Grading the Giants’ 38-11 loss to the Rams at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Daniel Jones fumbled twice and was intercepted three times. At times, it felt like he was out there by himself. He finished 29-of-51 for 242 yards and was sacked four times. It was a struggle from beginning to end. What a shame Kadarius Toney re-injured his ankle on the first series. He was off to a fast start (3-36) and was toasting rookie CB Robert Rochell. Can’t have a worse sequence than this: Matt Peart, inserted at left tackle when Andrew Thomas got hurt, allowed a 14-yard sack, then failed to fall on the fumble. Pitiful. False starts on Matt Skura and Will Hernandez were not helpful. Sterling Shepard returned from a hamstring injury with 10 receptions for 76 yards. He is a battler.
This unit was put in a bad position by turnovers that allowed the Rams to start two series deep in Giants territory. Otherwise, this unit did plenty of bad stuff on its own. Matthew Stafford (22-of-28, 251 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT) did as he pleased before taking a seat in the fourth quarter. Did anyone think at least trying to cover Cooper Kupp (9-130, 2 TDs) was a good idea? Safety Xavier McKinney failed to secure and intercept the ball in his hands late in the first quarter. He later cashed in, with one interception of Stafford and another off backup John Wolford. Leonard Williams had 1.5 sacks when it was still a semblance of a game in the first half. If the Rams wanted or needed to score 50, they could have.
Cullen Gillaspia was called for a holding penalty on the opening kickoff. What a way to start the game. Riley Dixon had a 57-yard punt early in the second quarter. C.J. Board had a 37-yard kickoff return late in the first half, then had to get carted off with an arm injury. Cam Brown, freshly activated off injured reserve, was called for running into the punter in the fourth quarter. Graham Gano hit his only field goal attempt, from 27 yards out.
Why did Joe Judge have Daniel Jones in the game the entire way? The outcome was decided and why risk an injury to the starting quarterback, throwing on every play? No problem at all with Judge going for it on 4th-and-1 on his own 41-yard line late in the first quarter, although it did not work out when Jones came up short on a quarterback sneak. Coordinator Patrick Graham challenged his defensive unit to make a stand and this was not it. Not by a longshot. What now? Bribes?