Daniel Jones #8 and Evan Engram #88 of the Giants...

Daniel Jones #8 and Evan Engram #88 of the Giants look on in the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac


It’s never good when there are a lot of "sinces" that happen. The Giants totaled 159 offensive yards, their lowest since they gained 150 yards in a 38-0 loss at Carolina on Sept. 22, 2013. Their 81 net passing yards (which takes lost yardage from sacks into account, and there were 64 of those), was their lowest total since they threw for 49 yards in a 13-10 victory against the Dolphins in London on Oct. 28, 2007. The eight sacks allowed was the most since Oct. 20, 2018, when the Cardinals had eight as well. Their 10 first downs were the fewest since they had 10 at New England on Oct. 10, 2019. Hey, at least their miserable time of possession in this game (22:08) was only their second-worst of the season. They had the ball just 20:16 in their loss to the 49ers.


They were put in some unfavorable spots, including three first-half possessions that started on their own side of the field. There were no big glaring plays allowed, but the little ones added up. Kyler Murray picked them apart (24 for 35, 244 yards) and seemed able to sprint for the sticks and convert first downs at will. The touchdown they allowed at the end of the first half looked like Kyler Murray was trying to throw the ball away in the back of the end zone until TE Dan Arnold leaped up and caught it. In a game when the Giants desperately needed a takeaway, the defense could not come up with any.


Too bad they didn’t get any field goals from Graham Gano to curve the grade. Fumbling a kickoff is one of the worst things that can happen and Dion Lewis did it. The Giants allowed 77 yards of punt returns, each of them an adventure. Riley Dixon had been one of the team’s most consistent players at the start of the season but lately has seemingly lost his knack for putting the ball where he wants it to go. Some were straight down the middle of the field – a big no-no for a team that calls itself a directional punting unit – and the one time he did hug the sideline it went just 34 yards and out of bounds at the 50.


I know the Giants liked the matchup outside with Sterling Shepard on the third-and-1 late in the third quarter, but that decision to throw was dubious to say the least and the incompletion basically killed any momentum they’d been able to squeeze from the game at that point. Hand the ball off and pick up the first down and get cute on first-and-10. The Giants put the ball on the ground five times and lost three fumbles, which comes back to fundamentals. We’ll see where Jones is physically this week, but if playing him in the second half on Sunday leads to any hitch in his recovery for next week’s game against the Browns it was a colossally bad decision.

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