The season is seemingly on the brink for the New York Giants.
Monday night was an abysmal failure. For a team that has Super Bowl dreams almost certainly puts that talk on the back burner, as all the focus now must go to Philadelphia, where the Giants must go and win a game just to avoid an 0-3 start.
Starting 0-2 is never good. Only 10 - 12 percent of teams that start 0-2 end up in the playoffs. Only the 2007 Giants started 0-2 and won the Super Bowl. Ironically, alumni from that Super Bowl winning team were in attendance Monday. Unfortunately that team didn't lose the first two games of their season as badly as this team has.
The problems for New York all started up front as Eli Manning was under siege from the Lions pass rush all night long. Overall, Detroit sacked the veteran quarterback five times, and knocked him to the turf a dozen times. It was no fun, as four of those five sacks came in the first half. Whenever he tried to make a play, he couldn't without seeing a white jersey in his face.
But it was not like all of this was on the shoulders of the O-Line, because Manning didn't help his own cause. On the Giants first possession he was strip sacked by Haloti Nata. The Lions recovered for a touchdown, but luckily for Big Blue, the officials said Manning was down before he lost control of the ball. That was only the start.
Later in the first half after the Giants got a gift fumble by the Lions, Manning turned it right back to them when he overthrew Evan Engram and found Thair Whithead instead sitting back in coverage. The interception proved costly, the Lions scored their second touchdown of the night to take a lead they would never relinquish.
As for Stafford, he was absolutely brilliant for the Lions. In the first quarter, facing a third and nine at the Giants 38, he avoided the rush and scrambled for a 13-yard gain to move Detroit into the Giants Red Zone. Three plays later, Stafford hit Marvin Jones on a back-shoulder fade to the corner of the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.
After the Manning interception, Stafford went to work again. He hit Eric Ebron for 11 yards to the Giant 11, and finally connected with Ebron once more for the go-ahead score to push Detroit in front 14-7.
What made matters worse for the Giants is they had a chance to get back into this game on several occasions, but came up snake eyes each time. Midway through the third quarter, Manning had Big Blue on the Lions one-yard line, but an offensive holding call pushed them back 10-yards to the 11. The Giants couldn't do anything. They would get to the two yard line on a Manning pass to Engram before the deciding to go for it on fourth and goal. The decision was a horrible mistake by Ben McAdoo. The Giants were called for delay of game, and forced back five yards, and had to settle for the field goal to cut the deficit to 17-10.
The poor execution wouldn't stop there. In the fourth quarter, Manning had a wide open Brandon Marshall down the sideline, but the receiver dropped the football on second and eight. The Giants were forced to punt returner Jamal Agnew, who made them pay with an 88-yard return for a touchdown to blow the game open at 24-10.
Perhaps it was fitting, on a night when Odell Beckham made his return to the lineup that he would pick up right where he left off in Green Bay last January. With the Giants trying once more to mount some kind of comeback, it was Beckham who dropped a huge fourth down pass at the Detroit 29 that sealed the Giants fate.
After an off-season where fans boasted about the Giants depth at receiver, Beckham had only four catches for 36 yards in his season debut. Marshall had only one catch and was invisible for the entire game for the second straight week. Sterling Shepard (2 catches, 23 yards) and Evan Engram (4 catches, 49 yards) were also invisible for the second straight game.
Let us not forget that the Giants running attack was also invisible. Thanks to Big Blue's putrid offensive line, the Giants averaged only 3.4 yards a carry on Monday for a grand total of 62 yards on 18 carries COMBINED! By comparison, Detroit's Ameer Abdullah ran for 86 yards on 17 carries all by himself.
With no help on the offensive line, Eli Manning looking old, and a collection of talent not gelling the temperature is going up on GM Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo. Guess, the Jets won't be the only team in New York that will suck this football season.