Grading the Giants following their 17-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
One touchdown in 60 minutes is not going to cut it. Daniel Jones (24 of 35, 266 yards) kept the ball moving despite losing Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton to hamstring injuries, getting nice work from newcomer Collin Johnson (5-51). Kenny Golladay (4-64) played despite an achy hip. Saquon Barkley (16-51) leaped in for a touchdown, but is not close to being the dominant force he needs to be. He looked good (6-43) as a pass-catcher, but a penalty on RG Will Hernandez nullified a 20-yard gain on a screen. Jones dropped a snap for an 11-yard loss to limit a promising drive to a field goal. LG Ben Bredeson got beat for a sack by Grady Jarrett to limit the opening possession to a field goal. TE Evan Engram on his second catch in his first game of the season lost the ball on a fumble. What is there to say?
A potential game-sealing interception was floating in the air … and CB Adoree’ Jackson dropped it. You can’t make it up. S Logan Ryan also dropped a would-be interception. Losing LB Blake Martinez early was a tough blow. LB Tae Crowder (11 tackles) was active. But when it came time to make a stop, this unit caved, again. Xavier McKinney got flagged for unnecessary roughness to fuel Atlanta’s only scoring drive of the first half. Ryan got called for pass interference in the end zone on TE Kyle Pitts to set up the tying TD. Coverage on Pitts was great, until late. Three sacks of Matt Ryan (27 of 36, 243 yards, 2 TDs) but when pressure was truly needed, it was not there.
The only reason to punt the ball away at midfield is to pin the other team deep in the shadow of its end zone. Riley Dixon couldn’t do it with 1:50 remaining, sailing his punt into the end zone for a touchback on the Falcons’ game-winning drive. Graham Gano hit field goals of 25 and 31 yards to extend his streak to 37 consecutive makes. Keion Crossen made a nice play to keep the ball from sailing into the end zone on a Dixon punt to pin the Falcons back on their 5-yard line. C.J. Board bobbled the kickoff to start the second half. Strange play by Jabrill Peppers in the first quarter, catching a punt while running into a Falcons player on the sideline. Peppers looked much better on a 19-yard punt return early in the third quarter. He added a 17-yard return the next time he touched the ball.
The Giants are extremely wasteful when it comes to keeping and not squandering their timeouts. Joe Judge opted to call a timeout before punting the ball away deep in Giants territory late in the first half, saving only 1.5 yards, rather than take a delay of game penalty. Judge also lost a first-half timeout on an unsuccessful challenge. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was able to get Kadarius Toney (2-16) involved early, but the rookie was targeted only three times. The end of the first half and down the stretch in the fourth quarter brings out the worst in Pat Graham’s defense. Of course, it is not unthinkable to win a game while allowing 17 points, right?
Published on: Article source