MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for the Giants. They previously could not score enough with Daniel Jones, and on Sunday they could not score enough with Mike Glennon.
It doesn’t matter who calls the plays. They were impotent with Jason Garrett and continue to be just as atrocious with Freddie Kitchens.
It doesn’t matter where they play, who they play or if it is cold or warm or windy or calm. The Giants are equal-opportunity dreadful when it comes to finding a way to take the ball and stick it into the end zone.
Considering that scoring touchdowns is kinda, sorta a prerequisite for winning in the NFL, you can pretty much assume what went down at Hard Rock Stadium. Glennon took over at quarterback because Jones has a strained neck and what was already bad looked worse, if that is possible.
Oh, it was possible. Even for the Giants, this 20-9 loss to the Dolphins feels like a low point, considering it was indeed their lowest point total of the season. Three Graham Gano field goals was all there was.
There were two dropped passes in the first half by Saquon Barkley, who continues to struggle (55 rushing yards on 11 carries). Glennon (22 of 42, 187 yards, one interception) looked like a career backup who is now 6-22 as a starter in his career. He was shaky in the first half and overwhelmed in the second half, with no help whatsoever from his offensive line. A Giants defense that limited a limited Tua Tagovailoa attack watched Tagovailoa fire short passes to his receivers, mostly Jaylen Waddle. Allowing 20 points is supposed to help a team win games, but not with this team.
Just like that, the Giants (4-8) once again failed in their bid to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Dolphins (6-7) won their fifth consecutive game. They were in control the entire second half and sealed the deal on Jason Sanders’ 48-yard field goal with 1:11 remaining, extending the Dolphins lead to 11 points.
The Giants beat the Eagles last week despite scoring only one touchdown. That was with Jones playing almost the entire game with a neck strain. Glennon took over and he sprayed the ball all over the place.
This was a ridiculously feeble offense. This was embarrassing. On the last series of the third quarter, John Ross broke wide open in the middle of the field and Glennon threw it about 3 yards behind him. Glennon on consecutive plays held onto the ball, resulting in two sacks for Jaelan Phillips. Add in the requisite wasted timeout on offense and a delay of game penalty and the Giants were left with a third-and-35 situation. Here is a hint: They did not convert.
The lackluster defensive struggle turned the Dolphins’ way when Tagovailoa put together a 14-play, 89-yard drive to end the first half, completing 11 of 12 passes for 77 yards, no pass gaining more than 9 yards as he sent the ball into tight spaces, risking little. The final shot was a 5-yard scoring flip to Mack Hollins with 26 seconds left in the first half. Hollins was wide open in the end zone and should not have been, considering Tagovailoa rolled to his left and threw to his left, fooling no one — except the Giants. The lone touchdown put the Giants down 10-3 at halftime.
With Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney injured and out once again, the last man standing in the group of offensive playmakers, Kenny Golladay, did not last long, as the ridiculous injury curse continues.
Golladay on the first play of the second quarter slid to haul in a 12-yard pass, extended himself to make sure he picked up the first down and then exited with a rib injury. On the final play of the first quarter, Golladay caught a pass for 5 yards on the sideline and it looked as if a Dolphins defender punched at the ball and instead hit Golladay in the midsection.
Golladay was able to return in the second half, broke open on the first series and Glennon was so late with the throw that the ball should have been intercepted.
Glennon completed his first eight passes, for only 59 yards, but pass No. 9 was one he wished he could get back. He threw into double coverage, with Darius Slayton blanketed by Jevon Holland and Xavien Howard. The ball was underthrown, allowing Howard to leap with Slayton and come away with an interception.
The one positive aspect of the turnover was that Slayton touched Howard on the way down, pinning the Dolphins on their 3-yard line. The Giants forced a three-and-out — Quincy Roche dropped Tagovailoa on a third-down sack to prompt a “Let’s Go Giants’’ chant from the many blue-clad Giants fans — and the ensuing punt gave the ball back to the Giant on the Miami 37-yard line. Glennon, other than a 12-yard strike to Golladay on a third-down pickup, did not do much with the possession and Gano’s 39-yard field goal put the Giants up 3-0. That was not going to be enough, considering the Giants’ defense could not be asked to pitch a shutout.