Coming off a 2012 season that saw them miss the postseason, the New York Giants expected a far different series of events in 2013. After all, this is a franchise known for coming back strong after a down year. Events certainly have been different through the first six games of the season, but not in the way the Giants could have imagined.
New York is one of the worst teams in the NFC (the Vikings may be worse), sporting a shocking 0-6 record – and Big Blue has produced minimal effort through those four games. (While the loss to the Bears had a few encouraging moments, the team simply gave up against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.)
The offense has scored an anemic 17.2 points per game, while the defense is giving up more than twice as many (the Giants have yielded a whopping 34.8 points per game).
Forget a home Super Bowl. This team is fighting just to be better than… Jacksonville? How did this happen? Is there anything left to salvage in 2013? Let’s take a look:
Can’t Eli Manning pick up the slack?
He’s trying. He’s thrown for 1,721 yards so far already, but that’s due in part to the Giants having to come from behind so much. That’s also skewed his poor touchdown-to-interception ratio (9-to-15) and contributed to the 16 sacks he’s taken so far.
And what of the running game?
What running game? New York’s averaging only 67.8 yards per game, 30th in the NFL. Starter David Wilson has gone for a meager 146 yards on the ground this year. New York has been so bad on the ground it brought back 31-year-old retread Brandon Jacobs, who left New York after the 2011 to play for San Francisco. He has 154 yards in 2013 but has scored 3 rushing touchdowns for the Giants’ — compared with Wilson’s one TD. New York’s rushers have produced a long of 18 yards for a rush this season (that’s a great indication of why things aren’t working).
Can the Giants win this week?
Yes. Thankfully, the Vikings are playing horrible football. However, is it a lock? Of course not. An observer looking at this game prior to the season would have assumed the Giants would role easily. But New York is obviously not going to the playoffs. Put it this way, New York would have to roll off 10 straight (or at least go 9-1 the rest of the way) to climb back into the playoff hunt. That looks next to impossible right now.
Why are they so bad?
The defense is atrocious. They’re worst in the league in points surrendered, 26th in rushing yards against (123.3) and 20th in passing yards against (268). Only the presence of Prince Amukumara, who once bossed the field for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, has kept that last number from being even worse. The cornerback was knocked out of the first game with a head injury but returned for Week 2 and hasn’t missed time since. But no one could keep pass coverage for long on a defense that’s only registered five (!) total sacks thus far this season.
By Parker Jones