Moeller: Giants’ Early Strong Showing Quickly Disintegrates to the Inevitable

For the second straight week, the Giants left you scratching your head.

Another game in which they showed flashes, but not enough spark. This is the team that has continued to eventually show why they have lost 26 of their last 34 regular-season games.

Last week against Dallas, Saquon Barkley presumably confirmed to everyone early that the Giants’ offense would be fine and the defense was the issue.

But Barkley vanished from the scene and so did the offense.

The defense confirmed all of our fears. They played better in the second half, but overall it was another dismal performance.

Sunday afternoon on a brilliant day for a home opener, the Giants took the cue and marched 75 yards on five straight, impressive running plays. Barkley had a 55 of the yards on the ground, making a 27-yard dash to the end zone on a cut right from the middle of the field that was highlight worthy.

The Giants looked fresh and electric running the ball and their defense registered a sack by stopping Buffalo on their first drive.

It looked like a big day for Barkley and the defense would rise to the occasion..say a 28-14 victory?

Like the season we now expect, the optimism was quickly deflated.

The Bills’ Josh Allen looked like Dak Prescott did a week ago as he dissected the Giants’ secondary with the precision of skilled surgeon, and mixed an effective running game to a 21-7 halftime lead.

As you know, it was the Bills with the 28-14 victory.

Barkley finished the rest of the way with 52 yards on 14 carries and three catches for 28 yards, and Eli Manning had a decent day basically staying over the middle passing game. However, Manning normally had a Bills’ defender in his face on every pass, and there were his share of underthrown passes.

Stupid penalties, missed coverages, no consistent pass rushes, and dropped balls once again were part of the script.

The Giants do miss Sterling Shepard (thumb) and Golden Tate (suspension). Evan Engram did have a nice 33-yard grab on his six-reception, 48-yard day. But Engram only had one long reception.

They have a 0-2 start for the sixth time in the past seven years and travel to Tampa Bay to face an upbeat Bucs team next Sunday that held off a rush from Carolina Thursday. Washington follows at MetLife, and the Redskins have shown some spunk.

If the offensive struggles continue, the calls for Daniel Jones will suddenly escalate.

It could be time to turn the page sooner than expected.

“It’s not how you want to start,” said Manning. “But you have to keep fighting, find ways to play better Football. It’s simple as it comes. I know we can play better and do better than we are. We’ve got to find a way to come together as a team and win as a team.”

Well said, Eli. The Giants certainly have found enough ways to lose the past three years.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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