After rolling out of the gate 2-0, behind a solid defense and some prolific play from Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants looked to be the serious contender in the NFC and the favorite in the NFC East.
The Eagles were young, the Cowboys were depleted and the Redskins were free-falling.
But that was three weeks ago. The Packers’ latest shutdown of Manning and the Giants’ offense capped off an 0-3 skid that has seen the Giants plummet down to last place in the division.
The Eagles have soared, the Redskins have rebounded – including a win over the Giants – and the Cowboys are rolling. The Giants have some serious problems, and it doesn’t look like they’ve gotten any closer to figuring them out.
— Abdul (@A_R_K_13) October 10, 2016
The offense has stagnated in recent weeks. Odell voiced his frustrations last week and took a lot of flak for it, but he wasn’t wrong. But Beckham isn’t the issue in New York, or at least not the biggest one. The Giants have an offensive problem, and it starts up top.
Coach McAdoo has done little to adjust his game-plan around the struggling offense.
The offensive line, for example, has struggled in the last two or three games, and instead the offense has remained focused on the ‘Big Three’ receivers.
Sterling Shepherd, Victor Cruz, and Beckham lit the league on fire in the first two games, and have been dubbed the best trio in the NFL. They led the league in yards the first four games, but the Packers handled it. And without their two starting corners to boot. The running game is non-existent – at the expense of the three receivers.
Eli Manning, against a team missing its top two cornerbacks, is 5 of 12 for 74 yards. Awful.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 10, 2016
See, the problem with their three-headed monster at receiver is that if they are all on the field together, the Packers can’t keep extra blockers inside to help with the running game. None of the three receivers are solid blockers, and an outside running game is not feasible.
And without extra blockers, teams have sent a five-man rush and effectively eliminated that running game. The Giants have bought into their own hype and are now reaping the rewards. They haven’t had anything on the ground, and as a result, are seeing added pressure on Eli Manning.
But that’s not an excuse for his play. Eli has slipped in the last few games and isn’t looking like the two-time Super Bowl Champion. He missed a 69-yard touchdown pass in last night’s game, wildly overthrowing his target that was alone in the secondary.
And it hasn’t been the only time. He’s sparsely targeted his top receivers during the games, evidenced by Beckham’s empty game two weeks ago. He’s not the same passer that he was during those runs and he’s slipping in his decision making.
A return of 18-35 for 199 yards isn’t getting it done against the league’s better offenses. Meanwhile, the expensive defense the Giants brought in has slipped in the last few weeks. A lot of that falls on the offense’s inability to move the ball, but it’s also struggling to create pressure. Janoris Jenkins got Rodgers on Sunday, but the line is not pushing the issue. Quarterbacks have been allowed time to throw, and it’s a problem on both sides of the ball.
— Giants Nation (@NYG_Nation10) October 10, 2016
The Giants have bleeding issues across both sides of the ball, and until the leader of the team gets his head on right and starts delivering the ball, it’s not changing.
Coach McAdoo and Manning need to figure out the offense, otherwise it’s going to be another long season in New York. And with the antics of Odell, that may be a tough one to watch.