Sinking Ship; Giants Fall to 0-4
Giants Can’t Seem to Get Anything Right, as Losing Streak Continues
The New York Giants have hit rock bottom, as they fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25-23 this past Sunday.
Everything that could possibly go wrong, has gone wrong. With a season of such high expectations, it seemed improbable for an 0-4 start to happen. Well, here we are.
In this piece, let’s look at yet another nail in the coffin that is the Giants’ 2017 season.
Ben McAdoo’s Play Calling
Here we are again, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo is under the microscope for yet another week. The second-year head coach made questionable calls that essentially cost New York their first win of the season. Instead of kicking a field goal on fourth-and-two on Tampa’s two yard line, McAdoo decided to run it up the middle. As expected, it was to no avail.
Even a challenge that McAdoo had no right to challenge in the first place in the fourth quarter, cost the team a timeout. McAdoo is putting the proverbial foot in the grave. As the head coach said in Sunday’s post game press conference, the Giants, “…need to win a damn game.” In order to do that, McAdoo will have to tuneup his coaching style.
Defense Heading in Wrong Direction
New York’s defense was their bread and butter last season. This season, on the other hand, the Giants’ defense has flipped in the completely opposite direction. The Giants defensive squad has allowed the eighth most total yards among all teams this season (359.2 yds/gm).
The rigors of the defense playing for the majority of the time early on this season has put a toll on the team. Olivier Vernon is dealing with a recurring ankle injury. Janoris Jenkins dealt with an ankle injury in Week 2 of the season. It is not only injuries, the play on the field has suffered as well.
Sophomore Eli Apple has been absolutely burnt by opposing receivers this season. In his last seven games, Apple has given up at least one touchdown in those games. Just from looking at the film, Apple is getting toyed with by the opposing receiver, not to mention that he is not even looking at the ball in play.
If anyone wants a prime example of how the Giants defense has been, look at Bucs tight end O.J. Howard’s 58-yard touchdown. The confusion the pass coverage on Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston’s bootleg, Howard was left wide open, with the rookie walking towards the end zone.
Even the powerful defensive line with Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Damon Harrison can’t stop the run. The run defense gave up 111 rushing yards total in this game, including 83 yards from Tampa running back Jacquizz Rodgers. The Giants defensive squad just looks exhausted, and you can’t necessarily blame them. Especially with the amount of time they have spent on the field through the first four games of the season.
It’s a bad season if this stellar defense can’t get it right.
Offense Has Turned it Around, But is Far From Perfect
Compared to the first two games of the season, the Giants offense did improve in Tampa. The offensive line, while far from perfect, did make adjustments that did work at points. Starting D.J. Fluker at right tackle did help, as New York was able to get the running game somewhat going. Heck, the blocking on the right side of the line helped give quarterback Eli Manning the opportunity to scramble for a 14-yard touchdown.
Rookie Wayne Gallman separated himself from the pack, as his 42 rushing yards on 11 carries, as well as hauling in one receiving touchdown. Other than that, the running game was non-existent.
Manning himself has been relatively impressive in these past two games. The veteran knows the deficiencies of the o-line, and he is compensating for it by getting rid of the ball quicker. Manning has threw completed 30 out of 49 pass attempts for 288 yards and two touchdowns. The 14-year QB also has the fifth most passing yards in the league (1,113), as well as the fourth-best completion percentage among NFL starters (69.9 percent). Manning is doing his best to compensate for the lack of time in the pocket and, statistically, is paying dividends.
The offense as a whole did something they have not done for the majority of the season, lead in time of possession. New York had 34:13 with the ball, leaving Tampa with 25:47. In all likelihood the Giants should have won. Instead, the lack of taking opportunities hurt New York, leading their win-less record to 0-4.
Special Teams Kills Giants Yet Again
There was no way that the Giants could have repeated what they did late in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3. There was no way that Brad Wing would shank yet another punt late in the fourth quarter. He did, however. This time, it was a 15-yard punt. Yikes.
Not only that, but the Giants special teams unit has been rather listless, to say the least. Lack of awareness on opposition’s returns, as well as not blocking for the return man. Special teams can win you games in the NFL. Unfortunately, the Giants have found that out the hard way, resulting in back-to-back weeks with a loss due to a last second field goal.
The Giants return home this coming Sunday, as they face off against fellow win-less team, the Los Angeles Chargers. Will New York be able to earn their first win of the season? Or will the Giants feel the wrath of the boo-birds from their home crowd?
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