I think this was a game the New York Giants should have won.
It certainly wasn’t pretty and there were lots of reminders along the way that these were two NFC East teams with a combined record of 2-9-1 when the night started. Still, after their best drive of the season, a 15-play, 97-yard, 7:50 march that ended with a touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard, the Giants held an 11-point lead, 21-10, with just over six minutes to play.
The streak of seven straight losses to the Eagles was about to be broken. A second straight victory was about to put them into the middle of the scrum for the lead in the NFC East.
And then it all fell apart.
I think you knew when the game was lost
And that wasn’t when Carson Wentz floated the game-winning 18-yard pass to Boston Scott. It was when a gorgeous third-and-7 pass from the Giants’ 47 from Daniel Jones slid through the hands of Evan Engram, forcing the Giants to punt with 2:09 remaining and the Giants leading, 21-16.
Sorry, but I’m not buying Chris’s contention that the ball was thrown a couple of inches out of Engram’s reach. That ball was beautifully thrown, Engram had two hands on it and has to catch it. Period.
You had to know at that point what was coming.
The game was in Engram’s hands and he dropped it.
Jones can’t throw the ball any better than he did on that fateful toss to Engram — which came on the type of deep shot the Giants haven’t taken often enough with Engram. The ball has to be caught.
Engram also had a Jones pass ricochet off his hands and turn into an interception in the first half. Jones might get some of the blame for throwing a short pass so hard, but the ball hit Engram square in the numbers. His job is to catch it.
I’m already seeing a lot of “TRADE ENGRAM NOW” calls from some of my media brethren. I’m not sure that he played his way out of New Jersey with that drop, but it’s just another piece of evidence that maybe he’s not ever going to be what the Giants have hoped he would be.
I think the last few minutes typified where the Giants are
With an 11-point lead and six minutes to play, they let the Eagles go 78 yards for a touchdown in 1:39. They had the Engram drop. They committed seven penalties over the game’s final six minutes. They, of course, did not win.
I think watching Andrew Thomas isn’t easy right now
I was glad to see the Giants return Andrew Thomas to the lineup on Thursday night. He is the No. 4 overall pick in the draft and the only way he’s going to get better is to play.
That said, it sure is difficult to watch. Thomas was beaten by an inside spin move and failed to pick up a blitzing linebacker on a stunt around the outside. The same stuff we have seen for six weeks.
It’s discouraging to see Thomas continue to make the same mistakes. You want to believe it will get better. You have to believe it will better. But, it needs to get better.
I think Sterling Shepard makes a difference
Shepard may not be an All-Pro. He is a good player, though, and it was obvious Thursday night how much he helps the Giants and Daniel Jones. Shepard had 6 catches, one for a touchdown and three for first downs.
I think the secondary depth is an issue
Without Adrian Colbert and Darnay Holmes the Giants ended up using Nate Ebner for a significant number of snaps on defense. Corey Ballentine and Madre Harper also saw time on the field.
The Giants played a lot of soft zone to try and cover the personnel issues they had in the secondary.
It is apparent, though, that they don’t have enough depth there.
I think I’d make a Daniel Jones joke, but ...
There are plenty of good Jones memes and “Turf Monster” jokes to be made. I will just choose to let others have their fun with the Giants quarterback and his inability to stay upright.
Daniel Jones Speed by Yard Line (80-yard run)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 23, 2020
15.42 MPH @ NYG 12
21.23 MPH* @ NYG 43
18.59 MPH @ PHI 20
10.15 MPH @ PHI 12
7.24 MPH @ PHI 8
*21.23 MPH is the fastest top speed by a quarterback over the last three seasons (since 2018).#NYGvsPHI | #TogetherBlue pic.twitter.com/CSml2bKPVW
I think special teams missed an opportunity
You remember the play. Fourth-and-3 at the Giants’ 46-yard line in the first quarter. Joe Judge briefly leaves the offense on the field. Then, the punt unit runs on. Philadelphia is confused and leaves Giants gunner Corey Ballentine uncovered. Only, Ballentine doesn’t appear to have a clue about the situation and never looks for the ball. Punter Riley Dixon tries and fails to get his attention, and ends up punting the ball. A pass to Ballentine probably results in at least a 30-yard gain.
I think Madre Harper didn’t acquit himself well
Harper gave up a touchdown pass to Greg Ward and then committed an unnecessary roughness penalty. Not long after that, Harper hit DeSean Jackson late. Not sure if Jackson, helped off after that was already hurt, but Harper’s hit didn’t help.