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Grading the Giants in NFL Week 12 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Austin Johnson of the Giants reacts after a

Austin Johnson of the Giants reacts after a defensive play against the Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac


The fact that the Giants won the turnover battle 4-0 — plus had two turnovers on downs — and they still almost lost the game falls entirely on the offense. They gained just 264 yards, scored just one touchdown, and were unable to close out the win in the fourth quarter when a drive stalled at the Eagles’ 16 (a false start by Matt Skura pushed them back from a third-and-2 there and led to a field goal) and they went three-and-out using just 23 seconds of clock after getting the ball off a fumble with 1:34 remaining. The only thing saving them from failing is that they did not turn it over themselves. Had they, it would likely have been a very different day for the Giants as a whole.


If there is one thing this defense has done consistently well this season, it is force turnovers — they have at least one in all 11 games this year and at least one in an NFL-best 13 straight games going back to last season — and all four of theirs on Sunday were needed. They gave up plenty of yards (332), including 208 on the ground and 77 to quarterback Jalen Hurts, but that was their trade-off in getting him to throw the ball (17.5 passer rating with three picks). They did a great job closing out the two halves with Tae Crowder’s interception on third-and-goal from the 1 on the final play of the first as an underrated play, then Dexter Lawrence’s forced fumble with 1:34 left in the game before the final stand (helped by Jalen Reagor’s two drops in or near the end zone).


Riley Dixon has been kicking well of late and had a nice one that went out of bounds at the 7 in the second quarter, but when they needed a big boot from him after going three-and-out in the final minutes, he seemed to mis-hit a wobbly 38-yarder. The bad kick was compounded by an 8-yard return (the Giants were max protecting the punt, so had no gunners). Graham Gano missed a 51-yard field-goal attempt but connected from 35 and 39 in a game in which every point mattered.


Joe Judge did a good job of keeping the players and remaining coaches invested in the short week of preparation after the jarring departure of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. It didn’t make that big of a difference in terms of the production but they certainly took their shots with their playmakers. Hurts had thrown just five interceptions all year but defensive coordinator Patrick Graham knew if they made him throw it enough, they could force interceptions. With two of their top three cornerbacks out in the second half with injuries (Adoree’ Jackson and Darnay Holmes) the Giants had to rely on younger, less-experienced players and still managed to execute the game plan.

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