The Giants’ offensive collapse against the Eagles proves the Vikings were right to fire Ed Donatell

Last Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings lost to the New York Giants 31-24 in the wild card round of the NFC Playoffs. Sophomore quarterback Daniel Jones enjoyed one of the best games of his young career, having 301 passing yards, two touchdowns and a 114.1 passing rating. The Giants accumulated the second most points they had in a game this year and the third most yards overall (431).

Four days later, the Vikings fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after just one season with the team.

There were many valid reasons for relieving Donatell of his duties. The Vikings defense ranked 28th in points allowed and 27th in the DVOA – and with one of the most experienced defensive squads in the NFL.

But for many, last week’s Wild Card game wasn’t about how bad the Vikings were. Instead, it was more about Jones’ breakout game and New York finally finding its groove on offense. With strong defense to back them up, the Giants suddenly looked like a sneakily good team that could potentially make a run.

The Philadelphia Eagles quickly put an end to that narrative. During Saturday night’s Divisional Round matchup with the Giants, the Eagles proved that the Giants’ offense hadn’t really made any noticeable progress. Their success in the Wild Card round was almost entirely due to the terrible Viking defenses they faced.

The Giants were absolutely wiped out by the Eagles with a 38-7 blowout. Jones and the Giants offense were left out of the first half and rushed for just 227 yards throughout the game — just 2 yards above their season low. Daniel Jones finished with a season-low 53.8 passers, had five sacks and threw his seventh interception of the season.

In other words, after nearly hitting season highs in yards and points last week, the Giants set a new low for points scored and were 3 yards from hitting the bottom in yards.

But the Giants’ offensive performance against the Eagles was much closer to their norm for the 2022 season. New York was averaging just 21.5 points per game this year, and Jones crossed 300 passing yards in just three games this season — two of them against the Vikings.

Sure, the Eagles deserve a lot of credit for their performance on Saturday. They have one of the best defenses in the league, ranking eighth in points allowed and sixth in DVOA. Much more telling, however, is that this Giants offense, which looked utterly lost against the Eagles on Saturday, didn’t need to pot the ball until late in the third quarter against the Vikings.

There is a rift between the Eagles’ defense and the Vikings’, and while offense was able to carry Minnesota into the playoffs, the team’s Achilles tendon was eventually exposed — and they remain exposed even after being eliminated from the playoffs.

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