The Giants have a lot to think about on their bye week.
Fresh on their minds will be Sunday’s 34-27 loss to the Jets, their sixth in a row. Circled at the top of the self-scouting report will be the slow starts, turnovers and big plays allowed, all of which reared their head in Week 10 at MetLife Stadium.
“We all understand the importance of every game, especially this game,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “It was a hard-fought game. We found a way to be down 14 points, and then we found a way to be up. Then we found a way to be down and we lost it. That’s the reality of it.”
IT WAS OVER WHEN: Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams recovered a fumble on a last-ditch lateral between Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, who each caught two touchdowns earlier in the day, as time expired. After Daniel Jones was sacked for the sixth and final time on the previous drive, the Giants punted from their own three-yard line with 2:51 left in the game. The Giants forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but the offense got the ball back with just 18 seconds remaining in the game.
“Yeah, well certainly, we felt like we could get the ball back again,” Shurmur said of punting. “Certainly, we were way behind in the game in terms of the clock management part of it because we would only get the ball with 30 or something seconds. When you punt the ball, they could always fumble it, then they are going to run a few plays where we’ve seen something happen there. We felt like because we were so far backed up and it was such a long fourth down that was the right thing to do.”
EBB AND FLOW: The Giants failed to score in the first quarter for the fifth time in the past six outings. Including the 14-0 deficit to the Jets, they have been outscored 55-3 in the opening frame over that span. But, not unlike the other games, the Giants battled back. They eventually took the lead on Jones’ fourth touchdown pass, his second to Tate, late in the third quarter. The Jets responded with 10 unanswered points, including a one-yard touchdown run by Le’Veon Bell that was set up by a 33-yard pass interference penalty on rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker in the end zone.
“You realize you need to be able to sustain that energy or the momentum or what you’re doing consistently enough to handle their punches, handle their drives or their scores,” Jones said. “And we didn’t do that.”
SAQUON’S YARD: It looked like a typo in the box score. Saquon Barkley rushed 13 times for a net total of a single yard. As a team, the Giants rushed for just 23 yards, 20 of which came from their rookie quarterback. Barkley, who missed Weeks 4-6 with an ankle injury, recorded a career-low 31 yards from scrimmage. It was his fewest since gaining 37 yards earlier this season at Tampa, where he suffered the injury and did not play the second half. Barkley refused to acknowledge any lingering effects in Sunday’s postgame locker room.
“The Jets played a hell of a game,” Barkley said. “They have a hell of a defense. Going into the game they were only averaging 3.1 yards per carry. They did an amazing job. I made sure I went to [defensive coordinator Gregg] Williams, shook his hand and said good job.”
JONES THROWS FOUR (AGAIN): With his second four-touchdown performance of the season, Jones trails only Deshaun Watson and Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (three each) for the most such games by a rookie since at least 1950. The other four TD game came two weeks ago in Detroit, another loss. The similarities between those two games didn’t end there. Jones did not throw an interception in either outing but did lose a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
SLAYTON’S BREAKOUT: As a fifth-round pick, wide receiver Darius Slayton continues to look like a steal in the 2019 draft class. Slayton was a bright spot on Sunday and caught two touchdowns, just like he did two weeks ago in the Lions game. He shattered his personal highs with 10 catches for 121 yards in the process.
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE GIANTS: The Giants head into their bye week on a six-game losing streak. Last year, they went into their break having lost five games in a row. They won four of their next five games but still finished the season at 5-11. The 2019 Giants return in Week 11 with a road game at Chicago.
“The state [of the team]? We are disappointed we haven’t been able to win a game for six, right? That’s the way it works,” Shurmur said. “We’re disappointed that we didn’t win this game. That’s where it’s at. The state of the team, that’s where we’re at.”
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE JETS: A week after losing to the then-winless Dolphins, the Jets improved to 2-7. Both of their wins have come against NFC East opponents – the other was Dallas – and the Jets will stay in the division next week when they travel to Washington.
“I think for Jets fans right now, it’s just about sticking with it,” second-year quarterback Sam Darnold said. “Sticking with the process and understanding that we’ve got a good squad and we’ve got a really good head coach, really good offensive and really good defensive staffs, as well. It’s just about putting it together and making sure, like I keep saying, that we stay within ourselves and stay patient.”