Talk of the New York Giants returning to the playoffs and being Super Bowl contenders seems a bit premature now, a 24-10 home loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday night dropping the Giants to 0-2.
Miscues, blown assignments and bad play calling all led the Giants to another poor showing to start the season, a season with so much promise that now appears on the brink of collapse.
There were moments of hope, where the Giants seemed ready to right the ship after last week’s embarrassing loss at the Dallas Cowboys. Turns out those moments were few and far between.
Down 7-0 early in the second quarter, the Giants responded sharply with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by first-round pick Evan Engram’s 19-yard touchdown catch. For the rookie tight end, it was the first touchdown catch of his career.
For the Giants, it was their first touchdown of the season and their high point of the game. Little else after that made the sell-out crowd at MetLife Stadium cheer on a night where they honored the 2007 Super Bowl team.
Three things learned from the Giants loss in Week 2:
A major momentum shift changes the game, maybe the season
At 11:45 in the second quarter, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul turned the Lions right tackle, stripping the ball as Matt Stafford was ready to release. The Giants recovered on their own 35-yard line and seemed to finally be overcoming their slow start to the year. But then Eli Manning threw behind rookie tight end Evan Engram across the middle of the field. Engram then tipped the ball to Tahir Whitehead.
The Lions linebacker made the interception and, five plays later, Stafford found tight end Eric Ebron for a seven-yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 lead for the Lions. It was a lead that the Lions never looked back from.
Late in the third quarter with the ball on the Lions 2-yard line, the Giants decided to go for it on fourth down. They were down 17-7 at the time and had struggled to move the ball to that point. It was a risky call but the right one, the type of decision from head coach Ben McAdoo that could kickstart a season and the offense.
But a delay of game call knocked the Giants back and forcing them to settle for a field goal.
Penalties, missed assignments and poor execution plagued the Giants all night. While the field goal made it a one-possession game, it also underscored just how inept this offense is right now. The play was symbolic of the Giants start to the season where they haven’t exactly helped themselves.
An O-Line that is truly offensive
For a second-straight week, the offensive line is the focal point of the Giants woes on offense. Manning was constantly under pressure in this game, sacked five times by the Lions.
Further proof of the line’s struggles is seen in the fact that the Giants averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. That number is nowhere near good enough for a balanced offense.
Ereck Flowers, the former first-round pick, continues to draw criticism at left tackle but the entire offensive line play as a whole was poor. It is more than just Flowers, who had some struggles last night along with his teammates.
It is the ignorance of offseason moves by management to ignore adding depth let alone talent to the offensive line that is coming home to roost, a major reason why the Giants are 0-2.