Reality sunk in for the Giants before the game started.
It began when Odell Beckham Jr. was unavailable to play Sunday night since he was running gingerly when he ran practice routes with his sprained left ankle. It did not get better when the game started, as the Giants offense was stupor than super to the point it was offensive.
With the Giants having high expectations in franchise history, they stunk offensively in their 19-3 season opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. It was so bad the inept Jets scored more points (12) in their season opener than the Giants yesterday. The Yankees actually scored more runs (16) in their baseball game yesterday than the Giants scored points.
Maybe the Giants were not good enough to beat the Cowboys with or without Beckham, but to score only three measly points is unacceptable. No Giants fan did not get excited for the season to start just to see this.
If the Giants have to rely on Beckham to score points, exactly why should anyone take them seriously as a Super Bowl contender? The Giants gave everyone this pap that they are a well-rounded offense all season. As last night showed, this was more of lip service than reality talking. That’s what makes this loss so sobering. They may not have many playmakers to make them a Super Bowl contender than they think.
They won’t be as bad as they looked in their season opener, but they may not be great as their fans and the local media made them out to be.
It was ugly from the start when Giants quarterback Eli Manning (29 of 38 for 220 yards and one interception) was sacked to complete the Giants’ three-and-out in their first drive. This became a familiar refrain for the entire game, which he had no time to throw and he got sacked three times as a result of an awful Giants offensive line. It took until the third quarter for him to make a big play, which helped the Giants scored three points in that 16-play drive. That was as good as it got for him and the Giants.
With Manning running for his life, it couldn’t have been surprising the running game was nonexistent. The Giants ran for 35 yards. It’s going to be hard for an offense to function if this is the way the running game will perform. They have to be at least decent.
The defense did not distinguish themselves, either. The Cowboys ran the ball despite Giants head coach Ben McAdoo being confident that his team’s defense would make Ezekiel Elliott a non factor by saying all backs run the same when there’s nowhere to run. The Giants defense did not make any plays such as getting interceptions that would turn into a game changer. In fact, they only mustered one sack of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who was comfortable running the offense against the Giants much-heralded defensive line.
The coaching was awful. The Giants came out unprepared to start the game by being flat, and the game planning on offense was a joke all around, which Manning spent more time being fixated on Sterling Shepard. It’s on McAdoo to figure out what plays would put Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall and rookie tight end Evan Engram in a position to succeed.
McAdoo’s strength was supposed to be offense when the Giants hired him to be an offensive coordinator and to coach the team eventually. Since he became the Giants head coach last year, the offense has been awful to watch. This offense relies too much on Beckham rather than get everyone involved. The job of an offensive coach is to make sure everyone gets involved within the offense. There are questions whether or not the Giants have other playmakers besides Beckham, but it’s on the Giants coach to get them involved.
It’s one game, but what has McAdoo done to earn any Giants fan’s faith when it comes to running the offense? It’s not like he was this great Giants offensive coordinator when he was in that role under then-Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
The Giants should be disappointed with themselves after using the national stage as a platform to show they are a team to reckon with. They have been talking all offseason and training camp about winning the Super Bowl this February in Minneapolis, so for them to put this type of performance is not something to be proud of.
Maybe they should just stop talking and start playing better. That would be an improvement. They behave like the Patriots by acting like they win championships every year when in reality, they underachieve year after year.
No one can blame any Giants fan today if there are questions about how good the Giants really are. It can’t be just one game when same thing happens year after year for Big Blue.
Last night showed reality hurts.