NY Giants studs and duds from disastrous loss to Cardinals | Playoff chances in peril

New York Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The NY Giants’ offense was non-existent in a 26-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that dealt a serious blow to New York’s playoff aspirations

The NY Giants had what could be fatal flaws exposed by the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday’s 26-7 loss where a listless offense cast serious doubt over this team’s playoff chances.

“We’re playing complementary football is the goal,” NY Giants head coach Joe Judge said following the game.

His team did anything but against the Cardinals.

The Giants now on the NFL’s 31st ranked scoring offense, and were held to just 159 yards of total offense against Arizona, and while quarterback Daniel Jones seemed hobbled in his first game back from a hamstring injury, it was the first time in his career he didn’t log one rushing attempt.

“I think I wasn’t able to run like I usually do,” Jones admitted. “But, I felt good during the game.”

What won’t feel good for the Giants are the vast number of corrections that need to be made after the offensive line allowed eight sacks. Nor will the fact that the Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys all won on Sunday, dropping the Giants to second place in the division.

Washington now has a one-game lead over the Giants in the NFC East, and by virtue of Sunday’s win Arizona now owns the tiebreaker over the Giants in the NFC Wild Card race. Sunday’s defeat, essentially, leaves the NFC East crown as the only realistic postseason path now that the Giants are in 10th place in the NFC standings at 5-8.

Things won’t get much easier as the Giants now stare down the barrel at games against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens the next two games that could decide whether the regular season finale carries any meaning beyond draft positioning.

Here’s a look at the Giants’ studs and duds from Sunday’s game:

QB Daniel Jones – DUD

Whether he wasn’t fully healthy, or fully confident in his right hamstring, Jones offered little resemblance Sunday to the quarterback who powered the Giants’ offense with his mobility during a four-game winning streak.

Jones was sacked four times, at times looking tentative in the pocket and reluctant to run, and he fumbled once, including one that was recovered and returned by Markus Golden 30 yards to the Giants’ 9-yard line.

Despite the fact at times Jones looked limited at times, Giants head coach Joe Judge wasn’t using Jones injury as any excuse for his lackluster performance.

"“I have no regrets on playing [Daniel],” Giants head coach Joe Judge said afterward. “We made a calculated decision based on what he could do as a player, we went out there, and as a team, we have to execute better.”"

Following a fourth quarter sack, Jones was hobbling and badly missed a wide open Wayne Gallman on a screen pass where it was evident that he couldn’t fire off his plant-leg.

Finishing 11-for-21 passing for 127 yards, Jones didn’t do nearly enough to lift a listless Giants offense.