Sloppy, disorganized, dysfunctional, aggravating, and to an extent, pitiful.
After yesterday’s revolting 38-0 loss against the Carolina Panthers, those five words don’t even capture the full extent of what the New York Giants 0-3 start communicates.
The Giants haven’t started 0-3 since 1996 when the team finished 6-10. Consequently, head coach Dan Reeves was let go following the 1996 season.
Harbinger of things to come or a motivation tool for Tom Coughlin?
Before we get to Coughlin, let us examine the other suspects involved in the Giants horrid 0-3 start.
O-Line is Out to Lunch.
OL for the Giants should stand for Out to Lunch.
The Giants’ first round pick was offensive tackle Justin Pugh, who blocked for one of the Giants backup quarterbacks, Ryan Nassib. Also over the offseason, the Giants re-signed Will Beatty to a 5 year contract worth up to $38.75 million with $19 million guaranteed. Chris Snee is a 4-time Pro Bowl selection. David Bass and Kevin Boothe have been known to have a good history of protecting against the pass rush.
Yet, on Sunday against the Panthers, this stout offensive line allowed the Panthers pass rush to sack Eli Manning seven times.
Let me repeat that: seven times. Asked about the number of sacks allowed, Coughlin said to Newsday, “I’ll bet the quarterback got hit 20 times today.”
If you had the Carolina Panthers defense on your fantasy team, bravo to you. If you had Manning as your starter, may God bless you.
But looking at the reality of the situation, the offensive line looked deflated and as if they didn’t want to block for Manning. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
This is why the 2013 NFL Draft was such an important draft. Teams were looking for the insurance pieces to better their teams and while the Giants picked up a good asset in Pugh, their offensive line was showing their struggles at the closing of the 2012 season.
0-3 should let the offensive line they have taken a prolonged lunch break and need to get to work pronto
Running game is still ineffective
David Wilson cut to the right side, accelerated around the corner and found the end zone for a touchdown!
And then a holding penalty was called on Beatty.
Wilson’s would-be touchdown could have been a dramatic shift in the game and a boost of morale to the Giants struggling run game.
Instead, the run game still lacked potency and with the holding call on the offensive line, the play served as a tell-tale sign of what was to come offensively for the Giants.
After three games, the Giants have totaled 133 rushing yards for 44 yards per game which are both the worst of any other team in the NFL.
Wilson’s backflip was a sight to see, but like the flip, the Giants running game is going in circles with no clear distinction of improvement.
Tom Coughlin needs to ‘Play to Win the Game’
The Giants need something to fire them up. No team meeting, players-only meeting, or letters to fans will help depress the issues of the Giants.
The Giants need Coughlin to re-create a Herm Edwards type post-game interview to light this team on fire.
It doesn’t need to be a post-game interview, but the sense of anxiety is palpable and numerous Giants fans are pressing the panic button. Remember, the last time the Giants went 0-3, their head coach was fired.
Coughlin had a rough week so his focus on Sunday may have been deterred as a result of the death of his brother. Nevertheless, the Giants need Coughlin more than ever to turn up the afterburners and light this team aflame.
The Giants aren’t out of the playoffs…yet.
They have 13 games remaining and while the number 13 is quite ominous, the NFC East is never a runaway division. The division is almost always decided during the last week of the season.
Lady luck won’t be enough for the 2013 New York Giants, it’s all on Tom Coughlin to break out the lucky horseshoe once again, for his own sake.