The NY Giants’ playoff hopes now hang from a thread following a third consecutive loss, in blowout fashion, to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens
The NY Giants entered Sunday still largely in control of their NFL Playoff hopes, but after a disastrous 27-13 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore, the third straight with just one game remaining, those hopes in the NFC East are hanging by a thread.
This was as one-sided a game as you will ever see in the NFL, and the Ravens exposed some of the Giants’ biggest flaws that could have far longer-reaching consequences than simply missing the playoffs this season.
Daniel Jones, when he had time in the pocket — which was rare — looked no worse for the wear from the ankle and hamstring injuries that kept him out of last week’s game, but he was sacked six times despite completing 24 of 40 passing attempts for 252 yards and a touchdown. The Giants’ issues on offense cut much deeper than anything Jones could or couldn’t do.
Just how inept was the Giants’ offense on Sunday afternoon? Following the Giants’ first possession of the second half, the Ravens had more first downs, 18, than the Giants had rushing yards, 16.
Jones’ touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard with 8:44 remaining was just the Giants’ second offensive touchdown since Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals, breaking an eight quarter drought.
The Giants’ defense didn’t fare much better.
Baltimore produced 433 yards of total offense, Lamar Jackson accounted for 183 passing yards and two touchdowns along with 81 rushing yards, and the Ravens possessed the ball for over half the game.
Graham’s defense allowed runs of 32, 20, and 17 yards as the defensive line failed to generate any push whatsoever.
The Giants’ collapse over the fourth quarter of the season, now having been outscored 73-26 over the past three weeks underscores how far this team still needs to go to become a legitimate contender.
Here’s a look at the Giants’ who shoulder the most blame for Sunday’s debacle and dramatic fall from the highs of upsetting the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13 to barely competing against the Ravens:
GM Dave Gettleman
The Giants were certainly undermanned and besieged by injuries on defense, but never has it been more evident that the theory a team can “manufacture” a pass rush with three dominant defensive lineman without an edge presence was a doomed philosophy from the start, than it was on Sunday.
Against Lamar Jackson, who passed for XX yards and XX touchdowns while adding XX rushing yards, the Giants’ front-seven offered minimal penetration and consistently got bullied at the line of scrimmage.
Consistently, Jackson was able to hold onto the football in the pocket for upwards of five seconds or more while surveying the defense or buying time for the zone defense to dissolve so he could scramble for 8, 10, or 12 yards. Leonard Williams logged the Giants’ only hit on Jackson in the first half, with just under 1:00 remaining.
Injuries to Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines notwithstanding, it was Dave Gettleman who built this defense, and the talent gap between it and the Ravens’ offense was wider than the New Jersey Turnpike.
Now that the Giants have effectively been eliminated from playoff contention and are riding a three-game losing streak into Week 17, perhaps owner John Mara and the organization can have the difficult conversation about how far away the Giants are at far too many positions to legitimately push for a Super Bowl in the near future.