The New York Giants were in the playoffs last season. They even won a postseason victory for the first time since Eli Manning’s second Super Bowl victory. Giants fans were happy, and they should have been.
The Giants appeared to have a home run recruit in 2022 NFL Coach of the Year Brian Daboll. Daniel Jones had a good season and the Giants released him. New York even figured out the Saquon Barkley situation and made him happy with a slight raise over the franchise tag he was upset about. The anticipation for this season was justified.
Then the games began. The Giants appear to be one of the worst teams in football, and their gap widened with their ugly 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks didn’t play well, briefly losing starter Geno Smith to a knee injury in the second quarter, and still blowing away the Giants. The Giants had a chance to get back into the game late in the third quarter and trailed 14-3. They pushed deep into Seahawks territory. But Jones threw a bad interception, so Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who had a great game, returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. This game sums up the Giants’ entire season so far.
The only thing that kept the Giants from an 0-4 start was a furious second-half comeback against the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants looked terrible in the other 14 quarters this season.
The Giants’ offense is imploding
That seems impossible, but it’s true: The Giants were outscored 77-9 in the first half this season. They are the only NFL team without a touchdown in the first half this season. Typically, coaches, especially offensive-minded coaches like Daboll, do well in the first half because they plan the plays early in the game. Whatever script Daboll writes, it doesn’t work.
The absence of Barkley, who was sidelined with an ankle injury, doesn’t help. Losing standout left tackle Andrew Thomas, who was also inactive due to injury, is an underrated blow. But other teams have struggled with injuries and managed to score a first-half touchdown this season.
The Giants failed to make big plays, nor did they try. Jones never threw downfield. That’s partly because the offense isn’t playing well. The Seahawks had five sacks in their first three games and set a team record with 11 sacks Monday night. It’s also because the Giants don’t have a receiver at all who can threaten a defense. But it’s also due to a coaching staff that needs to provide some offense.
It’s too early to wonder whether Daboll is another Matt Nagy or Kevin Stefanski, who wins NFL Coach of the Year honors after a strong first season and quickly fades afterward, but the start to his second season has been real bad.
The Giants have a miserable night
The Seahawks shouldn’t think they had a great performance. It was good. But more than anything else the Seahawks did, the Giants were simply incompetent against them.
It was a sloppy first half. The Seahawks scored first on a touchdown pass from Smith to DK Metcalf. After Smith was briefly out, Drew Lock found Noah Fant, who made a great 51-yard run to the 1-yard line after the catch. That set up a touchdown by Kenneth Walker III. The Seahawks led 14-3 at halftime and considering how poorly the Giants played, it seemed like the game was over.
The Giants followed every good thing by immediately tripping over themselves. They got a stop on fourth-and-1 in the third quarter, and so the offense took advantage: 3-yard pass, sack, sack, punt. Not good, but that was the Giants’ offense in 2023. Without Barkley, their absolute lack of playmakers was exposed.
As New York mounted a solid drive into Seahawks territory, Jones threw the game-winning pick 6 to Witherspoon.
Do you remember the excitement before the season? Now Giants fans have to worry that Jones has one of the worst contracts in the NFL, Daboll might not be as good as they thought after last season, Barkley’s contract expires in 13 games, and there isn’t a lot of promising young talent on offense or a lot of hope for a turnaround for the rest of this season.
Welcome back to the depths of the NFL, Giants fans.