Carl Banks, the 2x Super Bowl-winning Giant linebacker, couldn't have said it any better. What a pitiful performance by New York. As anticipated, the Giants succumbed to the Ravens 27-13. It started off as an absolute beating, but the Giants showed some "life" in the second half. Daniel Jones threw his first touchdown in over a month or so, that's nothing we should be proud of.
I missed last week's recap, after an embarrassing loss to the Clevland Browns. The Freddie Kitchen-Colt McCoy-Jabrill Peppers revenge game was a fail. Words couldn't describe the disappointment to that one, especially after the Browns lost to the Jets. The God Damn Jets?!
After an exciting string of wins, the same flaws seem to shine., which resulted in an equivalent amount of losses. The offense is unproductive and boring. The Jason Garrett experiment was worth the try, but it should be discontinued next season. While on this firing topic, David Gettleman should be next on the chopping block. It's Joe Judge's team now.
Daniel Jones isn't perfect, but he has mediocre protection and subpar offensive help. The only bright spot is the defense, and they aren't even playing that great at the moment. You can tell they are hurt, you can see they are incomplete. There is a lot of promise to this young team, but promise needs to turn into purpose. I can go on a longer rant, but what's the point. Let's focus on some positive, shall we? Fortunately for the Giants, they had two players make the Pro Bowl. Many others on the defense deserved to be on the squad, but hey, two is better than none.
Pro Bowl Nominees and Snubs
Photo: New York Giants / Twitter
To no surprise, cornerback James Bradberry earned his first Pro Bowl nod in his first season with the Giants. Bradberry leads the team with three interceptions. He is tied for second in the league with 17 passes defended and has 46 tackles, including 38 solos. Along with those stats, Bradberry has two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was the leading fan vote-getter among NFC corners with 87,818. The Giants got a good one in the offseason.
An actual surprise was tight end Evan Engram, who captured his first Pro Bowl as well. Engram has been criticized for underperforming and providing costly drops for the team, but he has been a lowkey contributor for the Giant's lackluster offense. Engram leads the Giants with 54 catches and is second with 572 receiving yards. He has scored two touchdowns, one receiving and another rushing. Somehow he beat out Packer's tight end, Robert Tonyan, who has 49 catches, 728 receiving yards, and a whopping 10 TD's. Neither here, nor there, congratulations to Engram. Let's hope this builds up his confidence for next season.
As I stated, two nominees are better than zero, but there were some surprises left off on the roster. For starters, kicker Graham Gano has been flat out awesome. According to EliteSportsNY, Gano has a 96.6% field-goal conversion rate that is fourth in the NFC while his 28 made field goals rank third. He also has scored 102 of the team’s 244 total points in 2020. He has been the most reliable piece to the Giants scoring, let alone the team itself. Luckily the Giants extended him to a 3-year deal earlier this season. Speaking of extensions, Logan Ryan earned himself a 3-year deal as well, after providing valuable leadership and a formidable defense. He was another star who deserved a spot on the roster. The veteran was leading the fan vote for the NFC Free-Safety position. Ryan is currently sixth among NFC defensive backs with 83 total tackles and has made a tremendous difference at free safety for the Giants. The same could be said for Jabrill Peppers, who was playing defense as an all-around pro-bowler, with 77 tackles. Both performed to that level but failed to get over the hump.
The two names that really stick to me are Blake Martinez and Leonard Williams. Alongside Bradberry, Martinez was a terrific free-agent signing, and it is exciting to have a valuable and well performing middle linebacker. Martinez is third among NFC inside linebackers, and tied for fourth in the league, with 128 total tackles. Hopefully, he can gain the All-Pro honor instead. Then there is Williams, who many questioned (including myself), why the Giants traded for him and then franchised tagged him. Well, he proved his doubters wrong. The former Jet is playing the best football of his career and is having an awesome season. Williams has racked up 49 combined tackles, which is third among NFC defensive ends. He has 8.5 sacks thus far, which is second amongst NFC defensive ends, and13 tackles for loss, which rank third.
Defensive Coordinator, Patrick Graham, has done a wonderful job getting the full potential out of these players. The core and nucleus are there, and the future is bright for the defensive side of the New York Giants.
Somehow, someway, the Giant's playoff hopes are alive, but by a thread. Next week's blog could go in two different directions. With the help of others and a Giants victory, we can discuss the preparation for a playoff game. With a loss, however, an ode to a season and an offseason blueprint will be written. My hopes are in the basement, my expectations are in the ground, the Giants will truly need a miracle to pull this one-off.