NY Giants’ Special Teams Grade: D
After being a rock-solid group all year, the NY Giants special teams are falling apart.
Luckily for New York, the defense bailed out both the offense and the special teams units in Seattle. Graham Gano missed an extra point, his first missed try of the year. The miss kept the lead at nine instead of 10 but thankfully Gano responded with a key 48-yard field goal in the 4th. This stretched the New York lead to 17-5. Gano’s excellent season has been great to watch, especially after sitting out last year. Nobody should even flinch at his one missed try as he’s been lights-out all year.
However, Thomas McGaughey must get his unit to improve their play or it might cost the team a game soon.
Back to back weeks now, the special teams have let up points. Last week it was the kickoff coverage team giving up a 103-yard kickoff return touchdown and this week saw Riley Dixon’s punt get blocked into the back of the end zone for a safety. The punt unit inexcusably let a man get through the line and come right through to block Dixon’s punt. Dixon came up a bit shaky after the play but never remained in the game.
McGaughey and Tom Quinn were lucky to see the Seahawks’ player(s) come up just a second too late, a microcosm of their team’s performance for the day.
Ironically, the safety *arguably* could have saved some points for the Giants as the punt likely would have netted the ‘Hawks very good field position. They would’ve been staring right at three points and a touchdown could’ve been very doable with the Seahawks big-play offense. Instead, they got a kick return that the Seahawks brought back to the Giants’ 48-yard line.
The NY Giants’ poor special teams play must stop as they are flirting uncomfortably close with risking this team some valuable wins. The group was a very sound, trustworthy group up until the Cincinnati game. For now, it’s difficult to watch the unit take the field to kick or punt.