EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — the Giants had won five of six games entering Sunday’s home matchup with the Lions. They were riding high after a big Week 10 victory over the Texans and were looking for another win against a scrappy Detroit team. New York desperately needed one, too, considering the team’s rough schedule over the final seven weeks of the year.
Unfortunately, the turnover bug, injury bug, and cold weather got to head coach Brian Daboll’s crew.
The Giants suffered a crushing 31-18 defeat. Daniel Jones threw two interceptions, both starting cornerbacks (Adoree’ Jackson and Fabian Moreau) suffered injuries, and the run game was a failure.
And even worse: the schedule only gets harder from here. The Giants turn around and play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving before facing the Eagles (twice), Commanders (twice), and Vikings.
While the Giants are a comfortable 7-3, they had to stack up wins ahead of this tough final stretch. With a limited passing game, the Giants couldn’t put themselves in a position that forced them to keep up with a powerful offense (like the Eagles or Vikings) in a late-season matchup to potentially earn a playoff spot.
But, with one more loss, we’re closer to that scenario. And we’ll see if this team can turn things around heading into Dallas.
Some thoughts on the Giants’ third loss of the season:
Turnover luck, run-game spark disappear. Big Blue could not run the football for much of the afternoon. Despite Saquon Barkley entering the game second in the NFL in rushing, the fifth-year back and the offensive line had a rough day. Barkley finished with only 22 rushing yards on 15 carries (1.5 yards per carry).
Running the ball has helped take pressure off Jones all year long. But with the Giants failing to find success on the ground, the offense needed to rely on the young quarterback’s arm in the cold and wind of East Rutherford.
And that’s where the blunders occurred…
Jones had been fantastic at taking care of the ball through the first nine games. It was one of the reasons why this Giants offense had looked serviceable. But he caved on Sunday and threw the pair of picks — his first interceptions since Week 3.
Giants’ secondary not for real. The Giants lost Adoree’ Jackson to a knee injury in the second quarter when he went down on a punt return. Although he shouldn’t be returning punts, Jackson assumed that role after Richie James fumbled twice in the Week 8 loss to Seattle.
Cornerback Fabian Moreau also exited the game early with a rib injury.
Both Jackson and Moreau were eventually downgraded to out, and the short-handed secondary failed to respond.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff finished the game with 165 yards on 17-of-26 passing. Star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, meanwhile, caught seven passes for 76 yards.
The Giants’ defense also struggled heavily on third down and allowed Detroit to move the ball despite being in various third-and-long situations. The Lions converted five third downs, a big reason why they were able to score over 30 points against a tough Giants defense.
Lack of discipline. The Giants came into Sunday’s game as the fourth-most penalized defense. They were also tied for the 12th-most penalized offense.
Things didn’t change for the better on Sunday.
The Giants finished with eight penalties for 63 yards. They committed a whopping seven penalties for 58 yards in the first half alone. This included a second-quarter ineligible player downfield penalty that basically took away any chance for a field goal, along with a defensive pass interference that set the Lions up at the five-yard line for an eventual Jamaal Williams touchdown run.
Big Blue already has various tough matchups upcoming (which we alluded to before). Poor discipline in those games will not fare well for the Giants, nor their playoff chances down the stretch.
Time to clean things up in an incredibly rapid manner.