Uncertainty continues to grow around the New York Giants after another dreadful performance on Monday night, a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium. They drop to 0-2 to start a season for the fourth time in the last five years, but this might be the most pitiful display yet.
Through two games, the Giants have a combined 97 rushing yards and just one single offensive touchdown.
Eli Manning was sacked five times on the night, thrice by Ziggy Ansah, while throwing for 239 yards, that one touchdown and an interception. Making his season debut, wide receiver Odell Beckham was limited but managed to reel in four catches for 36 yards.
The passing game received little support from his running game, who couldn’t get a thing going behind what very well could be the worst offensive line in all of football. In total, Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen combined for 55 yards on the ground.
It was immediately obvious that the offensive line made no adjustments to protect Manning any better. On the very first play of the game, Manning was sacked and lost the football, but it was ruled that he was down before the ball came loose.
So after the Lions got on the board first when Matt Stafford hit Marvin Jones for a 27-yard touchdown, McAdoo began calling plays that were getting the ball out of Manning’s hand within two seconds.
It was the first time all season the Giants offense looked organized, needing just seven plays to drive 75 yards which ended with Manning hitting rookie tight end Evan Engram for an 18-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
But it was the New York quarterback making his 201st-straight start that unraveled Big Blue.
After the Jason Pierre-Paul came up with a strip sack on Stafford to end a Lions drive that meandered just outside the Giants red zone, Manning threw an errant pass behind Engram that was tipped by the tight end and intercepted by Tahir Whitehead and returned to the Giants’ 29-yard-line.
Five plays later, Stafford hit Eric Ebron for a seven-yard touchdown on a third-and-six. The Giants defensive line was able to get pressure on Stafford once again, but he was able to sidestep pressure before finding the open tight end.
Things restored to normalcy for the Giants offense after that rare successful drive. In total, Manning was sacked four times in the first half alone as New York trailed 17-7 at the half after Matt Prater squeaked home a 56-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar and through.
After a quick three-and-out in which Manning was sacked for a fifth time, the Giants were able to string together three-straight completions that moved them down to the one-yard-line. But a hold by Brett Jones and a delay of game while attempting a fourth-and-short forced them to settle for a 25-yard field goal from rookie Aldrick Rosas with five minutes left in the third to make it a seven-point game.
The defense continued to hang tough though, keeping the Giants in the game as things wound into the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t do it all as things fell apart.
A Brandon Marshall drop while streaking wide-open down the sidelines quelled New York’s first drive of the final period. On the ensuing punt, Jamal Agnew streaked through a soft special teams unit 88 yards to put the Lions up two touchdowns, highlighting another aspect of the Giants that hasn’t been addressed in years.
It was a demoralizing sequence of events as the Giants couldn’t generate anything close to a threat to the Lions lead.