The Giants were clearly not the better team today, but with a few breaks, and maybe a better play call or two, they might have actually stolen this game. Jones missing Shepard on the first drive for an easy touchdown would just be the start of things being so close, yet so far, all game. Peppers broke up a touchdown drive with a fumble on the goal line, and Pat Shurmur decided that was the best time for the most vanilla play call of all-time, even without a starting running back (or even second string RB with Gallman out). The safety in the end zone not only gave the Vikings points, but it put the tired defense right back onto the field, and it gave the Vikings another scoring drive with almost no time on the clock.
Everything after that was pretty much irrelevant. The offensive line kept Daniel Jones from every getting an honest chance in the red zone, and Jones compounded that with rookie mistakes in close chances. Sterling Shepard had a couple more touchdown looks, but he just wasn’t tall or wide enough to make either catch in the end zone. Golden Tate showed he wants the ball, but didn’t get many chances with it.
Flags were another huge part of the downfall today. Giants had a sack that was taken away due to Jackrabbit Jenkins with a light tug on a Minny wideout. Holding on a couple of late runs. A few other defensive flags come to mind, but I’m writing this without any notes.
In the end, this Giants team is rebuilding, and there were a lot of positives, but I’m still in the moment thinking about all the blown opportunities. Having Saquon Barkley back will change everything, as he and Daniel Jones have only played together something like eight snaps this season, but right now the Giants need to tighten up everywhere. Oh yeah, that Baker flag for taunting after he made a great tackle. Boneheaded.
Giants are 2-3 with Tom Brady waiting on Thursday. Barkley playing would give me some hope, but right now I would guess G-men are going to be 2-4 for about ten days.
GIANTS 3 STARS OF THE GAME
* Darius Slayton (1st Career TD, and grows on me more every time he’s targeted.)
** Jabrill Peppers (His first hit of the game where he blew up two guys was just a taste of what he brought the first half.)
*** Dexter Lawrence (Another sack from the big man.)