GIANTS DROP TO 2-10 AFTER LOSS TO RAIDERS
The Giants headed West with a team that is lost in a sea of injuries, self doubt and an uncertain future. So no one should be surprised Big Blue dropped a 24-17 decision to the floundering Oakland Raiders on the road.
Ex-Jet signal caller Geno Smith officially ended Eli Manning’s 13-year, 4,767-day reign as the team’s starting quarterback when he took the first snap Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Smith threw the ball well, but lost two fumbles, and didn’t help solve the team’s scoring problems. The result was a loss that dropped the Giants to 2-10.
“I just hate to lose,” Smith said. “I don’t want to lose at all at anything. I was upset that we lost, I felt like we had some opportunities and we couldn’t take advantage of them. We can’t really cry over spilled milk. You just got to pick yourself up and get ready for next week.”
Smith was 21 of 34 for 224 yards and a touchdown.
With rumors swirling that his job is on the line, especially after McAdoo’s decision this week to bench Eli Manning, ending his streak of starting games at 210, the head coach said he would keep doing his job until he hears otherwise.
“I’m going to coach this team as long as my key card works,” McAdoo said with a sense of gallows humor at his post game press conference. “You know, we’ve got a great group of players, the coaches, we’ve got a great staff to work with. We’re going to show up ready to go tomorrow and get this thing cleaned up and move on to the next one.”
NOTES FROM THE GIANTS
*The Giants lost their second game in a row and fell to 2-10, their worst 12-game record since they were 2-10 in 1976, and their worst mark since the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978.
*The Giants finished 2-2 against the AFC West, beating Denver and Kansas City, and losing to the Los Angeles Chargers and the Raiders. Three of their final four games are at home against NFC East foes Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington. The fourth game is at Arizona.
*The Giants lost to the Raiders for the first time since 2001 (beating them three times since) and trail in the alltime series, 8-5.
*The Giants rushed for only 65 yards, their lowest total since they ran for 46 yards against Seattle on Oct. 22. It was the sixth time this season the Giants rushed for fewer than 75 yards.
*Oakland finished with 401 total yards, the sixth time this season a Giants opponent gained more than 400 yards.
*Geno Smith started at quarterback for the Giants, ending Eli Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts (plus 12 in the postseason). Smith was the first quarterback other than Manning to start a game for the Giants since Kurt Warner started at Arizona on Nov. 14, 2004, a span of 4,768 days between non-Manning starts.
*Smith started for the first time since Oct. 23, 2016, when he was with the Jets against Baltimore when he threw eight passes, completing four, before suffering a season-ending torn ACL.
*Smith completed 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions for a passer rating of 89.3 against the Raiders. He was sacked three times for losses totaling 12 yards, and lost two fumbles.
*Smith’s 34 passes were the most by a Giants quarterback other than Manning since Warner threw 36 in his next-to-last start, on Nov. 7, 2004 against Chicago. Since Manning became the starter two weeks later, David Carr’s 14 passes on Oct. 11, 2009 – against the Raiders – were the most thrown by another Giants quarterback.
*When Smith threw a three-yard pass to Shane Vereen for his first completion, the running back became the first Giants player to catch a pass from a quarterback other than Manning since Myles White caught a 24-yard touchdown from Ryan Nassib at Minnesota on Dec. 27, 2015.
*Smith was the first quarterback to start for both the Giants and Jets.
*Manning was the only Giants player in uniform who did not play in the game.
*Evan Engram, the Giants’ first-round draft choice this year, had season and game-high totals of seven receptions for 99 yards, including a sensational one-handed, 22-yard grab over linebacker Nicholas Morrow in the fourth quarter.
*Engram scored the Giants’ second touchdown, on a 10-yard pass from Smith earlier in the final quarter. It was his sixth touchdown reception of the season, a new franchise record for rookie tight ends. Bob Tucker had held the old record of five since 1970.
*Engram’s 29-yard reception in the first quarter was his longest since he had a 31-yarder in the season opener in Dallas on Sept. 10.
*Tavarres King led the wide receivers with four catches (for 23 yards), while Sterling Shepard led the wideouts with 56 receiving yards (on three catches).
*Orleans Darkwa led the Giants with 32 rushing yards on 14 carries, and scored the team’s first touchdown on a one-yard run. Darkwa has three of the Giants’ four rushing touchdowns this season; Manning has the other one.
*Defensive tackle Robert Thomas lined up at fullback and led Darkwa into the end zone.
*Paul Perkins had three rushing attempts for 12 yards, his first carries since Oct. 1 at Tampa Bay.
*Oakland became the second team to score a first-possession touchdown against the Giants this season when Marshawn Lynch ran 51 yards for a touchdown on the Raiders’ third play. The Los Angeles Rams were the other team to score a touchdown on their first offensive series, when Jared Goff threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Higbee on Nov. 5. Under Ben McAdoo, the Giants are 3-4 in regular-season games in which the opposing team scores a touchdown on its opening possession.
*Lynch scored just 2:34 into the game. It was both the longest touchdown run and the quickest offensive score allowed by the Giants since Philadelphia’s DeMarco Murray scored on a 54-yard run after just 1:50 had elapsed in the first quarter on Jan. 2, 2016.
*Linebacker B.J. Goodson returned to action after missing four consecutive games with an ankle injury. He had four tackles (two solo) before aggravating the injury.
*Rookie linebacker Calvin Munson had the Giants’ only sack, a five-yard takedown of Derek Carr in the third quarter. It was Munson’s second sack and first sack since Sept. 18 against Detroit
*Three players signed last week made their Giants debuts: defensive backs Brandon Dixon and Darryl Morris, and linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong.
Dixon, who was signed off the Giants’ practice squad last Tuesday, made his first career start at right cornerback, where he played the entire game. Dixon played his first regular-season game since Dec. 28, 2014, when he was with Tampa Bay (against New Orleans). He had six tackles (four solo), two passes defensed, and a forced a fumble by wide receiver Johnny Holton that was recovered by Landon Collins.
*Collins had seven tackles (six solo). On the debit side, both Dixon and Collins dropped what should have been easy interceptions.
*Morris played on special teams and as an extra defensive back and was credited with three tackles (two solo). He had last played on Jan. 1, 2017, for Indianapolis against Jacksonville.
*Armstrong had a solo tackle and a forced fumble on special teams. He had played in 10 games with five starts this season for San Francisco. He most recently played for the Niners against the Giants on Nov. 12. Armstrong was released by San Francisco on Nov. 24.
*Aldrick Rosas kicked a season-long 52-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. His previous long was a 51-yarder at Denver on Oct. 15.
*Fullback Shane Smith tackled Marquette King for an 11-yard loss when he rushed the punter so quickly he couldn’t get a kick off.
*Right tackle Chad Wheeler left the game in the second half with a concussion and was replaced by former starter Bobby Hart.
*Lynch rushed for 101 yards, the third opposing back to run for more than 100 yards this season, and the second in as many games. Washington’s Samaje Perine ran for 100 yards on 24 carries on Thanksgiving night, and the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon had 105 yards on 20 attempts on Oct. 8.
*The Giants’ inactive players were offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), cornerback Eli Apple (hip), wide receiver Travis Rudolph, linebackers Jonathan Casillas (neck/wrist) and Jeremy Cash, defensive tackle Khyri Thornton, and quarterback Davis Webb.
Pugh missed his third consecutive game and fourth in the last five with a back injury. Apple was inactive for the third consecutive week. Casillas missed his fourth game of the season. Rudolph was inactive for the second time since he was signed to the active roster on Oct. 9. Cash and Thornton joined the team last week. Webb has been inactive every game this season.
*The Giants’ game captains were Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kelvin Sheppard and Brett Jones.
*With the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020, this was the Giants’ last game in Oakland, where they were 1-3.