:::Pause, Catch My Breath:::
Whew. Sorry about that. Here's 5 things we observed from this travesty:
The Jaguars Are Bad....But....You Know The End Of This Sentence
I guess you couldn't really say this is something we "learned" but I think I underestimated just how bad they were. It can be explained by the fact that they are a young team. The youngest in the NFL. Blake Bortles was telegraphing his throws and seems uncomfortable in the pocket. That might be a reason why the Giants doubled their sack total from non-DL players with 4.0 sacks coming from the secondary and linebackers.
That being said, the Giants are worse. They gifted the Jaguars an early 3rd quarter touchdown on an Eli Manning fumble and couldn't tackle Denard Robinson all day. On the very next possession they fumbled again on an Eli Manning sack (caused by a stunt which we don't know how to defend) but was ruled down due to some obscure "QB forward progress" call. Fast forward to the 4th quarter and a harmless checkdown to Larry Donnell became a fumble returned for a touchdown. Fast forward to the end of the game, and well it's a Giant loss.
Damontre Moore, Devon Kennard and Odell Beckham Jr. Are The Future
All three players can impact the game in multiple ways. Moore has been the most inconsistent of the three. He incurred a stupid encroachment penalty and missed contain on a late second quarter big run by Bortles. However, the guy is a pure pass rushing monster. He had several pressures on Bortles and was a consistent thorn for the OL all game. Also was able to bat down a pass. I maintain that getting him more snaps, especially as this season winds down can only be good for him to get that experience because he's got all the potential in the world and flashes it often.
Kennard, meanwhile, has looked like a beast. He's got two sacks in this game and looks like an every down linebacker. While the defensive line struggled against the run, he was seen making a few nice tackles. He's looking every bit like a 3 down linebacker for this team going forward.
Odell is already a superstar, we know this. It's his impact not only catching the ball but when he's on offense, you've got more eyes on him. A big reason why Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings aren't struggling is due to one less man in the box since he's needed to keep an eye for the deep ball. He also allows for single coverage somewhere else. On top of that, he seems to have become the punt returner for good. He is so slippery and so deceptively fast that I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually breaks one.
Rashad Jennings Was So Much More Important Than We Knew
Jennings brings so much to this team. We're a pretty crappy team, but if we were good, we could probably appreciate what he does for us a bit more. He won't break a big gain, but he almost never gets negative yardage (aside from one ill-advised play in the beginning). Although it doesn't look it, he's a pretty strong pass protector. All of those sacks came from the offensive line or the tight ends missing blocks. He's also the best screen play running back on the roster.
Andre Williams in space is a monster, but it's quite difficult to get him in space. If he doesn't have a hole, it's likely going to be a negative play. Give him another offseason, he's got some work to do.
Unfortunately for Jennings, he got injured. He wasn't the only one. You can add Geoff Schwartz with an ankle sprain, Robert Ayers with a pectoral injury, and James Brewer came away with a concussion. You just can't win with that. The starters are gassed, the depth is non-existent, and the talent is drained.
As of writing this article, I'm not sure of the severity of any of these injuries, but I can tell you that a player coming out of the game for a pectoral injury usually means it's torn. That means this is the last you've seen of Robert Ayers this year.
The Giants were the most injured team in the NFL last year and are easily on their way towards "winning" that distinction this year as well. They had 14 players on injured reserve entering this game, most in the NFL, and likely will add to that.
The Giants Are A Dumb Team
Failure to keep an 18-point lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Failure to target Odell Beckham Jr for all of the second half until the last drive.
Failure to use a timeout with 1:00 left in the game until 20 seconds expired, leaving less time.
Failure to put in max protect for Eli on the final drive.
Failure to understand what a stunt is, since they still can't defend that.
Failure to keep blitzing Bortles even after they got 7 sacks on him and knew it was working.
Failure to defend the SAME READ OPTION PLAY ON AT LEAST FOUR DIFFERENT OCCASIONS.
Failure. Just an abject failure.
The future is murky.