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Film Review: Key plays, metrics & snap counts

MATT-BREIDA

The Giants lost to the Lions, 31-18, at Metlife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

1. The Giants have won a lot of their games this season by not doing anything to lose games, and playing excellent situational football. They failed at both this time. Before Sunday's game, the Giants had a +4 turnover ratio, which was tied for sixth-best in the NFL; their eight giveaways were the third-fewest.

On Sunday, the Giants turned it over three times and didn't manage to take the ball away. Daniel Jones threw two interceptions. Teams finishing -3 in turnover ratio in a game have a less than 10% chance of winning that game. The first turnover came on a great catch after Aidan Hutchinson bluffed a pass rush before dropping into a zone blitz. He leaped to make a grab on a pass intended for Darius Slayton. Jones said after the game he didn't see Hutchinson drop into the passing lane. The Lions went 18 yards and scored a touchdown after the pick.

The second interception was an overthrow by Jones that went to Lions safety Kerby Joseph. The Giants defense held up after this interception and forced a three-and-out. The final turnover was a fumble by Isaiah Hodgins after catching a ball over the middle - the Lions got the ball at the Giants 33 and ran it four times to get it in for a touchdown. Those are 14 points working on short fields in a game that the Giants lost by 13.

The Giants had a chance for a couple of takeaways of their own, but they could not recover a fumble that was forced by Cor'Dale Flott, and later in the game Flott dropped a potential interception when he jumpedin front of a crossing route.

On defense, the Giants were only allowing 19.2 points per game heading into Week 11 thanks to their third-down and red zone defense. The Giants had the second-best defense on third down (32.7%) and the second-ranked red zone defense (38%) before the Lions turned the tables on them. Detroit went 6-of-12 on third downs, not including their final kneel down that is technically classified as a third-down failure.

The Lions also scored four touchdowns in five red zone appearances, all four coming on running plays. Detroit's takeaways and efficiency in the red zone is the explanation for how they were able to score 31 points despite only gaining 325 yards in the game.

The Giants also didn't help themselves with penalties, with eight for 63 yards, including seven for 58 in the first half. It's going to be very difficult for the Giants to overcome those kinds of mistakes to win football games.

2. The Giants had their most productive passing performance of the season, with Jones completing 27 of 44 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown. The Giants were able to be effective in the passing game in the second half even though the Lions took a lead and were able to blitz more because they could anticipate the Giants passing the football.

Here are three plays where the Giants' offensive line held up despite extra rushers being sent by the Lions. On the first play, the offensive line picks up five rushers with no help. On the second play, the tight end helps block five rushers, and finally Saquon Barkley picks up a blitzer on the third play to give Jones enough time to move in the pocket and make a play.

On the third play, Daniel Jones buys enough time with his legs to make a big play downfield to convert a third down. It was not the only time he used his pocket mobility to create offense.

The Giants set a season high for completions of 20+ yards (four) and completions of 15+ yards (13). The Giants longest play went for 24 yards. Seven of those 15+ yards pass plays came on Giants drives that led to touchdowns. According to PFF, Daniel Jones completed 1-of-3 passes for 24 yards on passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air. It was good to see the Giants able to move the ball in the passing game after the Lions shut down Saquon Barkley and the Giants traditional running game.

Wan'Dale Robinson was the first Giants receiver to gain 100 yards in a game since Kadarius Toney in Week 5 of the 2021 season, catching nine passes for 100 yards on 13 targets. Darius Slayton added five catches for 86 yards. Richie James replaced Robinson after his injury, and much like Slayton and Robinson, was able to get separation and caught three passes for 48 yards.

Saquon Barkley had his least productive game of the season, with only 22 yards on 15 carries and two catches for 13 yards. Barkley's longest run was for only four yards. Daniel Jones was able to find some room on designed runs, rushing seven times for 50 yards, but it was not enough to get the Lions out of their plan to committing extra men to the traditional running game.

3. Darnay Holmes played a strong game against the Lions short passing game around the line of scrimmage. On the first play below, Holmes breaks on a quick throw to the wide receiver and draws an illegal block in the back penalty on Penei Sewell. On the second play, Holmes closes on a short pass and makes a tackle for a minimal gain.

According to PFF, the Giants 54.8% blitz rate was the third-highest in the NFL in Week 11. The Giants had a 35.5% pressure rate, which ranked 12th this week.

Other Notes

* Isaiah Hodgins was the Giants' third-most used wide receiver, playing 45 snaps. Kenny Golladay caught two passes for 29 yards on 33 snaps. Richie James logged 17.

* Shane Lemieux started in the first half but was replaced by Josh Ezeudu at halftime. Nick Gates played 25 snaps after Jon Feliciano left with a neck injury. After Tyre Phillips left with neck injury, Matt Peart stepped in and played 62 snaps.

Lawrence Cager is starting to dominate the tight end snaps. He played 56 snaps to only 12 for Tanner Hudson and eight for Chris Myarick.

* Injuries to Adoree' Jackson (knee) and Fabian Moureau (ribs) limited them to 18 and 30 snaps, respectively. Nick McCloud stepped in to play 39 snaps, Cor'Dale Flott played 22, while Rodarius Williams logged 27 snaps in his first action of the season.

* Dexter Lawrence played 88% of the defensive snaps, while Leaonard Willliams played 85%. Jaylon Smith remains the primary inside linebacker playing 87% of the snaps. Micah McFadden played 31 snaps, while Tae Crowder played 21.

* Julian Love was the lone defender to play 100% of the snaps. The other safety snaps were split by Dane Belton (39 snaps) and Jason Pinnock (37 snaps).

View photos from the Giants' Week 11 game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium.

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