How did the New York Giants lose THAT football game? The 3-9 Giants, leading 21-0 in the first half and looking like they were en route to breaking a six-game losing streak in a stress-free afternoon, turned the game into the most inexplicable loss of a lost 2014 season.
Josh Scobee hit a 43-yard field goal with 32 seconds left to give the Jaguars an improbable, gift-wrapped, 25-24 victory over the Giants on Sunday. New York has now lost seven straight games.
Why did the Giants lose?
Well, they lost because they gave the Jaguars 14 points on two fumbles in the second half.
They lost because Josh Brown missed a 43-yard field goal, his first miss after going 10-for-10.
They lost because their wounded offensive line could not block anybody in the second half. Justin Pugh (quad) didn't play. Geoff Schwartz (ankle) left in the first quarter. James Brewer (concussion) came on for Schwartz, didn't play well at all, and didn't finish the game, either. The Giants finished the game with John Jerry at right tackle and Dallas Reynolds at right guard. Manning was sacked four times in the second half.
They lost because they gained only 75 yards of total offense in the second half.
They lost because they have no clue how to defend the read option. They allowed Blake Bortles to run for 69 yards on four carries, including a 20-yard run that set up Scobee's winning field goal.
"It's a loss we feel we should have won. We've done this too many times, We just helped somebody beat us," said head coach Tom Coughlin, whose 300th career game was wrecked by the loss.
"It just doesn't make any sense."
Oh, That Third Quarter!
The Giants turned a comfortable 21-3 game that looked like a nice stress-free way to end a six-game losing streak into serious business with a miserable, sloppy third quarter.
An Eli Manning fumble when the Giants' pass protection broke down led to a Jacksonville fumble recovery touchdown. Rashad Jennings had the ball in the end zone for the Giants. Rather than settle for the recovery and the safety, Jennings tried to pick up the ball and run with it. Linebacker J.T. Thomas took the ball away for a Jaguars touchdown. The Giants managed only two third-quarter first downs. When Blake Bortles hit Marqise Lee for a 30-yard TD with 1:55 left in the quarter Jacksonville trailed by only 21-16, and the Jaguars and their fans were smelling blood.
What A Drive!
The Giants' first touchdown came on a 19-play, 91-yard drive that took 9:51. There were eight first downs. Rashad Jennings carried 12 times for 47 yards on the drive, including a 2-yard touchdown run. The Giants converted four third downs. That's the kind of offense Tom Coughin, Ben McAdoo and Giants fans had hoped to see all season long.
Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz just cannot catch a break. Schwartz, playing only since second game after spending the first 10 game on short-term IR with a dislocated toe, was carted off the field in the first quarter with what was called a sprained left ankle. He was seen on the sidelines during the second half with a walking boot on his left foot.
The Giants also lost defensive end Robert Ayers with a pectoral injury. Ayers started in place of Mathias Kiwanuka, who did not make the trip to Jacksonville due to a knee injury.
James Brewer, who replaced Schwartz, who had replaced Justin Pugh (inactive/quad) suffered a concussion early in the fourth quarter and did not return.
Rashad Jennings left the game mid-way through the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He left with 91 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Manning finished 24-of-34 for 247 yards and one touchdown. His passer rating was 101.1. Manning was sacked four times and lost two fumbles, both in the second half.
Odell Beckham caught seven passes for 90 yards.
The Giants sacked Blake Bortles seven times.
Young Defenders Step Up
Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard got the first two sacks of his NFL career. He had three tackles, all for loss. He also had two quarterback pressures. Rookie defensive end Kerry Wynn, active for the first time, earned his first career sack. Damontre Moore was active and had a pair of passes defensed.
The Giants travel to face the Tennessee Titans at 1 p.m. next Sunday.