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Instant analysis: Things I think after Giants’ fourth straight loss

A quick review of Sunday’s action

New York Giants v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Weekly improvement.

That has been the mantra from New York Giants head coach Joe Judge from the beginning. We certainly didn’t see that in Week 3 as the Giants weren’t competitive in a 36-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

A week later, there was plenty of improvement. There was really good defense, with the exception of one costly play. There were some signs of life from the running game. There were four drives of eight plays or more.

This was a game on the West Coast many thought the Giants would not be competitive in. They were, though, right up until Darious Williams picked off Daniel Jones inside the Rams’ 5-yard line with :52 to go to seal a 17-9 Giants loss and send them to 0-4.

Here are a few things I think.

The Golden Tate-Jalen Ramsey brawl was embarrassing

Tate and Ramsey brought their family drama to midfield and national television after the game.

It’s just incredibly embarrassing to both men. their organizations and the NFL that these two “adults” brought their family drama out into the open like that. Neither Joe Judge nor Giants players had much to say about the brawl in post-game videoconferences. I wonder what the repurcussions will be.

I want Nick Gates on my side

I honestly don’t know how well or poorly Giants center Nick Gates played, but I want him on my side. Gates wasn’t afraid to get in the face of all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald during the game. He was also right in the middle of the Tate-Ramsey donnybrook after the game.

Gates said he was “just trying to protect my teammate”when he got involved in post-game scrum.

On getting into it with Donald, Gates said “We just got into it. He’s a good player, I’m a good player. Emotions get high out there.”

No touchdowns ... again

The number that everyone will focus on is 11.75. That’s how many points the Giants are averaging in four games. That is last in the NFL. That is absolutely not good enough.

The Giants have now gone two games without scoring a touchdown, with six Graham Gano field goals providing all of their points.

The Giants did some things better. They ran the ball at times, with Wayne Gallman busting off a career-best 26-yard run, and Devonta Freeman and Dion Lewis both compiling 10-yard runs.

After giving up four early sacks, they did a better job of protecting Daniel Jones as the game went on.

Still, they never really threatened the end zone and Jones made the critical mistake at the end by staring down Damion Ratley before being intercepted by Darious Williams to seal the Giants’ defeat.

The Giants have a struggling offensive line. They don’t have Saquon Barkley. They don’t have Sterling Shepard. They have a talented second-year quarterback who is still turnover-prove and often too indecisive.

Blame Jason Garrett if you want, but I did think Garrett tried a few wrinkles and did some interesting things. Blame Dave Gettleman. Blame Jones. Blame the football Gods for letting Barkley get hurt. Blame whoever you want, but the Giants have scored just 31 points in the past three weeks and haven’t reached double-digits the past two.

They will never win that way.

Defensive improvement

The Giants should feel good about the way their defense played, and they do.

“I love the way our defense is playing,” Judge said.

The Giants gave up a game-opening touchdown drive. They had a fourth-quarter breakdown on a 55-yard Cooper Kupp touchdown reception. They only, though, gave up 17 points to one of the best offenses in football.

Defensive captain Blake Martinez thought the effort was “awesome.” But, with a caveat.

“I think that’s the type of team we want to be, and I think overall it’s something we’ll hold our hat high on, but at the end of the day, it’s a production league, it’s getting wins, and that’s what we want, and I think we’re not going to be satisfied until that happens,” Martinez said.

Thank goodness for the NFC Least

If the Philadelphia Eagles lose to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, the winless Giants will enter a three-game stretch against NFC East opponents just one game out of first place in the division.

That means that despite not winning a game for a quarter of the season, the Giants are hardly out of contention. They shouldn’t be “in” contention. The rest of the division, though, has failed to knock them out.

We find out over the next few weeks if they can take advantage.

A few one liners

  • Who had Adrian Colbert emerging as a key defensive player on Sunday? Colbert started at free safety and after he went out with a neck injury it appeared to be a mistake by his replacement, Julian Love, that led to Kupp’s touchdown.
  • Ryan Lewis took over during the game at cornerback for Isaac Yiadom and played well. My guess is we see a lot more of Lewis going forward.
  • Matt Peart got some snaps at right tackle in the second quarter, but Cameron Fleming went back to that spot in the second half. Just a guess here, but I think we might see more of Peart going forward.
  • The numbers are probably going to look ugly for Andrew Thomas, but I thought he got better Sunday as the game went along.
  • Interesting to see seventh-round pick Tae Crowder getting an increased role on defense.