Sloppy is as sloppy does. Mistakes cost you. When the margin is a last minute drive, all of those mistakes add up to another loss.
A mistake by one player is on that player. Many mistakes by many players is symptomatic of bad coaching. Let’s make a quick run through the entire cast for why the team is playing so poorly this season.
Flowers– The poster child for this side’s weak play. He actually got some help today, but he is such a liability. He cannot even run block, let alone pass block.
Jerry– Was moved to LG today, got blown up by McCoy. Not part of any answer on the OL.
Richburg– Unremarkable. Everyone loves sucking this guy’s and Pugh’s **** but they are not very good, and they certainly do not provide any surge in the ground game.
Pugh– He was moved over to Guard from RT. That should tell you enough. He is the most serviceable on the OL, but as a Round 1 pick, that is underwhelming.
Engram– A rookie, he is going to be very good. But he certainly can’t carry the team yet. Made some nice plays today.
Ellison– Nice blocking TE, nice TD today, but Reese overpaid for this. And the money was needed for OL.
Smith– The blocking FB was cut. Affects schemes. Failure here.
Manning– Part of another title. But can’t carry the team. He played valiantly today. Not the problem.
Shepard– A keeper.
Marshall– We saw glimpses today in what he can do. Yet his drops are maddening. Part of this year’s underachievement.
Beckham– Playing on one leg. So are the rest of the Giants.
Perkins– Underachieving. The OL is not helping him at all. Darkwa and Gallman look/ed sharper.
JPP– Mostly invisible. Underachieving. And when he pass rushes, he goes wide and sabotages pocket contain. Part of this season’s underachievement. Here is the problem with JPP- he is not a premier pass rusher worth $62MM over 4 yrs. That hurts your cap, which hurts your team. We said this before and after he was signed. It’s net negative (starving the team of other resources) unless he is making the impact, like a key sack to stop the last drive in PHI or TB. Since his $16MM is not making that impact, the team underachieves.
Harrison– Feeling the loss of Hankins.
Bromley/Tomlinson– Not Hankins. Part of the weakness in the run defense. Tomlinson shows promise.
Vernon– Hurt. A solid player, but certainly not making enough of an impact for the money he is getting.
Goodson/Munson– Playing their first year of “rookie” starts. Learning on the job, and part of a softer defense.
Casillas– Mediocrity at LBer. PFF rates him even worse than that.
Kennard– An enigma. Makes plays and is then invisible.
DRC– Brittle older CB who is really best on the outside, but playing the slot because he is a terrific team player. His non-tackle in Q4 when he hits (but does not wrap up) the slanting receiver is part of the problem on defense.
Apple– Poster child for Defensive underachievement in his second year. He is getting targeted by opposing QBs. Had to be switched off of Evans on to Jackson because he is a liability. Not what you are supposed to get in your Round 1 marquee pick. Apple has gone backward in his second season. Horrible.
Jenkins– Playing hurt. Still very good. Not as good as last year, and the dominoes are flowing downhill.
Thompson/Adams– That Adams is playing is all you need to know. The media loves talking up these mid tier players like Thompson via the Management PR machine, and then they underwhelm. Thompson may yet develop, but thus far he is a “poor” part of a weaker defense in 2017.
Collins– He cannot do everything. He is such a fantastic player, yet he sneaks a look at the Line of Scrimmage because there is no pass rush and loses his man in coverage on a deep pass play.
Wing– Two awful shanked punts in Q4 in two consecutive games has killed the Giants.
Rosas– Had his first miss today.
Teams– Underwhelming play.
McAdoo– It begins and ends with the head coach. The schemes started making adjustments to what liabilities they had on the OL. Those adjustments were two games too late. The playcalling has been woeful and costly. The head coach opted to pass up a FG on 4th and 4 from the 30 yd line instead of kick a 47 yard FG. He also passed up two more FGs in the 27-24 loss last week vs PHI. That smacks of desperation. The playcall that still does not go away for me is the 3rd & 1 pitchout. That fundamentally flawed playcall is a touchstone for why I believe that the HC is overwhelmed by the myriad tasks he needs to manage/delegate. He is in over his head and everyone (including the players) knows it. The sloppy use of timeouts also points to how he is not managing himself, his staff and his players properly. McAdoo’s decision to keep playing Flowers sends a message to the rest of the team that there is no accountability. That may be the true source of erosion of play all over the field.
Reese– He built this. Reese overpays in FA because he can’t get it done in the Draft. He’s cap constrained (just ask him, for why he did not help OL in the offseason) even before OBJ’s new contract comes. The Offensive Line is a dumpster fire; only Eli getting rid of the ball in 1.8 seconds (vs PHI) is covering up this major deficiency. The decision not to bring back Hankins and bring back JPP is one we questioned in the offseason. Not drafting Tunsil and taking Apple in a league that is starved for OL is another. I saw a stat (props to @ktsharp) which sums up why Reese bears some responsibility for this- “3 teams have started 0-4 or worse twice in the last 5 seasons: Giants Browns Jaguars.” Reese has done it with two different Head Coaches. Bravo.
The summary is that collectively there is a lot of weaker play everywhere. Flowers and Apple subtract.Players like JPP do not add enough, so they subtract too. It adds up to 0-4. Reese provided the ingredients and McAdoo has baked a lousy cake. There is too much talent for 0-4. Yet, that is the Giants record. To watch an 11-5 team lose its first 4 games of 2017 is stunning. In reverse, imagine a 5-11 team going 4-0. It is really hard to swing from one side to another so dramatically. Coaching and management personnel decisions are going to be a big part of any swing like that. The warning signs on Offense were there last year. The coaches did not adapt over the offseason. The unraveling of the Defense is more surprising and unsettling. It does not speak well for the chances to make a significant turnaround in the last 12 games.