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Giants’ offense stalls in season opening loss to Cowboys

Jaime C. Harris | 9/14/2017, 5:14 p.m.
It shouldn’t have surprised anyone that in their first game of the 2017 regular season the Giants’ offense picked up ...
Eli Manning Bill Moore photo

It shouldn’t have surprised anyone that in their first game of the 2017 regular season the Giants’ offense picked up where it left off at the end of last season, unable to effectively put the ball in the end zone. Their 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday was a microcosm of their offensive issues dating back to the final five games of the 2016 regular season and wild card playoff appearance against the Green Bay Packers.

It has been seven straight games in which the Giants have scored less than 20 points. During this period, they have averaged 13.6 points per game, an alarming number that should be extremely disturbing for a team that believes it is a Super Bowl contender. The truth of the matter is the Giants’ defense is indeed championship caliber whereas the offense is abysmal.

“Our complimentary football was non-existent tonight,” said Giants head coach Ben McAdoo after the defeat. “All three phases” of the game he clarified when asked the meaning of complimentary football. Yet, the Giants’ defense and special teams were good enough to keep them within striking distance of the Cowboys midway through the fourth quarter. But the offense, which had an inconsequential 35 yards rushing on 12 total attempts of which an illogical 10 carries were by their running backs, put the defense in an unsustainable situation with their inability to convert on third downs, falling short on 8 out of 12 tries.

“The offense was very disappointing,” said McAdoo, in an obvious understatement. And he dismissed the absence of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was sidelined with an ankle injury, as the primary reason for their struggles, stating, “We have plenty of players who can make plays on the offense outside of Odell, so that’s no excuse.” McAdoo’s assertion is accurate, given the Giants’ offense was stagnant even with the explosive Beckham over the latter part of last season.

“We just couldn’t stay on the field in the second half,” said Giants quarterback Eli Manning. “[We] had a couple of drives going but just couldn’t finish them.” Manning’s night was sub-par, as he passed for just 220 yards and threw one interception behind an unstable offensive line.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, the former Jet who was expected to be a significant part of the Giants’ offense after being signed as a free agent during the offseason, ended his regular season debut with his new team catching only one pass—in the game’s final minute no less.

The 0-1 Giants will host the 1-0 Detroit Lions this Monday night (7:30 p.m.) at MetLife Stadium with an offense enduring a seven-game tailspin that is of deep concern.