It’s another Miserable Monday for New York Giants fans, who had to suffer through another awful offensive performance in a 20-9 loss on Sunday to the Miami Dolphins. Let’s get to the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies.’
Kudos to ...
Pharoh Cooper — It’s saying something when the first name you come up with when trying to figure out which Giants deserved praise on Sunday is a return man/backup wide receiver who didn’t have an NFL job until midseason. Cooper averaged just 7.3 yards on three punt returns Sunday, but had a nice 15-yard return that set the Giants up in Miami territory at the 37-yard line. He also ended up with a pair of receptions for 21 yards while playing a surprisingly large offensive role for the second straight week.
Azeez Ojulari — Ojulari’s sack of Tua Tagovailoa gave him 6.5 on the season, a franchise rookie record. Ojulari was also credited with three hurries and four stops. His 82.5 overall Pro Football Focus grade was second-highest on defense behind Austin Johnson’s 83.3. Ojulari was a nice get for the Giants at No. 50 in the draft.
Quincy Roche — Thank you, Pittsburgh Steelers! Claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh, this rookie sixth-round pick looks like a keeper. Roche had a sack, six tackles, a pressure and three stops.
Graham Gano — Forget the missed 56-yarder in the final seconds. Gano connected from 34, 39 and 51 yards. Gano now has six field goal of 50 or more yards, a Giants’ franchise record for a single season.
Evan Engram — Yes, believe it or not. Engram had four receptions for a team-high 61 yards, 15.3 yards per catch. He had catches of 18, 17, 16 and 10 yards, each of which got the Giants a first down.
Kick/punt coverage — This is one thing the Giants do well. They gave up just 22 yards on three punts returns (7.3 per return). The impressive part, though, was giving up just 32 yards on two kickoff returns (16.0 per return) to Jaylen Waddle. This was one week where the Giants “force the opposition to return the kickoff” strategy paid off.
Wet Willies to ...
Mike Glennon — Concussion are no joke, and I hope Glennon recovers quickly. Turning to his performance, Glennon was awful on Sunday. He started 8 for 8, but things deteriorated badly as the game went on. He ended up 23 of 44 (52.2 percent completion rate), meaning he completed just 15 of his last 36 throws (41.7 percent).
Glennon was off target on way too many passes. He was intercepted only once on a pass into double coverage intended for Darius Slayton. That, though, was hardly the only ball he should not have thrown. He put the ball, and sometimes his receivers, in danger a number of times.
He was also guilty of holding the ball too long a number of times.
Will Hernandez — Can it get much more embarrassing for an offensive lineman than it was for Hernandez when he basically turned into a spectator while Jaelen Phillips ran by him en route to a 13-yard sack of Glennon? Hernandez is the longest-tenured Giant on the offensive line. Sunday was his 51st career NFL start. He still can’t pick up a stunt. He has never been the run blocker the Giants expected him to be. His pass blocking seems to have regressed.
Hernandez was supposed to be a player the Giants could count on. Instead, he has become yet another one they need to replace at season’s end. Hernandez ended up with a respectable 65.7 PFF grade, but when he makes a mistake it seems like an egregious one.
Matt Skura — Why did Ben Bredeson play the final 30 offensive snaps at left guard? Perhaps Skura’s 18.3 PFF pass blocking grade and the fact that the Giants could get virtually no push up the middle on most of their running plays is the explanation.
Joe Judge — If you are a long-time reader, you know how much I hate putting coaches in the ‘K&WW.’ I feel, though, like I have to put Judge here today.
Two more wasted timeouts, even if the first one can be explained. Another string of passive fourth-down decisions that made it harder for his team to win a game. Not going for it on fourth-and-2 at the Miami 46-yard line trailing 10-6 in the third quarter made it 4.5 percent harder for the Giants to win, a huge single-play swing.
---> NYG (6) @ MIA (10) <---— 4th down decision bot (@ben_bot_baldwin) December 5, 2021
NYG has 4th & 2 at the MIA 46
Recommendation (STRONG): Go for it (+4.5 WP)
Actual play: R.Dixon punts 46 yards to end zone, Center-C.Kreiter, Touchback. pic.twitter.com/DIRTPA379g
The Giants gave up another touchdown in the final two minutes of the first half and have now been outscored 52-0 in that crucial part of games.
Judge then held yet another post-game press conference where he said he was “pleased with a lot of the things on the team,” which is now 4-8, and tried to put a positive spin on another poor offensive performance.
I keep waiting for signs that Judge is learning and growing as a coach, that he is self-evaluating where he needs to be better. Twelve games into this season and 28 games into his 10-18 tenure, I’m still looking.
Kwillies to ...
Saquon Barkley — Barkley averaged 5.0 yards per carry (11 rushes, 55 yards) and had six receptions. He had a 23-yard run. He also had two drops — one in the red zone and one near midfield.
The Giants, who can’t run block consistently, are trying to throw the ball to Barkley in space. That’s a good idea. Barkley’s hands, though, are betraying him. If both of those passes are officially called drops, and I believe they should be, that would be a career-worst five for Barkley this season. In only eight games. A struggling offense can’t afford the guy who is supposed to be its best player to leave plays like that on the table.