Giants' struggles in loss to Raiders amplified by inept offense and Daniel Jones' injury
LAS VEGAS (AP) — It seems to be one step forward and two steps back for the New York Giants lately.
After getting Daniel Jones back following a three-game absence because of neck injury, the quarterback injured his right knee in the second quarter of the Giants' 30-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
And while coach Brian Daboll is remaining optimistic, he’s also preparing for what may be a worst-case scenario.
“It felt like it buckled, and then he was running it off. We went over to him, we talked to him, he said, ‘I’m all good,’ then went back in and obviously wasn’t,” Daboll said. “We've got to get the next guy ready."
Whether that's Tommy DeVito or Matt Barkley — or someone else.
“Yeah, I’m sure we’ll have conversations tomorrow or the next day,” Daboll said.
New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) throws a touchdown pass as Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Whomever it may be, the Giants have a week to prepare what’s been an inept offense for a road game at division-rival Dallas, where the Cowboys will assuredly be looking to take their frustrations out after losing 28-23 in Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Giants still haven’t produced an offensive touchdown in the first quarter.
They’ve been held to single digits in four of their nine games. They’ve also been limited to 16 or fewer points in eight of those contests.
The Giants finished with 277 yards of offense, the sixth time they finished with less than 300.
Now at 2-7, the Giants have matched their loss total from last season, when they finished 9-7-1 and sneaked into the playoffs.
“I guess you could say, mentally, it’s tough,” Giants running back Saquon Barkley said. “But you've got to be mentally tough, you've got to fight through this. It sucks. No one’s happy. It’s tough, but you just got to keep fighting.”
The problem is finding stability at the quarterback position.
Veteran backup Tyrod Taylor is out at least three more games on injured reserve with a rib cage injury, suffered last week against the Jets. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are DeVito, an undrafted rookie with a speck of experience, and Barkley, a recent practice squad signing who wasn’t available because the Giants did not elevate him for the game.
DeVito is an undrafted rookie from Illinois who made his NFL regular-season debut in last week’s loss to the Jets when he played the final 2 1/2 quarters after Taylor left. He was15 of 20 for 175 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions Sunday.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Bilal Nichols sacks New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito (15) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Looking lost often, the Giants tied for the seventh-largest halftime deficit in franchise history after being held scoreless through two quarters when the Raiders took a 24-0 lead into the locker room.
Las Vegas’ defense produced eight sacks, marking the fourth time this season the Giants were sacked at least seven times.
Not a good sign when the Giants had both tackles on their offensive line back for the first time since Week 1. Andrew Thomas was out since the opener with a hamstring injury and Evan Neal missed the last two with an injured right ankle.
Adding to the injury list, Neal said he’ll get an MRI on his left ankle Monday and added that this injury feels similar to the previous one. Also, New York cornerback Adoree’ Jackson suffered a concussion.
Certainly not welcome news for a unit that had allowed a total of 34 points over their last three games and was torched by a Las Vegas offense that hadn’t produced 20 points all season. The only time the Raiders got past the 20-point mark, a defensive sack for a safety pushed their final tally to 21.
New York’s defense didn’t lay a hand on Raiders rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell until the fourth quarter when Micah McFadden applied pressure.
“They did a good job early in the game, running the ball, hitting some big plays, took advantage of the opportunities that they had,” Daboll said.
With injuries mounting, the Giants have to find new ways to step forward — again.
Giants: The second of a three-game road trip continues against the NFC East-rival Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.