No excuses. No hopes that the team is better than it has played. No quick fixes. The 2013 New York Giants are absolutely terrible, and nobody should believe that is going to change anytime soon.
Stats alone, which are gruesome for Big Blue, only tell part of how bad the Giants are three weeks into the campaign. New York is weak in its foundation, up front on both sides of the football, and the defense appears to lose a little more heart with every quarter played. At 0-3 after a 38-0 trouncing at the hands of a Carolina Panthers side that doesn't appear headed to the playoffs anytime soon, soul-searching isn't going to fix the G-Men. The Giants need help in multiple areas, assistance that isn't coming until at least the winter of 2014.
Panthers dominate Giants: Blame game
New York quarterback Eli Manning has been and, to some people, always will be an easy target for criticism and ridicule. Anybody who thinks that the team's problems begin and end with its QB is either not paying attention or trying to push some agenda. Manning was sacked six times in the first 17 minutes of the Carolina game. That's a video game statistic, especially when referencing a QB who hardly has a reputation for hanging onto the football for hours while inside the pocket.
Signing rookie Justin Pugh was clearly not enough to help rebuild an o-line that is the worst this franchise has had in at least a decade and a half. Left tackle Will Beatty was nothing short of atrocious against the Panthers, to the point that he was more a liability than an asset. Center David Baas has looked more like a fill-in option than a mainstay. Chris Snee may be out of the league sooner than later at the rate he is aging before our very eyes.
In short, that unit has been a complete letdown, and it is largely responsible for the Giants being shutout in Week Three.
Panthers dominate Giants: Scary trend
The Giants, the Big Blue Wrecking Crew, have no pass rush. Think about that for a moment. New York, a team notorious for terrorizing quarterbacks, can't find the backfield with the help of a map. The Giants sacked Cam Newton only once on Sunday.
That also happened to be the only QB hit registered by New York during the game.
What's most frustrating about the play of linemen such as Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul is that New York's secondary has, dare I say, managed to overachieve. Prince Amukamara evolved into a No. 1 cornerback in the offseason, and Aaron Ross has been the player of old since returning to the Giants. Amukamara, Ross and company can only do so much, however, when a strong-armed and mobile quarterback such as Newton has second after second to make decisions.
Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka are nearing the ends of their careers. Some smart football people I've spoken with over the past couple of weeks are convinced that Pierre-Paul may never again be the dominant force he once was because of injury concerns (he had back surgery this past offseason). Add in the fact that New York is dreadfully thin at linebacker, and you've got a recipe for a defense that couldn't stop a nosebleed.
Panthers dominate Giants: Looking ahead
Things get no easier for the Giants over the next several weeks. New York now has to travel to Kansas City to face the 3-0 Chiefs. Big Blue then gets to host the Philadelphia Eagles and an offense that could gain over 500 total yards against the New York defense. Four days after that game, the Giants will be at the Chicago Bears, who are currently undefeated.
It wasn't all that long ago that I was convinced the Giants would flirt with a playoff spot in 2013. After what I've seen this month, I will now be shocked if New York isn't 0-6 come the morning of October 11. Make no mistake about it. The Giants are lousy.
Head coach Tom Coughlin may have to consider how long he wants to stay around to fix the team.