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‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: More of the same bad football from the Giants

Same issues, same mistakes, same results for 1-7 Giants

NFL: Washington Redskins at New York Giants
Giant defenders chase Adrian Peterson as he goes 64 yards for a touchdown on Sunday.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Rinse. Repeat. The New York Giants play. The New York Giants lose. The offensive line is terrible. Eli Manning is under siege, and still misfires even on the few occasions when he isn’t. They can’t run the ball, even with one of the best running backs on the planet. Mistakes (drops, penalties, turnovers) and an inability to score touchdowns in the red zone doom the offense. The defense plays hard, but is done in by surrendering big plays.

We’ve seen this movie over and over again this season. Call it “Bumbling 2018 Giants, Episode 7.”

Let’s get to the “Kudos & Wet Willies.”


Kudos to ...

Any Giants fan who stayed in MetLife Stadium until the end on Sunday. You’re either dedicated or crazy. Or both.

Also, me. I went to Buffalo for my daughter’s third birthday over the weekend, driving 5 hours each way for that rather than going to MetLife. Good decision. Watching Sunday night via ‘GamePass’ was brutal enough.

Odell Beckham Jr. — The guy is ridiculous. Eight receptions, 136 yards. Two insane catches.

Saquon Barkley — How good could this kid be if the Giants could actually run block? Even once in a while? He averaged just 2.9 yards per carry (13 carries, 38 yards) but also 73 yards on 9 receptions, giving him 111 yards from scrimmage. That’s seven times in eight games he has surpassed that mark. Too bad it’s either on his own in the running game or mostly bail-out yardage in the passing game.

Quadree Henderson — I don’t care about the three punt returns for -1 yards. We’re used to seeing that from Giants returners. I do care about the 19-yard punt return. And the 30-yard kickoff return. The Giants seem to have themselves a competent returner. Hooray!

Olivier Vernon — No sacks, but three hits and a fumble recovery. He’s a difference maker. Now, will he be a Giant after Tuesday?

Wet Willies to ...

Evan Engram — What good is a pass-catching tight end who can’t catch? Engram had two more drops on Sunday, including one on fourth-and-3 at the Washington 32-yard line with the Giants trailing by only a touchdown and 14:23 to play. He’s wide open, it’s a perfectly thrown ball he got both hands on and he just didn’t catch. Just plain didn’t do his job.

Engram had 11 drops in 115 targets a year ago, a 9.6 percent drop rate. This season, he has three drops in 26 targets, an 11.5 percent drop rate.

Offensive line — Seven sacks and 10 hits of Eli Manning allowed. Yes, I know some of that can be blamed on Manning being hesitant, or stationary, or both. But, the 2.9 yards per rushing attempt the Giants averaged had nothing to do with Manning. The fact that much of the second half was a jail break to the quarterback wasn’t Manning fault. Offensive linemen aren’t supposed to be turned around facing the backfield, or flat on their backs, at the end of plays. Watch the film, though, and that’s what you see from the Giants. Over and over and over. Name your quarterback. I don’t care who you choose. You can’t play competent offense with an incompetent line, and that’s what the Giants have. No one on the line Sunday, from high-priced free agent left tackle to substitute right right tackle Brian Mihalik, can be exempted from criticism.

Eli Manning — Your offensive line is terrible. You don’t get many opportunities. You can’t screw up the ones you do get. A 15-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl winner can’t get fooled by coverage and throw an interception in the red zone when his struggling team gets one of its few scoring chances, one that could have tied the game.

Manning shows you at times that he still has the ability to make throws. Not that he has any reason to, but it’s easy to see the biggest issue is he doesn’t trust his protection. That he’s sometimes too quick to take the check down. Other times, too hesitant to throw the ball or get out of Dodge and move out of the pocket. Sometimes just plain off target because his feet are moving and his base isn’t set properly when he releases the ball.

What you see from Manning is understandable after so many years of playing behind lousy lines, especially since this looks like the worst of the bunch. Still, you can’t play quarterback effectively with the pass rush in your head. I don’t know if it’s reversible, or if the Giants are willing to find out. I do know it’s tough to watch.