The New York Giants could not follow their ‘keep games close and capitalize on opponents’ fourth-quarter mistakes’ formula on Sunday, falling to the Seattle Seahawks, 27-13. Let’s get to our traditional ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review.
Kudos to …
Nick Gates — It was only five snaps, but the fact that Gates can play football at all is worthy of ‘Kudos.’ The fact that he made an impact as a jumbo tight end, throwing the key block on a Saquon Barkley 1-yard touchdown run, in those five snaps made it even better.
Darius Slayton — Slayton was the only wide receiver Daniel Jones could count on Sunday. He had five catches in six targets for 66 yards. Four of Slayton’s catches resulted in first downs, including a 21-yarder he took out of the hands of a Seattle defender.
Leonard Williams — Big Cat was a force. He had eight tackles, his first sack of the season, a tackle for loss, and five — yes, five — quarterback hits. He pretty much lived in the Seattle backfield.
Tomon Fox — There was a dominant rookie edge defender on the field for the Giants on Sunday. It wasn’t No. 5 overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux. Fox, an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina, tied Williams for the team lead with eight tackles — two for loss — while playing only 27 snaps. Fox has taken advantage of injuries and is forcing his way into the Giants’ defensive plans.
Micah McFadden — Before Sunday, the rookie fifth-round pick had played just four defensive snaps in the previous three weeks — none the past two weeks. He played 27 snaps vs. the Seahawks, and made an impact with his first career sack, four tackles including one for loss, and a quarterback hit.
The Giants made an interesting defensive switch on Sunday, moving Jaylon Smith to the MIKE. That put Tae Crowder at the WILL, and Crowder (just 22 snaps) played less than McFadden.
Jamie Gillan — The left-footed punter had an excellent day. He punted six times, averaging 53.3 yards with a net of 47.7 per punt. He had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line and missed by a whisker of having a mammoth 69-yard punt downed at the 1-yard line. Still, I have to mention a personal pet peeve. Gillan hit one of those rugby-style punts Sunday and I just hate those. Punt the ball like an NFL punter, please.
Wet Willies to …
Richie James — Once upon a time, James was a really nice story for the Giants. Now, after a pair of James fumbles on punt returns led to 10 Seattle points on Sunday, Giants’ Twitter wants him cut. James did have a 42-yard punt return negated by a penalty on Sunday, but he now has three fumbled punts this season and has only six receptions in the past five games. James did end up with a concussion after Sunday’s second fumble.
Tyre Phillips — I have not seen the Pro Football Focus grades, but I did not think Phillips played well at all starting in place of the injured Evan Neal. There were two false starts, and what seemed like a lot of Seattle pass rushers running around Phillips.
Wide receivers not named Slayton — Wan’Dale Robinson had two catches for 15 yards. Marcus Johnson played 56 snaps and produced a single catch for 3 yards. David Sills, who is playing less and less, had a single catch for 5 yards in just 10 snaps. James played four snaps and was not targeted. That’s not nearly enough production to allow the Giants to play good offense against good teams.
Early offense — As they have in most games this season, the Giants started sleepily on offense. They went three-and-out on their first three possessions and had just 46 yards of total offense at halftime. The Giants’ only points came on a 2-yard ‘drive.’ The offense always seems to play with urgency later in the game. They need to find some of that in the early stages.
Kwillies to …
Adoree’ Jackson — Jackson was brilliant on Sunday … until he wasn’t. Jackson set up the Giants’ only first-half point by stripping Tyler Lockett of the ball and recovering at the Seattle 2-yard line. He also had a couple of pass breakups.
But … don’t you hate it when there is a but? For three quarters, Jackson was a hero. Then, well, not a hero. Jackson was victimized by Lockett for the game-winning 33-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, biting hard on a Lockett fake. In truth, he was also victimized by Lockett in the third quarter, but Lockett dropped what should have been a similar 33-yard touchdown pass.