Suddenly the New York Giants have come crashing down to earth, a 24-10 loss at the Minnesota Vikings sending the team to a second straight loss. A depleted secondary and the league’s worst offensive line was a recipe for disaster in a game where the Giants (2-2) were dominated on both sides of the ball.
The Jets offense…check, make that the Giants offense, was terrible on the night, punting three times in the first quarter. A Josh Brown 40-yard field goal made it 14-3 late in the second quarter, a glimmer of hope for a team that looked terrible in just about every facet of the game. Then the Giants waited till there was 13:38 left in the game for their first touchdown, Orleans Darkwa rumbling in from a couple yards out to make it a 17-10 in the early throws of the fourth quarter.
But the Vikings would respond going eight plays and 76 yards with Jerick McKinnon rumbling four yards to stake Minnesota to a 24-10 lead.
The air down here – The Giants secondary was already missing starting cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple as well as safety Darian Thompson, three key playmakers out for the game made worse by the fact that the Giants were facing one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league. And he didn’t show any letdown as Sam Bradford carved up the Giants defense to the tune of 26-for-36 for 262 yards and a touchdown.
Most discouraging was the lack of a consistent pass rush as the Giants front four was supposed to be among the best in the league. Instead they struggled to deal with the Vikings up-tempo offense and Bradford’s quick reads.
‘Big Blue’ sputtering - Odell Beckham didn’t get a target until 7:46 left in the second quarter, a nine-yard catch on a slant that seemed to be called just to get him into the game’s rhythm. Beckham struggled with his emotions again and this offense, once thought to be an elite group, is struggling. They have issues protecting their quarterback and the tantrums of Beckham are hurting the entire unit. There were positives in the performance of Darkwa and Victor Cruz’s continued weekly improvement.
But this offense must carry the team, especially with the injuries in the secondary, and right now the group is failing to move the ball effectively since the second half of the Week 3 loss to the Washington Redskins.
The Giants MVP - Through four games might just be punter Brad Wing…and it is never a good sign when the punter is the team’s top performer. Monday night was another stellar showing from Wing with six punts that averaged 41 yards but most impressively he had three punts that pinned the Vikings inside their own 20-yard line.
If he wasn’t so good in this game the score could have easily been lopsided.