The 2019 NFL season has kicked off as most expected for the New York Giants, though they’ve already made the inevitable switch at quarterback from Eli Manning to rookie Daniel Jones. The Giants currently sit at 0-2 with the greatly improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers next on the schedule. Let’s take a look at the four things we learned about the Giants after week two:
#1) Eli Manning wasn’t the problem, but he also wasn’t the solution
Manning wasn’t terrible in this contest, but he also isn’t helping the team win by any means. Manning is too passive, mistake-prone, immobile, and cautious to help overcome the lack of talent the Giants currently have. Manning went 26/45 for 250 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the game, one of which wasn’t his fault as the pass was deflected. Still, Manning misses some easy passes and far too often checks the ball down as opposed to pushing it down field. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has the ability to potentially spark the offense. The main positive is Jones will have an offensive line who’s performed well, the best running back in football, and a major mistmatch at tight end to work with. Starting Jones is a risk worth taking, even when the Giants inevitably need to overcome the rookie struggles Jones is sure to experience.
#2) Injuries and suspensions are killing what little spark the Giants might’ve had
The Giants are simply not a very talented team, especially when you factor the injuries to guys like wide receiver Sterling Shepard and the suspension to fellow receiver Golden Tate. Shepard and Tate are two of the best slot receivers in the league, though both also possess the ability to line up and win outside of the numbers. Tate’s specialty is his uncanny ability to create yardage after the catch and toughness over the middle of the field. Unfortunately for the Giants, Tate won’t return until week five, though Shepard seems to be progressing from his concussion and could be available in week three.
#3) Rookie class needs to improve as soon as possible
It isn’t fair or right to judge a rookie class after two NFL games, and that’s not what I’m doing, but the Giants’ rookie class really needs to pick it up at some point as they’ve highly disappointed thus far. Cornerback DeAndre Baker has struggled the most, particularly in week two where his performance was absolutely pitiful. Baker was allowing wide open receivers to make catches all over the field, missing tackles, and allowed a rushing touchdown to his responsibility. The secondary as a whole has had too many breakdowns and the defensive line was neutralized throughout many parts of the contest. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence also had a penalty on a field goal attempt that turned into a first down and ultimately a touchdown. The defense is underperforming far too often, and these two first-round picks play a role in it.
#4) Giants are fast starters who fizzle out quickly
In back-to-back weeks, the Giants managed to score a touchdown on their first offensive drive and hold their opposition to a punt on their first defensive drive. The issue has been everything past the scripted parts of the gameplan as the team unravels and fizzles out quickly, allowing 28 points and only scoring seven more throughout the remainder of the game against the Buffalo Bills. The Giants need to do a better job continuing the momentum they’ve been able to quickly build in these games.
The Giants head to Tampa Bay for their week three showdown in which they search for their first win on the season. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones will take over the reigns for the first time in his career, potentially sparking the Giants and saving what could be left of their season.