The New York Giants lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 27-24, on the road in Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season, unable to build on their victory against the Washington Commanders in Week 15. The Giants committed two significant turnovers and seven penalties during the contest. These errors eliminated their total yardage edge and were decisive in this close game against the Vikings.
New York currently has an 8-6-1 record, good for third place in the NFC East and sole possession of fifth place in the NFC. However, a number of groups, including the Commanders, Buccaneers, Seahawks, and Lions, are chasing after them. Here, we’ll talk about the four Giants that deserve the most criticism for their Week 16 loss to the Vikings.
In this game, the Giants struggled on third down, making only 3-of-11 attempts. The Vikings, meanwhile, were successful on 6 out of 13 third downs. Despite this, the Giants beat a tough Vikings club by maintaining a close game and even taking the lead at one point.
Nevertheless, the Giants ultimately lost the game due to errors like a fumble by tight end Daniel Bellinger, a blocked punt, and interceptions by quarterback Daniel Jones. Richie James, the receiver, also dropped the ball on third down, which might have led to a score rather than a field goal. Regardless of these failures, few people had projected that the Giants would be able to contend with the Vikings, who are presently the second seed in the NFC playoffs.
However, a loss is a loss, and given the Giants’ current outlook for the postseason, this loss can still hurt once the regular season is through. Let’s take a moment to examine the four Giants who deserve the most criticism for their Week 16 loss to the Vikings.
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 24, 2022
4. RT Evan Neal
Evan Neal, the right tackle for New York, is obviously having arm and shoulder pain. This, however, cannot be used as a justification. His play versus the opposition pass rush has been lackluster, and he needs to better his footwork. Although Neal is intended to eventually mature into a reliable right tackle, his debut campaign has not gone as planned.
He has been the offensive line’s problem and has drawn a lot of attention during broadcasts of games. For a young offensive lineman like him, that is simply not a good thing. On Saturday, Neal played in another challenging game, and it’s likely that his performance won’t receive high marks.
3. Giant’s Defense
The Giants’ defense played inconclusively. They let up 10 points in the opening 20 minutes before holding Minnesota without a point for the following three quarters. However, the defense struggled and let up 17 points in the fourth quarter, just when the Giants needed them most. The defense’s susceptibility to large passing plays on blitzes was one of its key problems.
Another issue is the Giants’ failure to contain tight ends. To give an example, TJ Hockenson of Minnesota had a productive game with 13 receptions on 16 targets for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. When the opposition team’s tertiary option can have such a big impact, it is challenging for the Giants to win.
In his first game back on the active roster, Giants LB Landon Collins showed potential in both run support and coverage. Over the course of the final two games, we anticipate him to keep getting better at this position. The second level of the Giants’ defense, however, still needs a serious makeover. They need to locate a linebacker with the athleticism to stay up with opponents as well as the ability to process and react to reads quickly.
Although Micah McFadden and other inside linebackers have considerable potential, they have started to become somewhat of a burden. This is especially evident in reportage, where McFadden frequently appears to be out of place. Despite making eight tackles in this game—the second-most on the team—McFadden missed many plays. In general, the Giants’ defense needs to get better if they want to succeed in the future.
2. Giants Receivers
The Giants do have a strong corps of receivers despite not having exceptional ones. Tight end Daniel Bellinger, a rookie, had an especially challenging game. A potential Giants drive was halted by his fumble in the second quarter following a 16-yard gain on the Minnesota 23. It also resulted in a field goal for Minnesota.
Richie James, a receiver, also made a few costly mistakes in the second half, including one that might have given the Giants the victory. With eight catches for 90 yards and many chunk plays that helped his teammates make big plays, James also had a strong performance. James finished as the Giants’ top receiver, but he needs to improve his consistency and avoid making careless mistakes.
1. QB Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones, the quarterback for the Giants, has not yet established himself as a franchise quarterback, but under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, he has made enough progress to merit another season with the Giants.
In the final minutes of the game on Saturday, Jones completed 30 of his 42 passes for 334 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He ran for 34 yards as well. Jones has demonstrated that he can compete with seasoned quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, making him a difficult quarterback for defenses to completely shut down.
Jones performed well and had some spectacular throws, but he also frequently put the ball in danger and had uneven placement. Despite these problems, Jones is still regarded as the quarterback of the Giants in the future, and he produced his finest statistical performance of the year on Sunday.
He just escaped a fumble, but he also threw a costly interception in Minnesota territory. These mistakes have the potential to be incredibly expensive in a close game like this one.