When you’re 0-5, it is probably safe to say that you are what your record says you are. That holds true for the New York Giants.
Blowing a 14 point lead early in the game, the 2020 New York Giants looked for every possible way to give up their lead. Most notable guffaws from Week 5 included eight penalties for 81 yards which resulted in two touchdowns being taken off the board; far more points than would have been required in their 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Throw in a clear missed pick-6 by cornerback James Bradberry and one has to be wondering where the team’s concentration is during the games played thus far.
The truth of the matter is that the Giants have been in the thick of 3 winnable games in 2020. The scores included the following:
Week 2: 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears
Week 4: 17-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams
Week 5: 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys
Their only blowout in 2020 thus far came at the hands of the San Francisco Forty Niners who, playing a number of backups, handily beat the Giants 36-9. Throw in a 26-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener as another game in which the GMEN were manhandled on both the O-line and D-lines.
Looking under the hood, one can see that there is plenty wrong with this team. Let’s look at the Giants Regular Season Statistics through 5 games (courtesy of Espn.com):
2020 Regular Season Statistics
The Giants defense, on the other hand, while keeping things close during most games played in 2020 continues to allow game-winning drives.
|GP||TOT. PTS||PTS/G||RUSH YDS||RUSH YDS/G||pyds Pyds/game||TOT YDS||YDS/G|
Ranking: 20th (Per Pro Football Focus)
This is the third time this season Jones had a chance to win the game on the final drive, against the Bears, Rams, and now Cowboys, and has come up empty each time. Joe Montana, he’s not, Obviously, that’s an unfairly high bar, but he needs to convert some of these drives into wins if he’s going to be anything more than a journeyman quarterback.
This game saw a significant step in the right direction for the Giants offense, although it’s difficult to discern whether this was due to an improvement in Jason Garrett’s play calling or just a consequence of playing against arguably the worst defense in the league. Devonta Freeman, who had 60 yards on 17 carries, showed good field vision, finding holes a still developing offensive line created for him.
The Giants secondary remains a major weakness despite their offseason attempts to improve it. James Bradberry looks to be a bright spot, as he was able to contain Amari Cooper most of the game, but Ryan Lewis allowed a 38 yard gain by Michael Gallup that set up the winning field goal. And unfortunately, the Giants number 2 pick in this season’s draft, Xavier McKinney, who was arguably the best safety in this draft class, has yet to see the field due to injury.
It is safe to say that this team does not inspire any confidence in maintaining a lead. Even after the Giants took a 34-31 lead with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter (after an Andy Dalton fumble resulting from a bad snap), this 2020 team does not let you rest assured that a victory is in sight. The Cowboys game winning drive saw Dalton connect with Amari Cooper on a 15 yard pass, wide receiver Michael Gallup on a deep pass for 19 yards, and then Gallup again for a 38 yard reception. That basically sums up the Giants season thus far; inability to make the big stop when needed. Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein proceeded to kick a 34-yard field goal to win the game, 37-34.
Long gone are the days of Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyoura, Justin Tuck and Matthias Kiwanuka. The fact is that the current Giants squad does not have one defensive player on the roster who can be counted on to secure a win. And if you thought that special player was going to be Defensive End Lorenzo Carter this season, you would be wrong. He left the game and the team for the season with a torn achilles. Yet another bit of misfortune in a horrendous season.
Bad drafting (Eric Flowers), bad luck (Saquon’s injury), Covid-10… all must improve before the Giants emerge from the cellar of the NFL.
Special thanks to our friend Gregory Frank for sharing his intimate thoughts about the week 5 matchup vs. the Cowboys.
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