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Five Things: Week 11 – Detroit Lions at New York Giants

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The inevitable trap game reared its ugly head as the Giants were convincingly shutdown by the resurgent Detroit Lions and fell to a 31-18 loss. Here are five things that stood out:

Up and Down Jones

With Saquon Barkley essentially a non-factor in this game due to the offensive line’s inability to open up running lanes, it was the first time this season that everything was placed firmly on Daniel Jones’ shoulders, and although it wasn’t helped by a constantly changing offensive line and a lack of rhythm, Jones’ performance was mixed at best.

He completed 27 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown while throwing a season high 44 times and gaining 58 yards on four carries and a rushing touchdown. The blemishes, however, were the two interceptions that he threw, both of which were errors on Jones’s part rather than a miscommunication or due to pressure. After making 153 consecutive passes without throwing a pick, he failed to spot Lions defender Aiden Hutchinson dropping back from the line of scrimmage, who duly accepted the gift to give the Lions an instant red-zone opportunity. His second went to Lions safety Kerby Joseph after he overthrew tight end Lawrence Cager, which, after a runback, resulted in the Lions getting the ball back in the Giants’ half.

Disappointing Defense

With a defensive front consisting of an interior containing two potential pro bowlers in Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, you would expect that the Giants would be able to pressure Lions quarterback Jared Goff enough that he would have to make quick decisions. Unfortunately for the Giants, neither of these things really materialised on what was an off day for the Giants’ defence.

The Giants are dead last in the league for yards per rushing attempt with 5.5 yards, and although their yards per carry were under that mark at 4.3, it didn’t stop the Lions from running all over our defence as they gained 160 yards on 37 carries and four touchdowns. The pass rush was pretty much non-existent too, with Goff only being pressured ten times with seven hurries, three quarterback hits, and zero sacks.

Why Adoree?

When Richie James fumbled two punts in the loss to the Seahawks a few weeks ago, the need for a potential change was clear. However, after a brief camp competition, it was revealed that the replacement would be starting cornerback Adoree Jackson. As you can imagine, there were some eyebrows raised due to the risks associated with putting a key part of the defence at risk.

Well, early in the second quarter, the worst happened. Jackson lined up deep to field a punt and, after pausing for a second, decided to fight for a few more yards. As he was tackled, his knee was twisted under a Lions player, and as the crowd of players dispersed, Jackson stayed down, clearly in pain. He was quickly ushered into the blue tent and was ruled out for the rest of the game with a knee injury. Subsequently, it’s been revealed that it’s an MCL sprain, which will keep the Giants’ number one cornerback out for between four and six weeks.

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Inconsistent Receivers

As previously stated, Jones threw the ball 44 times in this game, setting a season high while also gaining 341 yards. This more pass-heavy attack meant that the focus was on the Giants’ much-criticized wide receiver corps, which was another mixed bag.

  • In a very tongue-in-cheek moment, Kenny Golladay was given a standing ovation for his first of two catches on the day, which tells you all you need to know about the fan’s frustrations with the receiver.
  • Isaiah Hodgins had three catches for 29 yards but had a fumble late in the game that gave the Lions great field position, and the resulting touchdown essentially ended the contest.
  • Wan’Dale Robinson was having a career day with nine receptions for 100 yards before suffering an injury early in the fourth quarter. He was ruled out almost immediately, and it’s since been confirmed that Robinson has torn his ACL and is out for the rest of the season.

Injury Hell

We’ve already touched on Wan’Dale Robinson and Adoree Jackson’s injuries, but there were plenty more in the game that made a considerable impact, and with the Giants now facing a short week before their Thanksgiving game against NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys, they will be hoping that most will return quickly.

  • Leonard Williams left the game in the first quarter and headed into the blue medical tent but returned during the second quarter.
  • Tyre Phillips left the game in the second quarter with a neck injury. He was replaced by Matt Peary and was downgraded to out
  • Jason Pinnock was also injured in the second quarter after making a tackle. He did return but was reinjured in the fourth quarter and did not return.
  • During halftime, Fabian Moreau was ruled out with a rib injury.
  • Near the end of the third quarter, centre Jon Feliciano was replaced by Nick Gates and was later ruled out with a neck injury.