Heading into this season, there were few teams that had more newly-minted hype than the New York Giants. They had their new head coach with a full year of experience, and added Brandon Marshall to a group of receivers that many considered the best in all of football.
The defense was going to improve even more, added to a newfound explosive offense. What could go wrong?
Well, I think we know the answer.
Giants offensive line right now pic.twitter.com/HmTuZxFBoi
— • (@ItsAntWright) September 19, 2017
The Giants have been the disappointment of the NFL season so far, with every bit of that hyped up offense falling by the wayside. The Giants started the season with a struggle against Dallas that saw the offense look slow and out of focus, but lacking Odell Beckham Jr., so it was sort of understood.
But week two saw an even worse iteration of the Giants, seeing them get shut down by the Lions defense. In two weeks, this offense has produced all of thirteen points and one touchdown.
So what’s going on? Is it the expectations? Coaching problems? The offense? And if it is the offense, where is it going wrong?
— A2D Radio (@a2dradio_com) September 21, 2017
The answer is yes. To all of them.
The Giants beefed up their receiving group largely over concerns over an over-dependence on Beckham. We all saw why in that first game. Brandon Marshall was a nice deal for the team and a real number two receiver after the departure of Victor Cruz. The problem, however, is we aren’t getting Brandon Marshall.
As John Gruden pointed out in that rough Monday Night Football game, Marshall does not look the same. He’s not running his routes the way he was for the Jets and just doesn’t look like the same receiver. He’s showing his frustration in the offense, but he’s not alone.
Eli Manning is the other side of this thing, and obviously the biggest. I’ll start by giving him some benefit of the doubt: his offensive line has been awful. This week has seen Ereck Flowers picked on in a rough way at left tackle, but really the entire line has been bad. The running game isn’t getting going, runners are hit in the backfield, and Eli is running for his life on a lot of plays.
Eli Manning is the Saints defense of quarterbacks
— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) September 19, 2017
But, that still doesn’t fully explain Eli’s regression. Eli has been wildly up and down most of his career, but this season has seen a massive plateau. He’s missing just about everything, overthrowing receivers and showing bad pocket prescence stepping into sacks. His completion percentage has been fine, but they are mostly short dumps to the slot and tight end, and he’s taking easy throws in situations that are frustrating Giant fans.
And after week two, the crosshairs of the blame has placed up the ladder at Eli and his head coach. McAdoo is in his second year, and the expectation was for the offense to start to take off. Now, he’s deflecting back on his players. At his post game press conference, McAdoo came after Manning and the line, while also targeting his receivers.
But the last few days have not been kind to McAdoo. Instead of player blame, New York media has upped the calls for a change. The last two days have seen rumors of a change at offensive coordinator, and some rumors of some players that have bought out. Instead, it looks like McAdoo is considering giving up playcalling duties.
Tom Coughlin looking at Ben McAdoo’s coaching. pic.twitter.com/0tg7LgEkV3
— Justin Diamond (@justinddiamond) September 19, 2017
But is that enough?
The Giants aren’t yet at the point of no return. Odell is still hurting, and Manning is a proven winner. But this offense has serious problems with some solid talent, and this offensive line, as currently constructed, isn’t winning anything.
And while the Giants defense is good, it’s not the type they’ve ridden to Super Bowls in years past. Either way, Manning and company look much more likely to stick around through this.
McAdoo was the trendy hire moving on from Coughlin’s clunky offense. But if McAdoo continues to struggle, the Giants may be longing for the old days again.