It sounds like Giants coach Ben McAdoo is growing tired of Eli Manning doing Eli Manning things.
Manning’s season is off to a horrendous start, and by extension, the Giants are, too. New York’s record fell to 0-2 on Monday night, as the franchise’s two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback was responsible for blunder after blunder in a 24-10 loss to the Lions.
Manning only threw one interception, but it was so bad, anybody could plainly see it was destined to get picked off the moment the ball left his hand. With 10 minutes remaining and down by 14, Manning decided to look short of the sticks on 4th-and-3, which resulted in a turnover on downs.
But the play that seemed to grate on McAdoo the most after the defeat was a penalty for delay of game in the third quarter. Trailing 17-7 in the third quarter, the Giants lined up to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Somehow, Manning didn’t get the snap off in time, New York was penalized five yards, and the team wound up settling for the field goal anyway.
"Sloppy quarterback play," McAdoo said via Jordan Raanan for ESPN.com. "Quarterback and center need to be on the same page there. We need to get the ball snapped."
It’s not very often you hear an NFL coach be so bluntly and specifically critical of one of his players. Then again, most NFL coaches don’t know the joys of coaching Eli Manning, who does this kind of stuff all the time.
"Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football and I expect us to get the ball snapped," McAdoo said, explaining why he didn’t call a timeout with the play clock winding.
Translation: That was entirely, 100 percent on Manning.
Granted, Manning isn’t to blame for all of the Giants’ problems. Not unlike the Eagles, the offense can’t/won’t run the football, averaging 3.4 yards on 18 attempts against the Lions. The pass protection isn’t any better, either, allowing Manning to take 5 sacks and 8 quarterback hits – also reminiscent of the Eagles.
Yet, unlike the Eagles, people were strangely afraid of the Giants coming into the 2017 season. A lot of people had this team pegged as a contender for an NFC East championship, and while it’s too early to rule it out, I’ve never quite been sure why.
Manning and the Giants’ offensive struggles date back to last season, as the team hasn’t eclipsed 20 points in its last eight regular and postseason games – since November. The only real upgrade the front office made in the offseason was to sign 33-year-old wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Sure, New York’s defense is excellent. This isn’t 2007, though. It’s not good enough to overcome this level of offensive ineptitude.
Barring a sudden and dramatic turnaround, the Giants are a bad football team. The offensive line stinks. They have no ground attack to speak of whatsoever. Odell Beckham is the offense’s only viable threat, and he probably isn’t 100 percent. And Eli Manning is as mistake-prone as ever, except he’s 36 years old now and almost certainly is not putting the same mustard on the ball like he used to.
The Eagles host the Giants on a short week this Sunday. Make of that what you will.