The Giants Are In The Junkyard And Running Out Of Options
7:58 PM EDT on October 8, 2023
It's not that things were going well for the New York Giants heading into Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, after all they were 1-3 and posted the league's worst point differential at -76. This is what my colleague David Roth, the chief correspondent for grim New York Sports Knowledge, might describe as "not what you want."
Yes, the Giants are bad, but their shittiness had an unknowable depth, like staring down into the black void of a well where the bottom remains hidden. Sadly, we now have an answer to just how bad things can get.
With just under 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter and Miami up 31-13, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones took a snap out of the shotgun and almost immediately was sacked for a seven yard loss. Dolphins lineman Andrew Van Ginkel had as clear a path as you could get to the quarterback, sending Jones to the turf for the sixth time in the game. Jones was able to get up, but was helped off the field by Giants medical staff and quickly rushed to the medical tent. It didn't take long before he was off to the locker room and the team announced he was out with a neck injury.
Then Tyrod Taylor came off the bench and led the Giants down the field to score, ahem, a field goal. It was technically a two-score game with plenty of time left on the clock, but the Giants don't operate in the world of technical concerns, only bad options and bleak realities. The Dolphins didn't have much to sweat in their 31-16 victory behind two touchdowns and 308 yards from Tua Tagovailoa, and a big day from De'Von Achane, who took a 76-yard sideline run for a touchdown to secure the lead early. Also, Tyreek Hill clocked 181 receiving yards, putting him over 150 receiving yards for the third time this season.
If there was a bright spot on the afternoon from the Giants, the team forced three turnovers, and Jason Pinnock returned a Tagovailoa interception 102 yards for the lone New York touchdown of the day.
There are plenty of ways to look at the Giants offensive troubles and Saquon Barkley being out certainly does not help the situation. But it's likely one reason New York has trouble putting up points is that anyone in a Giants uniform under center is destined to spend too much time in the dirt. Taylor took a sack after Jones departed. The previous week Seattle brought Jones to earth 10 times, his total on the season was 28 sacks in just five games.
The Giants are awaiting X-rays of Jones neck taken after he left the game. Jones is scheduled for an MRI on Monday, but told reporters Sunday evening, "I feel fine," before clarifying: "I think clearly some pain. Physical game."
There is some reason for concern here. Jones underwent surgery for a neck injury in 2021 after sitting out the final stretch of the season. Yet the Giants were convinced he was not only healthy, but that they could protect him, when they signed Jones to a contract extension worth $160 million over four years prior to this season.
The Giants have backed into some kind of junkyard hell of their own making, and whatever assemblage of spare parts they try to pull together may not be enough to turn this season around. This is what the bottom looks like, and no number of captains or childrens birthday parties can change the fact that the Giants could not seem to put up points with Jones at center: According to ESPN the team has gone 125 minutes without scoring a touchdown. They could not get it done with him, and odds are they won't fare any better without him.