For the New York Giants, it got ugly early in Arizona against the Arizona Cardinals. It was a sloppy game all around for the Giants, filled with turnovers, penalties, and miscommunication. The Giants fall to a 2-13 record, their worst record since the advent of the 16-game schedule.
Though Larry Fitzgerald put on a clinic, collecting 8 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone, the Giants’ defense played hard.
The defensive line, in particular, was frequently flying around the field. Olivier Vernon picked up a strip sack as well as a tackle on Fitzgerald on a bubble screen, Jason Pierre-Paul had an emphatic run stop as well as a sack of his own. Damon Harrison had a pair of impressive tackles for a loss, as well as tipping a pass that probably should have been intercepted.
The Giants’ offense, however, couldn’t pick up where they left off against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants failed to mount much of a rushing attack (in the first half), and Eli Manning couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm with his receivers.
He threw a pair of interceptions in the first half, the first glancing off of Evan Engram’s fingers while the second was thrown off his back foot as the pocket collapsed. Roger Lewis Jr. made a spectacular one-handed catch in the two-minute drill, but was out of sync with Manning on a pair of failed third down plays to start the game. The Giants’ lone chance to score in the first half was a missed field goal attempt by Aldrick Rosas.
The wheels fully came off in the second half, as a strip sack of Eli Manning was returned for a touchdown and the offense lost nearly 20 yards after a Ross Cockrell interception deep in Cardinals’ territory.
Moments That Mattered
- Wayne Gallman Gets His First Start
Gallman’s share of the offensive workload has increased over the past several weeks, and last week he lead the running backs in snaps against the Philadelphia Eagles. It has seemed like just a matter of time until Gallman took the first snap of the game, and today it finally happened. While the Giants were largely unable to do much of anything on the ground, Gallman is probably their best runner, and he also made a couple nice runs after the catch.
- Evan Engram Injures Ribs
The Giants’ offensive woes only got worse in the first half when rookie TE Evan Engram was lost for the game with a rib injury. Engram’s rare blend of size, speed, and route running make him a nightmare mismatch wherever he lines up. Hopefully the injury won’t linger into the off-season.
Rhett Ellison and Jerrell Adams stepped up after Engram went down, with 4 catches for 60 yards and 4 catches for 31 yards, respectively. But despite their efforts, the offense continued to sputter.
- Landon Collins Injures Forearm
The Giants’ All-Pro safety probably shouldn’t even have been playing in the game after exacerbating an ankle injury took him out of last week’s game against the Eagles. This week it was a forearm injury that took him out of the game after a punishing run stop. It’s hard not to admire Collins’ passion and determination to play — it’s a big part of what makes him great — but at some point he will need to be saved from himself, and that point is probably in the rearview mirror.
- Ross Cockrell Gets Two Interceptions
Added to the team by a trade just before the season ended, Ross Cockrell came in to the game with a pair of interceptions. He doubled that against the Cardinals, picking Drew Stanton off twice. The offense was unable to convert either interception into points, but they were a pair of great picks by a player who started the year as the Giants’ fourth cornerback.