NY Giants squander chance to get back into NFC East race
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants had a chance to be a contender in the mediocre NFC East and squandered it in Philadelphia.
Instead of a two-game winning streak and being a half-game behind Dallas in the NFL’s worst division, the Giants (1-6) have been reduced to a young team struggling to learn how to win under new coach Joe Judge.
The record makes them a potential seller when the NFL trading deadline rolls around on Election Day. They have some talented players about to enter free agency, such as defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who might get sent to a contender looking for help.
The reality is the Giants aren’t going anywhere this season. They have one win and a 1-2 record in the division where Washington (1-5) is the only team they can beat. They are a step below the Cowboys (2-4) and Eagles (2-4-1), but seemingly getting closer.
So getting a couple of extra draft picks for a player who might walk makes sense.
Judge said he has not had too many conversations about potential trades. He plans to use the extra time between games to refresh his team and go over over some mistakes. His goals have not changed.
“We’re going out there to be competitive and win every game every week,” he said. “We’re not racing for some kind of a draft pick, that’s not our priority right now. We’re trying to go out there, we’re trying to win, that’s our goal as an organization.”
It’s a goal that has been hard to attain in 2020.
For all his mistakes and turnovers, quarterback Daniel Jones is a rising star. Sure, social media is trending his 80-yard run, the one that ended when he tripped over his own feet with the end zone 10 yards away and no one near him. It’s getting a lot of laughs. It’s not the story, though.
The sixth pick in the 2019 draft has become a multi-dimensional threat with his arm and legs. He makes the offense go. New York probably would have won Thursday had not tight end Evan Engram dropped a perfect third-down pass near the two-minute warning. It would have given the Giants a first down and a chance to run out the clock.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The two-minute defense is bad. In the last three games, the unit has allowed four touchdowns late in halves. The non-TD was a game-winning field goal in the 37-34 loss to the Cowboys. Opponents would have scored on all six possessions, but Eagles placekicker Jake Elliott missed a chip-shot attempt at the end of the first half.
Carson Wentz made up for it, leading Philadelphia on two long touchdowns drives in the final five minutes for an eighth straight win over New York.
Running back Wayne Gallman. He replaced an injured Devonta Freeman in the second half and ran like he had something to prove. He gained 34 yards on 10 carries and scored a 1-yard touchdown to cap the drive that featured Jones’ long run. He also had five receptions for 20 yards.
A week after being benched for being late for a team meeting the night before the Washington game, left tackle Andrew Thomas struggled in pass protection. Don’t be surprised if the fourth draft pick overall gets benched against the Bucs or he shares playing time with fellow rookie Matt Peart.
Freeman left with an ankle injury. PK Graham Gano tweaked something in his right leg on a fourth-quarter kickoff. Judge had no update on their conditions.
16, 14 and 11 — The size of the leads the Giants lost in their last three games to the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants had a 19-3 lead and lost 25-22 in 2018. They led 17-3 last season and lost 23-17 in overtime. Their advantage was 21-10 with 6:17 to play before the Eagles rallied Thursday night.
The Giants will have to stew on this one until Nov. 2 when Tom Brady and Tampa Bay visit MetLife Stadium for a Monday night game. If there is a positive, New York has always played well against the four-time Super Bowl MVP.
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