Years from now statistical historians will look at Daniel Jones’ line, see four touchdown passes and a 121.7 rating, and think, “Wow, the kid was sharp!” They’ll be wrong. Jones continues to struggle with ball security, as evidenced by the inadvertent handoff he gave to Jets safety Jamal Adams for a touchdown. He fumbled one other time and nearly ended the game on an incompletion that was a fingertip away from being another fumble. He was also sacked six times. Of course, those same historians will also see that Saquon Barkley ran for 1 yard on 13 carries and assume there was a computer glitch that invalidated the boxscore.
Whatever was ailing Sam Darnold and the Jets’ offense, the Giants defense was the elixir for it. Darnold went from seeing ghosts to burning the Giants like toast. The Giants allowed touchdown drives on the first two possessions, then the final 13 points of the game. One touchdown came on awful missed tackle attempts by Alec Ogletree and Antoine Bethea, another was set up by a 33-yard pass interference flag against DeAndre Baker. They had two sacks, but could not come away with any takeaways from what had been a sloppy Jets offense.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
Pro Bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas missed a kick for the fourth game in a row, which is certainly cause for concern. This time it was a 43-yard extra point that came after the Giants were flagged for offensive pass interference on a two-point try. When the Giants needed a big kickoff return midway through the fourth after the Jets went ahead 34-27, Corey Ballentine brought it out only to the 17. Punter Riley Dixon put one punt out of bounds at the 7 in the fourth quarter and had another bounce inside the 5 that had a chance to be downed but wound up as a touchback.
Pat Shurmur played just about every card in his hand this week, from eliminating that distracting music during practices to leaning heavily on the “urgency” aspect, which is an NFL code word for job security. None of it worked. The Giants came out flat and finished flat, which is a bad recipe for a coach. The defense can’t figure out how to get off the field on big third downs, which falls on James Bettcher. Not all of Shurmur’s decisions were awful. He should expect his team to pick up what was essentially an inch on fourth down late in the first half (they were stuffed on a QB sneak) and he was probably right to use his timeouts in the fourth quarter the way he did, hoping to give himself more than four minutes to score the potentially tying touchdown on offense. The Giants just couldn’t get the ball moving to make that pay off.