The good run for the New York Giants ended yesterday, on a rainy afternoon where the weather played a part in the Giants just not being able to get anything going on offense. It wasn’t a bad defensive game, with the Titans putting up 17 points. But obviously, the team that scores more points wins, and if you don’t put up any points, you have no chance of winning. The Giants couldn’t even manage a field goal and fans were reminded of some of the season’s earlier games, before the team’s form reversed in the second half of the season.
Odell Beckham Jr. was absent from the game because of injury, and that could be one of the reasons behind the lackluster offensive performance. But one can’t blame the loss entirely on that. Despite throwing for 229 yards, Eli Manning didn’t play well in general and couldn’t connect on big passes that would make the difference between the team scoring or getting shut out.
Several times, Manning would throw past the first down marker and it either wouldn’t reach the receiver or the pass was broken up by the Titans defensive backs. Other times, the play was interrupted before an open receiver could be found, with Manning getting sacked three times and getting pressured on other plays and escaping without losing yards on them.
His 54% completion rate doesn’t look good at all on paper next to Marcus Mariota’s 70%, but to Manning’s credit, Mariota only attempted 20 passes while Manning threw 44 and completed 21.
The ground game wasn’t much better either. Saquon Barkley entered the game trying to stay alive in the race for the NFL’s rushing title, but couldn’t find his form against a good defense on a day with rough conditions. The rain seemed to affect everyone, but the Giants offense suffered particularly. Barkley finished the day with only 31 rushing yards on 14 attempts. It’s not his finest game, and the result could cost him a rare shot at becoming the league’s top rusher in his rookie season.
With the loss, the Giants fall to 5-9. They’re three games away from meeting the Cowboy’s eight wins, and with only two games left in the season, they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. It’s something nobody is quite happy about, but now that it’s been made official, the Giants can shift focus to evaluation and give more playing time to some of their younger players such as Kyle Lauletta, who the team will need to make some decisions on for 2019.
The Giants being officially knocked out of the playoffs was something that was expected to happen a long time ago. But fortunately, there’s only two games left in this season, and it won’t be long before the focus changes to rebuilding.
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