Thu. Dec 2nd, 2021

The Buccaneers entered Monday night in need of a win. After two losses and a bye, it had been almost a month since their last victory (on Oct. 24 against the Bears). Good thing they were playing the Giants.

Tampa Bay won, 30–10, but frankly it’s a miracle that New York managed to score at all. Daniel Jones completed 23 of 38 passes for 167 yards with an interception and two touchdowns. The Giants converted just one out of nine third-down attempts. They had a pathetic 215 yards of total offense and had only three plays of more than 15 yards. Their lone touchdown was this (nearly busted) trick pass to offensive tackle Andrew Thomas that came after a lucky interception set the Giants up with a first-and-goal from the 5.

It was an embarrassing night for the offense top to bottom. Prized running back Saquon Barkley, finally healthy again after missing most of last season with a torn ACL and the past four games with an ankle injury, carried the ball only six times. New York’s biggest free-agent acquisition, Kenny Golladay, who signed a four-year, $72 million contract before this season, caught just one pass (on the Giants’ third play of the game) and was targeted only twice. The list goes on and on. Perhaps it’s best to just show what the Giants were doing.

What is that?! Have you ever seen three offensive players collide in the middle of the field during an NFL game before? That’s the kind of miscommunication you’re more likely to see in your family’s backyard game of two-hand touch on Thanksgiving.

A college basketball coach told me once, “Offense is about creating space, defense is about taking space away.” It’s clichéd, oversimplified and about a different sport, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw that play. Daniel Jones might be terrible, but even Tom Brady wouldn’t be able to make anything happen with three receivers playing lockdown coverage on one another.

As ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky points out in the tweet above, that play is the fault of the coaching staff. And it wasn’t the only blunder offensive coordinator and play-caller Jason Garrett made. There was the aforementioned inability to get the ball into the hands of the Giants’ biggest offensive weapons, as well as a fourth-and-1 play where New York lined up in a heavy formation with Collin Johnson as the only wide receiver and Jones unsuccessfully targeted him. (Johnson ranks ninth on the team in targets this year.)

“We’ve got to do a better job of scoring points,” Judge said. “I know that sounds pretty obvious and to the point, but I’m just gonna keep it blunt right there: We’ve got to do a better job of putting our players in position to make plays. We have good players. We’ve got to put them in a better position to capitalize on it. That’s it. We’ve got to make sure we sit down tomorrow as a coaching staff to understand how we’ve got to play this game to give our players a chance to make plays.

“As a player, there’s some things I’d be frustrated with as well.”

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