New York Giants’ future remains in doubt after Eagles place stamp on 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 29: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants celebrates with head coach Pat Shurmur after scoring a 68 yard touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter in the game at MetLife Stadium on December 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The New York Giants’ future remains completely in doubt after the Philadelphia Eagles placed an emphatic stamp on the 2019 season at MetLife. 

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The New York Giants’ agonizing and disappointing 2019 season came to an end Sunday evening when they were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFC East division champs.

The Giants came into this game with a chance to play spoilers and eliminate the injury-ladened Eagles from playoff contention But as the case has been all season, the Giants found a new way to lose a game.

Tied heading into the fourth quarter, the Eagles scored all 17 points in the final frame to come away with their seventh-consecutive victory over the Giants.

There were some positives, such as the emergence of rookie tight end Kaden Smith, who had eight receptions for 98 yards, and Saquon Barkley, who showed he can score from anywhere on the field on his 68-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

But at the end of the day, football is about winning and losing, and the Giants’ downfall on Sunday was due to the same issues that have plagued the team all season long.

As it pertains to the offense, the play-calling was once again predictable, and the offensive line was overwhelmed. They struggled to open holes for Barkley and allowed Daniel Jones to be sacked four times. In addition, Jones had an interception and another lost fumble.

For the defense, despite the Eagles being decimated by injuries to key offensive players such as Zach Ertz, they allowed 400 yards of offense. Carson Wentz, who was throwing to receivers that would be practice squad players on most teams, completed 23 of 40 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown. Eagles receivers were able to roam free in the secondary and defensive coordinator James Bettcher was unable to dial-up a scheme to stop them.

The defense could not stop the Eagles ground game at pivotal points in the game, as the Eagles rushed for 121 yards on 31 carries, featuring three rushing touchdowns by Boston Scott.

To put it plain and simple: it was not the kind of performance co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch wanted to see from their team, and major changes could be in store as soon as Monday.

The loss dropped the Giants to 4-12 on the season and places Pat Shurmur’s mark as the team’s head coach at 9-23. The Giants may have a young team, as Shurmur has alluded to several times this season, but at some point, you expect your young players to learn from their miscues and start to show progress.

If anything, the Giants have regressed from the team that went 5-11 a season ago, and that’s what could ultimately cost Shurmur (and perhaps general manager Dave Gettleman) his job. It may not be ideal for Daniel Jones to enter his second season in the league with a new coach, having to learn a new offensive system, but it would be a hard sell to bring Shurmur back for a third season.

Shurmur has stated he has yet to speak with ownership regarding his future with the team, but that conversation could occur on Black Monday. Ownership must make a decision quickly on Shurmur’s fate.

It won’t be long before we find out what changes are in store for the Giants as they try to change their fortunes in 2020.

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