Giants’ Wasted Opportunity Sends Mixed Signals

The Giants should have had a gift in their hands.

Instead, they had a bomb explode in their face.

Remember to be patient, right?

Like they did against the Jets the previous week, San Francisco flexed its muscles as defending NFC champs with their depth as they dismantled the Giants, 36-9, Sunday afternoon at Met Life.

San Francisco’s offensive backfield and two defensive linemen were among the 10 players injured, presumably leaving the Giants with a golden opportunity after they nearly stole a win in Chicago last Sunday. The Niners even lost tight end Jordan Reed  — who looked like he was ready for a big game –to an ankle injury at halftime

Unfortunately, the Giants didn’t have enough traction to get their footing. It was simply miserable. The offense and defense lacked continuous intensity and execution. Kicker Graham Gano apparently will be a consistent performer.

Daniel Jones had his moments, mainly discovering how he can be an effective runner. But Jones had an interception, a fumble, and too many overthrown or underthrown passes in his 17-for-32, 179-yard performance that included 49 of the 66 total rushing yards.

Nick Mullins, his counterpart, looked better than he did against the Jets, as he connected on 25 of 36 completions for 343 yards and a touchdown.

However, the key was a game on ball possession in which Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan had the edge of over the Giants’ Joe Judge in a 39:44-20:16 advantage that was evident early in the game.

The Giants still were within striking distance when they trailed 16-6 at halftime, but they couldn’t maintain opening drive for scores like they did in Chicago and changed the momentum.

As a result, it became a slow deterioration that ended in a full rout on both sides of the ball.

Now, the Giants’ 0-3 season looks like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Will it be their fourth consecutive losing season, a mark that has never been achieved in the history?  A current 12-39 mark in this the fourth season can be convincing.

Still, Judge keeps the faith.

“There’s no magic wand for this,” said Judge about his team’s current plight.  “There’s no magic formula. You have to go out there day by day and piece by piece to put this together.”

Each day, questions will arise. With this performance, the attention can focus on GM Dave Gettleman, wondering if he has the right people in place.

The offensive line, with new center Nick Gates, will need time. Jones apparently also needs time, as he only has 15 games under his belt. But he has teased us more than a prom date.

The big onus falls upon the defense. They did register two sacks and kept their team close in the first half, but they collapsed in the second half.

It won’t get any easier with road trips to the Rams and Cowboys in the next two weeks. After five weeks, the proof will be in the pudding for the Giants.

Do we have to be patient?

“We’re going to work to get this thing right,” added Judge.

He’s right. At this point, there isn’t any other way to go.

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

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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