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Giants at Chargers: 6 things we learned from the Giants’ 37-21 loss

This was just bad

New York Giants v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New York Giants got run off the field on Sunday by the Los Angeles Chargers, losing 37-21

If we’re being honest, this game was (yet another) loss which wasn’t as close as the final score. By the time the Chargers’ defense started trading yardage for time off the clock, the Giants were down 37-7.

There really isn’t much we can take away from this game, apart from how out-classed the Giants were by the Chargers. But let’s see what there is to say.

The Giants lock in their fifth straight losing season

With the Giants’ sixth blow-out loss, they fall to 4-9 on the season, ensuring their fifth straight losing season since their 11-5 season in 2016. The Giants are mathematically unable to win the NFC East now, but are technically still in the Wild Card picture, but that’s probably just a pipe dream at best now.

Frankly, this performance by the Giants was nothing less than pathetic on the part of the Giants. It ranks with the loss to the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I don’t particularly care if the Giants picked up some rushing yardage or points in garbage time (which effectively started half-way through the third quarter), or if they “fought” for 60 mintues.

Yes, the Giants have had to deal with injuries but that doesn’t excuse the execution errors or rampant drops.

The Giants have a losing season, and have earned that moniker. Hopefully games like these will take away the Giants’ excuses to not do what’s so clearly necessary.

Dexter Lawrence II and Benardrick McKinney were bright spots

There can’t be too many bright spots when your defense gives up more than 30 points. But I do have to give some credit to the play of Lawrence and McKinney.

Lawrence was a problem for the Chargers’ offensive playing end in the Giants’ 3-man front. He notched a 3-yard sack of Justin Herbert, bringing him down as he tried to scramble. That sack prevented turned a third-and- into a fourth-and-6. Given how the Chargers were marching down the field all game long, that was a small win for the defense.

McKinney played a rotational role at inside linebacker for the Giants, generally coming on in run defense. He flashed a few times, reading the Chargers’ play exceptionally quickly, knifing into the backfield and blowing running plays up. Those plays were few and far between, with the Giants giving up more than 150 yards on the ground, but McKinney playing fast was good to see.

It wasn’t much, but those two players flashed for the Giants.

Enough with the trick plays

The Giants have had some of their biggest plays on trick plays this year — Daniel Jone’s reception against the Carolina Panthers and Andrew Thomas’ touchdown spring to mind.

And trick plays can be useful if your offense can catch the defense napping. But after three or four trick plays by the end of the third quarter, it was obvious that the Giants were out of ideas and desperate to save some kind of face in this game.

The Giants had Riley Dixon throw a pass on a fake punt from the Giants’ 38-yard line, which sailed over Keion Crossen’s head, and the next drive had the offense flipping the ball around the backfield like the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Giants’ willingness to dip into to the “what the hell?” portion of their playbook stopped being fun, or even funny, and was just sad.

Do the Giants know the second quarter is 15 minutes?

The Giants appeared to set themselves up in great position to go into the locker room with a score to narrow the Chargers’ 10-point lead.

Riley Dixon had a monster 63-yard punt, followed by a strong stand by the defense to force a 3-and-out. The Giants’ offense took the field on the Chargers’ 41-yard line with, three time outs, and 1:40 left in the half. That should have at least resulted in a field goal attempt for Graham Gano.

Instead, the Giants lost two yards and went three-and-out and punted in 60 seconds. Dixon tried to give the ball as much hang time as possible, but the punt only traveled 18 yards. That set the Chargers up on their own 25-yard line with 40 seconds left.

Instead of going into half-time trailing by 7 or 3 points, the Giants trailed by 17.

It’s been a theme for this team that not only can their offense not score at the end of halves, their defense has had a habit of giving up points in the final two minutes. The Giants’ collapses at the end of the first halves of their games has been a factor in a lot of their losses.

But, if you’re a fan of the game, we can say that the Giants’ terrible two-minute offense gave us this:

WUT!?

Sometimes you need to just stand back in marvel. Justin Herbert’s touchdown throw with 25 seconds left in the first half is one of those times.

Third and long, rolling out, running away from pressure, with only a fraction of a second to set his feet. Normal quarterbacks can’t even think about making that throw, but Herbert launched the ball 63.8 yards in the air to hit Guyton in-stride for a 59-yard touchdown.

I can’t even get on the Giants’ defense for letting Guyton run wide open down the field. You need to cover your man and can’t just let guys run free, but that looked for all the world like Herbert was going to have to throw the ball away.

Insanity.

I love this

This has nothing to do with the game, but I knew I needed to bring it up as soon as I saw it.

It was a shock to wake up to the news of Demaryius Thomas’ sudden passing. Thomas was, by all accounts, an even better man than he was a football player and everyone who came into contact with him has been devastated by his loss.

So it was great to see the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions start their game like this:

Some things — many things, if we’re being honest — are bigger than football. Kudos to both teams, and RIP Demaryius Thomas.