Penalties. 10 of them.  Not simply the 5-yard penalties like an ill-timed offside that negated a late Giants defense interception, but two “after-the-play” taunting penalties. Both taunting calls gave back large gains into Chiefs’ territory. Then add multiple dropped passes, an interception that gave the Chiefs an instant red-zone opportunity, several missed tackles, late-game sacks. It all adds up to another ugly Giants loss that could’ve been a win.

First was the Washington Football Team. Then came Atlanta. Now, add Kansas City to the list of games the Giants could have/should have won if not for self-inflicted wounds (penalties, missed interceptions, dropped passes, touchdowns negated by silly mistakes). The current Giants team is not good enough to overcome multiple occurrences of these mistakes in a game. Last night, it wasn’t the play calling or the continuing-to-pile-up wide receiver injuries that affected the outcome. Nope. This was about player mistakes.  

The Giants put together a solid game plan last night that gave them an opportunity to beat a Chiefs team that has flaws (12 penalties). Patrick Graham’s ‘bend, but don’t break’ plan kept the Chiefs out of the endzone on all but one extended drive. I don’t count the first touchdown that resulted from Daniel Jones’ first pass of the game that gave the Chiefs the ball at the Giants’ 13-yard line. Even that possession took five plays before Tyreek Hill’s back of the endzone reception. The defense missed a lot of tackles last night which kept them on the field longer than they should be. And the worst blow came when Oshane Ximines jumped offside that gave back an interception by Darnay Holmes.

The offense was not bland either. Jason Garrett was much more creative in the red-zone last night which resulted in two touchdowns…two tight end touchdowns by the way. Devontae Booker played a great game. Even with wide receivers dropping again like broken crystal during an earthquake, the Giants moved the ball. John Ross, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney all had big catches. Dante Pettis, Shepard, and Toney all left the game due to injuries. Only Toney was able to return. Darius Slayton had opportunities to excel last night, yet came up woefully short with a lack of hustle on routes and “stone hands” on catchable passes. Despite the legendary crowd noise in Kansas City, the offensive line sort of held together…until the last minute of the game. Two sacks in the Giants’ last four plays may have been more coverage-related. But critical holding penalties and false starts killed positive plays.

I would be remiss if I left out some very bad time management issues which fall on the head coach. Why are the Giants using timeouts when the defense is on the field in the first and third quarters, well before the end of halves? Then, when you need them, you don’t have them. Headsets are the reason, coach? Ehhhh…

For the most part, the Giants played tough and showed some heart. But, they needed to use their heads too. Stay away from after-the-play flags and stop jumping at the line of scrimmage…on both sides.  Some day, after eight games, the Giants might be 5-3 instead of 2-6 by playing tough, showing heart, and using their heads. 

In this case, as Meatloaf might have rewritten his lyrics, “Two out of three ain’t good enough.”

Photo courtesy of Lawrence Journal-World

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