New York Giants: Is this the best Big Blue can do?

Pat Shurmur, New York Giants. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

In the wake of Sunday’s ugly 35-17 loss in Dallas, EWB’s Andrew Elderbaum ponders if that type of performance is the best New York Giants can expect in 2019.

After the shellacking, they took Sunday the New York Giants, as most expected, are 0-1. The question is are they as bad as they looked in that game? True believers, it’s time for earmuffs but the answer is yes. Emphatically yes.

Oddly enough the secondary that got shredded is the least concerning thing about the team’s performance. Young defensive backs routinely struggle early, and secondaries with new pieces do the same. The Giants secondary contains both, as they gain experience and cohesiveness they will improve.

The lack of pass rush, again while expected, is not as likely to improve. Understanding that Dallas has a great offensive line, the performance was still dismal. While communication breakdowns and blown coverages on the back end will improve over time, they can not cover NFL receivers for 15 seconds. The lack of pressure up front will continue to overtax the rest of the defense and big plays will continue to be an issue.

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Offensively Head Coach Pat Shurmur, and offensive coordinator David Shula’s scheme will continue to be self-defeating. Eli Manning had an efficient,  decent game. In fact, it might be the best you can expect from him at this point in his career. The problem is that the offense is based on check-downs and short passes. It chews up the clock, and if your defense gives up explosive plays you find yourself down big quickly with no chance to catch up.

Once Big Blue goes down big, they essentially lose their best offensive weapon in Saquon Barkley, and defenses can focus on shutting down the passing game. Golden Tate is not a receiver who is going to attack the top of a defense. His return won’t do enough to dramatically alter the offensive gameplan. If the plan is to throw Tate seven-yard slants and hope he continues to break tons of tackles, then their games are over before they start.

Shurmur needs to make a decision on whether he’s going to be another coach who lives and dies with his system. In the end, they always die. The team needs to find some way to take shots in the passing game before they go down by three scores. If not, the team may not win a single game this year. Defenses will stack the box to stop Barkley early because they won’t need to worry about him later.

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The defense really might give up 28 to 35 points a game this year, so performances, like they had last week, will not be enough for the G-Men to stay in games. If Sunday’s game was the best the New York Giants can muster with Eli, then they may as well move forward with Daniel Jones. The performance may not be any better but at least Jones will get some reps in a season that’s lost anyway.