- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
What it means: Well, it means huge trouble from a statistical standpoint. The Giants are 0-3 for the first time since 1996. Since the current playoff format began in 1990, only three of the 115 teams that have started 0-3 prior to this year reached the playoffs. No one's done it since 1998. So the odds of this year's Giants playing in the postseason are less than good.
Stock watch: Pick someone, pretty much anywhere on the Giants' roster, and their stock is down. But a good place to focus is on the offensive line. Eli Manning was sacked six times in the first 17 minutes of the game Sunday. Left tackle Will Beatty was incredibly overmatched by Carolina's pass-rushers, and Beatty's linemates weren't much better. Carolina was in the backfield on every pass and run play the Giants called in the first half, and as a result of the relentless pressure, the Giants' offense was never able to get anything going, even during the part of the game in which the Panthers were struggling to score as well. By the time Cam Newton got going, the Giants had been manhandled too much to recover.
Don't let the defense off easy: The Giants' offense has been so erratic and mistake-riddled this year that it's provided some measure of cover for the Giants' defense. And it's easier on the defense to find positives. They are tackling well at the second and third levels, for instance. But the fundamental problem is the number of those tackles they find themselves having to make as a result of their failures up front. Mathias Kiwanuka's early sack was a sign that things might be about to improve, but as the clock ran down in the fourth quarter it was still holding up as the Giants' only sack of the day and their sixth in their last eight games. Meanwhile, Newton and DeAngelo Williams were doing basically whatever they wanted to do in the run game. The Giants aren't tough enough right now on either line.
What's next: Things don't get any easier. The Giants travel to Kansas City next week for a 1 p.m. ET game against the 3-0 Chiefs, who beat the Eagles on Thursday night and will have had nine days off prior to the game.