As much as I hate to include coaches in the weekly “Kudos & Wet Willies” review, I have to begin this week’s “K&WW” of the New York Giants’ disgraceful 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday with a major “Wet Willie” for head coach Ben McAdoo.
It is, bluntly, impossible to see how McAdoo keeps his job beyond season.
McAdoo’s Giants are broken. Hopeless. Undisciplined. Not all, but some of them quite obviously really no longer care.
We’ve written it a number of times, but the Giants embarrassed themselves on Sunday. They weren’t competitive. There were a lot of things they couldn’t do vs. the Rams — tackling, catching, throwing and playing special teams among them.
The biggest thing they couldn’t do, though, is keep disconsolate fans in their MetLife Stadium seats.
There were a lot of empty gray seats when the game began. The booing began well before the first half ended. The exodus to the parking lot was in full force by the middle of the third quarter.
Fans heading for the Metlife exits in the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/hP86hKhSkx— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) November 5, 2017
It should go without saying that ownership will notice empty seats and angry fans.
McAdoo doesn’t have the answers.
The coach continues to insist the Giants have good practices. They continue, though, to have awful game performances. The lack of discipline from players on the field and off is a reflection on the head coach. So is when it becomes apparent during games that not everyone is giving their best effort.
NBC's Rodney Harrison on the Giants: "When you don’t respect your coach, players will quit on you. I believe the Giants just flat out quit."— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) November 6, 2017
It becomes increasingly obvious with each passing week that there is a divide between McAdoo, his coaching staff, and a team that should be better than this. And each week it becomes harder to find a way that the current head coach can be part of the solution.
Kudos to ...
Evan Engram — Engram dropped a couple of passes, but he caught four balls for 70 yards. And he showed some fight, which some of his teammates on the defensive side of the ball can learn something from.
Orleans Darkwa — Ripped off a 24-yard on the game’s second offensive play, and finished with 71 yards on 16 carries. His play continues to highlight the foolishness of how many seasons it has taken the Giants to give him a full opportunity. It is hard to praise Darkwa without also adding a mention for center Brett Jones and right guard D.J. Fluker, since almost all of Darkwa’s success came on plays designed to go behind those two.
Sterling Shepard — Had five catches for 70 yards in his return to action, and would have had a 75-yard second quarter touchdown if not for a horribly off target throw from Eli Manning.
Avery Moss — The Giants made the mistake of lining Moss, making his first NFL start, up against 12-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth on LA’s first two offensive plays. They paid for that with runs right at Moss that went for 36 and nine yards that set up LA’s first touchdown. After being switched to the opposite side, Moss played well. And, like Engram, he played hard. He finished with the Giants only two quarterback hits, and their only pass defensed. He also had six tackles.
Fans who stayed to the end — There weren’t many of them, but the ones who did stick around deserve “Kudos” for their loyalty. Or, maybe a medal. Or, better yet, a refund.
Wet Willies to ...
Eli Manning — It was cool that Manning became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 passing yards. What wasn’t cool was how badly the Giants’ veteran quarterback played. He badly missed wide open receivers for what should have been easy touchdowns in the second quarter. He threw a bad second-quarter interception that gave LA the ball at the Giants’ 30-yard line and set up a field goal. That’s a 17-point second-quarter swing on the quarterback’s shoulders. He lost another fumble. He has now fumbled six times in eight game, losing three.
I have defended Manning for a long time. I can’t, however, defend anything I saw from him on Sunday.
Eli Apple — On a day when the Giants’ defense was a sieve and their effort was easy to question, Apple’s seeming lack of effort was the most disturbing of all. Maybe he could have tackled Robert Woods on his 52-yard touchdown, maybe he couldn’t have. But, he could have at least tried.
He was also guilty of playing zone while the rest of his teammates played man coverage on this touchdown:
There is ZERO reason to keep anyone from the coaching staff. Zero. Burn it down. pic.twitter.com/vP25Ar1hd5— TankSZN Ethan (@EthanGSN) November 5, 2017
Apple is a talented player and as a 2016 first-round pick one that the Giants are counting on to be a big part of their future. His disinterest on Sunday was disturbing.
Landon Collins — The third-year safety has talked about wanting to be a Hall of Fame player one day. He’s not going to get there playing like he did on Sunday, or the way he has most of this season. He’s been good most of the time, but not nearly as good as he was a year ago when he forced his way into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Sunday, he wasn’t good at all. He committed a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty that set up a Rams’ field goal. He badly overran the third-and-33 screen pass that went for a touchdown. As much as Apple deserves criticism for his effort there, that was Collins’ play to make. He wasn’t even in the same zip code as Sammy Watkins on a 67-yard touchdown pass. As much as Collins doesn’t want to be one, maybe someday the Giants will figure out that he really should be a box safety and not a guy patrolling center field.