If you came to the ‘Kudos and Wet Willies’ review looking for comfort after the New York Giants fell to 3-7 Monday night with a one-sided 30-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you’re not going to find it here.
Praise is in short, and probably forced, supply after the Giants once again showed that the truth is they have a loooong way to go to be a good football team.
Let’s get to the stuff you’re here for.
Kudos to ...
Andrew Thomas’s receiving ability — Who knew Thomas would be the Giants’ secret — only? — red zone receiving weapon? Thomas made an athletic, leaping catch of a high throw from Daniel Jones.
Big guy touchdowns, and big guy dances, are always fun.
Adoree’ Jackson — He caught the gift Tom Brady and Mike Evans bestowed upon him. That’s more than he did with the gift Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons placed in his hands Week 3.
Raymond Johnson III — Hey, we’re scratching for ‘Kudos’ here. At least somebody sacked a Tampa Bay quarterback, even if it was Blaine Gabbert with the game long out of reach. It was the first sack of the rookie undrafted free agent’s career. Johnson also had a llate-game quarterback hit. Good for him.
Wet Willies to ...
Will Hernandez — A terrible, awful, very bad day at the office for Hernandez. The Pro Football Focus grades are not out yet, but no one should need them to know Hernandez was easily the biggest culprit on a terrible night for an undermanned offensive line.
Hernandez got run over twice for sacks of Daniel Jones. He committed his fourth false start of the season. He committed two holding penalties. A former second-round pick, he did not even resemble a starting-caliber NFL guard. PFF charged Hernandez with a team-worst five pressures allowed in its initial game review.
Giants’ pass rush — Apparently, the Giants did not bring it with them to Tampa Bay. Tom Brady was barely touched Monday night, hit only three times in 46 throws. Per PFF, the Giants recorded only eight pressures. The Buccaneers’ offensive line is good, but it shouldn’t have been good enough to make the Giants’ pass rush non-existent.
Aside from Johnson’s late-game work the only Giant initially credited with more than one pressure was Azeez Ojulari, who had two.
Daniel Jones — Plain and simple, Jones wasn’t very good Monday night. Yes, he was under duress too often. Far too often. Yes, some of what the Giants tried to do on offense was mystifying. Some of what they didn’t try to do was also mystifying. You can’t, though, make the rookie mistakes Jones made on his two interceptions. The across the field throw to Tampa Bay defensive lineman with center Billy Price the only Giant in the zip code was about as bad as quarterback play gets at the NFL level.
Monday was one of those disheartening nights that make you wonder if Jones can ever be the quarterback the Giants want him to be.
Jason Garrett — I will be honest. I started out to give a ‘Wet Willie’ to Kenny Golladay. He certainly didn’t earn any of the $40 million the Giants guaranteed him on Monday with one catch for 12 yards and at least one phantom block. Still, you can’t produce when a team doesn’t even try to involve you in the offense.
Garrett dug into his bag of tricks Monday. There was a reverse to John Ross, an option pass by Kadarius Toney, the touchdown pass to Thomas.
Along the way, though, they forgot about Golladay. They targeted the player who is supposed to be their best receiver just twice. Toney saw 12 targets and Darius Slayton seven. They didn’t even pretend to try and run the ball, handing it to Saquon Barkley only six times.
The Giants looked forward for weeks to having Barkley and Golladay healthy. When they finally got them on the field, they didn’t bother to use them, even though Barkley did catch six passes. Head-scratching.
Screens to Kyle Rudolph and — at least allegedly — to fourth-string tight end Chris Myarick? A fourth-and-1 pass play with Collin Johnson as the only wide receiver in the game?
I know the struggles of the offensive line make things difficult, but after an impressive opening drive I really have no idea what the Giants were trying to do on offense.
James Bradberry and Julian Love — The entire Giants’ secondary was ineffective on Monday night. No, they didn’t get any help from the pass rush. The seemingly vanilla coverage schemes they employed didn’t help.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham might belong on the ‘Wet Willies’ list, too. He made it clear in the run-up to the game that he didn’t think the defense could fool Brady. They didn’t even try. They sat in two- or three-deep the entire game, rarely did anything creative with the coverage or the pass rush, and Brady simply toyed with them.
Bradberry and Love were the primary culprits in the secondary.
Bradberry got boxed out by Mike Evans for a touchdown. Per PFF, he was targeted 12 times and gave up seven catches for 66 yards and the Evans score. As he has all season, Bradberry also continued to tackle terribly.
Love did have two passes defensed, but he generally did a poor Logan Ryan impersonation. Targeted eight times, Love allowed six catches for 60 yards and a score. He also didn’t tackle well, either missing tackles or getting dragged around.