The New York Giants are now 0-2 and their streak of offensive ineptitude now stretches to eight games without scoring 20 points. As with every
Winner - Evan Engram
I’m tempted to say “nobody.”
But, I will give the rookie tight end props for his first NFL touchdown. He immediately drew a flag for his “celebration,” but at least he had to get into the end zone to do it... And that’s about where we are with the Giants’ offense.
The Giants got Engram involved on offense from a variety of positions, and he showed why they drafted him in the first round. His receiving ability, route running, and pure athleticism stand out, even on an NFL field, and he will be a weapon sooner rather than later. He still has some developing to do, but you can already see his talent and versatility.
Eli Manning finds rookie Evan Engram for the 18 yard TD! pic.twitter.com/z5jnpdlZzg— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 19, 2017
Loser - Bobby Hart
Give Hart credit for playing through an ankle injury suffered early in the season opener against Dallas. He lasted just two plays this week before aggravating that injury and having to leave the game.
In the process he might have lost his starting job to Justin Pugh.
The Giants had to reconfigure their offensive line on the fly, moving Pugh from left guard back to the right tackle position he manned in his first two seasons with the Giants. If the Giants can get traction with Brett Jones at left guard and Pugh at right guard, they may have no choice but to stick with that grouping.
Loser - Eli Manning
Manning is something of a double loser tonight.
He did not play at the consistently high level that the Giants desperately need him to, and a poorly executed throw following Jason Pierre-Paul’s strip sack led to an interception and a Lions’ touchdown. He also seemed to lose track of the play clock, leading to a costly delay of game penalty on a fourth-and-goal attempt.
However, the rest of the offense did him no favors.
To his credit he corrected some of the problems that left the offense spinning its wheels in the first game. He showed much more courage in the pocket and a much greater aggressiveness passing the ball. Both of those were key to moving the offense down the field when it did move.
However, he was sacked five times, constantly having to move off his spot as pressure gushed through the offensive line. He was also plagued by drops in big spots, none bigger than Brandon Marshall’s, which negated a 30 yard gain, killed a drive, and directly lead to a punt return for a touchdown.
Loser - The Giants’ Offensive Line
Ereck Flowers got beat like a drum by Ziggy Ansah. The rest of the offensive line only inconsistently gave Manning protection, and then it was usually when the Giants were able to affect some misdirection. They also largely failed to open holes in the running game. Add to that a painful holding penalty on a first and goal rushing attempt... They have to do better.
Their only chance might be to figure out a schematic change (such as building their offense around multiple tight ends and giving Flowers help) to hide their deficiencies.
Loser - Ben McAdoo
The Giants don’t just have one problem on offense, they have problems across their offense.
They don’t just have a personnel problem, either. So, while there is blame for Jerry Reese for some the offensive line woes, the breakdowns across the roster in execution and the mistakes in play-calling fall squarely on the shoulders of the head coach.
McAdoo will either need to have a “darkened room” time for self-reflection, or his seat might start to warm up quickly. He said after the game that he took full blame for the Giants’ loss to the Lions, and that the Giants would consider “everything” to try to eke out some improvement in their short week.
He was hired as offensive coordinator to “fix” Eli Manning. McAdoo’s offense quickly proved to be one of the most potent in the league with likely inferior personnel to what he has this year. That success and a desire to maintain continuity with Manning got him the head coaching job. McAdoo needs to remember what he was doing when he didn’t have a defense to rely on in 2014 and 2015.