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Labeling the New York Giants quitters is reckless, irresponsible and unfair

The team’s players didn’t quit against the Rams, they got outplayed and outcoached

The New York Giants didn’t quit on Sunday. They lost badly, but it wasn’t because they weren’t trying. Labeling them quitters is reckless, irresponsible and unfair. In the hypermasculine atmosphere of professional football, there are few things worse than being considered someone who would give up.

I have watched the game twice, carefully looking for evidence of quitting. I found none. Some analysts have pointed to Robert Woods’ second-quarter touchdown on third-and-33 as proof that the Giants had given up. Woods caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage on the left side of the field, then ran 52 yards through the middle of the Giants’ defense for a touchdown. Yes, it was an awful play, but nobody quit. They were all running to make the tackle. Safety Landon Collins, the player with the best chance to make the tackle, actually ran too hard. He ran past Woods.

Giants cornerback Eli Apple has received the bulk of the criticism for that play for not running to the ball aggressively enough. Ironically, had Collins played it a little more like Apple, he would have made the tackle. Maybe you could expect Apple to run to the ball harder, earlier in the play, but he did what most backside cornerbacks would do on a receiver screen pass to the opposite side: delay for a second to ensure that there isn’t some sort of throwback coming, then go to the ball, being careful not to overpursue. If that is evidence of quitting, then every team every week quits.

In the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys game, with two seconds until halftime, the Cowboys allowed Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill to take a short pass 56 yards for a touchdown. So, I guess the Cowboys are quitters too? Dallas went on to win the game 28-17.

The Giants, on the other hand, lost 51-17. And if you watched the game, you would have seen why they lost so badly. First of all, the Giants have been ravaged by injuries, so the much healthier Los Angeles Rams are just a more talented team. And with head coach Sean McVay focusing on the offense and Wade Phillips coordinating the defense, the Rams are a better coached team too. But that still shouldn’t produce a 34-point loss.

The score was ugly because the Giants players played poorly. I know, saying they played poorly isn’t as fun as calling some of them quitters. But it is more accurate. Offensively, Eli Manning’s passes were inaccurate. He overthrew a couple of sure touchdown passes. When he did hit his mark, his receivers were not reliable. The Giants dropped eight passes Sunday.

On the defensive side of the ball, they gave up big runs because they were overreacting to cuts by Rams running back Todd Gurley and getting out of their gaps, creating vacated lanes for Gurley. And in the passing game, they weren’t getting pressure on Manning. And the defensive backs were miscommunicating and blowing coverages. Two of the Rams’ touchdowns were a result of a cornerback assuming that he could release an inside breaking route to the safety or linebacker, but the receiver went uncovered for a score.

I suspect a lot of Giants fans didn’t watch the entire game because this season seems like a lost cause. After watching the game, I could understand why the fans would give up on this season. But there is no reason to believe that the players have.

Domonique Foxworth is a writer at The Undefeated. He is a recovering pro athlete and superficial intellectual.