Offensive inconsistency, poor two-minute defense headline the Giants third consecutive loss to begin the year.
Facing an 0-2 Falcons team that’s looking to be one of the league’s worst; the Giants offense providing some optimism following a strong showing in Week 2 against Washington; Eli Manning‘s retirement ceremony occurring at halftime at MetLife Stadium.
The aforementioned reasons were why the Giants were set up for a humongous victory in Week 3, what would’ve been their inaugural win of the season.
But thanks to offensive inconsistency, offensive uncreativity, and shades of past two-minute defensive failures, the Giants were on the losing end of a 17-14 game in which the Falcons converted a winning kick as time expired.
So where do we start?
Listen, I understand there were injuries on the offensive end involving Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Nick Gates, and Shane Lemieux — the pair of receivers left the game early.
And I get Daniel Jones impressed for much of the matchup, finishing with 266 yards on 24-of-35 passing.
But in spite of all that, the Giants failed to string together any sort of rhythm on the offensive end against a Falcons defense that allowed 80 combined points through the first two weeks.
New York gained just 346 total yards of offense and crossed the plane just once (a one-yard touchdown run for Saquon Barkley). Other than the touchdown and subsequent two-point conversion, the Giants’ only points came from two Graham Gano field goals.
This comes after Big Blue scored 29 points and totaled 391 yards of offense in Week 2 — either mark was the highest since Jason Garrett took over as the offensive coordinator.
As for the other side of the ball, the Giants maintained success for much of the day and held the Matt Ryan-led unit in check, but failed to come through when it mattered most.
The Falcons regained possession with 1:50 remaining in regulation and the game tied at 14, and constructed a seven-play, 58-yard drive that was essentially seamless.
The Giants defense failing to execute in the final two minutes of a half is something we’ve seen many times before. On Sunday, the obvious weakness haunted the organization yet again.
A Brief Toney Sighting
First-round wide receiver Kadarius Toney actually saw some time after totaling 24 offensive snaps through the first two weeks.
However, he was sparingly used.
The young wideout caught only two balls for 16 yards on the day. He also wasn’t utilized in the return game, an area he’s certainly capable of portraying his numerous on-field qualities in.
Even after the exits of both Shepard and Slayton, Daniel Jones and the Giants seemingly favored reserve wideout Collin Johnson in the passing game. Johnson developed a nice rapport with Jones, catching five balls for 51 yards.
Daniel Jones Continues Strong Season
Despite what one may say, Daniel Jones is impressing many this year.
And on Sunday, he continued what’s been a strong season thus far.
For just the second time in his NFL career, Jones entered a game with all of his top weapons healthy. Evan Engram, who missed the first two matchups with a calf injury, finally suited up for Big Blue.
The full health didn’t last long though due to the injuries to Shepard and Slayton. Not to mention, Kenny Golladay wasn’t a huge factor on Sunday because of his own health issues (he entered the game with a hip injury).
But in spite of these setbacks, Jones threw for 266 yards and rushed for 39 more. Daniel’s superb effort also helped him cross the plane on the two-point conversion attempt following Barkley’s touchdown run (this extended the Giants’ lead to 14-7).
He additionally didn’t turn the ball over at all and avoided an interception for the third straight game.
Overall, Jones has stood tall in the pocket, has made the right throws, and hasn’t made any crucial mistakes since his Week 1 fumble. And even though injuries arose, he still produced and solidified himself as an important part of this offense against Atlanta.