Why Giants left out Leonard Williams in pivotal Eagles moment – New York Post
With the game on the line, Leonard Williams was watching. For the first six plays of the Eagles’ Monday night overtime possession that would result in a game-winning touchdown, the former Jet defensive lineman was on the sideline.
“We had a rotation going and that’s basically it,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said Tuesday.
Williams, dealt from the Jets to Giants in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020 and a 2021 fifth-round pick, was having a quality game, despite receiving just 51 of 89 defensive snaps. He had five solo tackles, one tackle for loss and deflected a Carson Wentz pass. He also was called for a rougher-the-passer penalty.
“For whatever it’s worth, I felt like the interior defensive linemen were pretty disruptive, and we liked the rotation we had to keep them fresh throughout,” Shurmur said.
There was a costly miscommunication, between experienced veterans, on the Eagles’ game-winning 2-yard touchdown pass from Wentz to tight end Zach Ertz in overtime. Ertz lined up split wide right and then was motioned back inside to the hash. Linebacker Alec Ogletree signaled to safety Michael Thomas and the two veterans – both team captains – seemed to be in sync on their coverage.
Ertz was far and away the most dangerous threat on the field. Yet at the snap, Ertz easily cut inside, between Ogletree and Thomas, as neither defender took a step toward him, leaving Ertz ridiculously wide open for the walk-off score.
“Well, we just dropped coverage on Ertz,” Shurmur said, without going into any more detail on what exactly went wrong on the play. “That’s what happened, that’s how I explain it. There’s no other explanation than that.”
Shurmur stood by his decision to wait 20 seconds to call timeout in the final minute of the fourth quarter with the Eagles facing a 4th-and-1 from their own 45-yard-line. After the third-down play, Shurmur chose not to stop the clock, letting it run down to 19 seconds before calling timeout, unsure if the Eagles would go for it.
“So, what I wanted to do was make it less intriguing for them to go for it, but still give us an opportunity,” he said.
The Eagles ended up punting and the Giants didn’t have enough time to work with to try to get into field goal position.
Markus Golden now has 8.5 sacks, the most by a Giants linebacker since Jessie Armstead had nine in 1999. The free agent-to-be should be able to cash in this offseason. … Monday night’s overtime loss was just the second defeat in 12 games that needed extra time to decide for the Giants.
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