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Giants-Raiders ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’: For the Giants, things keep getting worse

Let’s see if anyone deserves praise after Sunday’s latest embarrassment

New York Giants v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

Sunday was another debacle for the New York Giants in a season filled with.

Kudos to ...

Saquon Barkley — The star running back had 16 carries for 90 yards (5.6 yards per carry), including a 26-yard run. He also caught three passes for 23 yards. It looked like his burst is returning as he gets farther away from his early-season high ankle sprain.

Parris Campbell’s kickoff returns — Campbell averaged only 22.0 yards on five kickoff returns, but for the first time all season it looked and felt like the Giants had someone returning kickoffs who could be a weapon. Campbell’s best return was a 30-yarder that was close to being a lot more than that.

Wan’Dale Robinson — Robinson had four receptions for 35 yards, the longest being for only 12 yards. Still, he caught a touchdown pass and looked like a weapon. He was also still playing hard enough late in the game that he recovered a Jalin Hyatt fumble.

Wet Willies to ...

Brian Daboll — Another mystifying Giants’ game plan. They seemed to ignore Saquon Barkley early while having an erratic Daniel Jones throwing the ball all over the lot. This was a return to the game plan of the first couple of weeks of the season. Make the game about Jones instead of Barkley. Didn’t work then. Didn’t work Sunday. Oh, and why run a ‘Tush Push’ with a QB just returning from a neck injury?

This was the third time this season the Giants have been beaten by more than 20 points. It was the fifth time they have scored less than 10 points. It is hard to understand why a team that fought for 60 minutes every week a season ago, seems not to fight this season as soon as it gets punched in the mouth.

The Giants were left in a position where Tommy DeVito was the only available quarterback after Jones’ injury. That could and should have been avoided.

The Giants were never going to have a chance to win after the injury to Jones, but they were dominated by a sub-.500 team that just fired its head coach on a short week. Terrible.

It really is hard to fathom what has happened to the Giants. They have gone from looking like an up-and-coming team that was finally pointed in the right direction after a mostly awful decade, to looking like the end of the Joe Judge era Giants. It is flabbergasting, and as the head coach Daboll has to take a hit for this mess.

Defense — The Giants were gashed for 30 points, 24, in the first half, by a Las Vegas team that had only scored 20 points once this season, getting 21 in a Week 6 victory over the New England Patriots. The Raiders were on a short week after firing their head coach with a rookie quarterback and a first-time play caller. They didn’t do anything unusual. They just did whatever they wanted.

Josh Jacobs had 86 of his 98 yards rushing in the first half. Las Vegas had three long first-half scoring drives. Kayvon Thibodeaux (one tackle) was invisible. The Giants never sacked Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell and had just a single quarterback hit. Rookie cornerback Tae Banks was burned repeatedly.

The defense was somewhat better in the second half, but the game was over by that point.

Offensive line — Giants’ quarterbacks were sacked eight times, and even though that number is misleading the line still lands with a ‘WW.’

The two sacks of Jones both came due to his knee. On the first one, he was under pressure but went down on his own. On the second, he crumpled to the ground while dropping back.

DeVito was often under pressure as Raiders’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham gleefully dialed up the heat. Some of the pressure on DeVito, though, seemed self-inflicted as he sometimes seemed uncertain what to do if his first option wasn’t available.

Still, Jones and DeVito were under far too much pressure. There were too many free runners. Evan Neal was no match for Maxx Crosby, and it is confusing as to why the Giants really didn’t fully commit to helping against Crosby until Neal left the game with an ankle injury.

Neal also committed a fourth-and-inches penalty on the Giants’ first possession, which earned him some colorful language from Daboll.

There was some good run blocking for Barkley, especially early in the game. It’s a shame the Giants didn’t lean into that more.

Kwillies to ...

Tommy DeVito — If I was a nice guy I would give the rookie quarterback ‘Kudos.’ He did, after all, throw the first touchdown pass of his career. He had a few good moments. He had some moxie, giving a little extra to Crosby after a scramble. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 175 yards.

Still, DeVito often looked like a confused, undrafted rookie free agent quarterback who shouldn’t have been playing. He threw two interceptions, only one of which was really his fault. He took six sacks, and a few of those seemed to be on him for either not seeing the rush or understanding where to go with the ball.

DeVito had a few good moments. He had a few bad moments.

About Daniel Jones

I have gotten into the habit of soliciting opinions from BBV contributors about the ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’, though the final decisions are always mine. A couple of our fine staff writers wanted me to give Jones a ‘Wet Willie’.

I can’t do it.

While he was in the game, Jones wasn’t good. He never looked comfortable or confident. He sailed his first throw well over Barkley’s head. He missed Jalin Hyatt on two deep balls. He threw a pass to the right sideline that should have been intercepted.

Still, considering what happened to Jones I can’t do it. I will acknowledge that he didn’t play well before his injury, but giving him an outright ‘WW’ just feels mean.