Giant Trouble on Thanksgiving; New York Falls to Rival Redskins
Giants Lose an Ugly One on Thanksgiving Night, as They Lose 20-10 to Redskins; Fall to 2-9 Record
The Giants choked on the proverbial turkey at the Thanksgiving table. New York would lose to the Washington Redskins 20-10 on Thanksgiving night at FedEx Field.
The first half proved to be a defensive affair, as New York and Washington’s offenses could not get going. Even in red-zone situations, neither team failed to capitalize, each settling for one field goal.
However, the second half was a whole other beast. Midway through the third quarter, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins connected on a 33-yard pass to Jamison Crowder. Now set up in the red-zone, Cousins would find Crowder yet again, this time standing alone in the endzone for the touchdown.
Now with a 10-3 lead, Washington was in the drivers seat, as New York’s offense continued to struggle. Another deep pass connection from Cousins to Crowder set up the Redskins in New York territory. However, Washington found themselves on third-and-18 at the tail end of the third quarter. Cousins threw a pass to running back Byron Marshall, but his right foot was caught in the turf on the attempt. As a result, the pass careened off Marshall’s fingertips, and found its way into the hands of Janoris Jenkins. The corner would return the interception 57-yards for the touchdown, tying the game at ten apiece.
However, Washington would not go quietly into that good night. With over eight minutes remaining, the Redskins would work their way down field from their own 40. Although New York stopped them on third-and-three, cornerback Ross Cockrell was called for defensive holding, keeping the Redskins’ drive alive. A few plays later Cousins would connect on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson to give Washington a 17-10 lead.
With a little over three minutes remaining, it was the Giants only hope to keep the game alive. Two short passing plays moved them forward seven-yards, followed by an incomplete pass to Roger Lewis. On fourth-and-three, Manning would be swallowed in the collapsing pocket for the sack, handing the ball back over to Washington.
The Redskins would kick a 36-yard field goal and on the Giants final drive, Manning threw a deep pass that was intercepted by Kendall Fuller to ice the game.
Giants’ Front Seven Mauls Washington’s Banged Up O-Line
The one positive to come out of this game was the impact the Giants’ front seven had on the Redskins’ o-line. New York’s famed defensive line broke through like a turnstile, sacking Cousins a whopping six times in the game. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul led the team with two sacks. However, this should not come as a surprise, as Washington’s o-line was already banged up entering this game. That statement was further solidified once the team ruled out starting left tackle Trent Williams due to a knee injury.
This tremendous performance would essentially go to waste, as the statistics were not backed up by points on the board. Not to mention, that the defense spent 34:37 on the field.
Manning’s Minuscule Performance
While may can attribute by the lack of offense to the injuries in the receiving corps, Manning did not do any favors to help his case.
On Thanksgiving night, the 37-year-old quarterback completed 13 of 27 pass attempts for a measly 113 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception. When watching the game highlights, you can see Manning’s passes not hitting his targets. They would go above their hands or fall at their feet. The prime example was in the second quarter, where the Giants found themselves in the red-zone. On third down, Manning had running back Shane Vereen wide open, which would have undoubtedly been a walk-in touchdown. Yet, the quarterback would overthrow the ball, sailing over Vereen’s reach, wasting an opportunity to put six points on the board.
With all the hot takes surrounding the Giants regarding replacing Manning in the near future, this game will be the catalyst to those conversations.
Offensive Output Far From “Giant”
As stated above with Manning, New York could not get anything going offensively. Despite glimmers of hope in the first half, the positive outlook diminished in the second half.
Through the entirety of the game, the Giants were only able to net 170 yards on offense. That yardage only equated to three points. The only touchdown of the game came from Jenkins’ interception in the third quarter.
Tight end Evan Engram had three crucial drops in the game, which turned to be one of the many crucial events that New York needed to go their way. The Giants passing game has been hurt by Sterling Shepard’s absence, as they have been missing his play-making ability. That fact was solidified in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers, where he hauled in 11 receptions for 142 yards.
The running game has taken a step back, mostly due to the banged up offensive line, which was missing D.J. Fluker, as well as Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg. The line took as much of a beating as Washington’s. The New York offensive linemen were harassed by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who recorded five total tackles (three solo, two assisted) and two sacks.
The New York offense is depleted, which makes it even tougher for them to earn victories. The games are all on the defense, but they can only stop so much before exhaustion kicks in. It’s the same old story 11 games into the season.
Now sitting at 2-9, the Giants move onto another West Coast road trip, as they face off against the 4-6 Oakland Raiders in Week 13. The Ben McAdoo Revival Tour has taken a hit, but it will remain to be seen if his job security could be salvaged. Especially with owner John Mara watching and pacing up in the luxury box.