most of the season and that trend continued. Once inside the red zone, NYG forced three straight incompletions and SEA ended up having to go for a 31-yard field goal by Jason Meyers. He nailed it, good for his 24th straight made attempt.

NYG then went three-and-out but forced SEA to do the same. The banged up SEA secondary started to get exposed on the second NYG drive, as McCoy found his three main targets (Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram). They got the ball into the red zone but a pass that made its way to and through the hands of Engram led to an interception by Quandre Diggs. NYG wasn’t going to have a big margin for mistakes like this and failing to put points on the board while getting so close was a potential killer.

The NYG defense gave up a few chunk gains but ended up with another stop thanks largely to a sack by Jabrill Peppers. The two offenses failed to sustain drives. Both defenses were applying pressure to the passer and neither running game was finding enough room to really work. It was the NYG defense and their surprise edge presence Niko Lalos coming away with his second turnover in as many weeks after a botched snap by Wilson. NYG had the ball at midfield but the offensive struggles remained. They went three-and-out.

SEA got the ball to midfield, but Leonard Williams was leading constant pressure on Wilson. They were able to force yet another punt with Michael Dickson pinning the NYG offense inside their own 5-yard line. There was under a minute left and NYG simply wanted to make it to halftime down by 3. They ran the ball three straight times and it net gained 6 yards. SEA used all of their timeouts so they could have one more shot at lengthening their lead. The offense didn’t need to come back on the field, however. The punt was blocked in the end zone by Ryan Neal and recovered by SEA but the ball made its way out of bounds quickly enough to make it a safety (2 points) rather than a touchdown (6 points). SEA did get the ball back one more time, starting at midfield, but they weren’t able to get points and went into halftime with a 5-0 lead.

Wayne Gallman, one of the offensive catalysts in the recent NYG winning streak, carried the ball just 4 times in the first half. NYG knew that approach needed to change, and that it did. The old-school, smack-you-in-the-mouth, run-up-the-middle strategy started off the second half. He gained 16 bruising yards on 3 carries. It did not amount to much, as NYG ended up punting, but the tone was set. The physical brand of Big Blue football is back and here to stay. After forcing a quick punt, NYG got the big play they were searching for from Gallman. A 60-yard run all the way down to the SEA 17-yard line put NYG in position to take over the lead. Two Alfred Morris runs later, the 31-year-old back who carried the ball one time in 2019 crossed the goal line for the first time since 2018. NYG then went for 2 and McCoy found Sterling Shepard for the conversion to give NYG a 3-point lead, 8-5.

The NYG pass rush and sheer dominance up front, matched with timely plays by the defensive backfield, kept the SEA offense returning to the sideline. The NYG offensive momentum continued on their next opportunity, scoring another touchdown via a 6-yard pass from McCoy to Morris. Wayne Gallman set up this score as well, as he started off the drive with 39 yards on three carries.

A 9-point lead in the 4th quarter in Seattle. This is where NYG stood before rookie corner Darnay Holmes picked off a Wilson pass that was deflected off fellow rookie Tae Crowder. NYG was able to turn that into 3 points via a 48-yard field goal by the automatic Graham Gano. The lead was elevated to 12 points and the SEA offense, which seemed to have no answers for the NYG defensive front, had under 10 minutes to attempt a comeback.

With a slightly hurried up offense, Wilson drove the ball down the field with an 11-play, 82-yard drive. This was heavily aided by a defensive holding penalty on Holmes on a 3rd-and-15 stop. On the next play, Wilson found running back Chris Carson for a 28-yard score. This brought the score to 17-12 with over 6 minutes left, not a strong position considering how elite Wilson has been in come-from-behind scenarios. McCoy was going to have to make at least a couple plays for NYG to maintain this lead and take home the win, and that he did. He hit Darius Slayton (his first catch of the day) and Evan Engram for two first downs that were not deep passes, but tight window throws that needed quick decisions and accuracy. They were able to get the ball past the 2-minute warning prior to punting back to SEA. Even though they did not put more points on the board, the amount of time taken off the clock was crucial. Now, it was up to the NYG defense.

The first four plays of the final SEA drive netted 34 yards. They were into NYG territory with a minute left. With a 5-point lead, this drive was going to end the game either with a SEA or NYG win, no ties. Wilson then threw two incomplete passes before getting sacked by Leonard Williams, the defensive star of the game who had his way with the SEA offensive line. SEA was faced with a 4th-and-18 before James Bradberry broke up the final pass of the game on a Hail Mary-type play for the win.

NYG wins, 17-12.


-Colt McCoy: 13-22 / 105 yards / 1 TD – 1 INT / 67.4 RAT

When the reports became verified that Daniel Jones would be out for the game, the outlook for this already-tough matchup was bleak at best. A backup quarterback on the road against a top 5 offense led by a MVP candidate is less than ideal. McCoy didn’t take the game by the horns by any means, but this is where having a veteran back there can be a huge benefit. We knew McCoy wouldn’t be dropping dimes and/or getting chunk gains with his legs, but there is a sense of confidence and calm with a guy like McCoy. He stayed within himself, he didn’t make any colossal mistakes, he didn’t try to do too much. He made a few clutch throws and didn’t lose the game for NYG. That is the backup’s job in a situation like this. Nice job by McCoy and I think we may see him for one more game.


-Wayne Gallman: 16 att / 135 yards

A tale of two halves. I’m not quite sure why NYG didn’t feature more of him in the first half, but when they came out for the 3rd quarter it was evident they knew what to do. Gallman had 4 attempts for 6 yards in the first half, 12 attempts for 129 yards (just under 11 yards per carry) in the second half. This was against a SEA run defense that ranked top 10 in the NFL and averaged 64 yards allowed per game over the previous 5 weeks, which included games against the NFL’s top 2 rushing attacks. Gallman is no longer a back who is just able to have a couple good games. This is a legit NFL runner who breaks tackles, has good vision, and will eventually make the big play as long as he gets consistent looks.

-Alfred Morris: 8 att / 39 yards / 1 TD and 1 rec / 6 yards / 1 TD.

Hats off to Morris. A 31-year-old who had one carry in 2019 and who many had assumed was simply washed out of the league for good. This was a practice squad signing in-season that many questioned. An aging back without recent success on a team that wasn’t going anywhere. Why not go for someone young? Why not add a back with more speed or versatile skill set? Another major win for the pro personnel expert Dave Gettleman.


-It was a really quiet day for the Giants receivers. Golden Tate caught all 4 of his targets for 30 yards and Sterling Shepard caught 1 of his 6 targets for a 22 yard gain. Darius Slayton saw just 1 target, which he caught for 14 yards in a big moment in the 4th quarter. When you have a backup quarterback with limited arm talent in the game, the receivers simply won’t be able to impact the game much. However, the underneath skill sets of Shepard and Tate especially can still make a difference. Slayton’s main role on this offense stems from being a deep threat and if McCoy is the one throwing the ball, opposing defenses simply won’t be as thoughtful in that regard. Not a bad game by these guys at all, just limited opportunities and if anything, they did a fine job when their number was called.


-Evan Engram: 4 rec / 32 yards

-I had a feeling Engram would be the most targeted pass catcher with McCoy under center. NYG has been trying to feature him more and more and he did get the ball thrown his way a team-high 8 times. It seems to happen nearly every week now. The broadcasters see him make a nice play, discuss how special of a talent he is, and then he makes a major mistake. Engram dropped a ball in the red zone that was tipped into a SEA defender’s hands for the interception. He dropped another pass in the 4th quarter. Both of the drops were at least somewhat caused by quality defensive plays. However, a big-time tight end needs to make those catches. The first one that led to the interception was another potential game-altering play. One positive on Engram that surprised me was how well he blocked in the second half. He had multiple key blocks when NYG got their ground game going.

-Kaden Smith and Levine Toilolo were both on the field for more than 55% of the plays. That fact in combination with Engram being on the field for 77% of the plays is noteworthy. That will rank at or near the top of the league in double/triple tight end sets, respectively. This offensive game plan and halftime adjustments deserve a lot of credit. Smith had a reception for 3 yards and Toilolo didn’t see the ball once. They were on the field to help contain the fast-moving, lateral linebackers. They were both excellent in the second half.


-Andrew Thomas graded out the best we have seen this season. His rookie year has taken a turn for the best. The biggest positives I see are the more consistent anchor and hand placement once he is engaged in pass protection. He really is a powerful kid who can handle the size and strength of the NFL. He is not a guy who gets tossed around. When those hands get to where they are supposed to be and his feet are under him, he shows dominant traits.

-Cameron Fleming split snaps with Matt Peart, with the former getting more. Fleming allowed a sack but was just fine otherwise. Peart seemed a little rusty in his 15 snaps. He was off balance and inaccurate, which is understandable considering he just came back from missing a few weeks of work.

-Inside, Kevin Zeitler and Nick Gates were really physical and consistent. They both finished above average grade-wise. Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez split snaps at left guard, with the former starting and seeing the majority. This was a tough game for the rookie, allowing 3 pressures, 1 of which led to a sack. Even though he left a lot to be desired out there as a pass blocker, Lemieux was once again effective with his run blocking efforts. He is so much quicker off the ball and is so much better with lateral adjustments in comparison to Hernandez, who also allowed a pressure. I think Hernandez may be a backup the rest of the year.


-Even though I still have this spot as the top defensive need, maybe the top overall need on the team, this crew has been over-extending themselves when it comes to their results vs. expectations. We saw more key plays in this game from this group than we have all year. Cam Brown had 2 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 pressure in just 10 snaps. Niko Lalos had 2 tackles and a fumble recovery. Jabaal Sheard had 4 tackles, a half-sack, and 2 pressures.

-The surprise of the day, however, was Carter Coughlin. The 7th-round rookie played a season high 45 snaps and finished with 2 tackles and 3 pressures. They moved him around into multiple roles throughout the game. They sent him in as an edge rusher, as a blitzing inside linebacker, and as a spy on QB Russell Wilson. He had a key pressure on Wilson that stemmed from him not being fooled by play-action and showing closing speed to prevent Wilson from reaching the sideline on a bootleg. Outstanding game for these guys as a group.


-The debate is now closed. It is over. The trade for Leonard Williams was a major success. We are no longer looking at a guy who gets a few pressures here and there. We are no longer looking at a guy who doesn’t impact the game enough. Williams is on a different level right now. He had 5 pressures and 2.5 sacks. This is the most dominant DL performance we have seen in a long, long time. I received a text from a scout I speak with on a regular basis and he asked if this seals the deal of locking him up long term. I think Williams has a unique and rare combination of tools and skills that are an ideal fit for this scheme. Patrick Graham has learned how to use him, learned how to get him in a lot of one-on-one match-ups via scheming, and Williams is responding in a big way. My reply was, “Yes…but it may cost watching Tomlinson walk.”

-Dexter Lawrence and Dalvin Tomlinson combined for 3 tackles and Lawrence added 2 pressures. Both were actually a little weak against the run in this one. They were giving up more ground than we have been used to seeing, but they both rose up in the key situations. B.J. Hill added 1 pressure and was flagged for holding.


-Blake Martinez led the team with 10 tackles and also broke up a pass and forced a fumble. He was injured late in the game. It was a back injury that, according to media reports, won’t sideline him for any notable time. Martinez kept the glue together after a rough start.

-Tae Crowder was back out there making plays. If NYG can find a consistent play-maker to pair with Martinez inside, this defense will be on another level. So far, Crowder is proving to be a part of that discussion. He had 7 tackles, 1 pressure that led to a sack, and a sack himself. His notable trait is quality open-field tackling. It stems from his twitch and speed that a lot of the other inside linebackers just do not have. And that does not come at the expense of his contact strength and presence. He really has been an ideal fit for this defense and has a role to play.


-James Bradberry had 7 tackles, 1 PD, and 1 forced fumble. The match-up against D.K. Metcalf was one I was looking forward to. If I had to pick a winner, it is going to Bradberry by a thin margin. This is the kind of WR who he does well against; one who works with size, straight lines, and long speed. Bradberry can handle that well while also proving to be ball-savvy and a true play-maker. Metcalf did drop a ball (more on that below) but when these two were truly matched up one-on-one, Bradberry contained him.

-Darnay Holmes and his physical, aggressive, fast brand continued to both help and hurt the defense. He did have 5 tackles and an interception, while simply adding physical a presence to the secondary. He plays a man’s game. The glaring negative was similar to what we saw last week. Holmes was flagged for holding on a 3rd-and-15 stop in the 4th quarter while SEA was mounting their comeback attempt. The next play? A SEA touchdown. His mistakes are coming at the worst time.

-Isaac Yiadom had 4 tackles and 2 pass break ups, one of which was a high-level play in the end zone in the first quarter.


-The trio-safety group of Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love have hit a really nice stride. And to think that arguably the most talented (but unproven) player in the group itself, Xavier McKinney, only saw 6 defensive snaps. The fact that he could add a boost to the unit in the coming weeks is a great sign.

-Similar to Leonard Williams, the unique and versatile skill set of Jabrill Peppers has been figured out by Patrick Graham. He is now regularly making quality plays. He had 5 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 pass break ups. Peppers was also the most physical player on the defense and he made it known on a few occasions. He did get beat on the Chris Carson reception for a touchdown, but he also broke up a 3rd-down pass into the end zone.


-K Graham Gano: 1/1 (Made 48). Gano also missed one extra point for the first time this year.

-P Riley Dixon: 6 punts / 43.5 avg / 32.7 net


-DT Leonard Williams, RB Wayne Gallman, OT Andrew Thomas


-LG Shane Lemieux, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, TE Evan Engram


  1. Wide Receiver D.K. Metcalf is the freak athlete in a league full of freak athletes. He really has blossomed/broken out in his sophomore season. The league leader in receiving yards also ranks third in yards per catch and he ranks fifth with 9 touchdowns. However, just how good is he? I think far too many are too quick to label him a top-shelf receiver. He leads the league with 9 drops. He has caught 64% of his targets (120th in the NFL), and he still has significant issues as a route runner. Metcalf was picked 64th overall in the 2019 Draft (partially because of neck injury concerns) but many said it was the steal of the draft. There were many enamored with his size and speed, and yes, some even thought he was really good because of what he looked like with his shirt off. This is where I stand with Metcalf: he is a Terrell Owens-type weapon who will force a defense to really plan around him. He can take over a game. He can change an offense. However, similar to Engram, I can’t consider him elite if he continues to drop this many passes. I just can’t get there on him.
  1. I love to track the SEA team building process every year. They move around via trade on draft weekend as much as anyone. They trade for players nearly every year. They get aggressive in free agency. They take calculated chances on players with both health and character issues. Why does it work so well? They have a culture there and it comes from the top. Whether or not you like Pete Carroll, that was a notable attribute to his coaching skill set right away. NFL players are not robots. They are real people just like you and I. The culture is absolutely vital to sustained success in this league and It should make NYG fans feel encouraged.
  1. SEA is 8-4 with games left against NYJ, WAS, LAR, and SF. Despite this loss vs NYG, I think they are on the right track to win 10 games. Their defense has completely turned things around I still consider them a top 5 offense in the NFL. This would make it their 8th 10-win season in 9 years, a commendable stat. Sustained success in the league is really tough to achieve. And even though they have had so many ups and downs with personnel on both sides of the ball in recent years, it all comes down to the QB. If you have someone truly elite back there combined with a quality coach and front office, you truly have a credible shot every year.


  1. Defense, defense, defense. It is back. Going to SEA and allowing just 327 yards (3rd-lowest of the season for them), allowing just 12 points (their lowest since December 17, 2017) was the sign I was looking for when I questioned just how legit this defense can be down the stretch. They did not just contain Wilson and the team’s high-powered offense, they completely dominated. The pass rush, the secondary, the physical nature, the forced turnovers…everything was there.
  1. It will be really interesting to see how this coaching staff handles the offensive line down the stretch. These next 4 games will dictate whether or not NYG plays in the postseason and the margin for error is really small, as WAS pulled off the upset in PIT and is trending up. Will they continue to rotate at LG and RT? Or has this been a trial to see who really are the best players and will those players now receive all of the snaps? Will Hernandez seems to be a thing of the past already and Cameron Fleming continues to be the weak link who hurts the offense every game.
  1. Next up is a home game against ARI, a team that has lost 4 of their last 5 with their only win over that stretch coming from the Hail Mary pass from Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins. This will be another tough test for the NYG defense, as Murray just presents a lot of different issues and scoring points hasn’t been an problem for them since Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury took over. They are banged up on defense and have allowed 28+ points 5 of their past 6 games and they are most vulnerable against the run. Wayne Gallman should be able to keep his momentum going.
Dec 062020
Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, New York Giants (December 6, 2020)

Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams – © USA TODAY Sports

In perhaps the team’s most impressive victory in years, the New York Giants defeated the Seattle Seahawks 17-12 on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington. The win was New York’s fourth in a row, improving their overall record to 5-7 and keeping the Giants in first place in the NFC East. The heavily-favored Seahawks fell to 8-4.

Playing without starting quarterback Daniel Jones, back-up quarterback Colt McCoy and the Giants’ offense struggled in the first half. New York’s five first-half possessions resulted in three punts, an interception, and a safety. The Giants were only able to generate four 1st downs, 95 yards, and no points. The safety came with 33 seconds left before halftime when Riley Dixon’s punt was blocked with the ball exiting the end zone.

Fortunately for New York, the Giants’ defense was up to the challenge, holding the NFL’s 5th-rated offense to one field goal in the first half. Those points came on Seattle’s first drive of the game, as the Seahawks drove 57 yards in nine plays to set up a 31-yard field goal. Seattle did nothing after that, with their next four drives resulting in a punt, punt, fumble, and a punt. Rookie defensive end/linebacker Niko Lalos recovered the fumble.

At the half, the Seahawks led 5-0.

Both teams exchanged punts to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants’ offense finally got the big play they needed on their second drive when running back Wayne Gallman broke off a 60-yard run around left end. Running back Alfred Morris gained 13 yards on the next snap and then Morris finished off the 4-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. McCoy hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard in the end zone for the successful 2-point conversion and the Giants were now up 8-5.

Seattle gained one first down on their second possession and decided to gamble on 4th-and-1 at their own 48-yard line. Quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass was broken up by cornerback Isaac Yiadom and the Seahawks turned the ball over on downs. The Giants then made Seattle pay with a 5-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. Gallman rushed for 3, 13, and 23 yards. Then Morris ran for three before catching a 6-yard pass from McCoy for the score. Place kicker Graham Gano missed the extra point and the Giants now led 14-5.

The Seahawks gained two first downs but were pushed back by a 15-yard sack by defensive end Leonard Williams and were forced to punt again early in the 4th quarter. The Giants went three-and-out, but New York got the ball right back when cornerback Darnay Holmes picked off a deflected pass at the Seattle 39-yard line. New York’s offense could only gain nine yards, but it was good enough to set up a 48-yard field goal and a 17-5 lead with less than 10 minutes to play.

Seattle made things interesting when they followed up with an 11-play, 82-yard drive than ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass by Wilson. Their sole touchdown of the game cut New York’s lead to 17-12 with 6:09 left to play.

The Giants were able to pick up two first downs and take 4:21 off of the clock. But the Seahawks got the ball back with 1:48 left to play and a chance to steal the game. Starting from their own 20-yard line, Seattle did pick up two first downs, cross midfield, and reach the New York 46-yard line. The New York defense then stiffened as Wilson threw two incomplete passes and was sacked for an 8-yard loss by Leonard Williams on 3rd-and-10. Wilson’s last desperate 4th-and-18 deep pass fell incomplete.

McCoy finished the game 13-of-22 for 105 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His leading targets were tight end Evan Engram (four catches for 32 yards) and wide receiver Golden Tate (four catches for 30 yards). Gallman rushed 16 times 135 yards and Morris chipped in with eight carries for 39 yards and a rushing touchdown as New York rushed for 190 yards against the NFL’s 3rd-ranked run defense.

Seattle was held to 327 total yards on 70 offensive snaps. The Seahawks were 4-of-13 on 3rd down and 0-of-2 on 4th down. The Giants picked off one pass and recovered one fumble. Linebacker Blake Martinez led the team with 10 tackles. Linebacker Tae Crowder had seven tackles and one sack. Safety Jabrill Peppers had 5 tackles, one sack, and two pass defenses. Leonard Williams was credited with 2.5 sacks and five quarterback hits. Linebacker Jabaal Sheard had 0.5 sacks.

Video highlights are available on Giants.com.

The New York Giants re-signed quarterback Alex Tanney to the team’s Practice Squad on Saturday. Tanney was cut by the Giants on September 5th. The Giants also placed running back Devonta Freeman, who is currently on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury, on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

QB Clayton Thorson and DE/LB Niko Lalos were activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (hamstring), WR Dante Pettis, OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, LB Trent Harris, and LB T.J. Brunson,

LB Blake Martinez left the game in the fourth quarter with a lower back injury and did not return.

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

  • Head Coach Joe Judge (Video)
  • QB Colt McCoy (Video)
  • RB Wayne Gallman (Video)
  • RB Alfred Morris (Video)
  • DE Leonard Williams (Video)
  • S Jabrill Peppers (Video)

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

Dec 042020
Colt McCoy, New York Giants (November 29, 2020)

Colt McCoy – © USA TODAY Sports


It hasn’t been pretty, but the New York Giants are on a roll. The last time this team won three games in a row was 2016. Other than the 10-point win over the Eagles, everything has been tight. Six of the Giants’ last seven games have been decided by three points or less, including three of their four victories.

The naysayers will justifiably claim the Giants have gotten “fat” on lesser teams, and barely at that. The Giants were probably a completion away from losing a heart-breaker to a 2-win Cincinnati team starting a Practice Squad quarterback. The optimists will justifiably claim that game should not have been that close, and regardless the Giants made the defensive play they needed to make to secure the win.

What has transpired is largely moot at this point. The 4-7 Giants are tied with 4-7 Washington at the top of the NFC East, with New York owning the head-to-head tie-breaker. The Eagles are a half-game behind. The Cowboys, arguably with the easiest remaining schedule, are just one game behind. The final sprint has started. The bad news for the Giants is that injuries are beginning to mount (at quarterback, wide receiver, and linebacker) at an inopportune time. The Giants also face four teams with winning records in a row, not knowing when their starting quarterback will return nor how limited he will be when he does. The good news is the Giants seem to be playing the best ball in the division right now.

The Giants probably can afford to lose the Seattle game, and many fans have already opined that the team should rest Daniel Jones for this contest, accept the loss, and strive towards upsetting the Cardinals at home. I don’t think Joe Judge thinks that way.


  • QB Daniel Jones (hamstring – doubtful)
  • WR Darius Slayton (shoulder/foot – probable)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (toe/shoulder – probable)
  • LB David Mayo (knee – questionable)
  • LB Cam Brown (illness – probable)
  • S Nate Ebner (knee – probable)

It dawned on me this week that there are probably two diametrically-opposed camps on Daniel Jones’ impact on New York’s 29th-ranked offense. There are those who argue that Jones is largely responsible for the offensive short-comings. And there are others – including myself – who have argued that Jones has been hampered by the talent around him. If the latter is true, then things could get really ugly with Colt McCoy at quarterback.

As the BBI team has pointed out the last few weeks, as the offensive line has played better, the running game and pass protection has improved, and Jones has stopped turning the ball over. The result has been a 3-game winning streak. This despite the limitations of Jones’ targets. Darius Slayton has been dealing with shoulder and foot issues, Sterling Shepard with toe, hip, and shoulder issues. Golden Tate is not having the impact he did last year. And Evan Engram keeps alternating the good (two 40+ yard catches last week) with the bad (dropped pass that cost the first Eagles game, last week’s fumble in the red zone). In short, the Giants’ receiving corps has not delivered in 2020 and will need a major upgrade during the offseason.

Enter McCoy, your typical back-up QB. McCoy has played 11 years in the NFL, starting 28 games. But 21 of those starts came in 2010-2011 with only three starts in the last three years. To me, he’s a Jeff Rutledge-type quarterback. He can’t win a game on his own. You hope he doesn’t lose it, but he will need help to win it. That’s a tall order when you have ordinary running backs, significant limitations at receiver, and are facing a Seattle team that scores 31 points per game (3rd in the NFL). The Giants still are averaging less than 20 points per game.

McCoy is an immobile, weak-armed, 60 percent thrower who has a career 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio (29 touchdowns, 27 interceptions). The game plan seems obvious. Focus on the running game, sprinkling in short- to intermediate-passes to the tight ends and running backs. The role of slot receiver Sterling Shepard may also be emphasized more. Stating the obvious, what you don’t want to happen is see McCoy taking risky chances and turn the ball over.

If Joe Judge and Jason Garrett have any tricks up their sleeves, this is the time to use them. Beating the 8-3 Seahawks on their home turf is going to be extremely tough. I would pull out the stops.

The good news for the Giants? The historically physical and aggressive Seattle defense is having a terrible year. They are ranked dead last in yards allowed (418 yards per game) and 26th in scoring defense (almost 28 points per game). The bad news? The Seahawks are vastly better at defending the run (3rd in the NFL) than the pass (32nd in the NFL). That’s not good for a New York team that will have to run the ball effectively to have a legitimate chance to win this game.


I think I jinxed the defense last week when I said they were getting healthier. The medical staff obviously misjudged Oshane Ximines’ shoulder condition, choosing to end his season with rotator cuff surgery after his brief comeback attempt. Fellow linebacker Kyler Fackrell was placed on IR with a calf injury, joining Lorenzo Carter. The team is now having to rely on in-season pick-ups Jabaal Sheard and Trent Harris as the only veteran edge rushers, backed up by late-round rookies Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin. But with the game on the line last weekend, it was the journeyman Sheard who saved the day. Go figure!

I keep saying it on a weekly basis, but Patrick Graham and his staff are coaching their collective asses off. Yes, the late-game breakdowns are still frustrating as hell, especially when the team employs more of a 3-man rush. But the fact that this unit – with all of its talent issues – is currently 10th in defense is amazing. That said, Graham and his defense are about to see a major upgrade in the caliber of the competition they face. It won’t be offensive bottom dwellers Redskins, Eagles, and Bengals that they will compete against in coming weeks, but offensive teams ranked 5th (Seattle) and 2nd (Arizona). In other words, shit is about to get real.

Seattle is 12th in rushing (averaging 117 yards per game) and 4th in passing (averaging 274 yards per game). But it is a running game with no bell cow, as no running back as more than 364 yards and quarterback Russell Wilson is leading the team with 379 yards rushing. In that, Seattle is similar to the Giants with Jones at full strength and the team’s running back-by-committee approach.

What separates the Seahawks is Wilson and his receiving targets. Remarkably, with five games left to play, Wilson already has thrown for 3,216 yards and 31 touchdowns! As stated, he is the team’s leading rusher and has only thrown 10 interceptions, with a 110.8 quarterback rating. He’s playing at an MVP level. While Wilson has a plethora of targets, two stand above the rest: wide receivers Tyler Lockett (70 catches, 771 yards, 8 touchdowns) and D.K. Metcalf (58 catches, 1,039 yards, 9 touchdowns). That’s 17 touchdowns for two receivers! To keep this in perspective, the Giants wide receivers only have SIX touchdown catches all year!

The Giants must maintain disciplined pass rush lanes up front to prevent Wilson from making plays on the ground. The pass rush will suffer, but the Giants must not allow Wilson to extend drives by rushing for 1st downs. Stating the obvious, there will be tremendous pressure on the the secondary, specifically corners James Bradberry, Isaac Yiadom, and Darnay Holmes to cover Lockett and Metcalf. Wide out David Moore has 5 touchdowns too (again the Giants wideouts have SIX as a team!) and is no slouch.

Seattle is going to move the ball. They don’t tend to turn the ball over (10 interceptions, 4 fumbles). I expect Graham to attempt a bend-but-don’t-break defense that hopefully will limit the damage to field goals rather than touchdowns. That’s probably the team’s best chance.


Until last week, the Giants special teams had been, well, special. But across the board, last week against the Bengals was a disaster… they allowed a 103 kickoff return, a 29-yard punt return that almost cost them the game, a fake punt, and poor decisions by the punt returner. It was ugly. My guess is Judge and Thomas McGaughey laid down the law this week in meetings.

If the Giants have any shot at upsetting Seattle, the Giants must not only rebound, but actually dominate the special teams match-ups. Again, I would pull out the stops. Look for fake field goals and/or punts. We may even see a surprise onside kick.


Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham on the Seattle offense: “Aside from Metcalf, they have so many different weapons. The backs (Carlos) Hyde and (Chris) Carson these guys are scary. The quarterback obviously he’s a scary player, a good player… They have so many weapons from the receiver spots, 83 (David Moore), 16 (Tyler Lockett), 14 (Metcalf), they are all making plays. We’re going to try to figure it out. Do what we can do. See what we can do to try to limit their effectiveness… We’re going to need everybody, all hands-on deck for this one. They have a lot of weapons out there.”


Seattle is a well-coached team with a QB playing at an MVP level and a dynamic receiving corps. If Daniel Jones was fully healthy and playing well, this would be a difficult game for the Giants to win. It’s hard to see New York pulling off the upset with Colt McCoy at quarterback. Seattle just doesn’t turn the ball over much. So something weird has to happen and/or the Giants will need to use some trickery to fool the Seahawks.

Oct 242017
Eli Manning, New York Giants (October 22, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

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Seattle Seahawks 24 – New York Giants 7


After the Giants put a number in the win column last week against Denver, there was at least some sense of optimism surrounding the team. It would be short-lived, as the match-up with Seattle on paper was an ugly one for New York.

Seattle has had its own issues with the offensive line and penalties, both of which reared their ugly heads in the first half. Defensively, the Giants were fighting hard early including a stand where they stopped Seattle 10 straight times inside the NYG 10-yard line. A Thomas Rawls fumbled picked up by Landon Collins set the Giants up in the red zone and it took them just two plays to score, a 5- yard pass to the surging rookie tight end Evan Engram.

The rest of the first half was an ugly offensive display. Penalties, minimal protection from the offensive line, and failed conversions. This had the look of a defensive dogfight heading into halftime. It was a first half that saw the Giants gain 42 total yards, but they somehow still led 7-3.

Seattle got much more aggressive in the second half, throwing the ball downfield and taking advantage of the Giants’ defense defending the middle of the route tree. Doug Baldwin, who finished with 9 catches for 92 yards, caught his lone touchdown of the day after juking Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie out of his shoes with his release off the line. With no safety help over the top, it was an easy pitch-and-catch. Seattle led 10-7 halfway through the 3rd quarter with the NYG offense still mightily struggling.

With momentum on the SEA side fully, the Seahawks continued to move the ball consistently via the air game. Missed tackles and NYG penalties helped their cause as the cream eventually rose to the top. Wilson threw two more touchdowns and the Seattle coverage was strangling the second-rate NYG receivers. The Giants’ offense may have hit a low point, as they gained just 177 total net yards while converting 17% of their third down conversions.

Giants lose, 24-7.


  • Eli Manning: 19/39 – 134 yards – 1 TD/0 INT: In his second full week with replacement-level wide receivers, Manning looked lost and uncomfortable for the majority of the game. If it weren’t for Engram, he would have had a hard time breaking the 100-yard mark. I’m not sure if it is Manning or the design of the offense, but the amount of times they are throwing the ball 4+ yards shy of the first-down marker on third downs is alarming. It’s been happening since week 1 and all but assures this team will not be marching downfield. Manning can’t be looked down upon, as the situation he is in is among the worst in football.


  • Orleans Darkwa: 9 att/35 yards – 3 rec/13 yards: After his impressive performance in Denver, Darkwa came back down to earth. A 3.9 average can be considered a positive for the Giants, as Darkwa continued to break through contact between the tackles with his aggressive running style. His pass blocking left a lot to be desired, missing multiple blitzers up the middle.
  • Wayne Gallman: 5 att/15 yards – 2 rec/14 yards: Gallman’s presence wasn’t felt much. It was a good experience for the young slasher to see the difference in speed and physicality between the Seattle defense and what he’s been matched up against prior.


  • Travis Rudolph: 3 rec/32 yards: In his first substantial playing time of his career, Rudolph saw some ups and downs. He had a hard time getting off the jam a few times. His biggest weakness is a lack of size and strength. The quickness and hands can be used from the slot, but the inability to power his way through press coverage and fighting for the ball in traffic may end up being what holds him back. There is still a lot to learn with the playbook including a hot read he failed to make which ended up with a Manning pass hitting him in the back.
  • Roger Lewis: 1 rec/12 yards: Prior to the game, I put Lewis down as a guy that would be tested. This was a big day for him…being matched up against a strong secondary without anyone taking pressure off him. He didn’t pass. He was targeted 6 times and simply seemed overwhelmed. He didn’t sell his double route opportunities and got pushed around in traffic.


  • Evan Engram: 6 rec/60 yards – 1 TD: Engram is going to be the feature player on this offense for the rest of the season. He has passed every test so far this year and I think it will end up being huge for his career. I thought this fast, big, and physical back seven would be able to shut him down but Engram seemed more than comfortable and proved to be capable of handling the NFL’s best. This game was, however, his first negative blocking grade of the year. He had a hard time sustaining his blocks and got very little movement on the Seattle front seven.
  • Rhett Ellison/Matt LaCosse/Jerrell Adams: Ellison played about half of the team’s snaps and is still being underused. He dropped the one target thrown his way and his impact as a blocker was up and down. LaCosse saw a season high 17 snaps. One of the stars of training camp didn’t see any official targets, but he was a primary receiver on one play where Manning was scrambling and had to throw it away over his had. LaCosse was open and was visibly upset he didn’t get the opportunity to do his thing. Adams was barely on the field.


  • Tackles: Ereck Flowers continues to be the bright spot of the offensive line over the past 4 weeks. This is the best stretch we have seen out of him in his career. Justin Pugh was hurt in the first half and did not return, forcing the shaky-at-best Bobby Hart into action. Hart struggled to finish his blocks and is proving to be nothing more than an average backup in this league. His balance, hand placement, and confidence in his assignments simply aren’t there.
  • Guards/Center: John Jerry and Brett Jones appeared to have one of their worst performances of the year, respectively. Without re-watching the tape (time constraints this week), it looked like the pressure coming up the middle all afternoon was stemming from a lack of adjustment to late blitzes and twists/stunts. This is something these guys have been struggling with since training camp and I expect to see a non-stop effort by opposing defenses to do this the rest of the year. Jones is starting to look a little over-matched in there. D.J. Fluker had a positive game, showing flashes of dominance as a run blocker. Mentally, just as I saw with with the Chargers, he is a step behind often and doesn’t have the foot speed to catch up. He missed two blitzes inside that forced Manning into early throws.


  • Ends: With the injuries mounting at the position, Jason Pierre-Paul played 96% of the team’s snaps. The fatigue hampered his play a bit, but overall it was a gutsy performance if nothing else. He applied two pressures to Wilson, including one knockdown. He failed to rise to the new bar he set after a 3 sack performance in Denver and continues to be one of the biggest 2017 disappointments for NYG. The bright spot of the day was the play of rookie Avery Moss, who played less than half of the team’s snaps but led them with 4 pressures. He also forced the Rawls fumble after good backside pursuit. Moss is still way behind when it comes to strength and power, but he is making the most of what he has and is getting the job done. This will be an important stretch in terms of him maturing into an NFL pass rusher.
  • Tackles: Once again, the Giants’ interior dominated. It’s like clockwork now when it comes to Damon Harrison beating single and double teams alike with his pop off the snap, top tier strength when engaged, and almost-shocking quickness to free himself and take down ball carriers. He recorded 7 tackles including 1 or a loss. Rookie Dalvin Tomlinson and veterans Jay Bromley and Robert Thomas were impact players against the run. Thomas recorded a season high 3 tackles and showed some of the quickness we saw in training camp. Those two veterans are fighting for  2018 roster spots now.


  • B.J. Goodson’s impact on a game where the ball is thrown a lot is minimal at best. So far in his young career (and I know we still have to wait and see), Goodson is proving to be a 2-down player. He is over-matched when it comes to defending those 3rd-and-5 passes over the middle – late to recognize and he is a straight-line athlete, not a quick adjuster. Keenan Robinson led the team with 9 tackles and appears to be on the uptick after a rough start to the year.
  • Curtis Grant saw a season high 34 plays. His straight-line speed and presence stand out. He is excellent in pursuit but again, the quick twitch in coverage isn’t there. He had a hard time sticking to his assignment after his opponents made their cuts.
  • Devon Kennard is quietly having a very good year for NYG. The versatility he has shown from the SAM linebacker spot is what this team has been looking for. He applied pressure, hit Wilson a couple times, and was stout against the run. Used correctly, Kennard can be one of those quiet-but-essential difference makers


  • Janoris Jenkins is the little engine that could. I noticed this about him when he faced off against Brandon Marshall in training camp and it has shown up a few times this year. Up against the 6’6”-Jimmy Graham with no help, Wilson threw a fade into the end zone and Jenkins easily contested the pass. He is a fighter and a quality cornerback.
  • In his first game back from suspension, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie struggled. He was outclassed by the quickness of Doug Baldwin on a couple of occasions. He was only on the field for 16 plays and one has to think he may be one of the first guys who checks out mentally. I really do wonder if there is a trade market out there for him so NYG can get the pick back they sent to PIT for Ross Cockrell. Speaking of Cockrell, he has quietly been a solid addition. Reliable but unspectacular, he is rarely caught out of position or out of control – two things I had in his college scouting report out of Duke. Curious to see if he can earn a future roster spot here because so far, so good.
  • Eli Apple was back in his starting role, playing 97% of the team’s snaps. He had some good plays, but overall it was a negative performance again. He suffered another defensive holding on a play where he was fooled by a double route and allowed a touchdown late in the game to Graham. What was most maddening were the amount of times he lost his outside contain assignment against the run. It’s a simple role and almost inexcusable to miss it multiple times in one game.


  • Landon Collins made the highlight reel a couple of times, with his body-slam tackle of Tyler Lockett and fumble recovery that set up the lone Giants’ touchdown. However his performance in deep coverage was downright awful. He was outclassed speed-wise and showed that he shouldn’t be handling any single-high duties. He also had a bad missed tackle on Jimmy Graham that gave SEA about 20 more yards on one of their touchdown scoring drives.
  • Darian Thompson had a quiet game in a good way, sticking to his assignments and applied pressure as a blitzer twice. Nat Berhe recorded a sack but was only on the field for 4 plays.


  • K Aldrick Rosas: 0/1 – Miss from 47. With the Giants down 10-7 early in the 4th quarter, Rosas pushed his game tying attempt wide right.
  • P Brad Wing: 7 att/38.4 net avg. Wing had one of his blocks partially blocked but otherwise had a good day.
  • Return: Ed Eagan handled punt return duties but was a non factor.


  • TE Evan Engram, DT Damon Harrison, DE Avery Moss


  • OG John Jerry, OC Brett Jones, S Landon Collins


  • Russell Wilson has had one of the more impressive starts to his career when considering his production and win total. That said, he makes a lot of rookie-caliber mistakes when it comes to holding onto the ball way too long and being erratic with his decision making. I would say over the past 20+ games his arrow has flat-lined a bit.
  • The SEA offensive line is just as bad, if not worse, than what NYG is working with. It may be what ends up holding them back from serious contention because they day they are matched up with a quality pass rushing team, they are in major trouble.
  • The Seattle linebackers for a few years now have proven what an athletic, physical group can do for a defense. Those guys can cover almost anything thrown their way, they can knock the helmets off blockers, and they don’t miss a lot of tackles. They have set the bar for 4-3 defenses and those that run a similar front need to take notes.


  • As I said before, I looked at this match-up on paper prior to the game and came away with the thought that NYG had no shot in this one. I have seen every SEA game so far this year and if there was a defensive personnel/scheme combination that the NYG offense wouldn’t be able to move the ball against, it would be this one. I don’t think the rest of the season will be this ugly, but that was a blueprint other teams can try to replicate to keep NYG under 10 points.
  • I am going to get a lot of disagreements about this, but Eli Manning should get a pass for the rest of the year. The situation he is in simply doesn’t get worse. The offensive line has a new leak each week, the scheme and play calling appear to be outclassed by the opposition, and he has replacement-level wide receivers all around him. I’m not going to get into what the NYG QB approach should be next year and forward, but Davis Webb isn’t even a thought this season.
  • I try to steer clear of being overly-critical of play-calling and schemes. I simply don’t have the access to the information that is needed to have a fully credible opinion on the subject. That said, I watch 8-10 NFL games per week and there isn’t an offense in the league that is more predictable and repeatable that what I see with NYG. The same mistakes and shortcomings arise each week. The injury situation and the OL may hamper them a bit, but how many times are we going to see a pass to a receiver darting towards the sideline 4 yards short on 3rd down? Or a quick dump off to a running back with 4 defenders between him and the first down marker? When do we see Evan Engram run up the seam? The rest of the season is as much a tryout for next year for the coaching staff as it is the players.