A contest between two teams that ccouldn’t afford to lose taking place in inclement weather. Isn’t that what December football is all about?
Well, sometimes. The Tennessee Titans (8-6) dominated the New York Giants, 17-0, to stay alive in the AFC playoff hunt, while the Giants (5-9) saw their slim playoff hoped evaporate into the North Jersey mist.
The game was just as sloppy as the weather, especially for the New York Giants. Big Blue had one major objective coming into the game against the Tennessee Titans and that was to corral running back Derrick Henry who torched Jacksonville last week for 238 yards.
Henry’s size (6-foot-3, 247 pounds) and strength plus the slickness from the rain made him nearly impossible for the Giants to stop. Henry ran through, over and around Giant defenders all day racking up 170 yards, 127 in the first half, and two touchdowns.
The Giants couldn’t muster much offense. An unofficial count recorded six dropped passes in the first half alone on a rainy, raw afternoon for the Giants, who were shut out for the first time this season.
Do they miss Odell Beckham Jr.? I’d say yes, but the way the offense sputtered it’s hard to say how much of a difference he would have made. They could not run the football and the weather pretty much stifled the passing game, so they were dead in the water, to pen a pun.
This was a smashmouth football game in the elements and the Giants were simply manhandled by a more physical team. This is why general manager Dave Gettleman’s goal is to build this team from the inside out. They can’t win in the trenches.
The loss officially eliminated the Giants from the postseason. It is the sixth time in seven seasons they have failed to make the playoffs.
The Giants were shut out at home for the first time since December 13, 2013, when they lost, 23-0, to the Seahawks.
Quarterback Eli Manning (21/44, 229 yards, one interception, one lost fumble) saw many of his passes either miss the mark or slip through his receivers’ hands.
Running back Saquon Barkley (14 rushes, 31 yards; four receptions, 25 yards) was bottled up most of the game. Tennessee did an outstanding job keeping the rookie sensation in check. He was targeted ten times in the passing game.
Tight end Evan Engram (eight catches, 75 yards) led the Giants in receptions.
Linebacker B.J. Goodson led the Giants in tackles with nine. Safety Michael Thomas had the team’s only sack.