The New York Giants might be the worst team in the NFL, a 51-17 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams helping their drive for a top pick. A season that began with Super Bowl chatter is now squarely focused on an offseason where it almost seems inevitable that this team gets blown up.
Now 1-7, the Giants are in a freefall. Sloppy play, poor assignments and frankly, a lack of solid coaching have hurt this team, all against the backdrop of two players suspended from the team over the past three weeks. Coming off their bye week, the Giants looked like a team that waived bye to their season.
Here are three things we learned after Week 9:
1.This team is tanking…and it doesn’t mean to
These Giants are built for this year, a team that spent heavily in free agency the past two years and drafted for immediate needs is playing like a bottom-feeder. This wasn’t a planned rebuild or a team that purposefully deconstructed.
This is a badly coached, vastly under-achieving team.
Even the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers have something the Giants don’t have and that is hope. This team was supposed to be peaking right now. Instead, they are locked-in on a top-five pick and fracturing on and off the field. A plan doesn’t seem to be in place either for this year or long-term.
Embarrassing on multiple levels.
2. The playcalling is absurd
The Giants are without their top two wide receivers for the rest of the season so it would seem to make sense that the offense would look to run the ball more. It makes sense, right? After all, that was the formula of the Giants one win this year when Orleans Darkwa had the team's first 100-yard running game since the Nixon administration.
Kidding, but not quite.
Instead, the Giants, without any true threats at wide receiver, threw the ball 36 times and ran just 25 times.
Shocking playcalling in a game where the Giants had some success running but simply didn’t do enough of it. They were tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter with no reason to abandon the run the way they did.
Darkwa had a healthy 71 yards on 16 carries, a very solid 4.43 yards per carry. Numbers that show that the Giants had success running the ball and never should have gotten away from it.
3.One play sums it up
In the second quarter with 9:35 left before halftime, the Rams were faced with a 3rd-&-33. A simple screen pass was supposed to set up either a punt or a long field goal attempt.
Instead, Robert Woods danced through the Giants for a 52-yard touchdown. The worst part of the whole sequence was that Woods went untouched into the end zone. That is just sloppy and inexcusable, especially since it was a 10-7 Rams lead at that time.
It was a fitting metaphor for the season as about six Giants players had a chance to take down Woods and either missed the play or got taken out by an opponent. Poor execution and a lack of heart have killed this team all year, as it did on that play.