Through the first seven weeks of the 2013 season, the New York Giants have allowed three punt returns to go for touchdowns.
Some teams don’t give up three punt return touchdowns in an entire season. Some teams don’t even give up one punt return touchdown in a given season.
And yet, here we are in Week 8 and the Giants have already surrendered three. Having two returned against you could be passed off as a coincidence, but three most likely means that there is something fundamentally wrong with your approach or execution.
It all started back in Week 2 when Denver’s Trindon Holliday put the game out of reach with an 81-yard punt return he took to the house. Dexter McCluster followed that up two weeks later with an 89-yard touchdown, which opened up the floodgates in Kansas City.
The latest disaster was an 86-yard punt return the Giants surrendered to Marcus Sherels on Monday night, which was Minnesota’s only score of the game. Special teams coach Tom Quinn expressed his disgust with ESPN New York’s Kieran Darcy on Thursday:
“It’s not what our expectations are,” Quinn said. “It pisses you off and I hope it pisses everyone off in this building. To take away a shutout from the defense? That hurts. How many times do we get opportunities to do that? So, it’s frustrating.”
In the article, Quinn explained that the gunners and the offensive line are not getting a good enough jump and are too slow down field.
However, I think the problem may also lie with punter Steve Weatherford. His punting average is right where it has been in the past, but he seems to be kicking more line drives than he has in the past. Punts like this don’t allow players to get down field fast enough to make an easier play.
Whatever the issue, it is something the Giants need to figure out. Special teams touchdowns are often game-changing plays, and New York can’t afford to be giving them up.