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Giants report card: This defense was unacceptable

Grades from the Giants’ 28-27 loss to the Colts on Sunday:

Offense

Given that he did not have much of a running game to lean on, Eli Manning (25-of-33, 309 yards) did about as much as he could. He was on-target all day and even called his own number on a QB sneak for a touchdown. Sterling Shepard (6-113) was huge in the first half, but limited to only one catch in the second. TE Evan Engram (6-87) caught all six passes thrown his way. Not the best showing from Saquon Barkley (21-43, 1 TD rushing, 5-34 receiving), who did not seem as decisive as he usually is and needed to get out of bounds on final series. Pass protection (no sacks) was excellent.

Grade: B+

Defense

The Colts piled on 21 second-half points and marched down the field for the game-winning touchdown. Rinse and repeat. Cannot beat Andrew Luck (31 of 47, 357 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) with such limited pressure on him (one sack). CB Janoris Jenkins committed a crushing holding penalty on T.Y. Hilton late in the third quarter that canceled out a sack-fumble and turnover on Luck. Rookie LB Tae Davis struggled in coverage and CB B.W. Webb was called for a rough pass interference penalty. Safety Curtis Riley looked like a receiver getting both feet down in the end zone after hauling in a second-quarter interception.

Grade: C-

Special teams

In a pressure situation, Riley Dixon late in the fourth quarter got off a 52-yard punt from the back of his own end zone and recently activated Cody Latimer came up with a solid tackle, limiting the return to only 5 yards. Aldrick Rosas went 2 for 2 on field goals, hitting from 40 and 27 yards away. Corey Coleman’s one kick return went for only 16 yards.

Grade: B+

Coaching

Pat Shurmur got creative in the first half, getting the ball to Engram and Coleman on designed running plays. Would like to see more screens to Barkley, though. James Bettcher does not want to gamble too much on defense as far as applying pressure, and as a result the pass-rush is negligible. He is missing too many key players to make it work for four quarters.

Grade: B

Original article: https://nypost.com/2018/12/23/giants-report-card-this-defense-was-unacceptable/

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