The amazing ineptitude of the offense is the biggest problem for the New York Giants. If that point hadn't already become obvious during this second straight lost season for the Giants, the point was certainly made in big, bold capital letters during Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Eli Manning was amateurish at quarterback. He threw a career-worst five interceptions, not one of them on a ball that was thrown on target. Manning has now tied his career-worst with 25 interceptions, and has surpassed Charlie Conerly as the Giants' franchise leader in interceptions with 169. Manning's passer rating Sunday was a ridiculously Sanchez-ian 31.9.
Manning, however, wasn't the only member of the offense who was awful. On four of those picks you have to question the effort by star receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Three of the picks were, to my recollection, intended for Nicks. None, to be honest, was well thrown. The most-likely soon to be former Giant didn't exactly knock himself out, however, trying to make plays on any of them. Cruz, similarly, didn't make a great effort to bat down Manning's first interception, an off-target Manning pass thrown to the wrong shoulder that Byron Maxwell out-fought him for. The fifth interception, a Hail Mary, fell to Richard Sherman without a Giants' receiver anywhere near it.
Manning tried again and again -- whether it was smart or not -- to give his receivers opportunities to make plays in one-on-one matchups. It kept blowing up in his face.
What made it even worse was the number of times you watched Seattle receivers outfight Giants' defensive backs to make catches, knock down jump balls and gain yardage after catching passes.
The offensive line was horrid. Manning was sacked on the game's first play. He was sacked three times, hit six times and chased out of the pocket several other times in 31 drop-backs. The Giants averaged only 1.8 yards per running play as the Seattle defensive front continually manhandled Giants' blockers.
The Giants crossed midfield once, and that came with the benefit of a 15-yard Seattle penalty.
"Offensively we didn't have much," said Manning, in a post-game understatement. "We just don't execute well enough and play at the level we need to to win games."
It is painfully obvious that the Giants need to revamp this offensive line. As bad as Manning was on Sunday, and has been much of the season, the Giants have no chance of running any sort of successful offense because they simply can't block anybody.
You had to feel bad for the Giants' defense, which played with pride and kept the from being completely humiliated. The Giants sacked Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson four times and made Marshawn Lynch (16 carries, 47 yards) work for every yard.
Eli Manning's number of interceptions will be the thing that everyone will want to talk about, and you can bet that national media will be showing plenty of 'Manningface' photos and videos. The problems on offense, however, go way beyond the play of the quarterback.
As they head into the offseason and plan for next season fixing the offense must be the top priority. To do that, the Giants have to fix the offensive line. If they can't do that, nothing else really matters.