Frustrating Giants’ Afternoon Severely Dampens Season Expectations

This one was pure frustration.

The fans let Giants’ owner John Mara know at halftime, and the team throughout the game until the end.

Eli Manning’s halftime retirement ceremony was one of the brief windows of enjoyment for the Giants’ faithful.

Those choruses of boos likely won’t end soon for the 0-3 Giants.

That’s what happens when expectations are high.

It appears the Joe Judge magic touch has taken a hiatus. This doesn’t look like the Giants of the second half of 2020 and those Giants who were supposed to be a NFC East contender.

These Giants had the untimely penalties –one that led to Atlanta’s tying touchdown — and a sack and a botched snap that wiped off two potential scoring drives in the first half that could have put the game away.

You could see the Giants’ 17-14 loss to previously winless Atlanta (1-2) at MetLife coming from the second quarter. It just seemed like it wasn’t meant to be.

A rookie kicker named Younghoe Koo from Ridgewood, NJ, had the winning 40-yard field goal straight down the middle. Go figure.

The breaks aren’t going the Giants’ way, and they also need to tighten the reins.

Saquon Barkley showed spurts of his rookie year, but it wasn’t enough. He did find the end zone with his 51 yards on 16 carries. Either he isn’t fully back yet, or the Giants are reluctant to give him more than 20 carries. A consistent line in front of him will help. 

Daniel Jones provided a valiant effort, but he couldn’t convert the timely, big play. Jones had 266 yards passing and 39 rushing yards. He managed to spread the ball around.

The Giants’ defense made some plays, but they gave up too many untimely and big ones. Corner Tyree Jackson dropped a key interception in the end zone that would have sealed their first victory.

The potential loss of linebacker Blake Martinez and receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton for an extended time won’t help.

Judge will need to circle the wagons quickly. A trip to the Big Easy next Sunday to battle the revived Jameis Winston and the Saints (2-1) won’t be easy.

The offense under Jason Garrett hasn’t looked badly. It is a matter of executing and finishing.

The defense desperately needs a playmaker like Logan Ryan, James Bradberry, and Leonard Williams were last year.

If there is a consolation, Judge’s team started 0-5 last year.

Then again, the expectations weren’t that high and the boos weren’t that loud.

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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