By – The Washington Times – Sunday, December 31, 2017
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Theoretically, the had plenty of chances to mount a comeback in Sunday’s 18-10 loss to the .
With just over three minutes left and trailing by eight, quarterback stepped on the field at ’s 27-yard line. In what could be ‘ final game in a uniform, the stage was set for a game-tying drive down the field.
Instead, threw his third interception of the day.
On Sunday, the 2017 went out with a whimper — finishing the season at 7-9.
“The fact of the matter is we never really got it going,” said. “I was just disappointed with the fact that we never really found a rhythm.”
Reports surfaced over the weekend that coach would return next season for a fifth year, giving another year of stability despite questions of who their quarterback will be next season.
Under , the had a chance to finish with three straight seasons of .500 or better. tried to downplay the mark, saying he just wanted to have his players finish strong.
Sunday’s effort was anything but.
The got off to a horrendous start. On just the second play of the game, running back Orleans Darkwa broke off a 75-yard touchdown from the line of scrimmage. He went untouched, with multiple defenders late to react on the play.
After New York’s initial touchdown, threw an interception — his first of the day — at New York’s 19-yard line to linebacker Kelvin Sheppard. The needed another two plays to take a 12-0 lead, this time with Eli Manning connecting with Hunter Sharp on a post route.
“This one didn’t go too well,” safety D.J. Swearinger said. “We made a lot of plays this week; we just got off to a slow start. The last two weeks I felt that we started to jell. I think we can build on these last few weeks as a defense.”
But the still had life, adjusting to the offense after that. Over the next 48 minutes, ’s offense could barely muster anything. They lost two key pieces in the first quarter — running back Samaje Perine (ankle) and left tackle Ty Nsekhe (knee) — to injuries.
struggled throughout the game, going 20 for 37 with 154 yards and three interceptions.
“It wasn’t good,” said of ‘ performance. “But nobody on offense played good. I call the plays and it was awful. Any time you had a performance like this, it’s not good by anybody unfortunately.”
For a second straight year, and the had the opportunity to finish the season strong against the at MetLife Stadium. Last year, the stakes were much more meaningful — with a potential playoff berth on the line. This year, wanted to finish 8-8.
Neither happened. , though, was hesitant to draw any parallels.
He admitted to forcing plays. He constantly missed receivers and targets, like overthrowing Vernon Davis in the fourth quarter.
“Trying to force a big play sometimes makes matters worse,” said. “That’s something that happened today.”
‘ lone touchdown came with just under eight minutes left in the first quarter, keeping the ball for a 12-yard rush.
The ‘ defense also suffered a setback, allowing 260 rushing yards to a team notable for struggling to run the ball. New York continued to move the ball, adding two more field goals.
Still, was in the contest for most of the game. It entered halftime trailing just 15-10 thanks to a 49-yard kick from Dustin Hopkins as time expired.
The even got the ball back to start the half with a shot at taking control of the game.
Instead, threw his second interception on just the third play of the half, under-throwing Ryan Grant.
The missed the playoffs for the second straight year. They head into the offseason with a number of questions surrounding them, primarily will Cousins be back.
has the option of applying a third straight franchise tag, negotiating a long term deal, or letting him walk. said he would further go into detail about his future at an open charity event Friday.
said he wants his quarterback to return, but “it’s not always up to us.”
“We also have 18 or 19 other free agents that I would really like to care of also,” said. “So at the end of the day, we have a lot of work to do staff-wise, myself, player-wise.”
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