The NFL regular season is over. The New York Giants played their final game of the season on Sunday. Their week 17 matchup was a home loss against the Dallas Cowboys. The final score was 35-36. The Giants’ offense played a great game, scoring 35 points. However, the defense was lousy, letting up 36 points.
The Giants defense played so poorly that head coach Pat Shurmur had to bench a player. The player that was benched was free safety Curtis Riley. Riley has received heavy criticism from fans all season. The Giants’ coaching staff benched Riley for a lack of effort.
The Play That Benched Riley
The Cowboys had the ball on 3rd and 3 from the 39 yard line with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter. Dallas was ahead 14-10 at this point in the game. Quarterback Dak Prescott rolled right and found tight end Blake Jarwin for a completion well beyond the first down marker. Jarwin caught the pass with four Giants players surrounding him, but no one was able to bring him down.
Free safety Curtis Riley was directly in front of Jarwin and had a chance to make a head on touchdown-saving tackle. Instead, Riley completely whiffed on the play and allowed Jarwin to walk into the end zone for the touchdown. Riley demonstrated a complete lack of effort on this play.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) December 30, 2018
Who Might Replace Riley?
Curtis Riley was benched after this embarrassing play. His mid-game replacement was safety Sean Chandler. Chandler had a decent outing, finishing the game with four tackles. However, nothing from this game would indicate that Chandler is the long-term solution at free safety.
It is now officially the offseason for the Giants so they can begin to look for an upgrade at free safety. The Giants could draft a rookie free safety or sign a free agent safety.
The draft class is full of good safeties this year. The top ranked safety prospect is Deionte Thompson out of Alabama. Other top safety prospects include Juan Thornhill from Virginia and Jaquan Johnson from Miami.
In free agency, there are a lot of options. The Giants should definitely look at players such as Adrian Amos, Tre Boston, and Lamarcus Joyner. These are players that would likely fall into the Giants’ price range. If the Giants decide to invest heavily into the position this offseason, there are elite options set to hit the market. More expensive players include Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, and HaHa Clinton-Dix.
The Giants have may options to choose from. It is likely they will sign a free safety in free agency, but it is unknown how much the Giants will be looking to spend this offseason. Giants fans should be looking forward to an exciting and important offseason for Big Blue