Giant Takeaways: Giants Put up Fight, but Not Enough Against Patriots
The New York Giants’ entered the game as heavy underdogs, and ended up losing 35-14 to the New England Patriots on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.
Opening half of football pained an ugly picture for the New York Giants. New England scored two touchdown on a blocked punt and goal-line rush by Brandon Bolden. With the first half dwindling down, the Giants showed they wouldn’t go down quietly.
Quarterback Daniel Jones put the Giants on the board with a dime pass to receiver Golden Tate, who took it 64-yards to the house to cut their deficit to 14-7.
On the very next drive, linebacker Lorenzo Carter burst across the edge to sack quarterback Tom Brady. On the quarterback hit, Brady fumbled. Linebacker Markus Golden recovered the loose ball and returned it for a 42-yard touchdown.
That would be all the scoring the Giants could muster, and now fall to 2-4 on the season. Here are some takeaways from their Thursday night prime-time performance.
Defense Keeps Giants in Game
NFL fans and experts believed that Tom Brady and coordinator Josh McDaniels would pick apart the Giants defense en route to victory. Yet, that wasn’t the case.
In the opening drive, the Giants forced a turnover on downs, thanks to consecutive no-yard gains from Sony Michel, who was stuffed by Dalvin Tomlinson and David Mayo.
Later in the first quarter, Brady threw a deep pass to receiver Julian Edelman, but was picked off by cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
Of course, there’s the aforementioned Markus Golden scoop and score to tie the game.
The defense very much kept the Giants in the game for as long as they could. Once regulation time got closer to expiring, there was little gas left in the tank of the defense, and the Patriots struck. More importantly, New York’s offense couldn’t capitalize on the countless opportunities provided to them.
Offensive Injuries Rears Ugly Head
New York had a star-studded injury list on Thursday night, which is nothing to celebrate. Tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and running backs Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman all were ruled out for the trip to New England.
Their absences certainly showed on the field.
The Giants could only muster 56 rushing yards between Jonathan Hilliman, Eli Penny, and Daniel Jones on 16 carries. As for the receiving corps, Golden Tate took advantage of the void left by Shepard and Engram. The offseason acquisition hauled in six receptions for 102 yards, including his 64-yard touchdown.
Head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman approached these injuries the wrong way. Instead of bringing in players that could make an impact, they opted to go bargain shopping via the practice squad against an undefeated Patriots team. The method backfired on them poorly. Yet, they have ten days to get the likes of Barkley, Engram, and Gallman back.
Jones Struggles Against Belichick’s Defense
Nobody gave Daniel Jones a shot against a Patriots defense led by the great Bill Belichick. There were some flashes of brilliance by Jones, but ultimately fell victim to Belichick, who’s now 12-0 against rookie quarterbacks.
Jones threw an absolute dime to Tate in the second quarter. Not to mention, he threw nearly half of his passes into tight windows. To be specific, Jones’ 15 pass attempts in tight coverage is the most by any quarterback in the past two seasons. That’s mostly because the Giants receiving corps on Thursday night struggled to get open.
Yet, the rookie mistakes shone brightly. One play that sticks out in particular is his intended pass to tight end Rhett Ellison along the right sideline. It turned out to be a bad read for Jones, as cornerback Stephon Gilmore jumped the route and intercepted the pass.
Jones struggled in decision making. In the second quarter, Jones sensed pressure coming his direction, and threw a bad pass deep downfield. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton hit his arm in the process and the ball landed in the waiting arms of safety Duron Harmon. The thing is, there was no Giants receiver anywhere near that area, leaving many wondering what the heck Jones was thinking.
The rookie finished the night 15-of-31 for 161 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Jones did show guts by targeting star corner Gilmore six times in the game, but it didn’t pay off. On those six targets, Gilmore allowed just one reception for nine yards, four were deflected, and one intercepted.
It will certainly be a learning experience that will stick with Jones from here on out.
The New York Giants have the next ten days to rest and prepare for their Week 7 opponents, the Arizona Cardinals. Kickoff will take place on Sun., Oct. 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET live from MetLife Stadium. Who will win the battle of the rookie quarterbacks? Daniel Jones? Or first overall pick Kyler Murray?
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