Giant Takeaways: Giants Reach Rock Bottom With Loss to Lowly Jets
The New York Giants have officially secured their residence in rock bottom. In what was widely-dubbed as the “Stupor Bowl,” the Giants fell 34-27 to the lowly New York Jets.
There was much urgency heading into Week 10 from the Giants camp. With a bye week occurring at the conclusion of game time, the Giants simply needed to win against their crosstown rivals, often dubbed “the little brother.” That didn’t happen, as now everyone is on watch.
The tone was set out of the gate, as Jets quarterback Sam Darnold used his first two drives to score touchdowns. The first coming on a two-yard scramble, and the second coming on a 23-yard catch-and-run score by Jamison Crowder. Meanwhile, the Giants continued to struggle in the first quarter, putting up minimal yardage and digging an early grave from the get go. Despite heating up in the second quarter, it proved to be too little, too late for the Giants, as Le’Veon Bell’s fourth quarter touchdown iced the game.
Now at 2-8 on the year, here are takeaways from the Giants’ latest loss.
Shurmur Officially on Hot Seat
Pat Shurmur was hired for his innovative play calling while serving as the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. It appears he left that playbook up in The North Star State before trekking to New Jersey.
Shurmur’s go-to call is a halfback draw up the middle with Saquon Barkley, which is straight out of the “Ask Madden” playbook from the popular “Madden NFL” video game franchise.
But perhaps most concerning is his lack of clock management, something his mentor Andy Reid continues to struggle with. Down 34-27 with 4:26 remaining, Shurmur used up all three of his timeouts, which resulted in zero points. With the Giants gaining one last possession, they had no timeouts on the board, and found themselves on fourth down. Despite being down a touchdown, Shurmur opted to punt the ball away, and put the game in his defense’s hands. If this season has shown anything, it’s that New York’s defensive squad is far from capable of forcing a three and out.
The NFL is a production-based business, and Pat Shurmur is now 7-19 as Giants head coach. Losing to the Jets does him little favors, and if the losses continue to pile up, he could very well be shown the door this offseason.
Anemic Defense Strikes Again
Speaking of, Shurmur may not be the most likely member of the coaching staff to be fired. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher is at the top of the list.
Entering Week 10, the Jets averaged just 12 points a game under another “offensive genius” in Adam Gase. Darnold had nine turnovers in the past three games. Bettcher’s squad turned out to be the best medicine for the second-year quarterback’s woes.
Darnold completed 19-of-30 pass attempts for 230 yards and one touchdown. He also took three carries for 25 yards and a score. Between the blown coverage from the likes of cornerback DeAndre Baker and Antoine Bethea and the poor tackling technique from the team as a whole, no wonder the Jets dropped 34 points.
Many will point to the numerous poor roster moves from general manager Dave Gettleman. But, it’s Bettcher’s job to take those players to the next level, and he’s simply not capable of that.
Barkley Has Historically Bad Game
13 carries. One yard. Let’s say that louder for those in the back. 13 CARRIES. ONE YARD. That’s all running back Saquon Barkley could muster against the Jets on Sunday.
While the offensive line was hampered due to the injuries to Jon Halapio, Mike Remmers, and Nate Solder, that’s far from the issue. Even last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Barkley continues to show that he’s hampered by the high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 3. He’s struggles to cut and find himself bouncing off linemen, something that he never did his rookie season.
Barkley was taken second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft with the hopes of revitalizing the Giants offense and bringing the organization to former great heights. When looking at his play the past couple of games, some fans fear of regression.
Shurmur said on Monday that Barkley is fine, and has no intentions of shutting him down for the season. So maybe the upcoming bye week will help Barkley out. The Giants can only hope, as continuing to throw him out on the field for a losing season will only do more harm to him than good.
Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton Have Bright Futures
There were plenty of negatives on Sunday, but there were two bright spots on the offensive side of the ball. Rookies Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton.
While Jones had another case of the turnovers against the Jets, he only did it once. Besides that, Jones continued to show why the Giants were confident enough to take him with the sixth overall pick.
Jones completed 26-of-40 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns, culminating in a 121.7 quarterback rating. The Jets boasted a poor secondary throughout this season, and the rookie exploited them from the second quarter onward.
The former Duke Blue Devil’s favorite target on Sunday afternoon was Slayton, and Auburn Tiger. Slayton cut through the Jets secondary on numerous occasions, resulting in him receiving 14 targets. On the day, the fifth round pick recorded ten receptions for 121 yards and two scores.
A bright spot for the #Giants: 5th-round rookie WR Darius Slayton has 5 receiving TDs this season. He's been up and down, but there's a connection with Daniel Jones.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 10, 2019
There’s a strong connection between Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton, and will only improve as the years go on.
The New York Giants have a week off to stew over their sixth consecutive loss. They return to the gridiron on Week 12 to face the Chicago Bears (4-5) at Solider Field on Nov. 24. While playoff hopes are all but dead, the pressure has only increased for this Giants team. If there’s no improvement, there will be plenty of changes out of the Meadowlands.
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