The New York Giants (0-2) have struggled mightily in their first two games this season, especially on offense. They were held to a field goal in a 19-3 loss against Dallas on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, and they were held to one touchdown in a 24-10 loss to the Lions on Monday Night Football in Week 2.
That’s one touchdown in two games. That ain’t good.
Well, Giants coach Ben McAdoo may have made matters worse following the loss to the Lions, as he called out Eli Manning for “sloppy quarterback play.” Manning finished 22-of-32 for 239 yards, one touchdown, and one interception against Detroit. He also had a disastrous delay-of-game penalty that prevented the Giants from going for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard-line in the third quarter.
“Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football,” McAdoo said, “I expect us to get the ball snapped.”
All righty then.
Manning, though, isn’t just a veteran. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion. Isn’t it a little surprising that McAdoo called out his quarterback like that?
“Oh, very surprised. You never usually see that,” former NFL linebacker Takeo Spikes said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I was very surprised. Not only did he do it one time, he did it several times. For me looking behind the lines, I know everybody is frustrated, but it’s too early in the season for that type of behavior, in my opinion, to go on. It’s only Week 2. So for me, it pretty much tells me that these conversations have already been had – maybe at the end of last year, maybe within the first two weeks of this year. He’s had these conversations. I guarantee you him and Eli have talked. So for him to come out and keep reiterating, ‘Hey, bad quarterback play’ – that was shocking.”
McAdoo throwing Manning under the bus could have disastrous consequences for the Giants going forward.
“What I worry about – what I truly, truly worry about – is when you have coaches who usually do that, not only is Eli listening, but the entire team is listening,” Spikes said. “And so, some guys react better to being called out if you are that type of coach who does it consistently all the time, but the problem is if you’re not that coach who does it all the time – or if you don’t do it in front of the team – now guys will look at you and be like, ‘Who is this guy? Is he playing double agent? He’s trying to save himself?’ I think that’s what it’s going to boil down to: Who is Ben McAdoo on a consistent level everyday with these guys in order for him to call out Eli? Because at the end of the day, as you guys know, the eye in the sky doesn’t lie. We see what’s going on. So as a coach, I don’t really think you really have to get on TV and just blast your star player like that.”
While Manning didn’t play well, the O-Line didn’t block, the running game produced just 3.4 yards per carry, receivers had costly drops, and the Giants allowed a punt for a touchdown.
It was an all-around awful performance for a franchise that has started 0-2 for the fourth time in five seasons.
“Eli didn’t look like the Eli that a lot of people want to see,” Spikes said. “I know Ereck Flowers didn’t play well at all last night, and I truly believe that that made Eli kind of gun-shy. He was shell-shocked. I remember one time he felt like somebody was coming behind him, and he just kind of crumbled to the ground. So I see things like this, it’s very hard. It’s very hard to give certain guys the benefit of the doubt. Very disappointing if you’re a New York Giants this morning.”
The Giants will try to get in the win column against the Eagles (1-1) this Sunday in Philadelphia. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.