The Giants lost a key game to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, getting down early and staying down until it was too late to recover. They threw the football 51 times and ran it just 13. That's about as far away from New York Giant football as you can get.
Statisitcs show the Giants are doomed when Eli attempts more than 50 passes in a game, compliling an infamous 2-22 record in those contests. On Sunday, the Giants got away from their running game, and the balance of the offense -- or imbalance, rather -- made them predictable and left them exposed.
Eighteen of those passes were thrown in the direction of superstar WR Odell Beckham Jr., who managed to reel in nine of them for 142 yards and a sensational diving TD catch thet drew the Giants within six points of Washington with about 5 minutes remaining.
It's all very fun to watch, but not practical to win this man's NFL. Good teams need to be able to run the football, and right now the Giants can't, or won't, or something. They keep getting away from the game plan, falling in love with what Beckham brings them.
What he's not bringing them is wins. In his 23 games as a pro, the Giants have won just nine of the games he's played in. Yes, he's great, no doubt, but the 52 other guys need to something once in while to go anywhere.
In his weekly Monday conference call, head coach Tom Coughlin tried to explain what happened to the running game against the Redskins on Sunday.
"We had a little bit of success early on and despite the fact that there were runs following that that weren't very successful, you always look back at that and say, 'Yeah, we should have run. We should have kept running,'" Coughlin said.
"We should have done something to, if nothing else, affect the ability to set up play action pass. In the game, in the process, in the game the way it was going, we were down quite significantly, not having a lot of success, and that always leads you the other way. But when you look at the end result and you look at the statistics from the game, you certainly would have liked to have rushed the ball a considerable amount of times more than we did."
Manning agreed they abandoned the run perhaps a bit too early.
"I thought we were fine running the ball early in the game. We were getting four yards a pop, and had some nice runs, and put in some good down and distance," Manning said. "We just kind of got into the second half, and got down, started hitting some big plays in the pass game, finally connected on some, and once you get to the midway towards the end of the third quarter and you're down 17, it's a little bit tougher to stay with the run."
But the offensive line is in flux again thanks to injuries to its core. Center Weston Richburg (ankle) and guard Justin Pugh (concussion) were already out before guard Geoff Schwartz was lost in the first quarter to a fractured leg. The reserves were no match for the Redskins defensive front.
As the game went on, events dictated the Giants had to take to the air.
"We had to score, and score quickly and kind of got into a passing deal," Manning said. "We didn't want it to be a game where we had to throw it 50 times; we would have liked to run it more, but I think it's also a combination. We took some shots trying to throw the ball on second down and we didn't complete a lot of them, and got into a lot of third and long situations. The second half, we also just had some runs where we were just losing yards. We lost yardage a few times, we weren't getting a whole lot of it, and it just became one of those games. It wasn't the game plan but just the way it became."
It can't continue, however. The Giants are on a losing streak as a passing team and it is about to bring the whole organization down if they don't balance things out.