The New York Giants were in the playoffs last season. They even got a postseason win for the first time since Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl. Giants fans were happy, and they should have been.
The Giants seemed to have a home-run hire with the 2022 NFL Coach of the Year, Brian Daboll. Daniel Jones had a good season and the Giants resigned him. New York even figured out the Saquon Barkley situation, making him happy with a slight raise from the franchise tag he was upset about. There was justified excitement for this season.
Then the games started. The Giants look like one of the worst teams in football, and their hole got even deeper with an ugly 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks didn’t play that well, lost starting Geno Smith for a bit during the second quarter due to a knee injury, and they still blew out the Giants. The Giants had a shot to get back in the game late in the third quarter, trailing 14-3. They drove deep into Seahawks territory. But Jones threw a bad interception that Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who had a tremendous game, returned 97 yards for a touchdown. That play sums up the Giants’ entire season to date.
The only thing keeping the Giants from an 0-4 start was a furious second-half comeback against the Arizona Cardinals. In the other 14 quarters this season, the Giants have looked horrendous.
Giants offense implodes
This seems impossible but it’s true: The Giants have been outscored 77-9 in the first half this season. They’re the only NFL team without a first-half touchdown this season. Usually coaches, especially offensive-minded coaches like Daboll, do well in the first half because they script plays for the beginning of the game. Whatever Daboll is scripting, it’s not working.
Not having Barkley, who was out with an ankle injury, doesn’t help. Being without standout left tackle Andrew Thomas, who was also inactive due to an injury, is an underrated blow. But other teams have dealt with injuries, and they have managed to score a first-half touchdown this season.
The Giants didn’t get any big plays, and they didn’t try. Jones never threw downfield. Part of that is due to an offensive line that isn’t playing well. The Seahawks had five sacks in their first three games, then had 10 on Monday night. It’s also due to the Giants’ absolute lack of a receiver that can threaten a defense. But it’s also on a coaching staff that needs to generate some offense.
It’s too early to wonder if Daboll is another Matt Nagy or Kevin Stefanski, who wins NFL Coach of the Year off of a strong first season and fades quickly after that, but the start to his second season has been really bad.
Giants have a miserable night
The Seahawks shouldn’t believe they had a great performance. It was fine. But more than anything the Seahawks did, the Giants were just incompetent against them.
It was a sloppy first half. The Seahawks scored first on a DK Metcalf touchdown pass from Smith. With Smith briefly out, Drew Lock hit Noah Fant, who had a great run after the catch for 51 yards down to the 1-yard line. That set up a Kenneth Walker III touchdown. The Seahawks led 14-3 at the half and given how bad the Giants were playing, the game seemed over.
The Giants followed up anything good by immediately tripping all over themselves. They got a stop on fourth-and-one in the third quarter, and here’s how the offense took advantage of it: 3-yard pass, sack, sack, punt. Not good, but that has been the Giants’ offense in 2023. Without Barkley, their absolute lack of playmakers has been exposed.
When New York put together one decent drive into Seahawks territory, Jones threw the back-breaking pick 6 to Witherspoon.
Remember all that excitement from 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 is 13 games from his contract expiring, there’s not a lot of promising young talent on the offense or much hope for a turnaround the rest of this season.
Welcome back to the depths of the NFL, Giants fans.