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3 takeaways from the New York Giants’ 26-25 heartbreaking loss to Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants
Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants had several opportunities to upset the Los Angeles Rams, but when it mattered most, they couldn’t make the play that would change the outcome as they were left with a 26-25 heartbreaking defeat.

“We competed to the end, just had a few plays here or there we would obviously like to have back.” Head coach Brian Daboll said in his postgame press conference.

This is a loss that will certainly weigh on the heads of the coaches and players tonight. But Sunday’s loss illustrated the issues that have plagued the team all season.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the Giants’ heartbreaking loss.

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New York Giants were their own worst enemy

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Rams played well, New York committed too many self-inflected wounds that would ultimately lead to their 11th loss of the season.

They had seven accepted penalties on the day and some of them were holding penalties that wiped out big plays. Then there was Adoree Jackson failing to tackle or push Puka Nacua out of bounds early in the third quarter and allowing him to scamper 80 yards to the Giants’ two-yard line. Kyren Williams would score on the next play to increase the Rams lead to 20-10.

There was also a key error by rookie Jalin Hyatt on a 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter. Hyatt caught a pass thrown by Tyrod Taylor, but he failed to yet beyond the first marker and was tackled immediately resulting in a turnover on downs.

Even special teams had miscues as Mason Crosby missed an extra point and a 54-yard field goal with 34 seconds remaining in the game.

But the biggest issue the team had on Sunday was the number of drops. Saquon Barkley, Jalin Hyatt, Daniel Bellinger, and Sterling Shepard all had critical drops that halted momentum that could have changed the outcome.

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The offensive line was once again overwhelmed

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In what has been a common theme for the 2023 season, New York’s offensive line was once again overwhelmed by their opponent. The line was unable to open holes for Saquon Barkley as the star running back was limited to just 39 yards on the ground on 12 carries.

Often, Barkley wasn’t even able to get back to the line of scrimmage as Aaron Donald and the rest of the Rams front seven had nine tackles for losses in the game.

But what stood out most about Los Angeles’s dominance of the line of scrimmage was how they harassed Taylor all afternoon. They sacked the 34-year-old quarterback six times and when he wasn’t being sacked, Taylor was running for his life.

New York’s offensive line has now allowed their quarterbacks to be sacked an NFL-high 83 times this season.

Related: 2023 NFL offense rankings: Evaluating all 32 teams in NFL Week 17 games

Tyrod Taylor played well but two-point conversion throw haunts Giants

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrod Taylor played by far his best game of the season, completing 27 out of 41 passes for 319 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also gained 40 yards on the ground, which included a 31-yard run on New York’s final possession of the game.

But what he’ll be remembered for most about this game is his errant pass to Saquon Barkley on a two-point attempt with 3:27 remaining in the game.

Following Gunner Olszewski’s 94-yard punt return for a touchdown that made the score 26-25, Brian Daboll elected to go for a two-point conversion to put his team ahead.

The play seemed to have worked perfectly as Taylor rolled right and saw Barkley wide open in the flat. Taylor threw the pass to Barkley, but it was woefully behind him and fell incomplete. Taylor said after the game, his mind was caught between running the ball and throwing the ball, which led to the poor throw. When asked if he thought he could have run the ball in, Taylor responded yes.

Of all the good things Taylor did on the afternoon, this is what he’ll be remembered for.

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