The New York Giants fell 38-11 to the Los Angeles Rams, dropping to a disappointing 1-5 on the season. Last week we said that the Giants had a “burn the tape” game in their 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but maybe they should have watched the tape instead of burning it.
Once again, there isn’t much we can take away from this game. Except, perhaps, that the Giants can’t really course correct once things go sideways.
The Giants need to turn the page to the Carolina Panthers, but let’s see what we can pick out of the numbers from the game.
The Giants opened the game in a 12 personnel package, with Sterling Shepard, C.J. Board, Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph, and Devontae Booker as the starting skill position players. The Giants used a similar personnel package against the Dallas Cowboys a week ago, likely in an attempt to help the offensive line and counter an athletic pass rush.
That being said, the Giants did make heavy use of a variety of receiving options, with Shepard, Engram, Dante Pettis, Collin Johnson, Rudolph, and John Ross II each seeing at least 43 percent of the offense’s snaps.
Despite losing the time of possession 27:38 to 32:33, the Giants out-snapped the Rams 75 to 66.
Kadarius Toney only played six snaps before leaving the game due to injury. And while that was obviously a blow to the offense, it revealed that the Giants’ gameplan was the same “one player and a prayer” plan we saw under Ben McAdoo. It is beyond mystifying that the Giants’ only plan was to run the offense through an injured rookie and seemingly had no plan to incorporate Shepard, Engram, or Booker as weapons.
The Giants started the game in a 2-4-5 nickel set, with Austin Johnson and Leonard Williams getting the start on the defensive line while Azeez Ojulari and Lorenzo Carter started at EDGE.
The Giants didn’t use much rotation on the defense, with 12 players seeing 62 percent (or more) of the defensive snaps. Meanwhile players like Oshane Ximines and Julian Love, who saw significant snap counts in previous games, saw 22 and 14 snaps, respectively. Part of that is due to the Rams’ use of tempo in the first half, but the Giants had plenty of time to substitute when Los Angeles slowed their pace in the second half.
Stats of interest
It’s tough to tease out any individual stats for the Giants. While the Giants’ defense was competitive for the first quarter, the wheels completely fell off once Sean McVay hit his stride in the second quarter.
The win probability chart from this game was just plain ugly for the Giants.
I tend to believe that a game is in “garbage time” when a team has either an 8 percent (or lower) or 92 percent (or higher) chance of winning. At that point, if the team in the lead just takes care of business and doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot, the outcome of the game shouldn’t be much of a question.
The Rams had a win probability of 93.9 percent when Daniel Jones threw his first interception at 5:01 remaining in the second quarter. At that point it jumped up to 97.1 percent and it wouldn’t drop below that point for the rest of the game.
The Rams had a 100 percent chance to win by the time the game clock got to 10:54 in the third quarter. At that point they were about halfway through their 9-minute long opening drive. It’s rare to see a team go into a 4:00 offense at the start of the second half, but that’s what the Rams did.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the game was the difference between Matt Stafford and Daniel Jones.
Jones was under heavy pressure for most of the game, and the Giants were missing a number of their best offensive players. But still, this was a bad game from the Giants’ quarterback. His EPA per play was in the 14th percentile from 2010, while his total EPA was in the 4th percentile.
All told, Sterling Shepard was the Giants’ only bright spot on offense, recording an average of 0.20 EPA/play on 14 targets.