As the Giants approach their third game this preseason, a matchup with the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night, they are figuratively many miles away from being Super Bowl contenders.

That’s not to imply that several months from now the Giants will not be standing as NFC East champions, but in late August, they have obvious deficiencies that must be improved as the start of the regular season draws near.

Often, too much emphasis is placed on preseason outcomes. While the long grind of training camp and preseason are crucial to shaping a team’s identity, the collective of practices and games are not an immutable determinant as to whether a team will emerge as a legitimate threat to win the Lombardi Trophy.

Yet, the roughly two-month period of preparation and evaluation is a reliable measure of a team’s strengths and weaknesses, their readiness to achieve stated goals. The Giants are 1-1 with two more preseason games remaining, including the finale on Aug. 29 versus the New England Patriots, before the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys in Texas on Sept. 8.

Their 20-12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at home this past Saturday was by and large a microcosm of how the 2012-2013 concluded. The defense was highly suspect and the offense, inefficiently kicking three field goals in four trips inside the red zone in the first half, was unable to shoulder the burden of carrying their struggling brothers.

“[I’m] disappointed tonight,” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin to open his postgame press conference after the defeat to the Colts. “We had many opportunities and didn’t come away with anything. We were down in scoring territory a bunch of times and didn’t come away with touchdowns, so that continues to be an area of concern for us—for us all.”

The offense’s issues with falling short in closing out its scoring drives with a better touchdown-to-field goal ratio has taken on an even greater urgency given the defense’s flaws. The unit was ranked 31st out of 32 teams under coordinator Perry Fewell a season ago and remains a major work in progress.