You remember how Eli Manning had his R-E-L-A-X moment and assured us that the New York Giants offense would be just fine in Week Two with Odell Beckham Jr. back? He lied. It wasn’t. They sucked. They lost to the Detroit Lions. And while I’m ranting, did you see what the Denver Broncos did to the Dallas Cowboys? The Giants lost to them Week One. And the New Orleans Saints are 0-2 as well. This season sucks so far.
All right, rant over.
Anyways, the Giants didn’t do well. At all. And, even worse than losing to the Lions, they seem to be losing confidence in each other.
Oh, wait, no they aren’t. Head coach Ben McAdoo is just throwing his players under the bus, starting with Eli.
“Sloppy quarterback play,” said McAdoo of the delay of game penalty on fourth-and-goal. “Quarterback and center need to be on the same page there. We need to get the ball snapped.”
The Giants did have timeouts left, however, that could have prevented the penalty at such a pivotal moment in the game. So, why didn’t McAdoo see that the play wasn’t going to happen and spend one?
“Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football, and I expect us to get the ball snapped,” continued McAdoo. “Usually the clock goes from 3-2-1-0. Once it hits zero, [the officials] look at the ball and look at the clock; usually, it has to tick once it hits zero to get the ball snapped without it being a delay of game. I thought we had a chance to get it off.”
Sure, it’s on Eli to get the ball snapped. McAdoo isn’t out there on the field. Manning admitted that he was in the wrong. In general, however, you don’t see coaches throwing their quarterbacks under the bus after a loss. It just looks bad, especially when you’re dealing with a solid quarterback situation. It’s not like Manning is at risk of being benched.
McAdoo continued to berate Manning later in the interview as well.
“He had some good moments, and some moments that weren’t what we were looking for,” said McAdoo. “I didn’t like the interception when we got the turnover. The defense took the ball away. You know, it happened fast for him. I thought he should’ve went to No. 2 or checked the ball down. He was under duress all night.”
Always end on a positive note, though, right?
“I thought he did some good things in the pocket, making some plays under duress.”
Manning’s self-assessment wasn’t exactly sparkling either. Overall, it’s clear that the Giants offense is the problem and the only thing holding them back at this stage, so it’s easy to blame the quarterback. But it isn’t completely Eli’s fault. If McAdoo wants to fix the Giants after this 0-2 start, it begins with fixing himself.
First, McAdoo shouldn’t be calling a single play for the rest of the season. He’s lost his touch—not that he really had a great handle on it to begin with. The Giants haven’t score 20 points in eight consecutive games now dating back to last season. That’s a whole lot of mediocrity from the offense.
Fortunately, McAdoo seemed to acknowledge his own shortcomings after holding Eli down on the train tracks.
“We’re gonna look to make some changes this week, like we did last week, maybe a little more drastic this week, to use your word,” said McAdoo. “If that means me giving up play-calling duties, that’s something that we’ll look at, and we’ll talk about.”
McAdoo hasn’t made any real attempt to establish the running game in the first two weeks, asking Eli to throw 70 times. Too bad left tackle Ereck Flowers couldn’t block me. Without the threat of the run game to easy some of the blitzing pressure, Flowers has been completely overwhelmed, allowing thee blindside sacks against the Lions. And McAdoo wonders why his team can’t establish a rhythm on the field. It’s hard when your quarterback hits the dirt every other play.
While we’re on the subject, Flowers needs to be benched immediately. But, instead, McAdoo defended the tackle (something he didn’t do for Eli, interesting enough).
“He’s a young player, he did some good things in the ballgame yesterday,” said McAdoo. “The breakdowns are spread out, and I’m included. Throw me in there.”
McAdoo followed it up by confirming that Flowers will “absolutely” be starting Week Three against the Philadelphia Eagles.
While the team has more than its fair share of problems right now, they’re right where they want to be (kind of). After all, the Super Bowl XLII Champion Giants team started out 0-2 before turning this around and knocking off the 18-0 New England Patriots.
Of course, that team had Tom Coughlin at the cuff. Let’s just bring him back.
“That’s part of being in the NFL, you can’t be sensitive,’’ Manning said Wednesday. “I think everybody has gotten very sensitive, players and everybody. If someone says anything negative about you, you did something wrong, that you got a problem. Coach McAdoo and I have a great relationship. He understands, I told him when he first got here, I enjoy being coached. If I screw something up, let me know. There’s some things I got to be better at.’’
McAdoo sounds incredulous that anyone thinks he is picking on Manning.
“If Eli has anything he needs to talk to me about, my door is open,’’ McAdoo said. “We spend a lot of time together during the week.’’
It was pointed out to Manning that McAdoo’s criticism is often selective, singling out the quarterback but not other players, such as left tackle Ereck Flowers.
“He knows I can take it,’’ Manning said. “You play 14 years in New York, you’ve been criticized. You can take pretty much whatever they throw at you. Coach Mac and I are on the same page. Anything he says, whether it’s to the media or to me or to the team, it’s all for the better of the team and I’m OK with it.’’
This is a non-issue in the Giants’ locker room.
“It was one play,’’ offensive lineman Justin Pugh said. “Everyone’s blowing that out of proportion. McAdoo loves this team; he loves that quarterback.
“No one loves Eli more than Mac. He’s gonna be his biggest supporter.’’