The ball don’t lie, or so they say. The same is true about game tape as the film doesn't lie about the New York Giants, a team and a fanbase that is still trying to digest this past Sunday’s loss to a San Francisco 49ers squad that came into the game winless.
Now sitting at 1-8, the Giants as a whole have a lot of explaining to do for a season that began with playoff aspirations. But beyond that, this past Sunday’s 31-21 loss in San Francisco was a microcosm of a lost season.
Missed plays, poor focus and an appalling lack of effort typified the game. Most discouraging, this was against a team that hadn’t won all season and the Giants still couldn’t get up for it.
And for the first time all season, head coach Ben McAdoo is willing to concede that the overall effort might not be there. He did this on Monday in his weekly teleconference with the media, saying that the requisite effort might not have been there on every play from every player.
“It’s something that in yesterday’s game, it’s fresh in my head watching the ballgame. It’s not one player and it’s not on all plays,” McAdoo said. “It’s something that almost looks like at times we’re waiting for someone else to make a play instead of just pulling the trigger and making the play ourselves.”
The main culprit of this perceived lack of effort seemed to be cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
He made a poor attempt to tackle Garrett Celek on a 47-yard touchdown pass and seemed a step slow on several other players. Pro Football Focus noted that Jenkins missed a game-high three tackles in the 49ers loss.
Two weeks ago, McAdoo reinstated Jenkins following a suspension from the team. Sunday’s performance and lack of effort surely were noticeable.
Something that didn’t go past McAdoo during his film review.
“There were some players in the ballgame who need to show a consistent desire to finish better. I think the post ball in the game on third down is a tough play and a tough spot for him to be in against a player who has tremendous speed,” McAdoo said.
“And they’re going to make some plays on you. He had an opportunity on third down where he slipped, he could have came up and had a chance to pick the ball off if he had his footing there, I expect him to make that play and pick the ball off. It was unfortunate there. There were some opportunities on some balls on the perimeter where his desire to finish consistently needs to show up and we need to get the guys on the ground. We need to tackle better as a defensive unit and he was a part of it.”