What can we find as we assess the wreckage of a seventh straight loss by the New York Giants? Let’s get to our traditional ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review and find out.
Kudos to ...
Markus Golden — Show this man some money! A sack, a quarterback hit, three tackles for loss. No matter how bad things get for the Giants, this true professional shows up every week, plays hard and makes plays.
Julian Love — He got in the game and played 42 real snaps on defense! He made an interception, albeit on a softball tossed to nowhere by Mitchell Trubisky! Hooray!
Riley Dixon — It’s sad, I know, but it’s not hard to make the case that the punter is the Giant having the best season. Dixon had four punts on Sunday, averaged 51.4 yards with a 51.2-yard net average, meaning he gave up one measly yard in returns. Four of his five punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. Oh, and ‘Kudos’ to me for talking to Dixon on Thursday.
Kaden Smith — The Giants like the rookie tight end they claimed off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers, and Sunday showed a glimpse of why. Smith caught five passes in six targets, including a 3-yard touchdown. He averaged only 3.4 yards per catch, but that was skewed by losing 5 yards on a third-and-13 desperation throw by Daniel Jones. Smith looks like a player who might become a reliable target in the short to intermediate range.
The Washington Redskins — They won! That means they now have as many victories as the Giants. If your primary concern right now is what draft slot the Giants will end up with, a Washington victory is a good thing. You want more of them.
Giants’ run defense — Solid work in this department by the Giants. Chicago had only 65 yards rushing on 26 carries, 2.5 yards per attempt.
Wet Willies to ...
Zak DeOssie — If that horrific, rolling snap had come in a playoff game, DeOssie’s name might go down next to Trey Junkin’s for worst Giants’ field goal snap of all time. To be honest, I didn’t think DeOssie’s snap on the 43-yard miss by Rosas was very good, either. Dixon had to reach to his right for that one. There was a bad snap last week as well.
With all of the crazy mistakes the Giants are making, someone has to get scapegoated. DeOssie has been dependable for a long time, but in his 13th season he doesn’t appear to be dependable right now. The Giants do have Colin Holba, who has snapped in 13 NFL games including two this year for the San Francisco 49ers, on their practice squad. Might the Giants consider a change to the 25-year-old Holba?
This is what you see in your kids first year of pee wee football pic.twitter.com/qog5B1AJ4Z— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) November 24, 2019
Aldrick Rosas — Two more misses, albeit one on which DeOssie didn’t give him a legitimate chance. A shanked kickoff out of bounds. Rosas is now just 8 of 12 on field-goal attempts and has missed at least one field goal or extra point in five straight games. Rosas was a Pro Bowl kicker a year ago and I doubt the Giants will give up on the 24-year-old, but things are spiraling out of control for the young man.
Corey Ballentine — This is what you call a halftime adjustment. When they went to the locker room trailing, 7-3, the Bears must have realized they had a matchup with the rookie slot corner they wanted to exploit. And, boy, did they exploit it.
On their second-half opening 60-yard touchdown drive, 55 of those yards came on two completions to Allen Robinson with Ballentine in coverage. The second was a 32-yard touchdown strike on which Robinson turned Ballentine around.
On the next drive, with the Giants still leaving Ballentine in single coverage, Chicago completed passes vs. Ballentine on three straight plays, completions that totaled 84 of the 88 yards the Bears got en route to a field goal.
Chicago exposed Ballentine for what he is — a sixth-round pick out of a Division II school who has been a slot corner for all of three weeks now.
Saquon Barkley — OK, let’s be real. The fact that four of his 17 carries (23.5 percent) went for negative yardage is not his fault. Neither is the fact that he got hurt this season, and it’s still obvious he isn’t making people miss the way we know he is capable of. But, man, you can’t drop this:
That’s the final play of the Giants’ second drive, a third-and-3. It’s a terrific play call and perfect throw leading Barkley up the field. If he catches that he might take it to the house. When you are a team’s best player and you are put in a position to make a game-changing play, you have to make it.
Kwillies to ...
Daniel Jones — The rookie quarterback lost his 10th fumble of the season when he was strip-sacked by Khalil Mack. Can’t blame the kid there, it was a great play by a great player. He competed and made some marvelous throws. He didn’t throw any interceptions, but he should have thrown at least two. Maybe more.
Nate Solder — The Giants put the veteran left tackle one-on-one with Mack for most of the game. He held up pretty well, actually, giving up just the one sack. Unfortunately for the Giants, Mack turned that into a game-changing strip-sack that set up a Chicago touchdown. I am not going to kill Solder in this spot. The Giants asked him to do the impossible — shut Mack down all by himself. He almost did.