Injuries, a cancellation of preseason games limiting preparation, a young quarterback, an offensive line still coalescing with a rookie left tackle, a new defensive coordinator and scheme. There are no acceptable reasons why the Giants are non-competitive to start this season. After three games, they are without a win. However you want to measure them, statistically or optically, the Giants are playing badly. Seemingly wandering in a haze of doubt.
This past Sunday, Sept. 27, at MetLife Stadium, the Giants were pummeled by the San Francisco 49ers. The score, 36-9, doesn’t fully tell the ugly story. The 49ers beat the Giants easily even playing without eight of their starters who were out with injuries, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It didn’t matter. His backup, Nick Mullens, passed for 343 yards and a touchdown.
Even before fans were prohibited from attending games in accordance with a statewide order issued by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in July, limiting outdoor gatherings to 500 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Giants had no semblance of a home field advantage. They are 4-18 over their last 22 games at MetLife. Home and away, the Giants are 9-26 over their last 35.
“We got to come back to work. That’s it,” said Giants first-year head coach Joe Judge after the loss to the 49ers. “We got to come back to work, we got to stick together as a team, we have to coach better.
“We have to raise our level of execution as players,” Judge continued on with the typical coach speak. “We’ve got to go ahead and keep pushing forward, improve on a daily basis. There’s no magic formula to this, there’s no magic wand, you don’t go out there and just solve every problem in a day. It’s a day-by-day process of putting things together.”
It has become clear early the Giants are likely headed for their fourth straight losing season. Yet publicly the team is collectively presenting a tone of optimism.
“Coming to work each and every day, it’s a new page, a new opponent,” said tight end Evan Engram. “We have to throw this one in the trash. Like I said, we’re going to learn from the mistakes. Learn from the things we didn’t do well today. Continue to work and continue to keep a positive mindset at work and get better each and every day.
“…Every single one of us throughout our career and paths to where we are now has experienced adversity,” Engram elaborated. “We all know it’s an opportunity to grow, it’s an opportunity to get better, it’s an opportunity to overcome whatever obstacle is in our way.”
The Giants’ next obstacle is the 2-1 Los Angeles Rams, who they will face on the road this Sunday.