Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Giants [Print without images]

Monday, September 16, 2013
Upon Further Review: Giants Week 2

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

A review of four hot issues from the New York Giants' 41-23 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday:

Da'Rel Scott
Da'Rel Scott's touchdown was one of the few bright spots for the Giants' running game in Week 2.
Where is the running game? The Giants had 23 rushing yards on 19 carries. They have 73 rushing yards in two games. Only two teams in the league have fewer rushing yards right now, and those are the two teams that haven't played a second game yet -- Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, who need 11 and 43 rush yards, respectively, on "Monday Night Football" to pass the Giants. So the odds are very strong the Giants will enter Week 3 with the No. 1 passing offense and the No. 32 rushing offense in the league. If they were 2-0, this would be a nettlesome quirk that needed to be worked out. At 0-2, it's a full-blown crisis. It's a confusing situation with the backs, sure, due to Andre Brown's preseason injury and David Wilson's Week 1 fumbles. The back who got the most snaps Sunday was Da'Rel Scott, and it looks as though the Giants intend to use Brandon Jacobs at the goal line. But the big issue is that the offensive line isn't pushing people around enough to open holes for any of these guys.

Where's the pass rush? The defensive linemen haven't shown much, either. They got to Peyton Manning a couple of times Sunday, but they couldn't seem to finish him off. They finished with no sacks, and that's the fourth time in their last nine games (dating back to November 2012) that they finished a game without any sacks. They have a total of five sacks in their last seven games. If the Giants can't get pressure on opposing quarterbacks, they're simply not a good defense.

Eli Manning is off. The Giants' quarterback has his full complement of receivers, including a healthy Hakeem Nicks, an improved Rueben Randle, a happy Victor Cruz and a very useful-looking receiving tight end in Brandon Myers. Yet Manning leads the league with a stunning seven interceptions through two games. It's easy to say he can't do it without a good running game to keep defenses honest, and there's unquestionably some truth in that. But 3.5 interceptions per game is completely unacceptable no matter how one-dimensional your offense is or how far behind you keep falling. Manning's first interception was a bad decision in a tight spot at a point when the game was still close. He needs to play better.

Can't lean on history. The Giants know full well that they started 0-2 in 2007 and went on to win the Super Bowl. But a couple of the veterans who were there in 2007 wrinkled their noses Sunday night at the comparison. It kind of belittles that team's accomplishment to assume it can be done again, and those veterans know that. This team has its own significant issues to fix, and looking to the past isn't the way to fix them.