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Giants-Eagles ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’: Almost a miracle edition

Who deserves praise, and who does not?

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
Isaiah Simmons
Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

There was no Christmas Miracle for the New York Giants on Monday. They did, though, give the Philadelphia Eagles all they could handle in a 33-25 loss. Let’s review in our unique ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ style.

Kudos to ...

Saquon Barkley — The star running back did everything he could, with 23 carries for 80 yards. That’s just 3.5 yards per carry, but Barkley did what he could with the limited space the Giants’ blocking gave him to run in.

Adoree’ Jackson — The veteran cornerback has not had a great season, and we have seen him drop a handful of interceptions during his time with the Giants. Monday, though, he held on when he got his hands on a Jalen Hurts throw and turned it into a 76-yard pick six.

Jackson also had a pair of passes defensed.

Mason Crosby — Straight off the couch, the 39-year-old Crosby drilled a 52-yard field goal in his first attempt of the season. Good for him. It was also the first field goal attempt of his 17-year career for someone other than the Green Bay Packers.

Isaiah Simmons — Started the Giants’ second-half comeback by knocking a Philadelphia blocker into kickoff returner Boston Scott, forcing a fumble, then recovering it at the Eagles’ 14-yard line to set up a touchdown. It is easy to wonder why Simmons, with all of his athletic ability, isn’t more than a sometimes useful part-time player, but there are times when he makes spectacular plays. This was one.

Darius Slayton — Had 90 receiving yards on three receptions, including a 69-yard touchdown catch and run. Slayton isn’t a true No. 1 receiver, but he is heading toward leading the Giants in receiving yards for the fourth time in five NFL seasons. He deserved credit for that.

Aaron Judge — What’s the New York Yankees star doing here? This:

Pretty cool gesture from the Yankee superstar.

Wet Willies to ...

Jamie Gillan — I hate giving this to Gillan, a left-footed punter who was punting with an injured and, per the broadcast, heavily wrapped left groin. Still, he is a professional athlete and if you go to post you are expected to be able to do your job.

Gillan’s first two punts were poor. The first was a low kick returned 54 yards by Britain Covey to set up the Eagles’ first score. The second was a bouncing 31-yard shank Covey returned 12 yards to the Philly 48-yard line to set up a three-play, 52-yard touchdown drive.

Gillan averaged just 39.5 yards per punt with a 23.0 yards per punt net average. He obviously wasn’t right Sunday.

Tommy DeVito — Couldn’t get the Giants’ offense going. Averaged 1.3 yards depth of target on his throws. Got pulled at the end of the first half. That big thud you heard at the start of the third quarter Monday was DeVito-mania crashing back to earth.

Kayvon Thibodeaux — The second-year edge defender has had an excellent season with 11.5 sacks, but this was a second consecutive no-show for Thibodeaux. His stat line consisted of one quarterback hit. No tackles. No sacks. Nothing else. Against the New Orleans Saints a week ago, Thibodeaux managed just one tackle.

Azeez Ojulari — Another quiet game for Ojulari in a season filled with them. He had one tackle in 57 snaps. The lack of production from Thibodeaux and Ojulari tells you a lot about why the Giants had just one sack and three quarterback hits.

Kwillies to ...

Tyrod Taylor — The veteran quarterback brought energy to the Giants in the second half. He hit some big passes, including a gorgeous 69-yard touchdown strike to Darius Slayton. Unfortunately, though, Taylor missed some throws that needed to be — and should have been — made.

He missed a wide open Saquon Barkley on third-and-4 at the Eagles’ 45-yard line in the third quarter. That led to the phantom false start on Giants’ center John Michael Schmitz and a punt.

On third-and-1 at the Eagles’ 42-yard line Taylor rolled left and missed an open Darren Waller, who had room to run. Taylor was pressured, but the ball was well short. The Giants then failed on fourth-and-1, with Taylor off the mark on a quick throw to Wan’Dale Robinson.

Taylor also overshot an open Robinson on the Giants’ final drive, perhaps giving them fewer shots at a game-tying score.

Taylor finished 7 of 16 for 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception, which came on the game’s final play.