What did we learn about the New York Giants on Sunday as they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-24? Well, for starters their season is most likely over before it is one-quarter complete. The last 0-3 team to make the playoffs was the 1998 Buffalo Bills, and only three teams since 1980 have pulled that off.
So .... there we are. A season that began with the Giants talking confidently about making a Super Bowl run is already over, despite whatever progress was made on offense and whatever brave faces the players wore after the game.
And we did learn that that the Giants were putting on their brave “we aren’t finished” yet faces.
“I don’t care about history,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. “I care about where we are at. Mentally, this hurts. It doesn’t feel good, but we have the guys in this room to get it done. It is the National Football League. One thing is for sure, we have a lot of play-makers. We have a lot of guys that care and a lot of guys that are willing to do the work to get it done.”
Quarterback Eli Manning:
“Obviously we need to get our first win, that’s the mindset,” Manning said. “We have to go on the road next week to Tampa. That’s all we can worry about. Get that first win and go from there. It’s not going to be easy, nothing is going to be given to us. We have to play better football.”
Here is a look at some other things we learned.
Odell Beckham just doesn’t get it
On what universe is going to all fours and pretending to pee like a dog to celebrate a touchdown acceptable? The fact that he would even think to do that in front of 80,000 people, and then didn’t seem to get what was wrong with it, is a problem.
A DISGUSTING ACT BY ODELL BECKHAM JR!!! pic.twitter.com/QEUvbzmTIG— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 24, 2017
Beckham said that “for sure” he understood that he caused the team to kick off from the 20-yard line, but added:
“When I get in the end zone I’m going to do what I do. I’m going to try to spark this team. The consequences are going to be what they are. It’s like life, you have to deal with the consequences. And that’s something I can take. We were motivated from that. I don’t think it set us back any. I just don’t think we finished.”
What? Motivated from a guy pretending to mark his spot on the turn at Lincoln Financial Field? Motivated by Beckham’s brilliant play, sure. By the 77-yard TD to Sterling Shepard, definitely. By Landon Collins forcing a fumble in Philly territory. Not, though, by the immaturity of a guy pretending to pee like a dog. That was just plain disgusting.
The Giants can score 20 points
Sunday marked the first time in their last nine games the Giants scored at least 20 points in a game. It took a furious fourth quarter to do it as the Giants were blanked — and completely futile — for three quarters.
The Giants, playing with a no-huddle and snapping the ball quickly throughout the game, finally found their scoring touch in the fourth quarter. Two brilliant touchdown catches by Beckham, a 77-yard catch-and-run by Shepard and a 42-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal. They also got their longest run of the season, a 20-yarder by Orleans Darkwa, in the fourth quarter.
The offense got the Giants the lead twice in the fourth quarter, but the Giants couldn’t hold it because ...
The defense can’t get key stops
The Giants entered the game having given up first downs on 50 percent of third-down situations. They held the Eagles to 5-of-14 (36 percent) on third down, but couldn’t make key stops down the stretch.
After Shepard’s big play gave the Giants a 21-14 lead with 7:12 to play the defense gave up a quick, four-play, 75-yard drive that evened the score.
After Aldrick Rosas gave the Giants a 24-21 lead the Giants gave up an eight-play, 47-yard drive for a 46-yard game-tying field goal, then surrendered a 19-yard completion and allowed Alshon Jeffery to get out of bounds with one second left to give Elliott a shot at the game winner. Unforgivable.
The Giants defense gave up 193 yards on 39 rushing attempts, 4.9 yards per carry. That’s far below the standards the defense set last season.
This is how bad teams play
McAdoo ignored a post-game question about whether or not his team has a discipline problem. I don’t know if the Giants have a discipline problem, per se, but they do not play like a disciplined football team.
How else do you explain Beckham getting his disgusting penalty, and not caring that it cost his team 15 yards?
How do you explain 10 penalties for 137 yards? Including, by the way, the ridiculous delay of game on John Jerry for grabbing and trying to prevent a Philadelphia player from getting off the field. That turned a third-and-2 at the Philly 18-yard with 3:18 to play into a third-and-7 the Giants couldn’t convert, forcing a Rosas field goal.
How do you explain veteran running back Shane Vereen stepping out of bounds at the Giants’ 20-yard line on a 3-yard gain that made it third-and-15 with 28 seconds left, saving Philadelphia a timeout.
How do you explain Brad Wing’s awful 28-yard shanked punt with 19 seconds to go that put the Eagles at their own 38-yard line and gave them a chance.
These things happen to bad ones, not good ones.
The memory of Matt Dodge won’t die
Admit it, you thought about Dodge and DeSean Jackson when Wing went back for that final punt. And you thought about it a while lot more after Wing’s shank.
We still don’t know what a touchdown catch is
Sterling Shepard had two cracks to show us in the second quarter. He caught a pass from Eli Manning that was ruled a 2-yard touchdown, but upon review was placed just inches — maybe a single inch — from the goal line.
On the next play — third-and-1 with :24 seconds left in the half and needing just inches, the Giants inexplicably went shotgun and passed the ball. Shepard hauled the ball in, took a couple of steps to get his feet in, took a couple more steps with the ball, then fell and dropped it when he hit the ground about 5 yards out of bounds. The play was ruled incomplete.
“I’m trying to figure out what a touchdown catch and what isn’t a touchdown catch right now,” McAdoo said. “They said he dropped the ball when he went out of bounds.”
The Giants for it on fourth down and got nothing when Orleans Darkwa was hit in the backfield.