The most-talked-about quarterback change in recent NFL memory didn’t help: the New York Giants, with Geno Smith as the starter instead of Eli Manning, lost to the Oakland Raiders on the road, 24-17. It was the 10th loss of the season for New York and the third time in the past four years it has lost at least 10 games.
The Giants made things interesting in the closing minutes, with Smith guiding his team to a nine-play, 88-yard touchdown to put the score at 17-14 with just over five minutes to play.
On the drive, Smith was 4-for-4, including a 47-yard strike to Sterling Shepard, and the Giants converted the only third down they faced.
However, the defense didn’t do its job, and Oakland scored in just four plays thanks to a screen pass that Cordarrelle Patterson turned into a 59-yard gain. It put the Raiders up by 10 with 3:30 to play.
Smith was 3-for-6 on the final possession, converting one of two third-down opportunities; he was sacked on the second third down, forcing a 52-yard field goal from Aldrick Rosas.
The Giants tried an onside kick, but the Raiders recovered.
On New York’s final two drives, Smith was 7-for-10 for 100 yards and the touchdown, and also ran the ball twice for first downs. But when the game was close – Oakland led just 10-7 after three quarters – he wasn’t effective: over the first three quarters, Smith was just 14-for-24 for 112 yards, and the Giants converted only three of their 11 third-down chances.
As Smith played, Manning stood on the sideline in uniform, an earpiece in to hear the offensive calls that were going into Smith’s helmet.
Confusingly, as the Giants supposedly want to see what they have at quarterback as they move forward beyond this season, rookie Davis Webb was not in uniform, inactive for the game.
While ESPN reported before the game that McAdoo could be fired within 24 hours of the game in Oakland because of the anger in some of the franchise’s highest reaches over the way the Manning situation was handled (co-owner Steve Tisch said “no comment” on McAdoo’s status when asked by reporters after the game), Manning himself said he didn’t want McAdoo to be fired.
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