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Playing It Safe, Giants Steal a Win From the Raiders

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Our N.F.L. playoffs calculator has an up-to-date have a look at the newest playoff image.

Time is a flat circle, however we need to enable you to break it. To that finish, we’ve enlisted two specialists — one accustomed to the ins and outs of New York’s skilled soccer groups, the different a nationally centered soccer analyst — to reply a vital query as a weekly service to readers: Are the Giants good but?

Devin Gordon, the creator of “So Many Ways to Lose: The Amazin’ True Story of the New York Mets, the Best Worst Team in Sports,” noticed the Giants from a regionally centered perspective.

Diante Lee, an N.F.L. analyst at Pro Football Focus, provided a nationwide view.

The Giants (3-6) eked out a 23-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders (5-3) behind game-turning interceptions by security Xavier McKinney, together with one returned for a landing.

Thanks to the N.F.L.’s new prime quantity, 17-game schedule, the Giants completed the first half of their 2021 season at halftime of Sunday’s recreation at MetLife Stadium towards the Las Vegas Raiders.

They got here into the afternoon with a 2-6 document, nonetheless lacking working again Saquon Barkley, who sat out after testing optimistic for the coronavirus, which not less than offered some variance from his lacking video games due to an ankle harm.

Coming out of Sunday’s recreation, the N.F.C. East cellar-dwelling Giants had motive to suppose the future may be brighter.

Once once more, quarterback Daniel Jones, who has changed into a chunk-play machine — along with his arm and along with his legs — offered motive to hope. Against the A.F.C. West-leading Raiders, Jones accomplished 15 of 20 passes for 110 yards and no interceptions and continued to indicate that he has taken main strides in bettering three of his weakest attributes: accuracy, decision-making and ball safety.

Look, the Giants aren’t going to make the playoffs. The blossoming of Jones is the story of this season. It has been the solely motive to look at the Giants to this point, and it’ll more than likely proceed to be as the entrance workplace figures out his potential contract extension. A brand new nemesis, although, is rising for Giants followers, including one other dimension to viewing video games in the weeks to return: the milquetoast offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, whose tepid playbook is infuriating Giants followers determined for some enjoyable and fireworks.

VERDICT: #FreeDanielJones!

First, the apparent: This is a franchise that has been centered on constructing for the future by hiring “football guys,” these hardened lifers who match the invoice of each teaching platitude meme.

The hiring of General Manager Dave Gettleman sought to recapture the Tom Coughlin period, with a few much less wrinkles.

Bending, however not breaking. Establishing the run. Controlling the line of scrimmage. “Affecting” the recreation on particular groups. Winning the possession battle and the “game within the game.”

That typically manifests into the most boring soccer product on the planet. My eyes glazed over simply typing it. But it was sufficient to get by the Raiders and maintain a pulse in the N.F.C. wild-card race — a damning indictment on the state of the convention.

Daniel Jones early on gave the impression to be reverting to the turnover habits that sabotaged the Giants final month when he misplaced a fumble on a strip sack by Maxx Crosby late in the first quarter with the rating tied, 7-7. Jason Garrett, the Giants’ offensive coordinator, has performed the whole lot doable to reduce Jones’s all-or-nothing playmaking, which resulted in Jones’s fewest cross makes an attempt of the season (excluding his early exit with a concussion towards Dallas). Running again Devontae Booker, 99 yards on 21 carries, practically matched Jones’s passing yards (110 yards on 20 makes an attempt) along with his legs.

The Giants’ protection received the recreation by forcing key turnovers. Safety Xavier McKinney opened the second half with a 41-yard pick-6 and intercepted one other putrid throw from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr halfway by the fourth quarter. Outside linebacker Quincy Roche compelled a fumble on the Raiders’ closing drive with 44 seconds remaining to place the recreation away.

Now, was a single second of that entertaining? Of course not!

Coach Joe Judge can take glee at the ugly nature of this victory, however is that really what anybody needs to look at?

Verdict: Put the ball again in Jones’s fingers and let it rip!