8 Sacks

I just get through praising the Giants for developing their rookies after the Patriots game, and now this. The Giants went from a “Good Loss” to a “Bad Loss” in literally one game.

So why is the 27-21 loss to Arizona a Bad Loss?


It is time to quote Joe Gibbs (paraphrased) once again: “I will not throw the ball unless I can block it up.”

Or this simple quote: “We are supposed to be watching the QBs and protecting them.”

Pat Shurmur is too busy with his head up his a** calling (lousy) plays to be bothered with the Head Coaching responsibility of not killing your QB. To be fair to me now, last week I also reminded everyone that until Shurmur gave up playcalling, there would be an inability for this franchise to move forward with him at the helm. Last October, almost a year ago to the day, I called Shurmur a loser. When you sit idly by watching your QB take 8 sacks, you are now in David Carr negligence land. Wake. The. ****. Up. Help your QB. Help your OL.

A Coach cannot let a new QB get pummeled like this. I know some of you are blaming Jones for this. Jones has enough poise and enough fight that he will take 30 sacks if he thinks he can hold onto that ball a little longer to get a Win. That is the mindset of a rookie. The head coach has to know better. The reason why I supported going to Jones was because I believed that the OL would not be so bad to turn him into David Carr. Well, when you playcall and allow your QB to get sacked 8 times (and I am not counting all of the knockdowns), that is on the coach.

I think I saw one screen pass called and it was a miserable failure. Frankly, if I had to practice the screen all week (oh btw, did we mention the Giants had 10 days to get ready for the 30th ranked Defense of the Cardinals??), that would be an acceptable use of the team’s time. Let’s remind everyone, when you have a liability in your pass blocking, use

  • 3 step dropbacks
  • limited 5 step dropbacks
  • flares
  • RB/TE chips
  • max protect
  • screens
  • design rollouts
  • draws
  • MORE screens

anything to slow down the pass rush. Help your QB regain rhythm. Chandler Jones had 4 sacks by himself. Blame Daniel Jones all you want for holding onto the ball too long. He has lost his clock and needs to be helped. It is the Head Coach’s and the Offensive Coordinator’s job to help him. But those two people are one and the same Pat Shurmur.

I am not a big Francesa lover. He’s a pompous a** too often. But in this moment, because of his bias against the Giants leadership, he at least can offer a candid and brutal assessment

If you watch the coach’s press conference after another terrible performance you understand why the Giants are a gift 2-5 ( should be 1-6) and why he is a career loser. He is clueless.

Some gems from the Presser (with my comments in italics)…

Q: What has been your impression on (Jones) up until this point?

Oh really? Is that the best you got? He is regressing, you are allowing him to get crushed, and that’s what you have… yes, Mike, he is clueless.
Q: Were you surprised the offensive line had a tough time with their group?

A: I don’t know if I was surprised. We’ll go back and look at why it happened. They’ve got some really good players up front. We face good players every week.

You’re kidding right? If you weren’t surprised, then why did you let your QB get the snot beat out of him? Why did you sit idly by while he was exposed to unnecessary hits and too many opportunities for turnovers? Why weren’t you adjusting? 

Q: You’re 0-4 on those (challenges of pass interference), you know they probably won’t get overturned, so why do you continue to do it?

A: Because I think it still makes sense in situations like that, where those are large chunks of yardage to give it a shot.

Wake up. They are not overturning anything on pass interference. Are you stupid? Or just insane?

Q: Does anything about Daniel’s play today concern you?

A: No, just try to get him better on the things that didn’t go well for him, that’s all.

Just clueless.

If you think Mike Francesa or I am biased about the Giants Head Coach, let’s go to Linda Cohn of ESPN, who is certainly evenhanded and no coach-killer…

I have yet to hear Pat Shurmur admit he’s made a mistake. He’s had plenty to admit since becoming Giants head coach. Every decision he makes was the right one according to him.

Afterwards, Kimberly Jones recounts the exchange about whether Daniel Jones’ play is concerning to him, and Shurmur’s response, “No.” Nothing? “No.” To which Cohn replies: “I rest my case.”

Look in the mirror. Take some responsibility. Wake up to what you are doing to your QB. Wake up to the fact that you are hurting the team by remaining as the playcaller. Losers lose. This is a rebuilding year. Against other rebuilding teams like the Cardinals you have to beat the competition. Shurmur beat himself.

I was thinking the Jets game would be a win, but watching Darnold come back from mono and how he energized the team gives me pause. Consider that the Giants have to face DET DAL NYJ CHI GB PHL…. they may lose the next 6 games if they are not careful. Even if they beat the Jets (not a given) they would be 3-10. But that is what it is looking like when your franchise’s head coach is not a head coach.

Giants Glass More Than Half Full

There are four types of games you see from a team:

Good Win.

Bad Win.

Good Loss.

Bad Loss.

Before the Thursday Night Football game between the NY Giants and the New England Patriots was played, it had all the markings of a “bad loss.” Hell, if you didn’t watch the game and just looked at the final score (35-14), you’d be even more convinced that it was an ugly bad loss.

That would be mistaken.

This game was a Good Loss, if there ever was one. In fact, it was a Great Loss. How can losing ever be good, let alone great?? The answer is in how you compete.

Let’s roll back to the play of the game. There is 8:33 left on the clock in Q4. The Giants have the ball. They are down one score, 21-14. Of the 21 points the Patriots have scored, one TD was off of a punt block and another off of an INT from 20 yards out. The Defense, in short, was playing its a** off. This game was a far cry from the misery (bad losses) we witnessed at the beginning of the season.

So with 8:33 left the Giants hand the ball off to rookie UFA RB Jonathan Hilliman, and <poof> fumble. Van Noy scoops up the ball, scampers in the remaining 22 yds, game over. Hilliman graced the Gmen with 2 fumbles in 3 games as a backup signee when Barkley/Gallman went down. He was cut Friday. Hilliman was not part of the Giants 2019 rebuild.

Do not get distracted by Hilliman’s awful turnover or the result of the game. The Giants were without Evan Engram. The Giants were without Saquon Barkley. The Giants were without Sterling Shepard. Freak out all you want about Daniel Jones’ 3 INTs, but that’s a mistake. Jones had zero run game. He had Tate and the promising rookie Darius Slayton. That’s it. The Giants played toe to toe with the Super Bowl Champions and they competed. They fought. They forced two turnovers on downs. Even with 2 sloppy TDs allowed, they were within one score of the Pats. In all, 3 of 5 TDs allowed were not on the Defense. Since the Offense was decimated, it was all the more reason to see the effort differently, as each Unit was (theoretically) unable to help the other. Time of possession (39 min for NE) was one macro statistic which demonstrated how the loss of key Offensive personnel hurt not one but both Units. For the Giants to be in the game at the time of Hilliman’s fumble is impressive.

Rebuilding means getting rookies meaningful snaps. There was an interesting article in USA Today which runs through Football Moneyball. Great read. Shout out to Bruce R for the assist. I could spend many posts talking about the conclusions from a workup on VAMP. I will mention one here- the way the CBA works, you need to leverage your rookie contracts to gain a strategic edge in managing cap resources. Teaching, coaching, developing and playing younger players is the way to get better in a hurry. Daniel Jones (243 snaps), Dexter Lawrence (238 snaps), Deandre Baker (365 snaps), Oshane Ximines (227 snaps) and Darius Slayton (19 targets) are getting meaningful game time, which bodes well for their collective future as well as that of the Giants.

Miscellaneous random comments:

  • Dixon’s punting motion is too slow
  • Dexter Lawrence is on an incredible trajectory to become All-Pro quickly (Year 2 or Year 3)
  • The challenge for Pass Interference is a phantom reserved for Saints muggings only
  • (Barring major sustained injuries in his career) Daniel Jones is a franchise QB
  • I said it here last November, repeating, Shurmur is not the answer (give up playcalling and then we can potentially revisit that)
  • Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter were two keys to the season, and both made impact plays Thurs night (uncoincidentally, another key, Engram’s health, worked the opposite way)
  • When we pan the decision to take Barkley at 1.02 overall while he’s literally #1 on our draft board, understand Positional Value (see link above) and injuries. Love the player, love the man, but RB is not how you win titles.
  • Darius Slayton is going to be special. Despite missing a lot of camp, 3 preseason games + Weeks 1-2, he’s making a lot of plays. He got some schooling in NE, but that’s great.

Summary: Great effort, close game. The Giants fought hard w/o a lot of core personnel. The Final Score is misleading. The Giants are not going to make the playoffs this season, but they are competing. Rookie playing time augers for increased competitiveness in 2020 and 2021.

NYG 32 TB 31

Other than Solder’s sacks, there is no way we could have scripted Daniel Jones’s debut any better. He’s got poise, accuracy, solid mechanics, versatility, and he’s a fighter. It’s a rebuilding year because the Defense is awful. Nonetheless, the Giants have a QB. Enjoy the win. Don’t you dare complain about the turnovers. We saw nice rookie plays/contributions from Ximines, Lawrenceville, Slayton and Connelly. And a QB named Jones.

2019 NY Giants Season Preview and Forecast

The wait is over. 2019 Football is here!

Everyone wants to know what to expect this season from the NY Giants. We have quoted Steve Young, who said that “September is the new preseason.” The NFL in 2019 is a league where starters are rested through the preseason ever more frequently. Saquon Barkley did not play a single snap in 4 preseason games! While we understand the mission is to safeguard versus injury/extend the player’s shelf life, we also must admit that there are more unknowns. September is about shedding the rust and giving clarity on which teams are real for October through December.

Are the Giants a real team? No, they are not. If you think they are, run to the nearest Sports Book because they are giving money away with an Over of 6 wins. It is a sobering reminder of what is taking place to this franchise in 2019… they are rebuilding. The roster has 5 new starters on Offense and 6 new starters on Defense. Some of the transplants, like Zeitler and Peppers, will be fine. It is others (..rookies) that will get tested by fire. We were very high on Dexter Lawrence out of the Draft, but even we would expect the rookie Nose Tackle to get swallowed up on Sunday vs guys like Martin and Frederick. Please do not judge this kid harshly for at least the first 8 games, if not the whole year. That position is in the trenches and is a meat grinder.

So who are the players we will be watching to measure the team’s chances at success this season? There are 4 of them I will be watching closely:

  1. WLB Lorenzo Carter. The word is that Carter can really blossom in his second season. How about explode?! The Giants Defense is a project. The Secondary is going to have massive growing pains. The LBers are inconsistent at best. If Carter can notch 10+ sacks this year (he had 4 in limited snaps last year) he will do his part to keep the team competitive and allow other players to see easier matchups.
  2. SLB Markus Golden. Right now Golden is behind Martin on the depth chart. That is a negative. We need the old Golden pre ACL injury to come back and be a force in the pass rush. It is a lottery ticket, but then you can see why the Giants are at 6 Wins for the O/U.
  3. RT Mike Remmers. Remmers is another injury patch job from Minnesota. Shurmur knows him. The Giants need Remmers to be healthy and serviceable. Otherwise he will be the weakest link on the OL. His backup is Chad Slade. Good luck with that.
  4. TE Evan Engram. My confidence in Engram to stay healthy for 16 games is about as high as … that Over/Under line. So what’s it gonna be, Evan? As a first round draft pick, if you can’t play you can’t help this team. To date, Engram has had ability, but not consistent availability. The Giants had a mini-renaissance at the end of last season when Engram started. In the last 4 games of the season (post OBJ injury), Engram saw half of his season’s output in terms of completions and yardage. The Giants need him to line up wide and present opposing Defenses with a deep threat. They need him for all 16 games.

Can Carter explode? Can Golden return to form and rush the passer? Can Remmers stay healthy and remain serviceable? Can Engram contribute meaningfully for 16 games? I do not know the answers to these questions. If you do, please tell us! Maybe after the first 3 games we will get a better sense of these answers.

What is the bullish argument? If the answer to 3 or all 4 questions is yes, that will be indicative of a good year. The Over should coast. If we get a 0 or a 1, bet the Under.

It is important not to get too bearish on this season. The Giants play against Washington twice, Miami, Buffalo, NY Jets, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Detroit. All 8 of those games are up for grabs. Keep in mind that those teams are looking at playing against the Giants as a “Win” too. Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.

Last season the O/U was 8 wins. I predicted 7-9. Wonder was at 6-10. They finished at 5-11. This year I predict 7-9 again and Wonder is at 6-10. Don’t get too bullish because they are rebuilding. Don’t get too bearish because the schedule is very weak. Go Giants. Rebuilding means getting a lot of young players to develop. 2020 looks pretty good. 2019 can look good as a stepping stone if the Defense gets its footing and the OL controls the line of scrimmage.

I will not be doing weekly recaps this season. Find me on Twitter.