New quarterback. Same results.
The New York Giants took the field with a quarterback not named Eli Manning for the first time since November 14, 2004 as they faced the Oakland Raiders. Geno Smith did better than expected for the most part in his first Giants start but two costly turnovers helped the Raiders beat the Giants 24-14 in the Giants’ final trip to the Oakland Coliseum.
The Giants seemed to be doomed from the start. After a quick three and out by the Giants, Marshawn Lynch switched to Beast Mode and ran for a 51-yard touchdown on the Raiders’ third possession of the game.
This isn’t to say the Giants didn’t have their opportunities. They were inside the Oakland 30 twice in the first half but turned the ball over after strip sacks from the Raiders.
Smith’s first turnover occurred when Bruce Irvin got free and knocked the ball loose. The ball was recovered by NaVarro Bowman. The second turnover came courtesy of Defensive Player of the Yeat Khalil Mack.
The Giants defense played with more urgency than shown in recent weeks. They may have been too overanxious as they missed out on opportunities to get the ball back to offense. Landon Collins, who finished third in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year last season, dropped a sure interception in the second quarter. The Raiders scored a field goal two plays later.
Still, the story of the game is Smith, who became the first quarterback to start for both of the Big Apple’s NFL franchises. He finished 21-of-34 for 212 yards with a touchdown and two turnovers. The 54-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Orleans Darkwa was the Giants’ longest drive in the past two games.
Smith was able to move around the pocket and extend some plays with his legs. The end result, however, was the same.
It’s not as if the Giants offense was facing the ’85 Bears today. The Raiders defense is near the bottom of the league in yards allowed. The Giants came into Sunday’s game averaging 15.6 points per game but only managed 14 against the Raiders.
There was a feeling throughout the game that the Giants would have fared better if No. 10 was on the field. Instead, Manning spent his afternoon on the sideline without his helmet, listening to plays in a headset while mentoring Davis Webb.
The Giants drop to 2-10 and currently hold the No. 2 position in the 2018 NFL Draft, thanks to a win by the San Francisco 49ers. Rumors are circulating that head coach Ben McAdoo could be fired as early as Monday. The fact that McAdoo wasn’t given his pink slip after the loss to the 49ers three weeks ago is still remarkable, given the despicable mess that is the Giants’ 2017 season.
The addition of Geno Smith at quarterback is window dressing. It does nothing to fix the real problem with the Giants. Smith is what he is: an average quarterback at best who makes some good throws and huge mistakes. Giants fans should not be excited about this move because it puts the team in the same mode they were in last week, the same mode they’ve been in all season.
There were no surprises in this game. The Giants did provide a sliver of hope when they pulled within a touchdown but the Raiders snatched that away on the ensuing possession. All the Raiders did was ensure that the Giants would go .500 against the AFC West and winless against everyone else. This game was a continuation of the hopeless brand of football the Giants have played all season. Just imagine if the Raiders had their top wide receivers in the game.