The New York Giants have been a surprise contender for a wild card spot in the NFC this season, but it looks like the wheels may finally be falling off for them after their hot start to the season. The Giants have failed to win their last four games, and their Week 14 outing against the Philadelphia Eagles was arguably the worst of their season.
This game figured to be used by the Giants as a measuring stick to see how they stack up against the top team in the NFC this season in the Eagles. It’s safe to say after this 48-22 thrashing that New York doesn’t compare to the Eagles, and it shows that they still have a ton of work to do if they intend on actually making a playoff run this season.
This was a disappointing all around game for the Giants, and there were many guys who were responsible for this loss. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the game and pick out three players (or in this case, position groups) that were most responsible for the loss and see why that is the case.
3. Saquon Barkley
The Giants are at their best when Saquon Barkley is flying around the field both as a runner and a receiver, but over their last few games, Barkley has not looked like himself. He was a game-time decision for this contest due to a neck injury, and based on how he played, and how this game went in general, it would have been better had he just sat this one out.
Barkley was a nonfactor in this one (9 CAR, 28 YDS, 2 REC, 20 YDS) and while some of that was due to the unfavorable game script, this has continued a concerning trend for Barkley. He has averaged 3.6 yards per carry or less over the past four games, which has resulted in three losses and one tie for the Giants.
It’s been said before, and it’s important to say again after another tough loss; Barkley is going to have to be at his best in order for the Giants to win. He hasn’t been very good for them lately, and their offense is faltering as a result. If Barkley can’t break out of his slump, New York’s offense will likely be in some real trouble moving forward.
2. The Giants offensive line
Of course, it’s fair to note that Barkley isn’t getting a ton of help from the rest of the offense. The passing attack, led by Daniel Jones, doesn’t exactly strike fear into their opponents hearts, which is allowing teams to key in on Barkley. And to make matters worse, the offensive line has been absolutely crumbling as of late.
This was another ugly outing for the o-line in pretty much every aspect of the game. As we have seen, Barkley got nothing on the ground, and while New York had 123 total rushing yards on 23 carries, more than half of that production was off of scrambles from Jones and Tyrod Taylor.
Jones and Taylor also received no protection under center, as the Eagles racked up seven total sacks in this game. By the time Taylor took the field, Philly was winning at the line consistently, and it was pretty ugly to watch. The skill players on the Giants haven’t been able to overcome their offensive lines’ struggles, and they simply may not be good enough to do so if this poor play keeps up.
1. The Giants run defense
I try to limit the use of position groups on this list, but considering the blowout nature of this game, it’s very tough to single out just one player from either of these units. The struggles of the run defense does not fall on one single player, and considering how much Philadelphia got on the ground in this game, this whole group deserves blame for the loss.
The Eagles did whatever they wanted on both sides of the ball in this game, and that was very evident when looking at their rushing stats. In total, Philly picked up 253 total yards and four touchdowns on the ground on 31 carries, good for a ridiculous 8.1 yards per carry. Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurts, and Boston Scott all scored, and there was very little resistance for Philadelphia when they ran the football.
This was a horrid all around showing from the Giants defense, but their run defense couldn’t get any stops to give their team a chance to come back in this game. It was total domination from the Eagles, and for New York, it’s clear they have a lot of problems to fix if they want to end up in the playoffs, and fixing their run defense may be chief among their concerns after this outing.