The loss, in a driving rain, poured buckets of cold, wet reality on the optimism that has permeated the Giants in recent weeks as they have rebounded from a 1-7 start to reach the periphery of playoff contention. The Giants are now 5-9, guaranteed to finish below .500.
“We didn’t do anything well enough to expect to win,” coach Pat Shurmur said in a somber post-game assessment. “We didn’t run the ball, we didn’t stay on the field on offense. We had penalties. We didn’t tackle as well as we had in the last few weeks, which extended drives for them, and they beat us. We had a turnover that turned into points.”
The Giants had an awful day on offense with Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined for a second straight game with a quad injury.
The Titans controlled Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley, holding him to 31 yards on 14 carries. Barkley finished with 56 yards from scrimmage, only the second time this season he has been under 100 yards.
“When you look at our offense, when you look at our success it starts with running the ball,” offensive guard Jamon Brown said. “We struggled with that today.”
With no running game, no Beckham and a driving rain throughout the game Eli Manning had an awful day. Manning went 21-of-44 for 229 yards with an interception and a fumble that led to Tennessee’s second score. He was sacked three times.
The Giants were penalized 10 times for 58 yards.
Derrick Henry of Tennessee ran 33 times for 170 yards as the Titans simply manhandled the Giants’ defense. As a team, Tennessee ran 44 times for 216 yards.
Safety Michael Thomas said the Giants need to “take a look in the mirror. Figure it out,” when it came to giving up that much rushing yardage.
“You never want to see anybody rush for 100 yards, let alone 170 yards on you.”
Moments that mattered
Kyle Lauletta inactive: After going 0-for-5 with an interception against the Washington Redskins in his NFL debut last Sunday, rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta was replaced as the backup quarterback by Alex Tanney. [Full story]
Fourth-and-goal: Tennessee’s first-half touchdown came on a fourth-and-one run by Derrick Henry with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Bad Eli: The Giants reached the Tennessee 29-yard line on their first possession of the second half, but Manning was intercepted by Titans safety Kevin Byard at the 15-yard line. That did not cost the Giants points. A Manning fumble on the Giants’ next possession did. Manning fumbled when sacked on third-and-10 at the Giants’ 14-yard line. Tennessee turned that into a 14-0 lead five plays later on a 1-yard run by Henry.
Giants’ center Spencer Pulley left the game in the third quarter with a calf injury. John Greco took over at center. The Giants also lost cornerback Antonio Hamilton to a quad injury.
The Giants go on the road to face Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in a 1 p.m. ET game.