A Giant Problem
What was supposed to be a redemption year for coach Tom Coughlin’s Giants is now turning into a year of several question marks going into Week 3. The team is 0-2 so far and the injuries and key losses the team had suffered during the off-season and preseason is catching up to them on the field. The offense is out of sync, and of course it starts with quarterback Eli Manning. Through two games, the Giants have turned the ball over 10 times and Manning leads the NFL with seven interceptions. In a recent interview, Manning was asked about the team’s struggles on offense as well as his own play. He said, “Turnovers are going to lose you football games, so we’ve got to eliminate the turnovers. Every interception has its own story, but I have to be more smarter with the football and throw the ball more accurately.” Due to those interceptions, Manning has a mediocre quarterback rating of 75.9 to go with a 60.4 completion percentage.
Manning has made 91 pass attempts through two weeks, which is tied for third-most in the NFL. Not having a running game to take pressure off of him will not help those numbers either. David Wilson, who is now the featured running back, has struggled. He had 2 fumbles in Week 1 against the Cowboys, and he was ineffective against the Denver Broncos’ defense in Week 2. Before their matchup against the Broncos, the team went and re-signed Brandon Jacobs who played for the G-men for a handful of years previously. The Giants rushed for just 23 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, marking their lowest output in 24 years. In 2 games so far, Giants running backs have carried the ball 33 times and have rushed for just a total of 73 yards. They’re averaging 2.2 yards per rush, and less than a yard after contact. Those numbers have to improve fast because there will not be no Bo Jackson coming out of that locker room to get the job done.
The team not having a running game puts more pressure on receivers like “the Salsa man” Victor Cruz, who’s been the only bright light for the team so far. Things do not get any easier for Manning and company as the next 4 games include the Panthers, Chiefs, Eagles and Bears, all have productive defenses to make life for Manning difficult. He (Manning) is already considering this Sunday’s game with Carolina a “Big Game.” Although it seems to be rough times for the Giants, 0-2 could actually favor them in some way. The last time the G-men started a season 0-2 was in 2011, and that team won the Super Bowl. Let’s not get carried away. Back then, the team had Ahmad Bradshaw, Kenny Phillips, a younger Brandon Jacobs and a third weapon for Manning in Mario Manningham. Those players are no longer with the team, with the exception of Jacobs. Tom Coughlin may have to give one of his stone-cold speeches to turn things around.
Sports Notes: (Football) The Giants seek to capture their first win of the season as they head to Carolina to face Cam Newton and the Panthers. It will be Rookie vs. Rookie at MetLife Stadium as two quarterbacks from this year’s class clash head-to-head. E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills take on Geno Smith and the Jets. (Baseball) Approaching 2 weeks left in the regular season, the Mets head to Philadelphia in a 3-game set with the Phillies starting tomorrow. The Yankees will begin a 3-game interleague matchup with the San Francisco Giants starting tomorrow.