Sunday was yet another loss in a game the Giants could, and probably should, have won. The Giants went in to the half with a lead and a dominating offensive performance. But as we have seen time and again, they just couldn’t keep a good thing going and saw the game slip away from them.
So, once again this season, let’s take a look at the snap counts and a deeper look at the stats from the game to see what they have to say.
Eli Manning got off to a hot start in Philadelphia, completing 19-of-25 passes for 236 yards, (9.4 per attempt) and a touchdown in the first half. The half was capped, of course, by an interception.
The second half of the game, however, saw Manning complete just 7-of-12 passes for 61 yards (5.1 per attempt).
As we have come to expect from the Giants this season, Manning was forced to work from a smaller than average pocket, with three of the Eagles’ top four rushers getting well within the league average distance from the quarterback.
For the most part the Giants were able to keep Eli upright, giving up just two sacks and five QB hits on Manning’s 37 passing attempts — a much better rate than they gave up against Tampa Bay. However, that also had a lot to do with the number of quick passes Manning threw:
Put another way, 23 of Manning’s 37 attempts were less than 10 yards down the field (8 of which were behind the line of scrimmage).
Skill position players
Any discussion of the Giants’ offensive performance against the Eagles has to begin with the usage of Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, particularly in the second half.
Barkley and Beckham ran roughshod over the Eagles’ defense in the first half, to the tune of nearly 200 combined yards. Beckham had three catches on five targets for 63 yards, while Barkley had 94 yards on nine carries as well as 37 yards on six receptions.
In the second half the two combined for seven (7) touches for 33 yards. Beckham was targeted just four (4) times through the air, while Barkley got four (4) carries and one (1) target.
Beckham played 53 of the Giants 62 total offensive snaps (85 percent) while Barkley played 48 snaps.
Next Gen Stats didn’t bother recording Barkley’s carries, but his route chart shows that once again how the Giants viewed him as a check-down target instead of a viable receiving threat.
Elsewhere on the offense, wide receiver Sterling Shepard played the most snaps, with 57, while tight end Rhett Ellison was next with 55 snaps. With Evan Engram missing the game due to a hamstring injury suffered in warmups, second tight end Scott Simonson played 18 snaps, while fullback Eli Penny played 11.
WR Benny Fowler was the Giants’ number three receiver, playing 27 of 62 snaps (44 percent). Russell Shepard and Corey Coleman tied with 13 snaps apiece. Coleman, however, has proven to be a dynamic weapon on returns, with three kick-off returns averaging 33.7 yards (a long of 46). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see teams begin trying for touchbacks to keep the ball out of Coleman’s hands — if so, the Giants need to find ways to incorporate him on offense and make use of his speed, even if it is screen passes.
As we have come to expect, linebacker Alec Ogletree played every one of the defense’s 65 snaps. His box score was solid, with four tackles, a sack, a QB hit, and a pass defensed.
Olivier Vernon was close behind with 54 snaps (2 tackles, 2 QB hits), while DT B.J. Hill played 50 snaps (3 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 pass defensed). Dalvin Tomlinson was next up on the defensive front with 41 snaps (5 tackles).
Nickel linebacker Tae Davis got the second most snaps at the second level with 38. He was also fairly active with 3 tackles, a sack and a QB hit.
Behind those players, the Giants had a robust rotation. On the defensive line, Josh Mauro, R.J. McIntosh, and Mario Edwards Jr. played 26, 12, and 11 snaps, respectively. Of the three, Edwards had by far the greatest impact, with a sack, a QB hit, and a tackle for loss in those 11 snaps.
On the edge, Lorenzo Carter played 26 snaps while Kareem Martin played 25. Inside linebacker B.J. Goodson played 24 snaps.
All told, the Giants’ front had a relatively active day in the pass rush, coming up with three (3) sacks and five (5) QB hits.
Despite not contributing to either total, Tomlinson got the closest to Wentz on average.
The Giants’ starting secondary of Janoris Jenkins, B.W. Webb, Landon Collins, and Curtis Riley played all of the Giants’ defensive snaps with 65 apiece.
Collins had an active day, with 9 tackles, two (2) for a loss, and a QB hit. Once again, he struggled when asked to stick in man coverage on an athletic tight end down the field. However, he played well when allowed to play in shallow zone coverage as a true strong safety.
UDFA corner Grant Haley was the most frequent nickel defender, with 36 snaps. The Giants also finally got safety Michael Thomas involved with the defense, with 22 snaps.
The Giants’ coverage was fairly tight, with only WR Jordan Matthews (no catches, one target) getting much more than league-average separation.