Counseling isn’t needed, not quite yet for the New York Giants and the strange bedfellow of personalities in their locker room. In particular, the myriad of characters on offense. But wide receiver Brandon Marshall, signed this offseason as a free agent, said that he could see choppy waters ahead on the horizon for this team.
The Giants are 0-3, a disappointing and underwhelming record given their playoff appearance last year and the collection of talent that they have on both sides of the ball. The good news is that the offense, dormant for much of the year, came to life in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It looked like the offense that the Giants had envisioned this offseason.
And also good news is that quarterback Eli Manning was finally able to start finding Marshall. Two years removed from 1,000 receiving yards with the New York Jets, Marshall remains a big key to unlocking this team’s potential. The Eagles game represented his first time really getting settled in with the offense.
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Eight catches for 66 yards in Philadelphia, when stacked against just two catches coming into Week 3, is a sign that the offense might be starting to jell. In particular, his relationship with Manning shows signs of growth.
“Well, we’re still in the honeymoon phase, but we’re approaching some rough times. We’re sitting at 0-3, so that’s a little bit rough, but we’ll be fine,” Marshall said. “We were able to connect on a few passes this past weekend and that was good.”
It is hard to blame Marshall for the problems of the offense or even Manning, truth be told. Some of it is the scheme and some of it is protection.
For the first two games, Manning was under constant duress due to an offensive line that has been subpar. With more time, Manning should be able to find targets who can stretch the field, and few do it better than Marshall.
Sunday’s game, however, shows the potential in this marriage of Marshall and Manning as well as Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Manning got the ball out of his hands quickly, before he could get pressured.
“I’ve been in this position before. It’s a long season, all kinds of things happen. Every year is different. So, I’m still happy. Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation right now, but if you’ve made it to this point, making it to the NFL, then you’re battle-tested, you have a lot of mental toughness,” Marshall said. “Because this sport is hard, especially at this level with so much going on and so much on our plates. You have to be mentally tough to be able to sustain and continue to perform.”