The good, bad, and more from the 24-13 loss to the Giants.
1. Effort. At 3-10, the team DID come out with energy and they made the game a scrap from the outset.
2. Defense. One of the better days of the year until the “Odell Beckham Jr. Show” in the 4th quarter. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter, the Skins had only given up 10 pts and 101 yards. The defense did a great job against the run all day long and came with two 4th and short stops. Ryan Clark had a few positive plays including the stop on Beckham’s 4th and 1 run. Clark has been awful in pass coverage all year long but has been decent in the run-game. Trent Murphy is very good against the run.
3. RG3’s confidence. He played with a level of confidence we haven’t seen this year. He was far from perfect but when he was put in good situations, he excelled. The best situations for him are early-down play-action throws and bootlegs. While he struggled at times from the pocket on obvious passing downs (some of that because of poor pass protection), he did make some very good throws from the pocket including the 3rd and 6 to Roberts from deep in their own territory where he appeared to go through his entire progression before coming back to Roberts at the end. That was easily one of the best 3rd-down pocket throws he’s made this year. He made some good quick decisions which resulted in some big plays for Thompson and Redd out of the backfield. The 3rd and 3 throw to Redd on the final drive of the first half was decisive and the right play. I loved the off-schedule plays he made with his feet especially the run in the 3rd quarter which ended with a late-hit penalty out of bounds. He kept pumping the ball while on the run which was yes, Aaron Rogers-esque. His willingness to make a play today was impactful. The negatives continue to be holding onto the ball until receivers are open rather than throwing receivers open. Additionally, he still doesn’t seem very excited about keeping the ball on read-option plays even when it’s the correct read. His first series included a RO play that looked like a 10+ yard run if he kept it instead of leaving it with Silas Redd.
4. Breeland’s future as a cover corner. Ok…I get that it wasn’t a smooth day for Breeland. He was called for 5 penalties and got beat once or twice for sure. With that said, he was matched up at times with one of the best young receivers in the league (Beckham Jr.) and he was right there most of the day. He made a great play on a 3rd and 7 against Randall in the 2nd qtr and another on Beckham Jr in the end zone. At least one of those penalties (the P.I. on a ball that was uncatchable) was a horrible call. I like the way he plays and I liked a lot of the plays he made today.
1. Head coaching loss. Jay Gruden had a bad day. It began with the decision to activate just 2 QBs when his starter was far from a lock to make it through the game physically. Even before McCoy reinjured his neck, his throws were inaccurate and lacked any zip whatsoever including the first play of the game where the ball was lobbed out to Jackson. Gruden’s team lacked discipline from the start where Breeland got the first of his 5 penalties on the first snap of the game. The Skins committed a total of 10 penalties for 135 yards including 30 of those on the end-of-half debacle where Gruden’s team came unglued on what turned out to be a correct call. His play-calling on the final two drives of the game where he asked RG3 to throw from the pocket exclusively was recipe for failure. He knows it, the team knows it, and Griffin knows it too. Not one screen was called with the Giants pinning their ears back and coming hard. And then, the final drive. Wow! Can’t remember the last time I saw a team down 11 pts with 1:30+ in the game quit. Gruden threw in the towel. I thought it was disgraceful. He said he thought Griffin may have been banged up so he decided to run the clock out. As it turned out, Griffin was fine.
2. Red zone offense. The Skins got there 4 times and scored one TD.
3. EJ Biggers. He can’t cover.
4. Penalties. 10 for 135 yards cost them.
5. Sp Teams. Another big return allowed. Parker’s 45-yd kickoff return set up the Giants first-half TD. There was also another penalty on Sp Teams. They lead the league in those. There was also a near disaster on a dropped punt snap by Tress Way.
1. The RG3 touchdown at the end of the first half overturned by replay was correctly called according to Mike Pereira on FOX. It was also a play that was an all-or-nothing play. When he decided to run, it was either TD or likely nothing. The clock ran out on the play although it looked like there should’ve been one second left. Even with a second left, the play resulted in a touchback. Meantime, Gruden said he didn’t know Griffin had lost control of the ball before crossing the goal line and he also said he didn’t know that Moss had been ejected. Why wasn’t this communicated to him from the coaches’ booth?
2. I didn’t have a problem w/Gruden accepting the offsides penalty against NY at the end of the first half. It was a decision between 2nd & goal at the NY 2 OR 1st and goal at the NY 4. I prefer the extra down vs the 2 yards in that spot.
3. Giants did a nice job by catching 2 punts inside the Skins’ 10.
4. There were two horrible calls that went against the Skins. The P.I. called on Breeland in the 3rd quarter was brutal. They also missed an obvious facemask on Griffin in the pocket. They also clearly spotted the ball poorly on a 2nd-down run by Andre Williams…giving him a 1st-down at the Giant 34 rather than what should’ve been a 3rd and1 at the 33. The Giants scored on that drive to make it 24-13.
5. It was nice to see the reaction to Griffin’s first TD pass on the sideline. Gruden, McCoy, and Cousins all there to make him smile.
6. The 4th and 2 timeout was called because it looked like there was a mix-up on where Jackson was supposed to line up and the play clock was winding down.