The New York Giants are 0-3 for the first time since 1996, and just suffered their worst loss of the Tom Coughlin era to a Carolina Panthers team that is the very definition of average.
What was supposed to be a potential Superbowl team for Tom Coughlin’s Giants, now looks like a team that will struggle to win any games this season, unless something changes- and fast.
So what is exactly wrong with this team, and is it time for Big Blue nation to start panicking?
Let’s break it down in our Giants Report: Panic Edition.
The entire Giants offensive line needs to be held accountable for the embarrassment that the Giants put out on Sunday in Carolina. When Eli Manning, who was tied for the lowest sack total in the NFL last season, goes down seven times, I repeat SEVEN TIMES, there is a problem.
That problem begins with Will Beatty.
The Giants signed Beatty to a five-year, $37.5 million contract this offseason, with the hopes that he would become their franchise left tackle. That decision, by the normally competent Jerry Reese, is now looking like a disaster, after the Giants have struggled in every conceivable area of offensive line play through the season’s first three weeks.
On the other side of the line, first round pick Justin Pugh, has had his struggles as well, although for a rookie who is only starting because of the thumb injury suffered by David Diehl during training camp, it’s hard to be too critical. But rookie or not, Pugh was man-handled by the Panthers defensive front on Sunday, and was a big part of the reason why the Giants were doomed from the opening kick-off.
On the positive side, the trial by fire will likely help the Pugh, who shows a a ton of potential, but at least for now the Giants are paying the price.
The Giants ball security through the first three weeks of the season has been harder to watch than a defeated Walter White, slowly dying in an isolated New Hampshire cabin. Add Sunday’s three turnovers to the pile and the Giants have committed a ghastly 13 turnovers so far this year. To put the 13 turnovers into perspective, the Giants did not commit their 13th turnover last season until week 10. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last time an NFL team had 13 turnovers in its first three games was 2001, when both the Lions and the Cowboys did it.
Of course the high turnover rate up until this point is directly tied to the poor offensive line play. With Eli Manning being forced to get rid of the ball a lot quicker, and having to force throws into coverage, the Giants are bound to continue down this path, at least until they can figure out how to protect their veteran quarterback.
With the Giants visiting the Chiefs in Kansas City next week things certainly do not get any easier from here. We have seen this team down before, and against all odds, they have battled back. I’m not expecting a complete turnaround next week in Kansas City, but until I see what Tom Coughlin and the Giants coaching staff changes this week in practice, it’s simply too early to jump off the ledge, although reserving a spot on the line may not be a bad idea.