Before we turn our focus completely to the New York Giants playoff matchup with the Minnesota Vikings (is that as much fun to read as it is to write?) let’s get to the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review from Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Kudos to ...
Davis Webb — Don’t care what Webb’s numbers were. Don’t care that the Giants lost. Webb has been a good soldier and a good teammate for six years, and it was nice to see him finally get an opportunity to play real snaps in a real game. And to play fairly well.
Webb ended up a respectable 23 of 40 for 168 yards with a 14-yard rushing touchdown and a 25-yard passing touchdown. He trucked an Eagles defender for a score and actually got a touchdown out of Kenny Golladay.
Lawrence Cager — The journeyman receiving tight end might not be back with the Giants next season, but Cager made certain on Sunday that he will get an opportunity to win a job somewhere next season.
Cager entered Sunday with seven career receptions in nine games for three teams. He was the Giants’ leading receiver on Sunday with eight catches for 69 yards.
Kenny Golladay — Why haven’t there been more of these during Golladay’s two seasons with the Giants?
This was a fantastic catch, the kind of catch the Giants hoped Golladay would make a habit when they signed him to a four-year, $72 million contract ($40M guaranteed) before the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, this was Golladay’s first — and probably only — Giants touchdown.
Gary Brightwell — The second-year running back had a 40-yard kickoff return and a 25-yard run, finishing with 11 carries for 60 yards (5.5 yards per carry). What was that other running back’s name?
There were a number of defensive players worthy of recognition. Among them:
Jarrad Davis — This was a pretty good audition for Davis, the veteran linebacker signed less than two weeks ago off the Detroit Lions practice squad. He had 10 tackles, one for loss, a half-sack and a quarterback hit. Davis played with physicality and added some value as a run defender. It will be interesting to see if the Giants find a role for him against Minnesota.
Tomon Fox — No Kayvon Thibodeaux. No Azeez Ojulari. No Jihad Ward. Fox played well in an extended opportunity. He was credited with only four tackles, one for loss, and did not have a quarterback hit. Still, he seemed to create pressure and spend a decent amount of time harassing Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Nick McCloud — This young man has really taken advantage of injuries in the secondary throughout the season to show that he can be a good NFL player. He showed pass rush chops on Sunday with 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits and five tackles, one for loss.
Dane Belton — The rookie safety had an interception, a pass defensed and six tackles. He’s been chained to the bench in recent weeks, but took advantage of his opportunity against the Eagles.
Wet Willies to ...
Trickeration — The Giants tried three trick plays — a fake field goal, a reverse where Cager was going to throw and an onside kick to start the second half. None worked, and all looked pretty ugly.
The fake field goal backfired, with Jamie Gillan taking a bit hit. I guess I understand the idea of just wanting to put some silly stuff on film to force the Minnesota Vikings to study it and prepare for it, but those were pretty awful. Let’s hope the Giants have some better tricks in their bag for the Vikings.
Evan Neal — The rookie right tackle was one of the few starters to play Sunday, and he played terribly. Neal had two first-half false starts, and gave up a pair of quarterback hits to Philadelphia edge defender Haason Reddick. I’m sure the idea was to get the rookie some added snaps to, hopefully, build confidence. That didn’t happen.