The big problems that led to the Giants' struggles in 2021 finally reared their ugly heads for the first time in 2022. A big reason the Giants went 4-13 last season is because their running game was non-existent and because Daniel Jones was a turnover machine, and those were both problems during New York's 31-18 loss.
Jones went eight weeks without throwing an interception, but that streak finally ended on Sunday when he got picked off by Aidan Hutchinson in the second quarter.
That was one of two interceptions that Jones would throw against the Lions. The Giants QB also threw a pick in the third quarter when a comeback was still possible.
When the Hutchinson pick happened, the Giants were leading 6-3, but that lead melted away three plays later when the Lions scored a touchdown to go up 10-6. After that, Detroit would never trail.
Saquon Barkley and the Giants running game has been incredibly successful this year, so New York hasn't really had to rely on Jones, but with Barkley getting stopped cold on nearly every play -- his longest run was four yards -- the Giants were forced to turn to Jones (Barkley only totaled 22 yards on 15 carries against the Lions).
Although Jones' numbers weren't bad -- he finished 27 of 44 for 341 yards and a TD -- most of his production came in garbage time in the fourth quarter. The Giants haven't had to worry about making any huge comebacks this year, but after falling behind 24-6 in this game, it's worth questioning whether this offense is capable of playing from behind.
The Giants dealt with a lot of issues on Sunday -- they were hit hard by injuries, their run game got shut down and they dealt few untimely penalties -- so this loss wasn't all on Jones, but considering the Giants were going up against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, you have to expect more from Jones and the offense as a whole.
San Francisco 38-10 over Arizona in Mexico City
|With this win, the 49ers took over first place in the NFC West, which is fitting, because they looked like a first place team. Jimmy Garoppolo diced up the Cardinals secondary, throwing for 228 yards and four touchdowns, which tied a career-high. Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel both caught seven passes while Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle both caught two touchdowns. The 49ers punted on their first two possessions, but they were nearly perfect on offense after that. The defense did get a few early scares from Colt McCoy, but in the end, the unit just overwhelmed a depleted Cardinals offense. This was a statement win by a 49ers team that now holds the third overall seed in the NFC.
|This game got off to a promising start for a Cardinals team that was actually leading at the end of the first quarter, but then the wheels fell off the wagon, which was somewhat fitting, because that's basically the story of their 2022 season. Greg Dortch (nine catches for 103 yards) and DeAndre Hopkins (nine catches for 91 yards) both came up with several big plays, but the overmatched Cardinals offense just couldn't sustain any drives. The biggest problem for the Cardinals is that their defense got steamrolled by a 49ers offense that iced the game with two long scoring drives in the third quarter. The Cardinals played an ugly second half and this loss just piles on to what has been an ugly season.
49ers-Cardinals grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Detroit 31-18 over N.Y. Giants
|The Lions are now on a three-game win streak, which officially makes them one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and they've been showing a lot of improvement each week. Jamaal Williams was the offensive star of the game with three touchdowns on the day. Defensively, the Lions forced three turnovers that they were able to convert into 14 points and that ended up making a huge difference in the win.
|This was an embarrassing loss for the Giants. The offense was shut down by a Lions defense that has been one of the worst in the NFL this year, and a big reason for that was because Daniel Jones seemed to take a step back. Jones, who hadn't thrown an interception since Week 3, threw two against the Lions.
Lions-Giants grades by Shanna McCarriston (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let her know on Twitter.)
Atlanta 27-24 over Chicago
|The Bears offense actually looked impressive in this game, but only in the first half. By the time the second half rolled around, the Falcons seemed to catch on to what Chicago was doing, and the Bears never really adjusted. The Bears didn't even total 100 yards in the second half and their offensive struggles ended up being a big reason why they lost. Of course, the fact that they gave up a 103-yard kickoff return also didn't help. The bad news in all of this for the Bears is that Justin Fields is now battling a shoulder injury and if that ends up being serious, it's hard to see this team being very competitive down the stretch.
|The Falcons couldn't convert on third down in this game and they had two ugly turnovers, but they were able to win, thanks to some timely plays from their defense and special teams. The most timely play of all came from Cordarrelle Patterson, who set the NFL record for most career kickoff return touchdowns with a 103-yard return during a first half that ended with the game tied at 17. The Falcons defense hasn't been great this year, but it was great in the second half of this game. Not only did it limit the Bears to just seven points, but Jaylinn Hawkins came away with a game-winning interception. At 5-6, the Falcons are still in the division title race as we head to Thanksgiving, which is more than almost anyone thought they were going to do this year.
Bears-Falcons grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New Orleans 27-20 over Rams
|The Rams went into this game without Cooper Kupp and they lost Matthew Stafford in the third quarter, so the fact that they were able to keep this close was actually kind of impressive. The problem for the Rams is that their normally reliable defense absolutely disappeared at the start of the second half with the Saints scoring on each of their first three possessions. With the Rams now sitting at 3-7, it's starting to feel like their season might be over, which is something you never thought you'd hear about a defending Super Bowl champ just 11 weeks into the season.
|Saints coach Dennis Allen decided to stick with Andy Dalton this week, and the veteran QB made his coach's gamble pay off. Going up against a tough Rams defense, Dalton had his best game of the year, going 21 of 25 for 260 yards and three touchdowns, which gave him a nearly perfect QB rating (149.5). If Dalton plays like this going forward, the Saints (4-7) could scratch and claw their way back into the race for the division title.
Rams-Saints grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Baltimore 13-3 over Carolina
|The Panthers defense gets an A+ for holding the Ravens to just 13 points, but the offense was a total failure. In his first start since Week 5, Baker Mayfield didn't do much to prove that he should keep the job. Mayfield threw two fourth-quarter interceptions during a second-half implosion by the offense that also included a lost fumble by Shi Smith. After shocking the Falcons in Week 10, the Panthers had another chance to pull off a surprise win, but their offense let them down.
|The Ravens had a bye in Week 10 and it seemed like Baltimore's offense also thought the team had a bye in Week 11 because the Ravens had an ugly first half on the offensive side of the ball. Their first five possessions ended with four punts and an interception before they were finally able to figure things out. The only reason this game didn't turn into a potential upset win for Carolina is because the Ravens defense absolutely shut down the Panthers offense. Not only did they sack Baker Mayfield four times, but they also forced three turnovers. This wasn't a pretty win, but all victories count the same in the NFL and the Ravens will gladly take their ugly W back to Baltimore with them.
Panthers-Ravens grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Washington 23-10 over Houston
|The Commanders might have the most underrated defense in the NFL right now. After shutting down the Eagles in Week 10, the Commanders looked even better in Week 11 while facing a hapless Texans offense. The defense made a statement on Houston's opening drive with a Kendall Fuller pick-six. The Commanders pass rush racked up five sacks while simply overwhelming an overmatched Houston offensive line. Washington also got 11 points from kicker Joey Slye, who hit three field goals. The Commanders offense could have missed the flight to the game and Washington probably would have still won. At 6-5, the suddenly hot Commanders are now in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
|If there was any question about whether the Texans (1-8-1) are the worst team in the NFL, they answered all of them in this game. This team totaled just FIVE YARDS of offense in the first half, and our rule here is that if you total five yards of offense in the first half of a game, you get an automatic 'F.' It's a good thing they're in line to get the first overall pick in the NFL Draft because they need all the help they can get.
Commanders-Texans grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 17-16 over Indianapolis
|The Eagles (9-1) hadn't faced a fourth-quarter deficit with this kind of adversity in -- six days. This time, Jalen Hurts willed Philadelphia to victory with eight carries for 49 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter -- including a game-winning 7-yard touchdown run with 1:20 to play. Hurts took over in the fourth quarter to lead the Eagles to their first 10-point comeback victory in the final 15 minutes since Week 15 of the 2010 season. The Eagles offense had a bunch of miscues in the first half, but the defense kept them in it by holding Jonathan Taylor to 15 carries for 35 yards after having seven carries for 49 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive. Philadelphia didn't play well for a majority of the game, yet the Eagles won anyway. That's the sign of a good team, even though it has some penalties and fumble issues to clean up.
|Indianapolis (4-6-1) couldn't hold on in a game it led until the final 1:20. The defense was strong for three quarters, limiting the big-play ability by the Eagles, yet had issues stopping Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter. A coverage breakdown on third down led to a 39-yard pass interference penalty by Zaire Franklin on the Eagles' winning drive and a missed 50-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin hurt the Colts' opportunity to go up 16-3 heading into the fourth quarter. This team looks a lot different under Jeff Saturday, but the offensive line still struggles at times and doesn't generate enough offense to put teams away.
Eagles-Colts grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let her know on Twitter.)
Buffalo 31-23 over Cleveland in Detroit
|Jacoby Brissett threw a couple late touchdowns to put a lipstick on the pig that was the Browns' offensive performance in Week 11. He had three passing touchdowns in a game for the first time since his days as the Colts' starting quarterback in 2019, but the offense's mid-game lull was too much to overcome. The Browns defense deserves a lot of credit for limiting the Bills offense to only two touchdowns, but the offense just didn't carry their weight on Sunday.
|The Bills bounced back from two straight losses with a 31-23 win that was more dominant than the box score will indicate (The Browns scored two garbage-time touchdowns to make the score look close). Buffalo scored 25 unanswered points from the end of the second quarter through the middle part of the fourth quarter. The Bills' defense shoved the Browns' offense into a locker as Cleveland had six drives in a row that looked like this: fumble, punt, end of half, turnover on downs, blocked field goal and another punt. The Bills are now 6-0 when safety Jordan Poyer plays this season and 1-3 when he doesn't. Poyer returned after missing Weeks 9 and 10 with an elbow injury. Josh Allen played turnover-free football for the first time since before the team's Week 7 bye, but Buffalo would've probably preferred a few of Tyler Bass' franchise-record six field goals been touchdowns instead.
Browns-Bills grades by Garrett Podell (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New England 10-3 over N.Y. Jets
|The Jets' defense gets an A+ while the offense gets an F-, so they finish with an overall C. Zach Wilson threw for just 77 yards and tossed what probably should have been three interceptions. If you want to know how bad Sunday was, New York (6-4) recorded just two total yards in the second half! As for the guys on defense, the Jets were outstanding. Quinnen Williams and Co. sacked Mac Jones six times, and didn't allow a single touchdown. If only they could have been on the field for the game-deciding special teams play.
|This game was ugly to watch. Mac Jones completed 23-of-27 passes for 246 yards and managed just three points. It was windy, however, and Nick Folk missed two field goals. The defense and special teams made up for the Patriots' offensive struggles, as the defense made Zach Wilson's life hell all afternoon, while Marcus Jones stepped up and scored the game-winning 84-yard punt return touchdown. The Patriots (6-4) were the better team on Sunday, but it took them a while to prove it.
Jets-Patriots grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Las Vegas 22-16 over Denver (OT)
|It's been a rough season for the Raiders, but Derek Carr and Davante Adams finally gave this team something to smile about. The two friends connected for a 35-yard TD in overtime that won the game for Las Vegas. With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Raiders' situation looked hopeless, but then Carr dialed up some magic. On the Raiders' final two possessions (including the one in OT), Carr completed five passes for a total of 139 yards (That's 27.8 yards per catch if you're scoring at home). Defensively, Maxx Crosby recorded two of Vegas' three sacks in a game where the Broncos were held out of the end zone after scoring on their opening drive. The Raiders didn't magically fix their season with this win, but it had to feel good for everyone in that locker room.
|In a season where the offense has been the big disappointment, it was the defense that let the Denver down in this game. With just under two minutes left to play and the Broncos clinging to a 16-13 lead, the defense suffered a total meltdown. First, the unit let the Raiders drive 71 yards to get a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and then gave up a game-winning TD pass to a WIDE OPEN Davante Adams in overtime. If the Broncos defense is struggling, there's almost no way Denver is going to win and the defense was definitely struggling at the end of this game. A win by Denver might have gotten Nathaniel Hackett off the hot seat for at least a week, but with a loss, there are going to be even more questions swirling about his job security going forward.
Raiders-Broncos grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 40-3 over Minnesota
|Brilliant stuff from "America's Team" coming off an erratic loss to the slumping Packers. They took out all their frustration on Green Bay's rivals. It was evident in the big workload for Tony Pollard, whose explosiveness left Minnesota's linebackers in the dust. It was evident in Dak Prescott's calculated strikes. It was especially evident in the terrorizing way they dominated the Vikings' battered front, with Micah Parsons headlining the most persistent pass rush Kirk Cousins has literally ever faced. Even Brett Maher got in on the action with a perfect 60-yard field goal (and a second one that didn't count). Dallas has finally teased its potential when everything is clicking, and it's not ludicrous to suggest they, not the Vikings, could be the Eagles' biggest threat to the No. 1 seed.
|It's hard to rail against the entire team for failing to stop Dallas' pass rush when sterling left tackle Christian Darrisaw left early due to a concussion, but even Darrisaw was victimized before exiting. Kirk Cousins had no time to throw, and when he did, he looked almost exclusively to T.J. Hockenson, preferring to dink and dunk rather than absorb another sack. Justin Jefferson, therefore, was all but totally erased, as he was in the team's other blowout loss to an NFC East team this year. Defensively, they weren't much better; Jordan Hicks and Patrick Peterson, two savvy vets on an occasionally feisty unit, both got dusted in key spots as Dallas did whatever it wanted to, whenever it wanted to, throughout Sunday's affair.
Cowboys-Vikings grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Cincinnati 37-30 over Pittsburgh
|The Bengals are now 2-0 in their white helmets after netting their first division win of the season. Joe Burrow had his best game yet without Ja'Marr Chase, throwing four touchdown passes, which tied a career high. The Bengals defense played much better than the final score indicates. The unit held the Steelers to just 139 yards in the second half and came up with a big stop after T.J. Watt made an incredible interception off Burrow deep in Bengals territory midway through the third quarter. The Bengals needed to win this game and that's how they played.
|The Steelers played a great first half, but fizzled in the second half. Pittsburgh's offense was unable to keep pace with Cincinnati's while suffering several self-inflicted wounds by way of penalties. The Steelers defense fought but ultimately wasn't able to contain Joe Burrow, who overcame the absences of Joe Mixon and Ja'Marr Chase.
Bengals-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas City 30-27 over L.A. Chargers
|Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce might have to cut the game ball in half after this game, because they both definitely deserve to take it home, Mahomes was impressive throughout the night, but he was at his best in the final two minutes with his team trailing 27-23. The Chiefs needed a touchdown to win and Mahomes worked up some magic with Kelce to make that happen. The Chargers know that Mahomes loves throwing to Kelce, but they still couldn't stop the duo. The Chiefs tight end caught six passes for 115 yards and THREE touchdowns including the game-winner. They carried the load for Kansas City on Sunday, but they didn't do everything. Isiah Pacheco had a huge night that included 107 rushing yards. The Chiefs don't have the best record in the NFL, but they certainly feel like the best team in the NFL right now.
|Whenever the Chargers lose, they seem to do it in the most painful way possible and you can go ahead and add this game to that list. Justin Herbert led the Chargers to a go-ahead TD in the final two minutes, but the defense couldn't stop Patrick Mahomes, which ended up being the story of the second half for the Chargers. The Chargers didn't force a single punt in the second half and their inability to slow down the Chiefs offense (or stop Travis Kelce) ended up being their doom. The Chargers continue to play second fiddle in a division that is going to be almost impossible for them to win now that they've been swept by the Chiefs.
Chiefs-Chargers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)