After a loss to the Denver Broncos that can only be described as dreadful, the Giants have some major issues that need to be addressed if the team is to turn its season around.
No issue is as apparent or as problematic as the fact that the running game has been virtually non-existent in the first two weeks.
Running Back David Wilson has 14 carries for 36 yards through the first two games, with seven carries and 17 yards coming in the Bronco game. His backup, Brandon Jacobs, was just as impotent – carrying the ball seven times for only four yards, but did have a touchdown.
Some pundits are quick to point at Wilson’s fumbling issues, or Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s short leash as the reason for the struggles, but the answer is far simpler, and far more troubling than that.
The offensive line stinks.
For years the line was rock solid, but age and injuries have caught up to the group, and replacements Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe have not lived up to expectations.
On Sunday, both Wilson and Jacobs were blown up in the backfield by Bronco defensive lineman multiple times.
What makes this all worse is that the utter lack of a rushing attack has doomed the passing game as well – Eli Manning is unable to use play-action fakes, which the Giants offense has relied heavily on throughout the years.
Opposing secondaries are able to key on the vertical routes run by the likes of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, forcing Eli Manning to have to force the ball into tight coverage, and resulting in seven interceptions through week two.
The days of the Giants being a run-first team are over. But that doesn’t mean the rushing attack doesn’t need to be effective.
A review of Joe’s Prediction:
Predicted: 15 carries, 67 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 catch, 7 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Actual: 7 carries, 17 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 catches, 0 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Verdict: I shouldn’t quit my day job.
Come back on Friday as I preview the matchup with the Carolina Panthers, and give a hopefully more accurate prediction.
Joe Vasile is a play by play announcer for High School Cube and Widener Pride football and host of ‘Ball Four with Joe Vasile’ on 91.3 WTSR in Trenton. Follow him on twitter at @JoeVasilePBP and visit his website.