There’s no sugar-coating it. There’s no optimism to be had. Not much went right for the New York Giants in their loss to Baltimore.
Name anything that happened in the New York Giants‘ Week 16 loss on Sunday. Name any sort of occurrence from the tough 27-13 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.
For the most part, it likely didn’t benefit Big Blue.
Let’s begin with the defensive unit, shall we?
It’s an 11-man, Patrick Graham-led group that’s been fairly strong all season long, having kept the Giants in a number of games despite their weak offense.
But on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, the unit was anything but that.
The Giants failed to correctly and consistently execute a quarterback-spy look — Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 80 yards on 13 carries. They should’ve fielded Jabrill Peppers at that spot all game long instead of having him cover tight end Mark Andrews at times — a total mismatch in the passing game. Andrews finished with 76 receiving yards courtesy of six catches.
When it came to defending the run, an area of the game the Giants have actually succeeded in for much of the season (Big Blue was sixth in the league entering this matchup), the team failed to contain the three-headed monster the Ravens employ. Each of Jackson, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins rushed for over 75 yards, with Edwards gaining 85 yards on 15 carries and Dobbins racking up 77 yards on 11 carries.
The secondary wasn’t great, and it seemed Graham needed to go away from the soft zone coverage. Jackson completed 17 of 26 throws for 183 yards and two scores. The yardage for Lamar wasn’t fantastic, but given how well they were running the football, it didn’t need to be.
The pass rush continued its recent slump. The front seven conjured up just one sack in each of the last two games (one total quarterback hit in the Week 15 loss to Cleveland), and on Sunday, didn’t bring Jackson down once. The 2019 NFL MVP had good protection all day, which provided him with the necessary amount of time to not only find his receivers but additionally locate space to scramble.
This defense couldn’t tackle correctly or get off the field in the crucial moments either. The Ravens were 8-for-11 on third-down conversions and were able to win the time-of-possession battle by a decent margin (35 minutes to 25 minutes).
Unfortunately (but per usual), the offense also failed to construct an ideal performance.
The offensive line regressed just like it did in the Week 14 loss to Arizona, a game in which it allowed eight sacks. In his first game back from injury, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked six times, three of which were on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter. There seemingly were a number of instances where Jones had someone in his face as soon as he executed the play action.
Unlike Baltimore, the Giants weren’t able to convert on third downs. New York was 1-for-10 in those regards, which led to a trio of punts.
And lastly, some of the yardage totals weren’t even close — the Giants rushed for 54 yards in comparison to the Ravens’ 249 and gained 269 total yards in comparison to the Ravens’ 432.
This all led to what was a disappointing 27-13 road loss for the Giants — their 10th of the year and third in as many weeks.
The Giants have now suffered double-digit loss totals in four straight seasons, and it’s tough to decipher if the organization is truly headed in the right direction.
Their playoff chances aren’t dead, but very much on their way to that status. If Washington defeats the Panthers or the Eagles beat the Cowboys on Sunday, the Giants will be eliminated from postseason contention.
Five wins. Ten losses. Back home next Sunday for the regular-season finale against Dallas.