Week after week, loss after New York Giants loss, we bring you the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review of the game. I have to be honest, this isn’t getting any easier. The Giants show the same myriad of problems in each game — those generally include questionable coaching, inexperience, lack of play-makers.
That said, let’s do the best we can to offer praise and criticism following Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Kudos to ...
Kaden Smith — The rookie tight end provided one of the few bright spots on a dismal day. As part of the tandem (with Scott Simonson) filling in for Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison, Smith caught six passes in eight targets for 70 yards. That was an averaged of 11.7 yards per catch, with a long of 32 yards. He is making the Giants want to see more.
Aldrick Rosas — Rosas broke his streak of missing a kick in six straight games. He made field goals from 27 and 45 yards and his only extra point try. The kicking operation with new snapper Colin Holba appeared to be a smooth one.
Julian Love — The fourth-round pick didn’t really get an opportunity to play until last week, but he is making the most of it. He is a sure tackler and, unlike some of his young teammates, seems to understand his assignments and has an idea what is going on around him. Those seem like simple things, but apparently they are not. Love also forced a fumble on Sunday, one that unfortunately rolled out of bounds.
Wet Willies to ...
The concussion monster — Corey Ballentine left the game after the opening kickoff of the second half with what was diagnosed as a concussion. Along with Sterling Shepard, Ballentine is the second Giant to suffer two concussions this season. It just seems like the Giants have suffered an extraordinary number of concussions this season.
DeAndre Baker — Baker is now splitting reps with Sam Beal, and it is increasingly apparent that the Giants are losing patience with the overwhelmed rookie cornerback. Twice against the Packers Baker was yanked immediately after poor plays. Baker was pulled after the game’s second play, when he allowed a 43-yard completion to Allen Lazard. He was pulled again in the third quarter after a 25-yard pass to DeVante Adams. Baker was in zone coverage on the second play, didn’t appear to make much of an effort to break up the pass, and got yelled at by Antoine Bethea.
Pass coverage in general — Let’s not pretend Baker was the only problem in pass coverage. Bethea got turned around on one touchdown. Sam Beal broke outside while his receiver broke inside on another. The Packers picked on slot cornerbacks Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley, and James Bettcher stubbornly left those players in man-to-man with no help. I just don’t understand what Bettcher is doing by leaving his young corners in mismatches without help. Beal had a pass interference penalty and Janoris Jenkins had a third-down holding penalty that negated a stop by the defense and gave Green Bay a first down.
Jon Halapio — The Giants’ center is a terrific, standup guy. He persevered a long time to get to this point. Problem is, the Giants desperately need an upgrade at this position, especially if they continue to insist on running so often up the middle. The only two times Halapio stood out on Sunday were because he wasn’t standing, having literally been run over and knocked to the ground by Green Bay defenders.
Kwillies to ...
Daniel Jones — The rookie quarterback made a number of spectacular throws on Sunday, the kind of throws that make you see the arm talent he has and what he might be someday. Unfortunately, he was also intercepted three times. Jones was also charged with his 15th fumble when he and Da’Mari Scott messed up an exchange on an aborted jet sweep.