Giants head coach Brian Daboll during the NFC divisional playoff...

Giants head coach Brian Daboll during the NFC divisional playoff game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Didn’t it seem as if Brian Daboll went for it when he should have punted and punted when he should have gone for it in Saturday night’s 38-7 NFC Divisional Round loss to the Eagles?

Yes. And both times it backfired on him.

The first tactical decision came on the Giants’ opening drive with the Eagles already leading 7-0. The Giants had third-and-3 at the Eagles’ 35 in what seemed to be four-down territory when Daniel Jones was sacked for a loss of 5. Rather than abandon the aggressive thinking on fourth-and-8 (it was just beyond field-goal range), the Giants tried to convert and Jones was sacked.

“I felt good about the play that we worked on throughout the week,” Daboll said. “We practiced a fair amount of fourth downs. We just didn’t get it done.”  

And the second one?

That was early in the fourth quarter when they were down 28-7. On fourth-and-6 from their own 42 at a point when they needed to score a touchdown to retain even a glimmer of hope for a comeback, Daboll punted.

“They hadn’t scored yet in that half,” he said. “I’m counting on the defense, maybe just from them being so backed up, to maybe get a three-and-out. Then they had a long drive [15 plays capped with a field goal]. We probably could have went for it, but we weren’t executing well enough, so that’s what we did.”  

The Giants’ only touchdown came on a direct snap to Saquon Barkley and a handoff to Matt Breida for an 8-yard run. Was that Barkley’s option?

Sort of. But Barkley made it seem as if he wanted to keep it.

“I have to give credit to Breida,” he said with a rare smile, given the tone of the locker room. “He didn’t give me a choice, he just pulled it. He took it. He grabbed it.”  

The Giants lost three games to the Eagles. When’s the last time they lost three games to any one team in one season?

It never happened before.  

How many straight games have the Giants lost at Philly?

Ten. Their last win there was in 2013. It is their longest losing streak in one stadium in franchise history.  

How lopsided was the 28-0 halftime score?

Well, it was the largest deficit after two quarters in the Giants’ 51-game postseason history. The previous bleakest first half was set on Dec. 31, 1961, when they trailed 24-0 in a 37-0 loss to the Packers in the NFL Championship Game.

  

Sense a trend here that this was an historically unbalanced loss for the Giants?

Yes.  

OK, one more all-timer question. When was the last time the Giants allowed 268 rushing yards in a playoff game, as they did against the Eagles?

You guessed it! Never!

The former mark for most rushing yards allowed in the postseason by the Giants was 246 by the Lions in the NFL Championship Game on Dec. 15, 1935.

By the way, that 268 on Saturday was the most rushing yards allowed by the Giants in any game since the Seahawks ran for 350 on Nov. 9, 2014.

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