This was supposed to be a homecoming for the New York Giants. A Monday night home opener, where they honored the 2007 Super Bowl Champion team.
Who cares if they lost Game 1 in Dallas? This was supposed to be the start of the season.
A 24-10 loss to the Lions, makes you wonder if the Giants are actually as good as we expected them to be when training camp started.
“I’ll tell you the same thing I told the players – put this game on me,” said coach Ben McAdoo. There was certainly plenty of blame to go around, but sure, he deserves plenty of finger pointing.
However, then McAdoo decided to toss some Eli Manning’s way, when he took a delay of game on fourth down at the Lions 2-Yard line by calling it a “sloppy quarterback play.”
There are certain unwritten rules of the game. The same way hockey coaches tend not to blame the goalie for the loss, football coaches rarely toss their quarterback under the bus. Especially when Manning wasn’t the problem last night. He actually played pretty well.
Going 22-of-32 for 239 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Evan Engram was not the problem last night. In fact, Manning was running for his life for most of his game, as his offensive line gave up five sacks and the play of Ereck Flowers was particularly glaring.
“Yeah, we tried to give him some help as the game went on. Initially, we were focusing on the other side,” McAdoo said of Flowers. “We had our left guard playing right tackle. He ended up holding up and doing a nice job. Then we decided to get the ball out quick. When they’re playing cover two and you give help to both sides, you have three guys running routes and you have seven in coverage, that makes it a challenge.”
Oh year, Flowers was the No. 9 overall pick in 2015. Ugh.
But don’t just blame the wilting flower, as there is plenty of blame to go around.
“We’ve got to look in the mirror,” said lineman Justin Pugh. “We’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to go out and play better than this. Our defense is doing some really good things, we’ve got to put them in a better position. We’ve got to at least get field position and win the field position battle because if we give the opposing offense a long field, then it’s hard to drive on our defense. And as long as we don’t let them score easy points and get turnovers which lead to points, we’ll win some games.”
But the first two weeks, that‘s what we have seen. Last season, McAdoo had a honeymoon and the team was winning. This year that time is over. If the season goes south, East Rutherford will becomes very uncomfortable place for the second year coach, who doesn’t have the cache of success which affords a head honcho a bad season or two.
McAdoo knows this, because he’s looking to make severe changes right now, including turning the play-calling over to Mike Sullivan and getting help for his offensive line.
Look, this can easily turn around for McAdoo and the Giants. Win in Philly and then in Tampa Bay, the Giants will be back on track. However, more of this and come back to play the Chargers in Oct. 8 with a record of 0-4? Well, things can get real uncomfortable at MetLife.
Remember, the 2007 team started 0-2 and won the Super Bowl, so there is hope, although stats say it’s about a 12 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Okay, but still the Giants have hope and at least, they are not woe-be-gone like the Jets.
Oh yeah, they both have the same record.
The McAdoo honeymoon is over.