Odell Beckham Jr. stepped onto the field at MetLife Stadium around 6:30 p.m. Monday night. He wore gold headphones and gold shoes while coloring his hair gold. He was determined to play in what was a must-win game for the Giants. Nothing was going to stop him.
When Beckham ran his routes well in warmups, he gave Giants coach Ben McAdoo the thumbs-up that he was ready to go, and McAdoo approved it. The Giants and their fans believed the Messiah has come to save them.
That was the best moment of the night for the Giants. It was all downhill from there as they go to 0-2 after a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium.
It was troubling the Giants did not play like a desperate team being that it was their home opener and they could not afford to go to Philadelphia going 0-2 to start the season. They approached their second game of the season as if this was preseason game No. 2 by trying to feel their way. They were outcoached, outworked and outclassed by the Lions.
The visitors were comfortable playing against the Giants. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was comfortable winging the ball and eluding sacks in making plays for first down and throwing touchdowns. He was comfortable from the start, and he had his way with them throughout the night.
Stafford was 15-of-21 for 122 yards, and he threw two touchdowns and zero interceptions. It seemed like he threw more than that based on how he dominated. The Giants let him do whatever he wanted. Whenever he needed to make a third-down conversion, he got it done.
The Lions were able to run the ball with ease. This is a team that has had a hard time running the football, so that’s an indictment on the Giants for not doing a good job of stopping the run. They ran for 138 yards on 32 carries with Ameer Abdullah leading the way by running for 86 yards on 17 carries.
Just seeing what the Lions offense did against the Giants defense, it should make one wonder how great the Giants defense really is? A dominating defense doesn’t let the opposing quarterback do whatever he wants or have a running back run all over them. This is the second week in a row that the Giants defense did not make their presence felt.
A dominating defense has to be consistently good week after week. That’s what the Giants defense did last year. So far, it has been the opposite. Their defense was supposed to be their strong point while their offense would find its way as the season goes on.
The Giants are scaring no one on defense. That has to be alarming for McAdoo and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who didn’t think that was going to be an issue heading to the 2017 season. It could just be the defense featured guys that had career years last year, and now they have regressed to the norm. It’s going to be an interesting development when it comes to see how this unit does in the next few months.
The Giants were awful offensively for the second straight game, as they have scored 13 points in their first two games, which is the lowest total output of their first two games since 1947. There was no running game, and there were dropped passes. This offense is not running like a machine whatsoever with guys not functioning together with offensive line missing assignments and the quarterback not connecting with the wide receivers. It wasn’t surprising since it was a problem last year.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was sacked five times, and he only threw one touchdown in the game while completing 22-of-32 for 239 yards. He was dinking-and-dunking rather than winging it as a result of another inept offensive line performance. He probably should have improvised by running for first downs rather than see his wide receivers.
The Giants wide receivers struggled to catch the ball again. Whenever the Giants appeared like they would have a big scoring drive, their wide receivers would drop the ball to spoil the momentum. Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall (twice) and Beckham dropped the ball.
When Marshall dropped the ball in the fourth quarter that could have put him in a position to run to the end zone and tie the game at 17, it was the turning point of the game. It not only destroyed the Giants’ momentum, but it ended the Giants’ chances of tying the game for good when Jamal Agnew raced for an 88-yard punt return touchdown, giving the Lions a 24-10 lead.
As for Beckham, he had a nondescript night by having four receptions for 36 yards. So much for him being a savior, eh. It was unrealistic to expect him to play like a dynamic playmaker right away since he just came back from ankle injury. It may take months for him to get back on track. For all we know, he may still be hurt. He may not be the playmaker he normally is this season. That should be chilling for the Giants and their fans.
Blame the Giants players and the Giants coaching staff for this loss. They all contributed to this loss, but it begins and ends with McAdoo. How is it the Giants can be outplayed and outcoached for the second straight week? If any competent coach coach the Giants, they would be 2-0. The coach is supposed to have all the answers. At the least, he should be setting the tone. Not only does he not get his team prepared, but he can’t seem to figure out how to make adjustments.
The Giants are not in a good place. They are 0-2 with the offense and defense being a mess, and Beckham not close to being 100 percent. Their head coach is clueless. The Giants head to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Sunday, and they will do it on short practice week, which is not a good situation for a team that has a hard time winning in Philadelphia.
After all the rhetoric about the Giants being a Super Bowl team this year, they have created doubts about how good they really are.
Two losses can do that to any team with high expectations.