I’ve been a New York Giant fan since I was a kid. I’ve seen a number of horrific games, including Super Bowl XXXV in which the Baltimore Ravens destroyed the Giants 34-7. This past week’s game against the Carolina Panthers was one of the worst performances I have ever seen by a Giant team. This loss ranks with the 2001 Super Bowl embarrassment and even last season’s disastrous game against the Atlanta Falcons in which the Giants lost 34-0, ending their chances at making the playoffs. This loss is so painful, not only due to the opponent being the lowly Panthers, but the way the Giants lost this game. This week’s performance was different than all the others because the play on the field was nothing short of disgraceful.
First of all, it needs to be made clear that the 38-0 loss to the Panthers had nothing to do with Eli Manning or offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. In the case of Manning, he had no time to throw the football due to the lack of protection from the offensive line. After being sacked six times in the first half, it was clear that Manning was afraid to be hit and this led to him throwing the ball away quickly. Gilbride tried every play in the book to give the Giants the spark they desperately needed but nothing worked. He tried running the ball. He tried deep passes and short passes. He even tried passing it to his fullback Henry Hynoski who was forced to leave the game with a fractured shoulder. For those who don’t know, the Giants never give the ball to Hynoski unless they have no other choice. This game came down to everybody else not doing their jobs. This was particularly evident with the woeful performance by the Giants offensive line.
There is one player on the Giants offensive line who should not even show up to next week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. That player is left tackle Will Beatty. He’s been loyal to the Giants for five years, but his game against Carolina was horrific. He allowed Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy to get three of the seven sacks on Manning. Yet, one of his worst mistakes took place when the Giants had a rare opportunity to tie the game at 7-7. After an interception by Aaron Ross, the Giants gave the ball to David Wilson who ran it into the end zone for the touchdown. It turns out, while he was running down the sideline, Beatty was flagged for a holding penalty. That penalty negated the touchdown and led to a missed field goal. The only reason he wasn’t pulled from the game is because he is the only left tackle on the depth chart. Then again, they could’ve put a kicker in his position and he would’ve played better.
Of course it wasn’t just Beatty making the mistakes but the entire offensive line. While Beatty was the main culprit behind the mistakes, they were all responsible for the Giants’ failures on offense. If they want to start winning games they must find a way to give Manning more time to throw the ball. Most importantly, if the front line starts doing their jobs the run game might have a chance to improve. If the line doesn’t improve, this will be a very long season for New York Giant fans.