In their most recent loss, the NY Giants looked like a shell of the team they’ve been in recent weeks.
The 2020 NY Giants now share a few things with the 2017 Giants — the team that went 2-10 before they fired head coach Ben McAdoo.
First, was starting the season 0-5.
Second, was failing to hit at least 200 yards of total offense, something the Giants did twice in 2017.
The Giants only gained 159 yards in a Week 14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, their lowest total since Week 12 of 2017. And New York only scored seven total points, which was the lowest all season.
You have to dip back to 2018 to find a lower score: in Week 15 that year, the Tennessee Titans beat the Giants 17-0. But even that week, the Giants put up 260 yards.
This was an unexpected flop for the Giants, even against a strong team like the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to Week 14, the defense hadn’t given up more than 20 points points during their four consecutive wins. And the offense gained 300+ yards in five of the previous six games.
The one game they didn’t, they came close. The Giants put up 290 total yards in their win against the Seattle Seahawks.
But the team returned to their earlier season woes. As good as the past month of football has been for the Giants, they showed in this loss all the frustrations that kicked off this season.
In this week’s loss, the Giants offense had twice as many drives for fewer than 10 yards (8) than drives for more than 10 yards (4).
Further, five drives by the Giants offense resulted in fewer than five yards. They only had two drives of more than 20 yards, and that includes Golden Tate’s 39 yard reception and Sterling Shepard’s 24 yard reception coming on different drives.
Embarrassingly, the Giants had just one drive of 20 or more yards in the first half. But even worse, after they led off the second half with a 7 play, 75 yard drive, they never again netted more than nine yards on any subsequent drives.
Much of this had to do with the sack yards. Daniel Jones was sacked six times, which negated over 50 yards. It’s bad enough to let up a sack, but when they continuously happen deep in the pocket, or if a quarterback fumbles and allows the ball to go farther back, you have to dig yourself out of a hole just to break even.
But this also had to do with a bad offensive game plan. To use a specific example that left everyone scratching their heads, look at the Giants’ second drive of the second half. The team found themselves down 20-7. Bad, but not yet out of it. The offense scored on the last drive, and if they scored again they could find themselves back in the game.
After Wayne Gallman gained nine yards to make it 3rd & 1 from their own 16 yard line, Jason Garrett called a kind of play that was reminiscent of that 2017 Giants offense. Instead of just feeding it to Gallman to pick up the one yard and sustain the drive, Jones threw a bomb down the right side for Shepard that went incomplete.
A good, healthy quarterback has to throw a perfect ball on that kind of play for it to work. And Jones looked anything but good and healthy.
Hindsight is always perfect, but you have to wonder why Garrett didn’t call for a run. Even in an off game, Gallman still averaged 4.8 yards per carry. In fact, Alfred Morris, who had the least amount of rushing yards and the lowest average in the game, still averaged 2.3 per carry.
That play call was in a nutshell how the team ran their offense all game.
With just three remaining games on the schedule, the Giants have at least guaranteed they will finish with a better record than the 2017 team. But if the Giants offense looked anything like it did this week, they may continue putting up record lows.