EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants have won once in four games, and things have the potential to get a lot worse.
The 2023 season could go south quickly.
The next two games are at Miami (3-1) next Sunday and at Buffalo (3-1) the following week. A 1-5 start is a distinct possibility and the chances of New York making the playoffs for a second straight season would be slim.
“I just try to focus on the here and now, and we’ve got a lot of improving to do, and that’s what we’re going to try to do,” coach Brian Daboll said Tuesday, less than 12 hours after the Seattle Seahawks used a dominating defense to beat the Giants 24-3 on "Monday Night Football."
New York looks nothing like the team that surprised the league in 2022 in Daboll's first year as a head coach. Coming off five straight losing seasons, the Giants went 9-7-1 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2016. They were competitive almost every game.
That's not the case this season.
“I would say every year is a new year. I’ve said that since the start of OTAs. And it is,” Daboll said. “There’s a lot of things that have to go right each game to be successful and right now we’re not there yet. We’re certainly working to be there, but we’re not there yet.”
The biggest problem on Monday was the offensive line — missing left tackle Andrew Thomas for the third straight game — could not protect Daniel Jones. He was sacked 10 times and the Seahawks added another on a trick play to tie their franchise record with 11 sacks.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Daboll. The second-year coach needs to be more demanding with his staff and team. With the offense faltering, Daboll should consider calling his own plays. Offensive line coach Bobby Johnson has had mostly the same players for more than a season. The overall poor play has caused frustration. Defensive lineman Leonard Williams drew an unnecessary roughness penalty after a Seattle TD. It was an offsetting call, but a lack of discipline can't be tolerated. Defensively, there are plays where opposing receivers are left wide open, such as the 51-yard third down pass to tight end Noah Fant late in the first half that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Walker III. The breakdowns have to stop.
Wink Martindale's defense is rounding into form. Seventeen of Seattle's points were scored after turnovers, highlighted by Devon Witherspoon's 97-yard interception return for a touchdown. Inside linebacker Bobby Okereke had his best game with 10 tackles, including two for losses. Kayvon Thibodeaux had two sacks and the Seahawks were limited to 281 yards.
The offense. Pick anyone. The line allowed 11 sacks. Daniel Jones threw a game-changing pick-6 in the third quarter. The unit has played well in one of eight halves this season. Coordinator Mike Kafka's unit has scored 15 points in three losses. Instead of taking an early lead, Daboll elected to go on a fourth-and-1 on the opening series and failed. This is all from a unit that most expected to be better.
“The offense is just not good enough in all facets,” tight end Darren Waller said. “I don’t even have anything to really say. It’s just not good enough.”
Rookie C John Michael Schmitz (shoulder), G Shane Lemieux (groin), TE Daniel Bellinger (knee) are being evaluated. Schmitz and Bellinger were hurt on the same play, a failed fourth down sneak on the opening drive. RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) has missed the past two games.
21 — This was the second time in Giants history they were outscored by 21-plus points in back-to-back home games in the same season. It also happened in the first two home games in 1971, a 30-3 loss to Washington and a 31-7 setback to the then-Baltimore Colts. New York finished 4-10 and last in the NFC East.
At Miami on Sunday.
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Tom Canavan, The Associated Press