Sports

NFL

Giants offence hasn’t cracked 20 points in almost half a season

John Kryk

By John Kryk, Toronto Sun

In this Sept. 10, 2017 file photo, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90) sacks New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

In this Sept. 10, 2017 file photo, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90) sacks New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

After defeating the Browns 27-13 at Cleveland last Nov. 27, the New York Giants have failed to score more than 19 points in six consecutive regular-season games, plus in one NFC playoff game wedged in.

If the Giants fail to crack 20 again on Monday night at home against the Detroit Lions (8:30 p.m. EDT, TSN/ESPN), it’ll be eight straight -- the equivalent of half a season of such offensive futility.

Why haven’t we heard more about these Giant struggles on offence? Probably because the Giant defence has been so good, at least most of the time. During the slump the New York defence has allowed 10 points or fewer three times. Right, three New York wins.

After starting the season last week with an offensively feeble 19-3 loss at Dallas, the Giants need a win, no matter how few points they score. And regardless whether star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. plays.

Word on the weekend was that Beckham will be a game-time decision; he’s officially listed as questionable. He practised, albeit on a limited basis, this past week for the first time in a month, after badly spraining an ankle in a mid August preseason game.

Blame stones for longstanding Giants offensive struggles typically get thrown at veteran New York quarterback Eli Manning -- and are again. Especially for all his quickly dispatched check-down throws last Sunday night in Dallas.

Is such criticism justified? To a point, yes, said Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan on Saturday.

“I would say that Eli, like everyone else on the offensive side of the ball, had a bad night,” Sullivan said. “Had a night that is not up to our standard.

“(It was) one bad night. And to rush to conclusions (as to) where he’s at, or where anybody is after one game, would be premature.”

Head coach Ben McAdoo is feeling the Big Apple heat, too. Remember, he was Tom Coughlin’s last offensive coordinator, and probably the chief reason McAdoo got to replace Coughlin is because Manning liked him a lot, and fit his system too.

This past week McAdoo reportedly blasted his offensive players, Manning included.

“We don’t have time to handle things with kid gloves here. We’re going to be open and honest with our communication,” McAdoo said. “We’re critical with ourselves as coaches, and we expect the players to be critical of themselves. That’s the best way to improve. Especially from Week 1 to 2, but every week.”