Kicker Graham Gano accounted for all of the Giants' scoring Sunday by kicking three field goals. Riley Dixon had a season-high six punts for 248 yards – and Mike Glennon, who played quarterback because Daniel Jones was inactive with a neck injury, suffered a concussion.
The Giants' trip to South Florida was neither productive nor successful. They lost to the Miami Dolphins, 20-9, in Hard Rock Stadium. Their fourth straight loss on the road dropped their season record to 4-8. Miami improved to 6-7 and joined the 1994 Giants as the only NFL teams to follow a seven-game losing streak with five consecutive victories.
The offense gained 250 yards, its second-lowest total of the season. The Giants did not reach the end zone for the first time in almost a year (Dec. 20, 2020 vs. Cleveland). Glennon averaged only 4.3 yards on his 44 passes.
Those numbers and the result didn't dissuade coach Joe Judge that the Giants are progressing.
"There was a lot of things that I saw today in the way we played, a lot of things that are moving in the right direction, a lot of things I'm very pleased with in terms of how we competed," Judge said. "And we were able to make some stops at critical moments, able to make some good decisions."
Moments later, responding to another question, Judge conceded, "There were a number of plays out there today. And we've got to do a better job of taking advantage of all our opportunities."
They had few close to the Miami goal line. The Giants' deepest penetration was to the Dolphins' 16-yard line on their first possession of the third quarter. That was their lone advance into the red zone.
Gano kicked field goals of 39, 34 and 51 yards, the latter his team single season record sixth from 50 or more yards. But they served only to keep the Giants within striking distance for most of the game.
"Nine points is not acceptable," said running back Saquon Barkley. "We've got to be better. We've got to capitalize on opportunities. We've got to be better as a whole starting with myself."
"I feel like we're moving the ball well," said wide receiver Kenny Golladay, whose three catches for 37 yards were all in the first half. "At the end of the day, we just didn't execute the way we needed to. They were able to blitz us a little bit. And we've just got to do a better job as an offense as a whole."
View all the action from the Week 13 matchup between the Giants and Dolphins in Miami.
Barkley led the Giants with 55 rushing yards on 11 carries, including a game-long 23-yarder, and six receptions, which gained 19 yards. Glennon completed 23 passes for 187 yards and was sacked three times. Evan Engram and Devontae Booker each had four receptions, and wide receivers Golladay, Pharoh Cooper and Darius Slayton combined for seven. The Giants again played without injured wideouts Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney.
If Glennon can't play, the likely starter would be second-year pro Jake Fromm, who was signed off of Buffalo's practice squad last week and has never played in an NFL regular-season game. Former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke is on the Giants' practice squad.
Jones' status has not changed.
"He's going to continue being evaluated with the doctors and see where it goes," Judge said. "Again, we've got to trust what they say. We're not going to put any of our players in a position where they go out there and they're at risk. There's a difference - I tell you guys all the time. I'm going to ask a question of is it pain management or injury risk? When it's injury risk, that's not on my plate. When it's pain management, the player has to know to what level can they perform. We've got a lot of guys that are tough guys. I don't have to question our guys' toughness. But can they perform at the level through that pain management.
"Daniel is a guy that's been chomping at the bit to get back out there. We want to make sure the doctors give us the clearest picture of what his health and status is and what he's safe to do on the field. When he's ready to go, we'll put him out there."
While the offense continues to get most of the attention, the defense keeps performing admirably. The Dolphins scored on Tua Tagovailoa touchdown passes of five yards in the second quarter and two yards in the fourth, plus a pair of 48-yard field goals by Jason Sanders (who also missed a 52-yard try). Tagovailoa was at his best on the Dolphins' two touchdown drives, when he hit 16 of his 17 passes for 137 yards.
Miami didn't hit the 20-point mark until 1:11 remained in the game. The Dolphins gained 297 yards and averaged 2.7 yards a carry and 5.9 yards a pass attempt.
On the minus side, the defense did not force a turnover, ending the Giants' NFL-long streak (tied with Indianapolis) of 13 consecutive games with at least one takeaway.
"Miami's defense beat us in turnovers today (with one)," safety Logan Ryan said. "And I think getting the ball has been a big key to us winning games. Today, we didn't get one. If we don't get the ball, we're not going to win the games. So, we've got to go get them. And unfortunately, we didn't get it today."
After the game, the Giants flew to Tucson, Arizona, where they will practice this week at the University of Arizona. On Saturday, they will travel to Los Angeles to face the 7-5 Chargers.
"We're prepared to play some good defense, go get some turnovers, go score some points, support whoever's back there (playing quarterback)," Ryan said, "and get ready to have some fun on this trip and find a way to win on the west coast."