Why did the Giants, trailing 23-12 and needing two scores, run back-to-back quarterback sneaks from the Atlanta 1-yard line, burning a full minute off the clock before a 1-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr. with :05 left?
“From the 1-yard line there we gotta get it in. We didn’t,” he said. “You should be able to convert on a sneak. We’ve all seen him [Manning] do that. For whatever reason we didn’t get it done.”
Why did he go for a two-point conversion when the Giants scored to pull within 20-12 with 4:47 to play, a move that failed when Odell Beckham Jr. couldn’t hold a Manning pass?
“We discussed internally the math on that, I felt like we had a good play. I liked our two-point play selections and we just didn’t quite get it done,” he said. “I felt like I wanted to be aggressive for our guys.”
Shurmur also had some clarification on his being caught saying something like “throw it to Odell” when Manning failed to do so and misfired on a first-half fourth-and-goal pass intended for Scott Simonson.
“Initially I thought Odell had popped open from my view,” Shurmur said. “The coverage was probably a little tighter than what I had seen.”
Whether you buy Shurmur’s explanations or not, these are just the kinds of things that go wrong on bad football teams. And the 1-6 Giants, one of three NFL teams with just one victory in seven games, are a bad team.
The Giants played hard. They simply didn’t always play well. The reconfigured offensive line couldn’t open holes for Saquon Barkley (14 carries, 43 yards, 3.1 yards per attempt), and couldn’t pass block much of the night as Manning was sacked four times. The defense got three sacks, but surrendered a 47-yard touchdown pass and a 30-yard scoring run.
Shurmur tried some things. There were some jet sweeps, including one to Barkley that failed on the Atlanta 1-yard line. He ran a reverse to tight end Evan Engram. The Giants tried to take shots, and hit some late in the game. The Giants failed on a fourth-and-goal.
This is just what happens to bad teams. Seemingly no matter what they try it doesn’t turn our right. Then, the only thing that’s left is to try and explain where it all went wrong.
Bottom line, that’s where the Giants are right now.