This was an exciting game, but in the end, it finished the way the last five had. With another loss. The score doesn't matter all that much. It all hurts the same.
We saw some good in this game, one player in particular as the obvious. Of course, we saw some disaster as well. It is what it is. Let's take a look at five things we learned from Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Odell Beckham @#%$@$T##)T#)$)#%#)*
Y'all really expect words after that performance? Fine. I'll try.
You can't cover him. You can try. It just won't happen. Hey, it's okay. Prince Amukamara is someone I'd classify as a damn good corner. He couldn't cover Dez Bryant.
Orlando Scandrick is a pretty good corner. Just not on the same level. None of the Cowboys defenders are. This is what happens. Beckham had 8 catches, 125 yards and two touchdowns. IN. THE. FIRST. HALF.
He had to leave the game with a back injury on a catch which of course puts a damper on things, but it's clear he is someone that is going to be feared in this league for a long time. He ended the game with 10 catches, 146 yards, and two TDs.
Getting Geoff Schwartz Back Helps -- A lot
I think the biggest impact Schwartz had was in the run game. Getting him on his blocks on the right side makes Andre Williams' initial reads open and therefore he was getting huge gains. Andre needs his initial read open or he's going to get hit for a loss. Get him into an open hole and let him build up steam and he's going to destroy people.
Schwartz has been pretty good with his pass protection too, and doesn't seem to have any ill effects. He surprisingly looked comfortable out there, though I would still prefer him in a phone booth, taking out larger defensive linemen.
Can you imagine having Schwartz and Beckham available all year? I think the win-loss record would've legitimately been different. That kind of makes me sad.
The Play-Calling On The Offense Is Still Inconsistent, But A Step In The Right Direction
We see some of the same issues that plague the offense week in and week out. I'm not going to single out Ben McAdoo or Tom Coughlin on this. It's just weird.
On one hand, you see some incredible play designs. There was one screen in the first quarter that was just incredible. It was with Beckham and Rashad Jennings lining up on the backfield. The Giants fake a jet sweep to Beckham before getting Jennings a little dump pass. It worked beautifully. Then you have Odell as a decoy on a bubble screen, getting 6 eyes on him while Rueben Randle sneaks in on a backdoor slant for a first down. Some great play designs.
Then you have play calls to start the second half. Longer step drops. Fewer slants and fewer decoy plays. The Giants stopped running it off tackle and tried to go inside a little too much for my liking. It just seemed like a tale of two halves and the Giants started to play too much like they were trying not to lose.
They finally got back to their winning ways on a nice drive in the fourth quarter that culminated in some nice Rashad Jennings runs and a sweet Adrien Robinson touchdown, the first of his career. Overall a nice day for whoever decided to call this game.
The Giants Defense Is Still A Problem
Jason Pierre-Paul had his trademark strong game against the Cowboys as he had a good battle with Tyron Smith, winning against him quite a few times (more times than he lost, I'd say). He proceeded to get several QB hits and hurries along with a few tremendous plays in the run game.
Alas, JPP can't do it alone. Aside from a few isolated Mathias Kiwanuka and Damontre Moore showings, the rest of the defense was pathetic. Jayron Hosley got schooled by Cole Beasley on a long touchdown pass, and the run defense in general was atrocious.
I'd be loathe not to mention the numerous coverage breakdowns that occurred. Dez Bryant got wide open on a touchdown play. Spencer Paysinger forgot to cover James Hanna on a 3rd and short situation. It's frustrating.
The crescendo of crap finally surfaced during the Cowboys' last drive where the Giants declined to blitz once nor did they bother to use their two best pass rushers in Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers to try and get to Romo. The result was near 7 to 8 seconds of
Bad Teams Find A Way To Lose
And what do you know. The Giants are a bad team. Too many mistakes. Too many close calls. Odell Beckham is a superstar but you need a team to win and this team is just awful.
From Eli Manning airmailing a wide open Preston Parker on an easy TD that turned into an interception, to the Giants not getting any pressure whatsoever, to not even looking Odell Beckham's way in the last drive, it was too much to overcome.
I'm not going to say much more about it. Sometimes you can just feel it. In the past, giving Eli Manning with 1 minute left to win the game usually had me giddy and brimming with confidence. But today's game, I felt like the situation was just hopeless. Indeed it was.
This season is over. We've got meaningless games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins up next. If we win, don't let it fool you. They are just as bad as we are. Winds of change are approaching.