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Dolphins 20, Giants 9: Snaps, stats, PFF grades from yet another loss

Yet another ugly loss

New York Giants v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The New York Giants slipped to 4-8 on the season following their 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 13.

This game was, predictably, a slog, as the Giants’ defense tried to keep their inept and injury depleted offense in the game long enough to make a play. Unfortunately for the Giants, the Dolphins were the team that eventually strung together a drive, got into the end zone, and gave their defense enough of a lead to start swarming.

Simply watching this game will tell you just about everything you need to know about it. But we do like to take a deeper look, so let’s see what the numbers have to say before we turn the page to Week 14.

Snap counts

Offense

There isn’t much to say here. It is interesting, for reasons I’ll get to in the “stats” section, that Evan Engram and Darius Slayton had the most snaps among the Giants’ skill position players. While Engram was one of the few bright spots for the Giants, Slayton most certainly was not.

By the way, if you’re wondering where Matt Peart is, he played four snaps on special teams.

Defense

Can we please get Quincy Roche more snaps? The rookie out of Miami has flashed each time he’s been on the field and has been one of the Giants’ most consistent defenders since he started regularly seeing the field.

With Oshane Ximines clearly on the outs with the team — he was once again a healthy scratch — and Lorenzo Carter in the final year of his rookie deal, it seems pretty apparent that Roche and Azeez Ojulari are the future of the Giants’ EDGE position (potential 2022 draft additions not withstanding). They shouldn’t be on the field less than Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence II.

Stats of interest

There really isn’t a whole lot to say here for the Giants from a “stats” perspective. The Giants’ offense is bad, and they should feel bad about that.

For a second, I want to circle back to why it was interesting that Engram and Slayton had the two largest snap counts among the Giants’ skill position players.

Engram was the Giants only consistently effective receiving weapon, hauling in four catches on five targets for 61 yards. We saw some hints of what Engram can do in an offense that uses him as a weapon, and he could have had a legitimately big day if the rest of the offense could get its act together.

Engram’s great first quarter catch for 18 yards, where he beat safety Jevon Holland and cornerback Justin Coleman over the middle, was the single biggest play of the game for the Giants, earning a whole 2.7 percent bump in win probability for the Giants. Engram’s +1.07 EPA/play and 5.4 total EPA on the game was by far the most for the Giants.

The flip side of that coin was wide receiver Darius Slayton.

His raw stat line of two receptions on seven targets for 13 yards is just bad, but his impact on the game was worse. As good as Engram was, Slayton was that bad.

The interception targeting Slayton was the single biggest play for the Dolphins, counting for -2.7 win probability for the Giants, undoing Engram’s play from exactly two minutes earlier in the game. That wasn’t all on Slayton — Glennon should never have thrown that ball — but Slayton’s issues with separation and hanging on to passes are well-documented by now.

Overall, Slayton had a -0.76 EPA/play and contributed a total -5.3 EPA on the game.

And speaking of Glennon and the passing game, it’s a significant improvement that the Giants’ average pass was intended to travel 7.1 yards downfield in the air. Unfortunately, the Giants’ average completion (once again) traveled just 3.3 yards downfield in the air.

The Giants have had just one game (Week 12 against the Eagles) in which they consistently completed passes that traveled more than 4 yards in the air since Week 4.

On the other side of the ball, the Giants’ defense did what it could to hold the Dolphins in check. They made Miami fight for the yardage they got and did a good enough job of playing downhill to contain their RPO-based offense.

However, Tua’s lightning-quick release largely limited the Giants’ pass rush, and generally kept the Giants from disrupting the Miami QB. Overall, the Giants got two sacks and three QB hits on 41 pass attempts. Generally speaking, the Giants’ pass rushers didn’t get anywhere near Tagovailoa.

And once again, the Giants’ pass rush was completely dependent on their coverage. Per NFL NextGenStats, Quincy Roche got the Giants’ fastest sack at 4.2 seconds, which is an eternity compared to Tua’s average time to throw of 2.33 seconds.

PFF grades