It wasn’t supposed to be like this after last week.
Last week’s win with an efficient offensive and defensive effort over Houston lifted expectations that the Giants could win a shootout over the Saints.
That was further fueled with New Orleans having just four sacks and ranked 30th in passing defense allowing nearly 337 yards through the air in each of their first three games.
Instead, it was a 33-18 Saints’ win, a victory that was in the Giants’ grasp until midway through the fourth quarter.
Ironically, it was ex-Jet Demario Davis who had two of the Saints’ three sacks.
Welcome to frustration.
The end result was 255 passing yards from Eli Manning, the longest was a 27-yard to Odell Beckham Jr. on their final scoring drive that proved pointless.
With Manning back on his heels all afternoon, he couldn’t find Beckham in open space or down the field. Beckham’s six other catches totaled 33 yards.
Saquon Barkley had a 28-yard burst in the third quarter, but he was bottled up the rest of the day with nine carries for 16 yards. Manning also couldn’t find him enough in the flat, where he caught six balls for 56 yards.
The Saints had enough pressure up front to make their soft zone work as a perfect lasso around the Giants’ receivers.
Welcome to frustration.
Yet, it initially looked like it would be a big day for the Giants when they marched down the field on their opening drive for a score with Manning hitting six of seven passes for 41 yards, the last one a seven-yard score to Sterling Shepard.
The Saints quickly halted their momentum when they caught the Giants’ napping on fourth down with a 10-yard pass from backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who gave the Giants’ fits taking snaps in wildcat formation with starter Drew Brees lined up as a flanker.
Brees didn’t have his best day, but he was given time to throw and made enough timely plays.
But the Giants’ couldn’t duplicate their opening drive as they managed just two more first downs in the opening half.
The Giants’ defense behind safety Landon Collins and linebacker Alec Ogletree played a solid game through the better part of three quarters. They bent but didn’t break, as they held the Saints to four field goals in four end zone opportunities in the first half.
Giants’ head coach Pat Shurmur showed his frustration when asked about several situations and repeatedly responded by saying that his team “didn’t make enough plays,” and that they “have to work our way out of it.”
Beckham also showed some of his frustrations on the sidelines, actions Shurmur referred to as being “competitive.”
“Yeah, it was frustrating,” added Manning. “We got things going on our first drive and we couldn’t do it after that. They didn’t allow us to throw deep.”
Now the Giants sit at 1-3, last in the NFC East in a division that has quickly become mediocre.
They hit the road to Carolina next week against Cam Newton and the rested, bye-week Panthers in a game that is a must win if they want to salvage anything this season. They then have a quick turnaround against the Eagles in a Thursday night matchup at Met Life.
The much-anticipated potent offense quickly needs a tune-up, and the defense has to maintain and elevate its status.
If not, it will be a frustrating few months ahead.