EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In defensive end Leonard Williams’ estimation, the New York Giants are “right there.” Just a few fixes here and there to stop beating themselves and, voila, they will be a good team.

The statement was an insult to anyone who invested three hours Sunday into watching the Giants get drubbed 36-9 by the San Francisco 49ers to hear that this team is anywhere close to good. It is not, and it’s mostly general manager Dave Gettleman’s doing.

The Giants (0-3) are winless and were demolished by the 49ers’ B team. San Francisco was missing 10 projected starters and still outclassed this group rather easily.

It makes you wonder: When will this Giants team get its first victory? Next week, they’re on the road against the Los Angeles Rams (2-1), and are sure to be a big underdog. The following week they’re on the road against the Dallas Cowboys (1-2), who at least seem capable of beating bad teams.

Maybe the win will happen the following week at home after an 0-5 start when they face the Washington Football Team (1-2)?

Bottom line is, these Giants won’t be winning many games in Joe Judge’s first season as coach because they, quite frankly, don’t have enough talent — especially without star running back Saquon Barkley (knee) out for the season. They came into the season with an over/under of six wins. Without Barkley, it would probably have been closer to four.

This is where the Giants are at now talent-wise, with three losses already on the ledger.

It’s difficult to find the strength of this team. Barkley isn’t around to use as a crutch anymore. Instead, after investing their top pick in offensive players four straight years (the past three with top-six selections), the Giants are 31st in the league averaging 12.7 points — they have scored one more point (38) than the winless New York Jets. The Giants have yet to reach 20 points in any of the first three weeks and their defense couldn’t hang with a Nick Mullens-led 49ers offense.

At least middle linebacker Blake Martinez seems to have a realistic view of where the Giants stand.

“Anybody who looks at it, you know we’re in the position of needing to get better, needing to improve, needing to come together as a unit … and we just need to push each other to that next point to make sure we don’t keep this streak going,” Martinez said.

Judge said he knew the Giants would take their lumps in his first season but, surely, he didn’t expect this. This roster is poorly constructed despite three years of building by Gettleman.

The offensive line the GM promised to fix? Not even close. According to ESPN’s metrics using NFL Next Gen Stats, the Giants rank 28th in the NFL in pass block win rate (46.3%). The ability to run the ball and stop the run? Don’t look now, but the Giants rank 31st in rushing through three weeks (56.7 yards per game) and they’re 24th in stopping the run, giving up 123 yards per game.

Personnel is undoubtedly a problem. Not that Judge is going to use it as an excuse.

“No, we have players. We have players,” Judge said after having a long talk with his team following Sunday’s loss. “… We have players in a position right now on our roster, on our team, that were on that field today that can help us win games. So, we got to make sure that everyone coaches better, we have to raise our level of play, and we got to take advantage of opportunities and not make mistakes that put us behind.”

Judge does have some talent with which to work. Maybe it’s enough to win a few games when they play better than they did Sunday. But it’s nowhere near good enough to compete for a spot in the playoffs.

Even quarterback Daniel Jones, with his play early in Year 2, has left doubt he is a true franchise quarterback. Add another two turnovers from Sunday’s loss to his growing résumé of miscues (four interceptions and two lost fumbles through three games).

“You know, I need to do a better job and that’s something I’m focused on,” Jones said. “Those are costly mistakes and I certainly need to correct them.”

If this were the Giants’ only major problem, it would be easier to preach patience with their young quarterback. But they don’t have a true No. 1 receiver. They don’t have a dominant, or even competent, offensive line. They don’t have a scary pass-rusher (inside or outside).

For the second straight season, the Giants might be without a Pro Bowl player. Maybe cornerback James Bradberry continues to build on this strong start and earns his first selection or someone else pops. Still, that is nowhere near enough difference-making players.

The four teams that earned a bye in last year’s playoffs had 24 Pro Bowl players combined, an average of six per team. The Giants would have trouble landing six players on an All-NFC East squad.

If that doesn’t show you how far they are from competing, the product on the field Sunday certainly did.

Source link

Posted in NEWS

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *