The Giants' 0-2 start has come with some interesting sidebars. They have actually played seven quarters of effective football and could have won both games. But fate would not have it. They let their guard down against two opponents that had the capacity to beat them, and so it goes.
What's gotten lost in these finger-pointing, frustrating losses? Let's see...
QB Eli Manning has thrown 76 passes without an interception, easily his longest such streak to start a season. His previous long was 42 passes without a pick in 2012.
That is incredible. Eli is a perennial turnover machine. But let us not forget the lost fumble in the red zone on a drive that could have sealed the game.
WR Odell Beckham Jr. has at least 100 receiving yards in each of the Giants’ last four home games dating back to last season. That is the longest such streak in franchise history. The last NFL player with four straight home games with at least 100 receiving yards was Detroit’s Calvin Johnson in 2013. Houston’s Andre Johnson (2005-06) is the last with player to do it in five consecutive games.
Could OBJ actually be better than those two? Maybe, if he lasts long enough. He'd be even better if the Giants would use him for all four quarters. Nothing surprises me with this kid. What surprises me is that the Giants aren't finding more ways to get the ball into his hands.
Atlanta’s Julio Jones has 24 receptions in his last two games vs, the Giants (13 yesterday, 11 last season), the second-highest two game total in history by a Giants opponent. Dallas’ Jason Witten caught 26 passes in two games (Oct. 28, 2012, and Sept. 8, 2013).
It's not that the Giants don't have good corners, but Jones is a handful for one player to cover one-on-one. Let's not forget that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie missed a good portion of the game with a concussion. Prince Amukamara did his best to contain Jones, but still gave up the big pass that led to the Falcons' winning touchdown.
The Giants have allowed at least 346 passing yards in each of their first two games, the first time that’s happened since Nov. 28 and Dec. 4, 2011, when they gave up 577 yards at New Orleans and 449 vs. Green Bay.
Considering the defense has been unable to put sufficient pressure on the QB, have rookies at safety and MLB, plus has played without their captain, Jon Beason, I understand these numbers. But the real question remaining is how are they addressing this issue? Beason may not play this week against Washington, but since the Redskins are a run-first outfit, the Giants may get a reprieve.
The Giants will be angling to finish games on both sides of the ball. The offense fell victim to faux pas by their captain, Manning, who did them in with one of omission in Week 1 and now of commission this week. The defense has been soft at the end of games, allowing the opponent to drive the field for the winning score virtually uninterrupted.
"I mean, from my perspective, it just comes down to finishing games towards the end of games and making plays in critical moments," LB Devon Kennard said. "Every game is going to be a tight game. We feel like we can play with anybody, but when those moments come in the games, we’ve got to make more plays than the other team and that’s what it comes down to."
LoudMouths: Chris Carlin and Eamon McAnaney discuss why the Giants are having so much trouble maintaining leads and what is wrong with Eli Manning.