TEAM GRADES: Manning and the offense struggle in loss to Packers

The New York Football Giants (2-3) dropped their third straight game and fell below .500 for the season. Big Blue had a mundane effort at Lambeau Field as they lost to the Green Bay Packers 23-16 on “Sunday Night Football”. The negatives continue to outweigh the positives for the G-Men, as they get ready to face the Baltimore Ravens (3-2) in Week 6. A struggle to remain relevant has now begun.

Off the field, thankfully New York did not have an Odell Beckham issue to deal with this week. But offensive tackle Ereck Flowers imploded on the field and exploded in the locker room after the game. Reportedly, Flowers got in the face of ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan and shoved him.

In 1981, New York Knicks’ guard Michael Ray Richardson famously declared, “The ship be sinking.” Does that thought apply to today’s New York Giants?

TEAM GRADES: OFFENSE

The struggle of the offensive line was evident, as the unit allowed four Green Bay Packer sacks. Both tackles, Bobby Hart and Ereck Flowers, were a train wreck. According to a report in NJ.com on Oct. 10, 2016, Flowers shoved ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan after the game. It would have been nice for the Giants’ to be decisive in what punishment they would take against the second-year player. Monday came and went, so maybe they are continue to gather evidence (tongue in cheek).

Running lanes are still hard to come by for the reserve backs. Orleans Darkwa had 11 yards in seven carries. Ouch! But you have to love the effort of Bobby Rainey who gives 120 percent every play. Rainey had 22 yards on just five carries, and 52 yards on six receptions.

Odell Beckham, Jr. did a nice tiptoe dance for his first touchdown of the season and made nice with the kicking net.

The struggle of quarterback Eli Manning continues. Manning lost another fumble and had less than 200 yards passing. On the other hand, Manning’s quarterback rating was actually better than Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Blaming Manning doesn’t solve the plethora of other problems the team has.

In addition to Rainey, another positive was the emergence of Jerrell Adams at tight end. Adams, a rookie from South Carolina, showed soft hands. He also was able to make yards after the catch, unlike Will Tye and Larry Donnell.

Where have Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard gone?

UNIT GRADE: C-

TEAM GRADES: DEFENSE

The Giants not only had no sack on Sunday, it seemed like Aaron Rodgers had an eternity to throw the ball. In addition, Packers’ running back Eddie Lacey had 81 yards on 11 carries, before being felled by an ankle injury.

The G-Men lost the time of possession battle, again, by 13 minutes. For those who believe that stats is entirely on the offense, look at the opening drive for the Pack. Green Bay ran 16 plays and took 8:42 off the clock, before the Giants even touched the ball.

Whoever decided to defer to the second half after winning the coin flip is brain dead.

The Pack was nine of 19 on third-down conversions (47 percent), so the defense is more of a problem in the time of possession game than the offense.

This week, the Giants lost cornerback Eli Apple to a groin injury after he made his return from a hamstring. Dominique Rodegers_Cromartie gutted out 61 of 80 snaps. DRC’s effort received praise from McAdoo, according to the New York Post on Oct. 10, 2016.

“I thought it was a gutty performance by DRC, going back out and playing for his teammates,” said Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. “It shows the type of character he has, and I appreciate it personally.”

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo gave edge rushers Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul more of a rest this week. But the dropoff to Romeo Okwara and Kerry Wynn makes the unit struggle. Owa Odighizuwa has seen a steep drop in the number of snaps per game. In the Dallas game, Odighizuwa had 18 snaps. This week against Green Bay, the second-year edge rusher saw the field only six times, according to Pro Football Focus.

Jun 16, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (58) takes part in practice during minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 16, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (58) takes part in practice during minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

UNIT GRADE: D

TEAM GRADES: SPECIAL TEAMS

The Giants had two big kickoff returns on Sunday. Bobby Rainey ran one back 37 yards, while Dwayne Harris had a 42-yard return. Harris left the game twice, once with a jaw injury, then with a toe injury. Odell Beckham filled in for Harris on the punt return.

Brad Wing punted six time for a net average of 38.7 yards. He had three punts land inside the 20-yard line. Kicker Josh Brown hit three field goals in three attempts, with the longest of 47-yards. He also made the only point after touchdown on the evening.

Field position was not an issue for the G-Men throughout the game.

UNIT GRADE: B+

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