On Monday night, the New York Football Giants put on one of the worst displays of football in the 30+ years I have watched them play.
The Giants handed Seattle the game with turnovers, missed plays, poor execution and gawd awful offensive line play. Even the Defense, which showed signs of life periodically, couldn’t make the big play all day and gave up an inexcusable 50 yard TD on a 4-yard flat to a tight end where our inability to tackle was on display.
So where do we go from here? Damn if I know. That’s why Schoen, Daboll & Co. get paid the big bucks, not me.
Here’s what I do know:
The Hot Seat
Ben McAdoo made it two seasons (just about) before getting the ax.
Pat Shurmur made it two seasons and he was canned.
Joe Judge made it two seasons until his crazed press conference in December 2021 sealed his fate.
Brian Daboll may have been NFL Coach of the Year last year … but he is now officially on the hot seat.
We are 1-3, staring down 1-5 with road games at Miami and Buffalo on tap.
Our offense is broken and our defense looks awful. Don’t even get me started on our punt and kick returners, who look like their hoping no one kicks the ball to them.
At least we have Graham Gano … once again, the best signing of the Gettleman tenure (not much competition for that crown).
Daboll and crew better have answers. He could very well lose this team in a hurry. If he does, he’ll be joining the other 2-and-outs. (Sidenote: I recognize John Mara isn’t firing Daboll unless he has no other choice, if solely to avoid a 4th consecutive 2-and-out coach.)
The Offensive Line
On September 22, 2013, All-Pro Guard Chris Snee injured his hip in a Week 3 game against the Carolina Panthers, who promptly flattened Eli Manning (if memory serves, six sacks … in the first half). Oft-injured C David Bass was already on the way out and our offensive line was a mess. The Great O-Line of the mid-Manning years was already no more, but Snee’s injury was the official end.
That was TEN YEARS AGO.
Ten Years of crappy o-line play.
Ten Years of draft picks brought in to fix it.
2013 – Justin Pugh (1st Round), Eric Herman (7th)
2014 – Weston Richburg (2nd)
2015 – Ereck Flowers (1st), Bobby Hart (7th)
2016 – None
2017 – Adam Bisnowaty (7th)
2018 – Will Hernandez (2nd)
2019 – George Asafo-Adjei (7th)
2020 – Andrew Thomas (1st); Matt Peart (3rd); Shane Lemieux (5th)
2021 – None
2022 – Evan Neal (1st); Joshua Ezeudu (3rd); Marcus McKethan (5th)
2023 – John Michael Schmitz (2nd)
That’s FOUR 1st round picks, THREE 2nd round picks, Two 3rd rounders and a half a dozen Day 3 picks. Moreover, to drive home the point, 11 years ago isn’t that long ago. Justin Pugh may play this season upon his return from injury and a good handful of 2013 OL draft picks remain in the NFL. Last night’s starter, Seattle’s QB Geno Smith was taken in that draft.
I don’t need to wait for PFF’s scoring to know that Evan Neal is looking the part of a bust. Bredeson got run over at center. Meanwhile, our guard play from McKethan and Lemieux was not good. From my vantage point, it seems like Ezeudu may have played ok … or at least his teammates ‘matador imitations overshadowed his deficiencies versus Seattle.
We need to figure something out and quick to stabilize the offensive line. Youth is all well and good, but it isn’t working. Find a veteran or two. We need tough glue guys. Sure, that’s what Mark Glowinski was signed to be, but he’s glued to the bench due to poor play. McKethan may turn out to be a fine player, but his development needs to be put on hold. We need a veteran between struggling youngsters Schmitt and Evans. If Schmitt is going to miss time, maybe we can flip a Round 7 pick to the 49ers to re-acquire Jon Feliciano, who’s only playing special teams for them. Pugh is out there, along with a few other guards on the wrong side of 30. Ex-Cowboy/Bengal La’el Collins recently passed a physical, though I doubt they’re ready to bench Evans.
Yeesh … penalties, muffed punts, what else! Through four weeks, our kick and punt return teams have looked like we’re afraid to return the ball. No visions of touchdowns or field flipping run backs. Simply trying to fair catch it and move on without a mistake. That doesn’t work and last night they were exposed.
Special Teams Coach Thomas McGaughey has weathered several head coach firings. As I recall, he was brought in by Gettleman with Pat Shurmur, then retained by Judge and Daboll. I think it’s safe to say that he’s not on the hot seat, he’s lost his seat.
(As a sidenote to the sidenote, Daboll may be safe because Mara doesn’t want to fire another coach, but McGaughey will absolutely be a fall guy. Sorry dude. You may be a good special teams coach … but you don’t have nine lives.)
What QB looks good when they’re sacked 10 times. Jones played terribly, but he had no chance.
No point in analyzing his play. He’s missing receivers. He’s rushing his reads. He’s throwing these pointless 3-4 yard dump-offs. He needs to throw the ball downfield, but has no time. His internal clock is totally messed up by the lack of protection. Heck, he can’t even scramble because most times the pocket is collapsing AND an edge is closing in. This was vintage Daniel Jones circa 2020 under Jason Garrett.
If we could somehow trade him to the QB-needy Jets for draft pick so we can tank and rebuild, I might take it.
Wink has got to simplify this defense. The players look like they aren’t capable of executing properly. Simplify the roles. Simplify the responsibilities. On the 4 yard flat route that went the distance (the equivalent of the bunt home run!), it appeared that one LB played man and ran across the field (kudos to Eli and Payton for that observation).
We need the guys upfront – the supposed strength of this team – to outright dominate. Challenge them to beat their man 1:1. Start over.
Baltimore moved on from Martindale, in no small part, due to his insistence on running his scheme. For the Ravens, the gameplan ignored devastating injuries to the secondary (read: you can’t run man coverage with a hodgepodge group of backup CBs, who got beat regularly). This D is build on pressure. We’re not getting enough.
We all like to look at the schedule and see which teams we can beat. Right now, we can’t beat anyone. Not with this offense.
Forget the playoffs, we need to turn this season into one that is about growth and development. Finishing with 6 wins may be a good result heading into 2024.
To steal from Ed Valentine, via Peter King, here are 10 Things I Think
1. Leonard Williams is a good rotational piece . . . for $32 million. He is not a star.
2. Waller-Hyatt, Hyatt-Waller … get them the darn ball. We aren’t winning without them. Suggest we try to win with them. Speaking of which, I’ve seen enough of Parris Campbell. If I hear one more time about his 4.3 speed after a 4 yard dump-off, I’m going to scream.
3. We need to let Kayvon Thibodeux rush the passer more (he did more last night). Simplify his role. See ball, hit ball. See QB, hit QB. And teach the young fellow what play action and bootlegs look like. Seattle repeatedly used his aggression against him last night.
4. McKinney is invisible. Like Schoen’s decision not to restructure Williams, his decision not to extend McKinney seems to be far more driven by performance than we thought.
5. Dexter Lawrence is a wrecking ball.
6. How pathetic is it that our Kicker and Punter, Gano and Gillan, may be the most consistent players on our team. Ok ok Evan Neal is consistent too, but not in a good way.
7. Speaking of Mr. Neal … he is playing himself out of a starting gig. No other way to say it. Get a veteran in there next to him at RG. Give him a few more weeks, maybe the rest of the year. But unless he suddenly turns it around, Summer 2024 he’s moving to guard.
8. Go find a Kick/Punt returner. A real one. Not our CB who we can’t afford to lose. It was all well and good to use our backup RB, who’s never returned kicks, to save a roster spot for Week 1 (and the full-year salary) but this is ridiculous.
9. We need to spend money on a Guard next spring . . . and maybe a tackle.
10. Due to strength of schedule, it is likely we will lose tie-breakers for the 2024 NFL Draft. That means unless we actually lose more than everyone else, we won’t get the top pick. Just sayin’.