Giants may have the worst two-play sequence of the 2021 NFL season

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During halftime of the Giants-Falcons game at MetLife Stadium, Eli Manning was inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor, and had his jersey number 10 retired. A nice and fitting tribute, though the warm and fuzzy feelings stopped when team owner John Mara came out to run the ceremony and was lustily booed by the home crowd.

Mara was not surprised. Nor should he have been.

Any Giants fans who stuck around for the third quarter were treated to what may have been the most preposterous, win-killing play sequence of the 2021 NFL season.

On third-and-3 with 6:36 left in the third quarter and the ball at the Atlanta 39-yard line, quarterback Daniel Jones “attempted” a deep pass to receiver Collin Johnson, which was actually a slice out of bounds.

Why you’d go deep with a risky play in a broken passing offense on third-and-short is beyond us, but we are not Jason Garrett, the Giants’ offensive coordinator. The Falcons had 10 defenders at or near the line of scrimmage, and Jones has been a good deep passer over the last couple of seasons, so perhaps the fault was in execution over philosophy. Or, perhaps the Giants should have plays with receivers going over the middle quickly.

Not to be outdone, head coach Joe Judge was about to call one of the most cowardly punts in recent NFL history.

The punt put the ball at the Atlanta five-yard line, and the Giants did receiver with a 10-play, 64-yard drive the next time they had the ball, but the aroma of that two-play sequence will not go away anytime soon.