It doesn't matter who calls the plays. It doesn't matter what the run-pass balance is. It doesn't really even matter how the quarterback plays anymore.
The Giants are simply too undermanned to generate any consistency on offense anymore.
The talent just isn't there. Anywhere. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall out, and now Sterling Shepard sidelined with migraines, the Giants' passing attack is a jumbled mess of receivers that can't get open or drop too many balls. And the offensive line, no matter what narrative some are trying to rewrite, is not giving Eli Manning any reasonable time to throw.
Manning hasn't been very good either. He was just 13-of-27 for 113 yards and a game-sealing interception in the Giants' 20-10 loss to the Washington Redskins on Thursday. And he only led the team on one scoring drive -- a field goal. The Giants' lone touchdown was a 53-yard interception return by cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
New York's offense is averaging 15.6 points per game this season and just 13.4 in the last five games. It's a disaster that's not going to get any better because at this point, the talent around Manning won't magically improve. With 172 points through 11 games, the Giants (2-9) have an outside shot at setting the franchise record for fewest points in a 16-game season (237 in 1979).
So get used to this, because it's going to be up to the Giants' defense if they're going to win any other games the rest of the way.
Here are a few thoughts from yet another ugly Giants loss:
- What a really strange game for the Giants' pass rush. They had six sacks, which normally would indicate a good game. (It was.) But on far too many plays, especially in the first half, the amount of time Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins had to throw the ball was startling. As expected, the Giants' pass rush, with Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul leading the way and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sprinkling in plenty of blitzes, they eventually wore down the very banged-up Washington offensive line. But boy, the pocket that Cousins stood in at times … let's just say it's been years since Manning's had as much time.
- The Giants' rushing attack isn't great, but it is so much better than it was early in the season. A lot of that is due to Orleans Darkwa, whom the Giants have mistakenly overlooked for several years. That said, better doesn't mean great. Darkwa (11 carries, 30 yards) and rookie Wayne Gallman (9-37) combined to average just 3.35 yards per carry. That's really not even adequate.
- Chad Wheeler struggled in his second NFL start -- not a completely unexpected development since he often had to deal with Ryan Kerrigan. He gave up three sacks and the pocket collapsed on his side far more than it should have. He's still showing some potential, though, and no one expected things to be perfectly smooth after two starts. But his first start was much better. For what it's worth, Ereck Flowers had his hands full when Kerrigan was on his side, too. In fact, he struggled in general -- but I'm sure I'll read somewhere how he didn't give up any pressures again.
- Rookie tight end Evan Engram has generally been a bright spot in this dark Giants season, but his last two games have been his worst. He had at least two, maybe three drops in this game. Right now, he's the only legitimate weapon they have in the passing game. If he can't hold onto the football, the Giants' passing attack may completely cease to exist -- you know, more than it already has ceased to exist.
- After his suspension and his humiliating performance in San Francisco, Jenkins has responded with two great games and two terrific efforts. He made a fantastic play on a pass into the flat that tipped off the hands of Redskins running back Byron Marshall to reach down, pick it off and run it back it 53 yards for a touchdown. He may have looked like he quit on the Giants against the 49ers, but he has changed that narrative the last two weeks.