With the real news of the day involving head coach Pat Shurmur and perhaps GM Dave Gettleman, a ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review of Sunday’s season-ending 34-17 loss by the New York Giants to the Philadelphia Eagles isn’t all that pressing. Still, it’s what we do here at Big Blue View. So, let’s get to it.
Kudos to ...
Kaden Smith — Whoever the coach or GM is in 2020 I hope they can turn on the tape and see what the rest of us see — that the rookie tight end the Giants claimed on waivers from the San Francisco 49ers needs to be part of the 2020 53-man roster. Smith led the Giants in receptions (8, on 11 targets) and yards receiving (98) on Sunday. He finished the season with 31 receptions in nine games, including six starts.
The flip-cup celebration — After Golden Tate scored a 20-yard touchdown the Giants commemorated last Sunday’s Eli Manning-Daniel Jones night out with a flip-cup celebration. That one gets ‘Kudos’ for both originality and timing.
Saquon Barkley — For busting loose on a 68-yard touchdown run and sneaking over 1,000 yards rushing (1,003) for the season despite playing in just 13 games and being hampered for much of the year by an ankle injury.
Leonard Williams — He is proving to be a nice player, if obviously not a dominant one. What the Giants do with the free-agent-to-be after controversially giving up two draft picks to acquire him from the New York Jets is anybody’s guess. Sunday, Williams had a half-sack, getting him on the board for the year, a pass defensed, a quarterback hit and five tackles.
Antonio Hamilton — Forced into full-time action at cornerback by injuries to Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine, Hamilton had four passes and five tackles. He’s a drag-down tackler and probably not a player you want to rely on week-in and week-out at cornerback, bu he had a nice game on Sunday.
The end of the season — Thank goodness! It feels like years since training camp.
Wet Willies to ...
Nate Solder — An awful effort from the veteran left tackle on Sunday. I honestly don’ know how many of the four sacks and 10 hits Daniel Jones suffered were on Solder. I do know Solder kept getting spun around by spin moves, losing his feet, missing stunts and otherwise watching too many pass rushers get past him.
Injuries — I feel awful for center Jon Halapio. Players hate getting carted off the field. In 2018, Halapio got carted off with a broken ankle in Week 2 and missed the rest of the season. This season he made it until there was 5:06 remaining in the final game before suffering an Achilles injury and again having to take that dreaded cart ride. The New York Post reported that Halapio is believed to have a ruptured Achilles that will cost him the entire 2020 season. The Giants were probably going to be looking for a new center next season, anyway, but now they have no choice.
Running Barkley up the middle — Barkley’s 68-yard scamper came on a run to right tackle, to the edge of the Philadelphia defense. He had just 24 yards on his other 16 rushes, most of them right up the middle at Fletcher Cox and the teeth of the Philadelphia defense. We have complained all season as, per NFL Savant, 60 percent of Giants’ rushing attempts have come between the guards. That did not change on Sunday.
Overall defense — The Eagles didn’t have Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard, Lane Johnson, Alshon Jeffery and Darren Sproles. They lost running back Miles Sanders and guard Brandon Brooks during the game. It didn’t matter. Philadelphia receivers still ran open all day. It didn’t matter. The Eagles still had 400 yards of total offense and seven plays of 20 yards or more. The Giants didn’t force any turnovers and did not intercept a pass in any of the final five games, the Giants’ longest drought since 2015.
Kwillies to ...
Daniel Jones — This game typified Jones’ rookie season. There were some brilliant throws, including the perfectly-placed 20-yard touchdown strike to Tate. He displayed some toughness, taking quite a few solid hits. He used his legs effectively on a couple of runs, including a 17-yarder. He also fumbled twice, including one that set the Eagles up at the Giants’ 2-yard line for what became an easy touchdown.