The Giants offense couldn’t locate consistent success in a 20-9 loss to the Dolphins.
Somewhere, Jason Garrett might just be smiling, thinking he may not have been the main problem after all.
The Giants were indeed working with a backup quarterback in Mike Glennon during what was a loss to Miami Sunday. But regardless, the offense (now operating with a new play-caller in Freddie Kitchens) continued its horrendous 2021 campaign even without Garrett.
The unit couldn’t consistently produce, and it cost the now-4-8 Giants in a big way.
A win would’ve been crucial for New York — the team was just a game out of the final NFC Wild Card spot entering the day. But like in various games this year, the offensive stagnation was a notable reason for a crushing defeat.
Without Daniel Jones (neck), Sterling Shepard (quad), and Kadarius Toney (oblique/quad), the Giants offense gained just 249 total yards (159 passing and 90 rushing) and put a measly nine points on the board. From a scoring standpoint, it was the worst performance from the Giants all year and the first time Big Blue constructed a single-digit performance on the offensive end.
The offensive line was putrid and failed to consistently open up holes in the run game, regardless of if Saquon Barkley or Devontae Booker was carrying the football. Glennon was additionally off-target for much of the day and only completed 23 of 44 passes. While you could argue Daniel Jones wouldn’t have made much of a difference if healthy (due to his own inconsistencies), it’s clear Glennon is best suited as a backup.
The epitome of Sunday’s disaster was a third-quarter possession when the Giants allowed a sack, took a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty, allowed another sack, and then were flagged for a delay of game on 3rd-and-30 with Barkley in the Wild Cat formation.
During that sequence, FOX play-by-play announcer Chris Myers said on the broadcast, “This is reaching the point of embarrassment if you are a Giants fan.”
The entire season, not just that string of mistakes, has been an embarrassment.
New York’s offensive unit has been one of the league’s least efficient for much of the last two years; the issues within the offensive line are still alive and well; constant success in the run game is far from present.
It’s unclear when things will start to turn a positive corner. It seems every week (or at least every other week), it’s back to square one in East Rutherford — that’s very much the case now exiting Week 13.
Defensive injuries prove crucial
The Giants were missing defensive backs Adoree’ Jackson (quad) and Darnay Holmes (ribs). The latter is now on injured reserve and needs to miss at least two more games.
This short-handedness in the secondary forced coordinator Patrick Graham to implement a zone coverage-based game plan for much of the day.
It was a game plan that led to a somewhat solid defensive performance, but one that still didn’t take enough pressure off the putrid New York offense.
The Giants defense (specifically the pass defense) needed to be perfect — sadly, it wasn’t.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed 30 of his 41 passes (73.2%) for 244 yards and two touchdowns while rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle caught nine balls for 90 yards. The two offensive players’ respective performances were big reasons for Miami’s sixth victory (and fifth straight).
The Giants defense also failed to record a takeaway, so the 13-game streak of forcing at least one turnover (dating back to last season) has concluded.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY