Week 4 Recap: New York Giants, Is it Time to Panic?

By Danielle McCartan (@CoachMcCartan and www.Facebook.com/CoachMcCartan)

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. – Another week, another loss for the New York Giants.  Fans are wondering: “is it time to press the panic button?”  Through a quarter of this season, the Giants, with the firepower they seem have on paper, have been downright disappointing. They’re bottom feeding in the NFC East and have posted an underwhelming 1-3 record through the first four games.

To be fair, the Giants did not know, entering this game, that they would be facing two opponents: the New Orleans Saints and the National Football League’s officiating crew.  The most egregious of all of the bad (yet momentous- for the Saints) calls was a 15-yard horse-collar penalty on Giants’ cornerback Janoris Jenkins, shown below. It is clear that Jenkins brought down Saints’ wide receiver Michael Thomas in the most textbook way: with his arms wrapped around Thomas’ shoulders.

The call extended the drive and lead to a Saints field goal.  To make matters worse, on the field, an official told Giants defensive captain Alec Ogletree that he “would not have made that call in a Super Bowl”.  What does that even mean? Then why call it in a regular season game?

Art is right, and as a coach myself, it is difficult to blame an entire loss on the officiating crew. So let’s examine the rest of the ways in which the Giants lost yesterday’s game (re-examined from my week 4 Keys to Victory preview).

Contain RB Alvin Kamara: Entering play, the Giants did not have the best run defense, but they got it done, yet after yesterday’s showing, the Giants have solidified themselves as one of the worst rushing defenses in the league (in almost every statistical category).  Yesterday, Kamara rushed for 134 yards, including a 49-yard run and three touchdowns. The fact that he was allowed to cross the goal line three times in one game is inexcusable.  Including yesterday, he only has 5 on the season!

  • Yesterday: 7.1 average yards per carry.  Entering yesterday’s game: 3.73 average yards per carry.
  • Yesterday: 3 rushing touchdowns. Entering yesterday’s game: 2 touchdowns…on the season.
  • Yesterday: 49 yard run. Entering Yesterday’s game: longest run was 18 yards.

Get in QB Drew Brees’ face: One sack for -8 yards… the only play on which Brees was dropped behind the line of scrimmage by the Giants defense. Although Brees threw for zero touchdowns (Kamara handled the heavy lifting), he still accumulated 217 yards.  Inexplicable.

⚠️Protect Eli Manning: There are probably more than a “handful” of things that Manning “wants back”, including missing many of his receivers, his playmakers, in space. This is a yellow sign for a reason.  The Giants allowed only three sacks (yes, a minor miracle), but Manning did not play well.  His offensive line afforded him some time, and oftentimes commentators commend quarterbacks for releasing the ball quickly. Hell, there’s even a graphic on NFL broadcasts that calculates the time it takes for the ball to travel from the point of release to the instant it touches the receiver’s hands.  If you’ve been watching Giants games with me, you know I’ve been saying it: sometimes, there is such a thing as ‘too fast’.  I always preach to my players: “Work quickly, but not in a rush”.  Manning rushed too many of his throws. This tweet by Dan Duggan summarizes my point in a graphic:

By this point, Manning is classically conditioned to abort his progressions in order to avoid the hit.  He has to recondition himself to step up in the pocket, avoid the initial rush, and deliver a ball to a receiver in stride.

“Didn’t do enough offensively” is the understatement of a century. The Giants haven’t scored more than thirty points since January 3, 2016: Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s last day on the job. Frustration is about to boil over at the Meadowlands…. but superstar Odell Beckham, Jr. seems to already have reached that point. Is it time to panic, Giants Nation?

The Giants will head south to take on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, October 7, 2018 (1pm kickoff). Stay tuned later in the week to my weekly “Keys to Victory” game preview.

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