NFL Playoffs: How NY Giants fared against divisional teams

New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (Image via The Record)
New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (Image via The Record) /
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NY Giants
Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns is sacked by Dexter Lawrence #97 of the New York Giants. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns, Week 15

Result: Loss, 20-6

This game, the second in a three-game skid that further diminished the team’s hope for the playoffs, marked the Giants’ lowest score total all season.

Despite playing a clean game with no turnovers, having fewer penalties, and holding the third-best rushing team in the NFL to just 106 yards, the Giants were unable to beat the Browns.

Much like the Pittsburg Steelers in the Wildcard game last Sunday, the Giants didn’t help themselves in this game.

In a common theme among games they lost against divisional round playoff teams, the Giants went 0-3 in trips to the Red Zone. What’s worse, Cleveland went 3-3.

What worked best for the Giants was shutting down Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb rushed 15 times for just 50 yards, averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Outside of the Week 4 game in which he was injured, the it was Chubb’s fewest yards up to that point in the season. He would rush for only 28 yards the next week against the NY Jets.

Hunt equally had a poor showing. The Giants held him to just 28 yards total, his fewest through all of the 2020 regular season.

What hurt the Giants was yet again an unproductive offense. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy got the start, but only completed 19 passes on 31 attempts. The offense seemed uncertain about what it wanted to do; no running back had more than nine carries, and no receiver had more than four receptions.

The Giants would have done far better than the Steelers, at least in the first quarter. But the Steelers still managed to score 37 points and collect 553 total yards. They were decisive in their attack, throwing for 501 of those yards.

If Kansas City wants to beat Cleveland, they’d be wise to stop their running backs while capitalizing on Red Zone opportunities — and not go down by 28 points in the first quarter.