Another week, another diatribe on wasted opportunities by the New York Giants. My takeaway is probably a little different than most fans who watched this game because I've seen a lot of disappointment with the coaching staff (and especially the coordinators), but to me I don't think it's the biggest problem (though I'm not absolving the coaching staff of the failure because there is need for improvement), but this team is just not playing above the X's and 0's. Even when players have the opportunities to make a play, the plays are not being made, or the Giants make a series of huge plays and a terrible penalty occurs.
Here are this week's five key plays.
Josh Brown misses a field goal with 6 seconds left in the first half
The Giants had a nice two-minute drive to get into scoring position after doing essentially nothing between the 69-yard touchdown reception and the two minute drill to end the first half. A field goal here sends the game into halftime tied 10-10 with the Giants getting the football back to start the second half, it just changes the feel of the game and it was a missed opportunity for the Giants that they could not afford.
Failed third and one conversion attempt following the Prince Amukamara interception
This might not been as big as a back-breaking play as some of the plays later in the game, but it's the little missed opportunities like this that is preventing the Giants offense from finding any continuity and keeping them from being the offense we all believed they could be before the season. Right now the Giants are basically only scoring when Eli Manning and Victor Cruz can connect on huge plays. Converting on third-and-1 and sustaining drives especially after the defense forces turnovers is often the difference between winning and losing.
Holding on Will Beatty negates a nice catch from Hakeem Nicks and makes it 2nd and 17
Again I'm not highlighting plays that will show up on SportsCenter, but just one of many plays that separate good teams from bad teams. If there is no holding the Giants have the ball around the 40-yard line and in position to possibly get points, but instead they again have too many yards to go on second and third own. The Giants have had way too many big plays negated by penalties this season and it's a big reason they are 0-4. The next play was a dropped Da'Rel Scott screen pass and then on third and 17-Eli Manning completes a 16-yard pass to Victor Cruz and the Giants have to punt which leads to...
Dexter McCluster returns a punt for a touchdown
And the ball game is all downhill from here.
Giants have a special teams penalty that puts the exclamation point on the Giants los
The game was 17-7 and though it didn't look like the Giants were going to win, but the game was still respectable when the Chiefs hit a field goal on fourth-and-4, but the penalty gave the Chiefs a first down, which they turned into a touchdown to put Giants' fans out of their misery.