WEEK IN REVIEW
The Giants lost continued their struggles with a disappointing showing in a 20-6 defeat to the Cleveland Browns. Responsibility for this loss falls exclusively on Tight End Coach Freddie Kitchens, who was filling in as the offensive play caller for Jason Garrett, who was unable to be at the game because a positive COVID-19 result. Kitchens, who called plays for the Cleveland Browns in 2018 and 2019 was offered the opportunity to fill in, and he gifted the Giants their worst game plan of the season.
It is widely believed that Kitchens poor play-calling and game planning are major reasons why Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled under his leadership and Sunday was an example to support that belief. Kitchens took Sunday’s game as an opportunity to prove something to his former employer and instead justified why he is no longer employed there. His vertical passing game played directly into Colt McCoy’s arm strength weakness and his insistence in rushing the ball into loaded boxes resulted in one of the worst offensive performances by the Giants in recent memory. It was a waste of an extremely impressive performance by the Giants’ defense in which they allowed only 118 scrimmage yards to the Browns’ running backs compared to the 213 Cleveland achieved the week before.
NEWS OF THE WEEK
This week’s Giants news will be all about health with specific regard to two individuals, Jason Garrett and Daniel Jones. The Giants are now in a position where they need to win both of their remaining games to have a chance at the playoffs. They are one game behind Washington in the standings. We are all hopeful that Jason Garrett can recover quickly and return to his normal life as soon as possible. If not, the Giants will be forced to repeat the Freddie Kitchens experience which cost them the game against the Browns.
Daniel Jones’ health has been a mystery over the past several weeks. He returned for the Arizona game despite clearly being physically limited. Leading up to the Cleveland game, there was a lack of clarity as to Daniel Jones’ health in Joe Judge’s attempt to gain a competitive advantage by leaving his starting quarterback as a mystery. Jones was inactive on game day and Colt McCoy was unable to have much success in Freddie Kitchen’s game plan. The Giants clearly need a spark to salvage their playoff hopes and Jones could bring some explosiveness to the offense if he can recover in time for the matchup with Baltimore.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Giants opened this week as 10.5-point road underdogs to the Baltimore Ravens who are coming off a dominant 40-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Baltimore is in the midst of a heated race at the top of the AFC North divisional race as well as the AFC wild card race and need to win both of their remaining games to have a chance at the playoffs. After a three-game skid weeks 10-12, the Ravens have won three games in a row and are averaging over 40 points per game over that stretch. This is a team playing their best football in December.
The Ravens boast one of the most explosive and diverse rushing attacks in the NFL. Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins has taken over the lead role in the backfield from Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. He has scored in each of his last four games and is averaging nearly five yards per carry over that span. In addition to Dobbins, the Ravens also have Lamar Jackson at quarterback, who can break off a big run for a touchdown at any time. The Giants defense, which has played very well over the back half of the season, will have their second difficult rushing containment challenge this week in Baltimore.