Giants lay another egg!
Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
This Sunday night primetime contest between the Browns and Giants was the most predictable game of the weekend. I don’t know why the spread was not double digits. I predicted it as a 15-point loss and it was a 14-point loss. (it would have been a 15-point loss not for a Parkey missed extra point). With both Bradberry and Holmes out I knew Mayfield would have a field day finding the holes in the zone defense. I also knew Landry would have a big game without Bradberry going step for step with him. He had 7 catches on 8 targets for 61 yards and a touchdown.
The key for the game that the Giants did not generate a pass rush all game. Mayfield had 3 and 4 seconds at times to place the ball. When Baker is comfortable he has his best games. If you can pressure him all game he will fold to the heat. He used his usual roll outs to find the open man. He was only sacked once by the Giants. They were also loading up the box to stop the Browns run game. However, they did not have to run because the completed passes came so easy. The Browns ran in the 4thquarter to end the game. Eight different Browns’ players caught at least 1 pass. Mayfield finished the game 27 completions on 32 passes for 297 yards, 9.3 YPA, and 2 touchdowns, and a 126.2 QB rating.
Cris Collinsworth even mentioned that the Giants don’t have a dominant edge rusher. He said they can bring pressure up themiddle with a good front four. I don’t need to reiterate what I have written in these pages over the past years, The Reader’s Digest version is that the Giants could have picked Daniel Jones at the 17th pick. If Gettleman was worried that he wouldn’t be there (which he would be), he had 11 more picks to move up. I would have grabbed edge rusher Josh Allen at 6. I thought when he moved back into the first round, he was going to take an offensive tackle. Taylor, Little and Ford were still on then board. If he did he could have grabbed the edge rusher at 4 this year. Or ideally trade down to a team that wanted to leapfrog the Dolphins and Chargers for Herbert and Tua.
Let’s look at the game flow for this matchup. On the opening kickoff Dion Lewis took it to the Cleveland 48. The Giants get a great start. They get a first and 10 at the Browns 13. They stall on a 4 and 5 at the 8-yard line. Judge is aggressive and tries a trick play with Dixon throwing a pass to center Nick Gates. Gates draws 3 defenders and it is incomplete. I would have kicked the field goal and take a lead. However, if you are going to go for it I would have left the offense on the field and use the skill players not players who are not used to handling the ball.
The Browns go from their own 8-yard line to the Giants 43. On a 4th and 2 they decide to go for it. Mayfield threw an incomplete pass. The Giants takeover. They get a big 35-yard pass to Slayton but they stall on the Browns 19-yard line on a 4th and 11. Gano kicks a 37-yard field go to go ahead 3-0.
The Browns go on a 75-yard, 13 play, 6:41 minute drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown to Hooper. The Browns are up 7-3 with less than 3 minutes gone in the 2nd quarter. The Giants go on their best drive of the game. The Giants go 67 yards in 7 minutes to the Browns 6-yard line. Once again on 4th and 2 from the Browns 6-yard line, Gallman only gets 1 yard, and the Gmen turn it overon downs. On missed opportunities the Giants could be up 17-7.
The Browns go on one of their longer drives of the day. It is 10 plays, 95 yards, that took only 4:55 minutes. Baker threw 6 passes as he sliced the Giants zone coverage with a Ginsu knife. Landry got a 15-yard taunting penalty after the touchdown that was assessed on the extra point. Parkey of “Double Doink” fame with the Bears in the famous missed field goal that would have won the playoff game, does a doink again hitting the right upright making it Browns 13-3 at the half.
The number 3 rushing attack spearheaded by Chubb and Hunt did not have to do much in the first half. Mayfield with little pressure was 17 of 19 passes for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. He had a 139.5 rating at that point! McCoy on the other hand was 6 of 12 passes completed for 91 yards.
To start the third quarter both teams trade possessions. Then the Browns put on a clinic 95-yard drive from their own 5-yard line. They got all the way to first and goal to the 6th and Chubb scores but there is a clipping penalty. Now it is first and goal from the 21-yard line, no problem. Higgins caught a 17-yard pass to the 4-yard line. Then there is a false start by Wills bringing the ball back to the 9-yard line, still no problem. Baker throws an 8-yardpass to the one, and Chubb runs it in on the next play making it 20-3, game over.
Next, the teams trade possessions. The Giants get it back at their own 23-yard line. McCoy is having success throwing the ball underneath the soft prevent defense. They get all the way to the Browns 21-yard line. On 4th and 5, Judge now decided to kick a field goal to make it Browns 20-6. It is a horrible decision. The Giants are not going to score 2 quick touchdowns in the last 4 minutes to tie the game. There is not enough time left! Judge should have kicked the field goal to start the game but not now. He got it backwards. The game was over here and 20-6 was then final. McCoy was able to pad his stats in garbage time. He had 120 yards in the 4th quarter and 83 on the long drive vs the prevent defense. In the other 3 quarters he only threw for 101 yards total.
With this loss and the Giants still a game behind Washington, the Giants need to win the next two games and have Washington win just one more game so they can both tie at 7-9 and the Giants have then tiebreaker for the division. Unfortunately, this fairy tale is not going to happen since they play the Ravens this week.
The Giants as I have said in the past play better on the road. This loss brings their home record to 6-17 since the start of the 2018 season.