The New York Giants or as I should call them the New York Not So Good at Football Giants, once again lost a football game this week. The Giants went up against the Atlanta Falcons which going into this game, we’re also stuck at zero wins. The outcome was for one of these teams to break their losing streaks and it was the Falcons who decided to take the opportunity in MetLife Stadium. The game began with three key injuries to Blake Martinez, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard. All of these players were ruled out of the game minutes after getting injured, leading to an increased role in certain positions. For example, Collin Johnson a fifth-round selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars finished the game with five catches for fifty-one yards. To help replace the tackling machine, Blake Martinez on defense, Tae Crowder collected a total of four tackles and assisted in seven tackles. On a beautiful and sunny day, where thousands of fans came in with a positive attitude to celebrate one of the Giants greats, Eli Manning. All that positivity fizzled out into complete hopelessness and displeasure as Big Blue was unable to put points on the board against a defense that let up 32 points in week one against our NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Eli Manning Ring of Honor Ceremony
The negativity of this New York team was especially shown at halftime when a barrage of hatred rained down on Giants owner John Mara during the appreciation and Ring of Honor ceremony for Eli Manning. The booing towards the Giants owner was so loud and overwhelming that even Manning was trying to get the crowd to quiet down as he prepared to deliver a quick, but defining speech. He exclaimed the heartwarming words blaring throughout the speakers at MetLife “Wellington Mara said, 'Once a Giant, always a Giant.' I'm glad I'm only a Giant."
Manning also recreated his two very famous super bowl passes to David Tyree and Mario Manningham who were both in attendance for the special occasion. These words by the Giants Ring of Honor member lead to cheers and some tears from Giants fans all while the team trailed by one.
The second half started with a somewhat bland quarter and no points from either side. The fourth quarter is where the game got interesting, starting with a Giants touchdown. Saquon Barkley, who had just over fifty yards rushing in the entirety of Sunday’s game, scored his first touchdown of the season on a one-yard run where he practically levitated over the offensive and defensive line. The last touchdown scored by Barkley was on December 29, 2019. This gave the Giants a five-point lead but surprisingly (keyword because the giants are never risky with play-calling) offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and head coach Joe Judge gave Daniel Jones the chance to make it a touchdown and extra point lead. To shortly state what happened, he succeeded. Jones on an interesting play call, to say the least, was able to break a tackle and coast his way into the end zone for two.
Now could this Giants team stop Matt Ryan and this Falcons offense from tying the game? The short answer is no. On what was an almost nine-minute drive that lasted fifteen plays, the Atlanta Falcons made their way into the endzone and evened up the scoreboard. Surprisingly after this drive, the Giants still had a really good chance of winning this football game. After only seven plays that totaled twenty-five yards, Atlanta was sitting with the ball with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game in their hands. The difference between these two teams, one of them knew how to take advantage of mistakes. So, with a twenty-eight-yard play from Matt Ryan to Cordarrelle Patterson and a twenty-five-yard pass to Kyle Pitts, the game slipped out of the Giants reach. Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo nailed and a forty-yard field goal and called the game.
This was the second game in a row the New York Giants lost on a game-winning field goal. Some calls went against the team throughout the game but also dropped balls on defense. Most notably was by Adoree’ Jackson in the endzone and a costly fumble by Evan Engram on offense. At this point, the news isn’t getting any better for the team either. Giants linebacker Blake Martinez who was injured in the first quarter of Sunday’s game has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. There are also the same remarks from head coach Joe Judge as fans saw and heard throughout the entirety of last season and so far this season. As Giants fans know he isn’t able to say much but the notes he alludes to about being better and improving have not been seen on the field. In his introductory press conference, Joe Judge stated, “We're going to put a product on the field that the people of this city and region are going to be proud of because this team will represent this area. We will play fast, we will play downhill, we will play aggressive. We will punch you in the nose for 60 minutes, we will play every play like it has a history and a life of its own, with a relentless, competitive attitude. We will play fundamentally sound, we will not beat ourselves.” Right now, this 0-3 Giants team, whoever fans blame for issues on the field, I can say with certainty that this quote above doesn’t represent the team I have been watching this season.