Let’s review Sunday’s 27-13 loss by the New York Giants to the Baltimore Ravens in our traditional ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ style.
Kudos to ...
Sterling Shepard — Shepard was the only Giants’ receiver who was any sort of real threat on Sunday, with nine catches for 77 yards on 12 targets.
Graham Gano — A pair of field goals to give him 29 straight made field goals, tying the franchise record held previously by Josh Brown.
Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys — Sunday’s victories by those two teams mean the 5-10 Giants still have a chance to win the NFC East. Carolina defeated the Washington Football Team, 20-13. The Cowboys pounded the Philadelphia Eagles, 37-17. That means Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants game could be for the division title.
Here are the scenarios:
- Washington wins the division with a Week 17 victory over the Eagles.
- If Washington loses and Cowboys beat Giants, the Cowboys win the NFC East
- If Washington loses WFT and the Giants beat Cowboys, the Giants are NFC East champions
Wet Willies to ...
Giants’ tackling — Joe Judge said it was “surprising” that the Giants struggled to tackle on Sunday. I have no idea how many tackles the Giants missed or how many times Ravens’ runners simply ran through or over Giants’ defenders, but you have to make tackles when you have a chance against good teams. The Ravens don’t need help to be an explosive offense, but the Giants’ poor tackling gave them some.
Run defense — The Giants gave up 249 yards on 40 carries, 6.2 yards per attempt. The Giants came into the game thinking they had a chance to manage the Baltimore running game with the beef they have on the defensive line. That turned out not to be the case.
Pass rush — You can only cover receivers for so long, or let Lamar Jackson stand in the pocket so long, before you get burned. For most of the day, Jackson just stood ... and stood ... and stood in the pocket with no Giants’ pass rushers within sniffing distance. the Giants never sacked Jackson and hit him just three times.
Darius Slayton — Two receptions in 8 targets for 26 yards. Slayton had one clear drop on a deep ball from Daniel Jones and had another deep ball broken up by Baltimore cornerback Marlon Humphrey. That’s two big-pay opportunities Slayton was unable to capitalize on. Slayton has just 9 receptions in his last 25 targets. He’s supposed to be the Giants’ best receiver, and that’s just not going to get the job done.
Matt Peart — I don’t know how Pro Football Focus will grade the rookie right tackle, or what he will be officially charged with. Peart, though, appeared to be the victim on two of the three back-to-back-to-back sacks of Daniel Jones in the second half. After being really impressive in limited play for much of the season, Peart’s play has fallen off the last couple of times he has been on the field.
Offense overall -- The object of the game is to score. The Giants have averaged 12.0 points per game and haven’t reached the 20-point plateau in their last six games. Inopportune penalties, drops, pass protection issues and inability of receivers to make plays all plagued the Giants on Sunday.
The Giants scored three points in the first half on Sunday, went 1 of 10 on third-down and had the ball for only 24:51.