The raw data is incriminating. Saquon Barkley ran the ball nine times for a total of 94 yards in the first half in Philadelphia and the Giants dominated the Eagles 19-11 on Sunday. Barkley only ran four times for 7 yards in the second half and the Giants were beaten 14-3. Pat Shurmur lost his mind?
Well no. But he did not have his best time either.
The match has escaped the Giants more than Shurmur at Barkley. There were only four real offensive possessions – we can rule out the fact that the Giants have the ball in less than 22 seconds. In the first series, Barkley ran three yards in the first run and Eli Manning was sacked in the second run, setting a third and 18 points for Barkley. So, nothing to see here.
On the second set, Shurmur let Barkley rest and put Wayne Gallman on the field. Gallman ran for 5 and 7 yards, but the rest of the series was a hot mess. False start on Nate Solder, terrible pass from Corey Coleman, loss of 3 yards by Gallman on a game in which Jamon Brown was called to hold, setting up another third and 18th. You can argue the silly argument that Barkley should never get a series, but this possession has not been ruined by Gallman.
The third series is where Shurmur receives bad reviews. The Giants led 19-14 towards the end of the third quarter, and three consecutive passes, all incomplete, were followed. -and-10 bag, as Chris Long danced around the right tackle Chad Wheeler.
"Yeah, I understand, I've called three consecutive passes," Shurmur said afterwards. "A couple of other series, I called a couple short."
In the fourth set, the Giants led 22-19 and Barkley got two defeat attempts, losing 1 yard and gaining 1 yard. The Eagles have clearly adjusted after their problems in the first half that stopped the rookie. The penalty of late play did not help and the series ended with Beckham being retained by Cre'Von LeBlanc, not receiving the call and the Giants settling for an investment.
The main problem? The Giants have only 21 offensive games in the second half. Barkley was more affected by the shortcomings of his teammates than by Shurmur.