Let’s get to the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review of Sunday’s 31-26 loss to the Detroit Lions by your New York Giants. Warning: It’s not pretty.
Kudos to ...
Darius Slayton (as a receiver) — Slayton had a nice back-shoulder grab on a 22-yard touchdown, and a brilliant contested catch on a 28-yard score. He continues develop into the play maker the Giants hoped he would be.
Markus Golden — A sack, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Golden has six sacks in eight games and is earning himself a nice pay day this offseason. The Giants’ defensive deficiencies certainly have nothing to do with what Golden is giving them.
The run defense — A week after giving up 126 yards and three long touchdown runs to Chase Edmonds, a pedestrian backup running back, the Giants gave up just 59 yards in 25 rushing attempts (2.4 yards per carry).
Chris Pflum and Emily Iannaconi — That duo carried you through Sunday with yours truly spending the weekend occupied with a family commitment. They deserve some thanks. To be honest, having watched the game Sunday night I was glad I didn’t spend my whole afternoon watching that mess. Frankly, the Giants are getting harder and harder to watch.
Wet Willies to ...
Overall pass defense — The Giants gave up two 40+yard scoring passes and have now given up nine passes of 40 yards or more this season. That’s more than any team in the league except the Green Bay Packers. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, aside from a bad throw early that Janoris Jenkins picked off, did pretty much he wanted. Stafford complete 25 of 32 for 344 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 129.4.
As much as we lauded Grant Haley for his run defense last week, Haley’s pass coverage from the slot has been sub par. Sunday, when the Lions wanted a first down they targeted the second-year slot corner. Mostly to great success. Detroit slot receiver Danny Amendola had eight receptions in eight targets, not all while matched up with Haley.
Antoine Bethea no longer has the athleticism to make plays down the field and consistently gets exposed. Michael Thomas is a good player who also struggles one-one-one. The Giants don’t appear to communicate well enough in zone, leaving easy holes to be exploited.
Kickoff return — The Lions’ plan was quite obviously to take advantage of Slayton’s inexperience as a kickoff returner by forcing him to return the ball. He averaged 20.4 yards on four returns, with only one good 30-yard return. Cody Latimer also had a 21-yard return. The Giants didn’t do Slayton any favors with porous blocking generally leading to him being swarmed before he reached the 20-yard line.
Aldrick Rosas — You simply can’t miss extra points. His first-half miss left the Giants chasing points. Rosas hasn’t had a ton of opportunities, but he hasn’t been as solid this season as he was last.
Kwillies to ...
Daniel Jones — Jones had 322 yards passing. He threw four touchdown passes. He completed 28 of 41 throws and ended with a 124.2 passer rating. Still, he had two more fumbles, one a backward pass that turned into Detroit’s first touchdown. Saquon Barkley’s lack of effort or recognition on that Jones fumble was troubling, but the play by Jones was a bad one.
Saquon Barkley — Barkley had nine catches, including a 38-yarder. He ran 19 times for 64 yards and ended up with 143 yards from scrimmage. He negated a lot of the good he did by not recognizing Jones’ backward pass and not making much of an effort to tackle Devon Kennard as he headed toward the end zone with the ball.