EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' offense is broken. It's to the point where 20 points is a miracle. Where moving the chains with any sort of consistency is asking too much. Where getting in the end zone and not committing costly penalties are rarities.
The Giants scored three points in their opener. They didn't do much better Monday night in a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions. It was the eighth straight game dating back to last season that the Giants failed to score 20 points.
“I’m very surprised,” safety Landon Collins said of the offensive struggles. “There are great guys over there. They just have to figure it out. They have to figure it out.”
The Giants (0-2) have scored 13 points in two week, the third-fewest in the NFL. It’s the fewest points the Giants scored in the first two games of a season since 1947.
Even star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s return to the lineup -- he handled a limited workload and recorded four catches for 36 yards -- wasn't enough to save coach Ben McAdoo's stagnant West Coast offense. Quarterback Eli Manning struggled under constant pressure (four sacks in the first half alone) and has only one touchdown pass in the first two games.
What is wrong with the Giants' offense, which has the third-fewest points in the NFL (13) after two weeks? It seems everything.
The running game was again nonexistent. The Giants had just 62 rushing yards.
The offensive line struggled to protect, especially left tackle Ereck Flowers, who allowed three sacks. Manning was sacked a total of five times.
Manning struggled at times to make the simplest throws -- an off-target pass of about 7 yards deflected off tight end Evan Engram's hand and was intercepted in the first half -- and didn't make enough big plays.
“He had some good moments and some moments that weren’t what we were looking for,” McAdoo said of his quarterback, who finished 22-of-39 passing for 239 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “I didn’t like the interception [after] when we got the turnover. The defense took the ball away. I thought it happened fast for him. I thought he should’ve went to [the] No. 2 [option] to check the ball down. He was under duress all night. I thought he did some good things in the pocket making some plays under duress.
Manning wasn't helped by receiver Brandon Marshall, who had the most inopportune drop. The offseason acquisition had the ball bounce off his hands deep down the right sideline when the Giants trailed by a touchdown. Two plays later the Lions returned a punt for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
"That was the moment. That was the biggest play of the game," Marshall said. "I let my team down. I got an opportunity to make a big play and change the momentum and I lost it."
Even after the Giants scored their only touchdown of the first two weeks, the offense messed it up. Engram received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for grabbing his crotch. The Giants then put the ensuing kickoff out of bounds and gave the ball to the Lions at the Giants' 45-yard line.
“The whole offense needs work,” McAdoo said. “We’re not in rhythm right now.”
Some of the foolish mistakes and drops may be correctable. And Beckham will get healthier and more productive. He wasn't himself on Monday night.
But the offensive line has been a problem for the past few seasons. So has the running game. The answers don't seem to be walking through the door. McAdoo's offense has become predictable and inefficient. The Giants even continuously threw the ball short of the first-down marker late in the game as they were attempting to mount a comeback.
The Giants overcame the deficiencies last season to go 11-5 and earn a wild card because their defense won numerous games against inferior competition. The schedule this season isn't anywhere near as generous, and the offensive problems may be worse. At least it looks that way two games into the season.