The New York Giants season unofficially ended today with a tough, wet loss to the Tennessee Titans 17-0. The Giants, who had won four of five games coming in to today, needed a lot of help and to win their remaining games to even have a shot of the second wild card spot.
The combination of winning out and getting the help needed was a long shot to happen for a playoff opportunity but with Big Blue playing at a high level over the last five weeks, the Giants felt that if they continued to play for each other, they would have a chance. The pipe dream was crushed today.
“It hurts. Said Quarterback Eli Manning. ” Obviously you want to make the playoffs. We didn’t play well enough early in the year to put ourselves in a good position. I knew we still had a chance if we won out, but we didn’t play well enough today to do that.” Manning completed 21 of 44 passes for 229 yards with one interception and struggled through out the game.
The weather was a major factor for both teams as well as the crowd as Metlife Stadium. The Giants finished with 260 yards, their second-lowest total of the season as the only produced 47 total rushing yards. The 47 rushing yards was their third-lowest total of the season and 180 fewer yards than they had in Washington.
Saquon Barkley rushed for a season-low 41 yards; his previous low was 43 yards at Atlanta on Oct. 22. He also caught four passes for 25 yards. Barkley’s 66 yards from scrimmage was also his lowest total of the season. It was just the second time in 14 games that Barkley finished with fewer than 100 scrimmage yards. “They did a lot of different things.” said Barkley. “They gave us some different looks, different movements to try to create movement up there to try to confuse us. We have to execute, that’s the moral of the story. We didn’t execute as a team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. ”
Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel was asked how do you stop a great back like Saquon and was very honest during his post game media session. “There were times when one guy made the tackle, but the mentality coming in was that we needed more than one guy there. You saw K.B. make a great tackle — it looked like he was going to bounce out and had some yards there, and K.B. made a really, really nice tackle to keep him from gaining a first down. We actually, I think, stopped them on the next play to get off the field, so I thought that was a really critical play in a big moment. The Giants trailed at halftime, 7-0.
Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. He had the highest rushing total by a Giants opponent since 2009, when former Carolina Panther Jonathan Stewart rushed for 206 yards. ” When I got done with pregame I knew it was going to be a long game.” said Henry. “The rain was coming down, it was windy, but we were going to run it and I had to go out there and make something happen.”
Henry scored the game’s first touchdown on a one-yard run with 2:43 remaining in the first quarter, capping a 75-yard drive that was completed in 15 plays and 7:45. It was the third 15-play drive (a season high) by a Giants opponent this year.
“We just didn’t tackle well.” Said Alec Ogeltree “I mean, they were going to try to run the ball and they ran the ball and we just didn’t come up to make enough tackles and swarm the ball like we needed to.” Ogeltree and the rest of the defense had no takeaways for the first time in three weeks
Odell Beckham Jr. missed his second consecutive game with a quad injury. His absence cut the field in half and put the full focus on Barkley. Other wide receivers such as Sterling and Russell Shepard, Corey Coleman and others just did warrant the Titans to put as much focus as they would have to if Odell was in the lineup. “You always miss Odell.” said Manning. “He is one of our key players and one of our best players. When he is in the game, he makes plays and makes defenses play differently. You always miss your playmakers.”