Winners and Losers of New York Giants' Week 5 Performance
Injuries aside—and those suffered by receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Dwayne Harris, Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall were hard to watch—the New York Giants slid deeper into the abyss with a 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
The sad thing about the Giants' fifth loss this season is that for the third straight week the once-feared defense didn't deliver on its end of the bargain.
"We're all disappointed and irritated to be where we are right now," head coach Ben McAdoo said during his Monday conference call with reporters. "No one thought we would be sitting here like this in this position."
Join the club, coach.
The deeper this team falls into the hole—and let's not kid ourselves, it's in deep right now—the harder it is going to be to get out. But there is still hope, at least where McAdoo is concerned.
"I said it once, I'm going to say it again, I believe in this group of players and coaches and what this team could be," he said. "We're not there yet, but we owe it to each other and the organization to handle ourselves with class, prepare well this week and give us a chance to win the ballgame on Sunday night."
Talk is cheap.
Meanwhile, let's have a look at the Giants' winners and losers from this week's game.
Winner: K. Aldrick Rosas
Although kicker Aldrick Rosas didn't get any field-goal opportunities, he was good on his two PATs, including his second which bounced off an upright to go in.
Rosas also delivered on kickoff returns, hitting two touchbacks and getting the ball just high enough for his coverage team to limit Chargers kickoff returner Desmond King to two returns for 37 yards (18.5 yards per return).
Loser: QB Eli Manning
After playing solid ball the last several weeks, Eli Manning didn't have one of his better games against the Chargers.
Sure, he had two touchdown passes in this game, but the franchise quarterback continues to struggle with accuracy, overshooting receivers such as missing a wide-open Odell Beckham Jr. in the first quarter after the receiver broke free from coverage.
Manning also had a critical fumble late in the game, a ball recovered by the Chargers that set up the game-winning score.
Granted, Manning was under duress, but it's vital to protect the ball at all costs in that situation.
Winner: RB Orleans Darkwa
Orleans Darkwa led the Giants with 69 rushing yards on eight carries. That's a very impressive 8.6 yards per carry, folks.
That's right, 8.6 yards per carry.
As is often the case with the 25-year-old, he had a big run in his weekly batch, none bigger than a 23-yard rush for a touchdown.
Unfortunately, Darkwa—who also had one reception for three yards—suffered a calf injury after that run, his touches limited to just two more the entire game.
Darkwa's inability to avoid getting dinged is concerning, but there is little question he deserves a bigger slice of the running back carries than he's received so far with this team.
Loser: Head Coach Ben McAdoo
McAdoo is usually good for a head-scratching decision or two each game, and there were certainly a few of them this week.
His biggest gaffe Sunday wasn't necessarily related to a play selection.
When Beckham went down with his injury, the television camera panned to the Giants sideline where it caught the head coach with his face buried in his menu of plays.
As it became apparent that Beckham's injury might be serious, McAdoo remained on the sideline instead of coming out to check on his star receiver even as he was being carted off the field inconsolable.
What's worse is when asked about Beckham after the game, McAdoo's answer made it clear he hadn't checked in on the player: "I don’t know yet. I just got in off the field, I'll have to go take a look and we'll have to take a look in the morning probably."
If McAdoo is going to expect his players to fight for each other and the program, it might behoove him moving forward to put the play-calling menu down when one of his players is on the field distressed and to go out there with a word or two of encouragement and compassion.
Winner: RB Wayne Gallman
The Giants' other winning running back, rookie Wayne Gallman, ended up with the lion's share of the running game carries—11 total.
He finished with 52 yards, including a long of 15. That's a 5.2 yard-per-carry average and a big reason why the Giants' running game reached a season-high 152 yards on Sunday.
If that wasn't impressive enough, the rookie—who struggled with catching balls out of the backfield in the preseason—came through with five receptions on five pass targets for 25 yards.
Regardless of what happens with starter Paul Perkins, inactive due to a rib injury, Gallman—who also has proved he can pass-block—has shown he belongs in the running back rotation moving forward.
Loser: LB Keenan Robinson
Linebacker Keenan Robinson's strength is supposed to be his coverage skills. Not so much this year, though. After battling back from a preseason concussion, he has suddenly looked befuddled in coverage.
This week, he was badly beaten on three separate big passes, including the game-winner, a simple 10-yard dump-off to running back Melvin Gordon.
Robinson, late to react to the play, ended up trailing the Chargers man as he waltzed into the end zone for the game-winning score.
Prior to this week, Robinson had allowed nine of 10 pass targets against him to be completed for 87 yards, and one touchdown, 43 of those yards coming after the catch, per Pro Football Focus.
When a linebacker has allowed that many yards after the catch, it is usually a good sign he's in trail mode, which is not where a coach wants to see a coverage specialist.
Winner: WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Prior to his gruesome, season-ending injury, Odell Beckham Jr. was on a roll.
Targeted eight times, he came up with five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown, that being a long of 48 yards.
It helped that the Chargers deployed single-high safety against Beckham, but this is a player who has rarely failed to get himself open, regardless of how many defenders are assigned to cover him.
The Giants are in for a rude awakening now that Beckham is lost for the season.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if Beckham's quest for a rich payday still goes through regardless of how he heals, especially if the Giants offense struggles without him.
Loser: DE Jason Pierre-Paul
With defensive end Olivier Vernon sidelined by an ankle injury, the Giants defense really needed its other defensive end, Jason Pierre-Paul, to pick up his game.
Unfortunately, the 28-year-old had another pedestrian game (for him). He recorded four tackles against the run and had one quarterback hit, but other than that, he didn't come close to getting a hand on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
In addition, Pierre-Paul twice lined up in the neutral zone, drawing two penalties that helped extend Chargers drives.
The Giants desperately need the 2016 version of Pierre-Paul to get back on to the field if they are to have any chance of winning games.
Patricia Traina covers the New York Giants for Inside Football, the Journal Inquirer and Sports Xchange. All quotes and information were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.