The Giants are 0-2 to start the season after a brutal loss on Monday Night Football to the Detroit Lions. The offense is abysmal and there is plenty of blame to go around. Following the loss, head coach Ben McAdoo said it was on him. But as he was asked questions he seemed to aim a lot of the blame on his veteran quarterback, Eli Manning.
Manning certainly has his share of the blame. He held on to the ball too long the few times he had a decent pocket leading to a couple sacks. He threw an awful pass behind rookie TE Evan Engram that led to a Lions score which completely changed the tenor of the game. He also failed to get the ball snapped on a crucial 4th and goal play.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall dropped a crucial pass late in the second half as the Giants were marching down field.
But this loss is a collective one and it’s on the entire organization. GM Jerry Reese did not do much to address the offensive line in the offseason. The offensive line has two first round picks and a second rounder starting. Thus far it seems clear Reese and the talent evaluators whiffed on those picks. LT Ereck Flowers was terrible Monday night. He gave up at least three sacks. RT Bobby Hart hurt his ankle and did not make it to the second half. Justin Pugh, the LG, and the other interior lineman couldn’t open a hole for the Giants running backs all night.
Yes, McAdoo said it’s on him and his play calling was atrocious. Running the ball when it’s obvious they can’t run. Failing to call timeout late in the second quarter. Also, he seemed to go away from play calling that was working in the second quarter. When I asked him why it was so difficult, he gave a curt “that’s a good question” in response.
Still, what was most surprising during the presser was the way he layed into Eli. We discussed Eli’s culpability but McAdoo went the hardest on him. He sort of let the line off the hook. Never really referring to anyone individually, just saying they need to block better. It’s almost as if the team has a mandate to not say anything negative publicly about the line, in particular Flowers.
If that is a mandate because of sensitivities around Flowers, that’s doing him and the team a huge disservice.
Watch McAdoo's full presser following the game.