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May 19, 2019

Leonard: 5 takeaways from Giants’ latest disaster

October 13, 2018

The Giants defense didn’t have any takeaways in Thursday night’s unacceptable 34-13 beatdown to the Eagles. But we have 5 from the disappointing defeat.


Defensive captain Alec Ogletree bristled when I asked him if there was a problem with effort: “I don’t question any man’s effort out here,” but he’s a diplomatic leader, and in another way Ogletree essentially challenged his teammates to give more and fight to save the season.

“We’ve got a little break here, so I hope everybody goes and reflects on what we wanna come back and be,” said the veteran linebacker (eight tackles, one for loss, one QB hurry). “(It will take) every man just looking in the mirror and doing the things they say they want to do. We’ve got to come together as a team and play as one. We can’t have mistakes all over the field, because it hurts us.”

Saquon Barkley was the lone bright spot for Giants Thursday night, rushing for 130 yards on 13 carries and hauling in 9 passes for 99 yards. He also rushed for a 50-yard touchdown. (Julio Cortez / AP)


Saquon Barkley had several runs Thursday night that left the entire nation breathless, making comparisons to Walter Payton and Barry Sanders, and yet when he looked up after his 50-yard TD run in the third quarter, the score still was 31-13 Eagles. I asked Barkley how strange it was to dominate individually but still see his team down by so many points.

“You really don’t even know that you’re dominating in a game when you’re down two touchdowns, three touchdowns,” Barkley said. “Only thing in your mind is no matter what, if you’re down by 40, if you’re down by 50, 60 or whatever, you just continue to play your heart out for this team and for your brothers on the sideline. So you’re not even focusing on that. I guess that’s why you don’t even notice it because that’s just the mindset that I have.”

I also asked Barkley if he was trying to “carry” the team to a win. He basically said he doesn’t want to characterize it that way but, hey, if we want to, he can understand why we would.

“I wouldn’t say that I was trying to carry the team. That’s not my mindset really ever,” Barkley said. “My mindset is to go out there and play my butt off, lead on the sideline, push myself, push my teammates and do whatever it takes to help the team win or help put us in a better position to win. It’s never really the mindset of carrying the team on my back. If that’s how people take it or see it, then I guess you could say that. But my mindset is just go out there fighting, fighting my butt off and try to break tackles and make plays for my teammates.”


While Pat Shurmur flies to Nashville to see his son, Kyle, lead Vanderbilt against Florida in a noon start, GM Dave Gettleman should flip on his TV at 3:30 p.m. and watch No. 17 Oregon and quarterback Justin Herbert take on No. 7 Washington. If the Giants are going to have a top three pick again, and they’re well on their way, they need to evaluate the emerging top QB in the 2019 draft class. The Giants, by the way, as of Friday morning are dead last, 32nd of 32 teams, in the NFL standings. Same record after six games that they had last season. They also have lost four straight head-to-head vs. the Eagles, and Philly coach Doug Pederson is 4-1 in two-plus years so far against the Giants.

Pat Shurmur gestures while speaking during a news conference after the team's NFL football game against the Eagles on Thursday
Pat Shurmur gestures while speaking during a news conference after the team’s NFL football game against the Eagles on Thursday (Bill Kostroun / AP)


Now it’s not just Odell Beckham Jr. venting openly on the field and sidelines. Shurmur could be seen on the FOX broadcast appearing to say “throw the ball” in frustration after one Eli Manning decision. “I don’t recall that,” he said after the game. And Manning uncharacteristically and clearly blamed RB Wayne Gallman for running the wrong route on a third down incompletion in the second quarter. Gallman had dropped a pass on second down, and Manning and the running back weren’t on the same page on third down, so the pass fell incomplete. Manning made sure everyone in the building knew it was Gallman’s fault. The QB is feeling the heat. He should be.


Since the infamous Boat Trip, the Giants have a 4-19 record in their last 23 games.

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