It was deja vu for the Giants.
Like the season opener against the Cowboys, they put together a solid first drive of the game with Saquon Barkley capping it off with a 27-yard run. But all 75 yards came on the ground -- Barkley with 55 and Bennie Fowler getting a 20-yard sweep play as well.
Eli Manning in the passing game during this home opener just didn't work. And the 28-14 on the scoreboard in favor of the Bills was the result.
Of course, there are other factors that go into that verdict (the defense in particular was bad once again). But Manning wasn't efficient either. Before garbage time started, Manning had completed 22-of-39 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Read that again.
That sample size shouldn't yield those numbers, so you can understand why head coach Pat Shurmur and Manning were delivered their personal versions of the Daniel Jones question after the game. Shurmur was asked if he needs to start thinking about when Jones could replace Manning, but he diverted that query.
"At what point do you think about [getting Daniel Jones in]?"- Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) September 15, 2019
"I don't think that's a conversation for right now" pic.twitter.com/yL8qSQZAfc
"I think we gotta look at how our team played and we gotta just go back and take steps to get better in all areas," he said instead. "I don't think that's a conversation for right now."
Manning didn't get the same question, but was asked if his performance today -- and the fact that the Giants are quickly 0-2 to start the year -- forces some pressure on him to make plays before he is benched. His answer?
"When you're 0-2, there's pressure on everybody," Manning said. "That's just the way it goes. But you can't have that affect you. You can't let that change the way you've prepared, the way you play. I gotta make better throws, better decisions and find ways to convert on third downs. That's the quarterback's job."
In Manning's defense, he didn't have much to work with in the receiving game today. Cody Latimer, who was nursing a calf injury, actually played but left with a concussion in the second half. Bennie Fowler was his favorite target today with 10 looks, but he only caught five of those for 51 yards.
But, as Manning pointed out, third downs needed to be converted and they just weren't. The Giants went 3-for-12 in that category today. Manning also had two interceptions -- one on a batted down ball at the line of scrimmage that fell into the hands of a Bills defensive lineman, and the other a terrible throw deep that S Jordan Poyer had to make a great grab on to haul it in near the two-yard line.
There are many things to fix on this Giants team, but with Jones waiting to get his chance on the sideline, each game becomes more crucial for Manning to perform well. Performances like this will continue to raise those questions if the trend continues.
Then, it will be harder for Shurmur and Manning to ignore it.