Photo: Corey Sipkin
"Tom Brady and the Buccaneers head to town to destroy the Giants. I have no expectations or hope. Maybe they will cover the spread? They are -8.5, so fade the Giants. Get ready for another disappointing blog recap on the Giants. Can't wait to watch JPP destroy this O-Line." ~ Will Tondo, Week 7 Recap
I am happy that I was completely wrong with my predictions. I am not happy with the outcome of this game. Only the Giants could figure out how to lose this one. They weren't steamrolling Brady and the Bucs, but they were playing decent. Decent enough where a win was not out of the question. Why do I get my hopes up?
The Giants were doubting the haters today and were performing somewhat well on both sides of the ball. The Buccaneers were favored by 12.5 points, and the Giants were leading (yes leading) at halftime, with a score of 14-6.
And of course, a game that I did not have any expectations turned into a thriller down to the wire. A crucial catch by Slayton over the middle kept the drive alive. With 33 seconds left in the game, Jones threw a 19-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Golden Tate to make it 25-23. All we needed was a 2-point conversion to tie it up. The Giants lined up at the goal-line, the play was establishing, it looked good, but of course, they were unable to convert. A defensive pass interference penalty was called on Buc's rookie Antione Winfield JR. YES! We get another chance! Nope... the referees ultimately picked the flag up, ending the Giants’ chances. Why did they pick the flag up? Coach Judge was LIVID and so was I. For the second time this season, the Giants had a final throw into the end zone. They could not close it out. The Giants weren't expected to be even close in this game, let alone have the chance to win it. Daniel Jones played sub-par yet again. HOWEVER... with my 20/20 vision, I felt that was defensive pass interference by Antoine Winfield Jr., and the Twitter folks agree too.
For a game that the team lost, I can still point out a lot of good things for a 1-7 team.
Retro Uni's were FIRE
For starters, we looked good, and I mean fashionably. These "Color Rush" uniforms were introduced in 2016 based on the franchise's road kits from 1980 to 1999. I think they are so fresh, and the Giants should make them their primary whites, in my opinion.
Pass Catchers made themselves useful
Evan Engram knew he was on the hot seat and did not want to remain there. He caught two the shoulder catch for 30 yards. Overall, he totaled five passes for 61 yards. Sterling Shepard caught eight passes for 74 yards. Darius Slayton was consistent per usual, nothing flashy, and Golden Tate helped keep the Giants alive (and rose his trade stock).
Shane Lemieux, welcome to the league
With Will Hernandez out with COVID-19, one of the rookie offensive linemen stepped up and actually performed well. The versatile guard out of Oregon played 69 snaps (nice) in his debut. He cleared the way for Gallman to score a TD at the goal-line and held his own throughout the entire match. I was excited when we drafted him, and I look forward to his future progression with the team.
The Giants Defense is enjoyable to watch
Patrick Graham is a smart and gritty Defensive Coordinator. His defense got stops when they needed them and kept the Giants in the game all night. Blake Martinez is the linebacker we dreamed of having, and yet again he had another impact performance. Martinez had six tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a forced fumble that led to the offense’s first touchdown. Leonard Williams and Carter Coughlin each had a sack. The secondary had six passes deflected, and Tom Brady was 0-5 in pass attempts that were 20+ yards. Bradberry didn't have his best performance, but Isaac Yiadom was solid and Darnay Holmes and Logan Ryan made key tackles to keep the game in reach.
The "Next Man-Up Running Backs"
Saquone officially got surgery to repair his torn ACL, and Devonta Freeman was out with an ankle injury. That led to Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis being our backfield for the matchup. My expectations were low, but you know what, they performed and helped give life to the offense. Gallman had 12 rushing attempts for 44 yards (62 total yards) and one touchdown. Dion Lewis had a phenomenal sliding grab for a touchdown and a 45-yard kickoff return. The run tallied over a hundred yards of rushing today.
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
I don't know where to put this?
Certified Top-5 Pick
I hate celebrating this. This isn't an accomplishment. We aren't the Warriors, who had one bad season with a team full of All-Stars and now grabbing a top tier guy and making a championship run. This team is brutal to watch (not Jets brutal), and now we have to suffice for a top-end pick. The Jets have most likely secured the bag and will land Trevor Lawrence. The Giants should look to either draft an Offensive Lineman, Cornerback, or Wide Receiver. My top picks? Penei Sewell (OL, Oregon), Patrick Surtain II (DB, Alabama), or Ja'Marre Chase (WR, LSU)
Photo: The Athletic
Daniel Jones cost us the game
It hurts me to keep putting Daniel Jones in the cons column. I really think he can be a good quarterback, I do. But Jones has now turned the ball over in 20 of his 21 starts as a
New York Giant. That is flat out unacceptable. Yes, there is a lack of a formidable O-Line, and minimal weapons, and uncertainty in play call, but a turnover a game is just mind-boggling and gut wrenching. His two interceptions in today led to 10 Tampa Bay points, and that is what closed the door on actually achieving the win for the Giants. Yes, Jones did complete a pair of fourth-down passes to keep the final drive alive, but it wasn't enough. I hope he figures something out soon, so at least I can't point the blame in his direction. I think it is time for Jason Garrett to utilize DJ's legs, and let the boy run.
Trade Deadline Preview
I am disgusted that Dave Gettleman will be making the decisions tomorrow prior to the 4 p.m. trade deadline. There have been rumors of the Giants checking in on the Lions WR, Kenny Golladay. He is a solid receiver, but what is the point? The only true trade valued piece we have worth dealing with (and not keeping) is Kevin Zeitler. I don't want them to do this, because he is one of our better if not best O-Linemen. Golden Tate may be on his way out, which would be nice to get his contract off the books. Engram seems to be staying put, and he is starting to get back up on the trust tree.
The Giants are now 1-7 for the third time in four seasons. I am fortunate enough to remember both Super Bowls, and I cherish those memories. As for 2020, this season is over. The Giants will face off against the Washington Football Team, who is the only team to succumb to them. I want to say they win, but I have no idea. My gut says they secure the dub, but take that with a grain of salt.
Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images