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Giants-Bears rewatch: Some second thoughts after a second viewing

On Daniel Jones, the blocking, soft defense and more

New York Giants v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I had the opportunity on Monday to rewatch the New York Giants 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears. Here are some of the plays and thoughts that struck me as a I watched the game for a second time.

  • Kyler Fackrell played better than I realized while watching the game live. The edge defender had a sack, two tackles for loss and was effective on the edges vs. the run and the pass. He played 36 snaps.
  • Markus Golden played only 15 snaps and has played only 37 snaps (28.7 percent) over two games. It doesn’t look like Golden, last season’s sack leader, is a major part of the 2020 defense.
  • I really wasn’t a big fan of the Giants’ decision to really play “contain” against Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky rather than pressure him. They got four sacks, but on many pass attempts it was obvious they weren’t even really trying to pressure him, just to keep him back there. On Trubisky’s touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney, the Giants initially rushed only two, then two more “shadowing” Giants eventually joined the pursuit. Trubisky ended up with a full six seconds from snap to release. I’m not killing Corey Ballentine for giving up a score when he was asked to cover for that long.
  • Speaking of Ballentine, he appears to be steadily losing the competition for the Giants’ second cornerback job to former Denver Bronco Isaac Yiadom. Ballentine played 29 snaps Sunday to Yiadom’s 36.
  • We talk all the time about Daniel Jones needing to make quicker decisions in the pocket. I’m going to let Mark Schofield break down Jones’ work in detail, which he will this week, but Jones’ first quarter fumble was yet another example of not only his ball security but his indecisiveness. Look at this image:

That shows Jones with a clear opportunity to hit Sterling Shepard across the middle for what would have/should have/could have been a pretty easy first down.

Instead, Jones looked right at that throw and turned it down. In fact, Jones started to throw twice and pulled the ball down both times before Robert Quinn got around Andrew Thomas to strip the exposed ball out of his hands. Frustrating. A better, quicker, seemingly easy decision would have avoided the whole mess.

  • In Sunday’s Giants-Bears ABCs, I expressed some concern about veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler. Sunday didn’t help me feel much better. Zeitler wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t up to his career standards, either. For years he has been one of the best pass-blocking guards in the league. He allowed two pressures on Sunday and has surrendered six in two games. His Pro Football Focus pass blocking grade on Sunday was only 52.6. Two seasons ago, Zeitler allowed only 11 pressures for an entire season. Zeitler also completely whiffed on Akiem Hicks on one of the Giants’ two negative runs on Sunday.
  • Dan Duggan of The Athletic made mention of this earlier on Monday, but it’s one of the weirder things you will ever see. With the Giants lined up on fourth-and-three from their 47-yard line in the second quarter trying to draw Chicago offsides, center Nick Gates never bothers to put his hands on the ball. Umm, Nick, how is that going to work when you make it obvious the ball can’t be snapped?
  • A sack and three pressures allowed by guard Will Hernandez vs. the Bears. As much concern as there is about the Giants’ offensive tackles, through two games the real disappointment on the offensive line for me has been the play of Hernandez and Zeitler. Hernandez has surrendered nine pressures and has a 49.8 PFF grade through two games. His pass blocking efficiency score of 94.6 is 48th among 53 qualifying guards.
  • As well as the Giants’ defense played in the second half it was disappointing to see the Bears able to run the clock from 7:43 to 2:07, killing 5:36 while protecting a four-point lead in the fourth quarter. And, yes, it’s bizarre to see a ball batted away from a receiver only to have an offensive tackle catch it.
  • F Bomb or not from coach Joe Judge, the offensive pass interference against Golden Tate on the game’s final play was an easy call to make.