EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)Joe Judge has coached the New York Giants for 22 games and he has gotten all the cliches down.
The season is a marathon. It’s only six games into the season. There is a lot of football to be played. No one is giving up. All the injuries? Next man up!
Now forget the cliches. The Giants are 1-5. They are four games behind Dallas in the NFC East. Their 177 points allowed are tied with Miami for second worst in the league behind Washington. The only team with a worse record is the winless Lions (0-6).
To make matters worse, the Giants are getting worse. After beating New Orleans in overtime they dropped a 44-20 decision in Dallas (5-1) and then were beaten 38-11 by the Rams (5-1) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. That’s a 24-point loss followed by a 27-point loss.
After a 6-10 record last year and finishing second in the division, this was supposed to be the season the Giants made a playoff run. The way things are going, their relevance this season will end early.
”We’re in that submarine right now,” Judge said. ”If something happens on that submarine, there’s got to be someone on that ship to step up and save that thing. You spring a leak, someone’s got to plug that thing for you. No one’s coming. It won’t get there in time to help you if you don’t fix it yourselves. That’s how we come back on Wednesday.”
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard returned from a hamstring injury and was Daniel Jones’ only experienced target with Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Darius Slayton hurt. He finished with 10 catches for 76 yards. It was his highest catch total since he had 10 against New Orleans in 2018.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
After this past weekend, the entire team needs help. The offense was limited to a season-low 261 yards, including 60 rushing. The number was padded by 61 yards on New York’s final drive. New York turned over the ball four times, with Jones throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble on a sack.
The defense pitched a shutout in the first quarter and then disappeared, allowing 38 points, although the offense helped. Special teams also got a black eye as the Rams threw a first-down pass on a fake punt. New York was saved by offsetting penalties on the play.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who has been under pressure to produce after signing a $63 million contract in the offseason, had 1 1/2 sacks in the first quarter. That was against an offensive line that had allowed Matthew Stafford to be sacked four times in the first five games. Williams finished with seven tackles. His three sacks are tied for the team lead.
The secondary. While safety Xavier McKinney had his first two interceptions of the season, Stafford completed 22 of 28 passes – 78.5% – for 251 yards and four touchdowns. Opposing quarterbacks are 153 of 207 – 73.9% – for 1,653 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Those quarterbacks have a combined 109.4 rating.
The list continues to grow. The elusive Toney aggravated an ankle injury on the opening series. Left tackle Andrew Thomas, who missed the Dallas game a week ago with a foot injury, hurt an ankle and did not play in the second half. Defensive tackle Danny Shelton hurt a pectoral muscle and wide receiver/kick returner C.J. Board broke an arm. Running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), Golladay (knee), Slayton (hamstring) and guard Ben Bredeson (hand) – all starters – were inactive Sunday.
28 – The Rams broke the game open in the second quarter, scoring four touchdowns, three on Stafford passes. The points were the most the Giants have given up in a quarter since the Eagles had that many on Dec. 19, 2010. Philadelphia won 38-31 at MetLife Stadium that day.
The Giants get a week at home to figure out things before playing the slumping Panthers on Sunday. Carolina (3-3) has lost three in a row. It will be the return of former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold to MetLife Stadium.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL