I wanted to wait before reacting to Monday’s debacle at the Meadowlands and I understand debacle is a very strong word but you have to use it to make the point. If you were a member of Big Blue Nation, an employee of the franchise, an alumni, or someone affiliated with the Giants you felt disgusted with what you watched on Monday night Football against the Lions.
After a disastrous opening of the season against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday night, the Giants hoped to rebound against the Detroit Lions in yet another nationally televised game, this time on ESPN. Fans were tailgating and partying in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium hours before the home opener as they received even more good news with Odell Beckham Jr being available to play for the first time since his injury against the Browns in the preseason.
The Giants were given a pass after the Cowboy game, well sort of. There was no OBJ and the team may have believed its own press clippings on how great they are suppose to be this season. Well if last week was a wakeup call, this was a full blown smack in the face to Big Blue Nation. I try to be as positive as I possibly can in every situation but the fact is there were not many positives in the 24-10 loss against the Lions. The reaction from the locker room was similar.
Yesterday reports asked Coach McAdoo if he would consider giving up play calling for the offense. “Yeah, we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again. That’s insanity. It’s not working. So, we are going to look to make some changes this week, like we did last week. Maybe it will be a little more drastic this week to use your word. If that means me giving up play calling duties, that’s something we will look at, that we’ll talk about. For personnel, jobs are won in this league, they are not given away. So, somebody’s got to win a job or take a job to get a job.”
Obviously the offensive line is still gaining negative attention from both the media and the fan base for the inconsistent play and the lack of protection of Eli Manning. Reporters asked Justin Pugh after the game if these problems can be fixed. “A lot. A lot can be done. Obviously, we’ve got to get there and we’ve got to be our toughest critic. I think we’ve got to come together and start playing for each other and start playing as a team because right now, we’re just not playing up to our ability. To think maybe – I don’t know what we’re thinking. Last year we went 11-5 and went to the playoffs, we can’t sleep on that. This is a new year, this is a new team. I’ve said from the beginning of the season, this is the most talented team we’ve had on paper, but you can’t go out there and just win on paper. We’re not comparing teams in fantasy football. So, we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to do it. ”
A lot was taken out of context with Coach McAdoo’s comments about Eli Manning. Reports felt that Eli was being singled out. McAdoo responded.”Did I single him out? Well, we needed to get the ball snapped there. So, I thought that the quarterback and the center need to find a way to get the ball snapped before the clock hit zero. I’m not sure what you mean by calling him out, we need to get the ball snapped.”
While Coach McAdoo was discussing the time out, Eli feels it’s all about execution. “I think it’s always down to execution. We’ve got to execute better and we’ve got to covert on some things. We’ve got to find some completions at times and move in the pocket, buy some time. Just perform at a higher level.”
The Giants are not in the same situation they were in last season where they could steal a win here and there and Coach McAdoo knows this. “Yeah, we are not going to panic. We are not the first good team to start 0-2. When we first got together in April and talked about how we weren’t going to sneak up on anybody this year. We were going to get everybody’s best shot. This is New York. We had two primetime football games versus two pretty good opponents and it’s no excuses, but we got to find a way to get better and we are not going to throw the baby out with the bath water.”
I did speak with members of the defense after the game to discuss the injuries to key players as well as the lack of production on stopping the Lions on third down. Jonathan Casillias addressed in the audio below the inability of stopping the Lions on third down. “That’s very concerning. The first two weeks I don’t think we did a good job of getting off the field on third down, but I think that has to do something with first and second down as well. I think we have to do a better job of stopping them on first and second down and getting in some more advantageous third downs, longer third downs, where we put some pressure on and do what we want to do instead of being on our heels and letting their offense dictate what we’re going to do.”
Overall the Giants are in a very tough spot right now. They have a lot of doubters and people who feel that this team might have been over hyped because of the way the previous season ended. The truth of the matter is the team did not do a very good job of addressing their number one need: improving the offensive line.
The Giants currently have an excellent defense but cannot win football games when their defense is on the field for twenty minutes of a thirty minute half. The defense is not built that way and because this is happening they are consistently getting worn out before the second half begins.
We will have more fallout from Monday as well as a preview of the Eagles game in Thursday’s Big Blue Report!