Anyone holding out hope that an offseason of roster turnover and injuries wouldn't stop the Giants from being a good football team might need to dig a little deeper right about now.
The Giants looked terrible in just about every phase of the game during their game against the Redskins in Washington on Sunday, earning every inch of their 28-14 loss. Some of the culprits were familiar from recent seasons and some were new additions to the hall of shame, but the end result is a team that looks completely lost.
That's probably something we should have all expected, especially once Justin Tuck was ruled out for the contest on Sunday afternoon because of his neck injury. But you didn't find too many people predicting that the Giants would be so thoroughly whipped by a team that no one thinks is going anywhere this season.
Since they were terrible in just about everything they did, identifying the biggest problem with the team is difficult. While it is tempting to go with the special teams, we're going to point the finger at the team's defense -- with the safeties coming up for particular scorn.
The Redskins had receivers wide open all day long, something that should never happen when the Giants are rushing the passer decently -- four sacks, two of them by Jason Pierre-Paul, and plenty of knockdowns -- and when Rex Grossman is the opposing quarterback. But the Giants' safeties played loose coverage all afternoon, giving away reception after reception until Grossman finished the game with 305 yards passing.
Even if they tighten things up in the secondary, the Giants will still give games away as long as they continue to treat special teams like an afterthought. They had a field goal blocked, gave up big punt returns, picked up penalties to kill field position and Devin Thomas decided that his job as kickoff returner didn't include actually returning kickoffs at one point in the game.
The only reason this doesn't take the top spot is because the Giants have been so bad on special teams for so long that expecting anything else was insane. We'd argue that Tom Quinn should be relieved of his duties, but it's clear that he'd have to use John Mara's drinking glass as a urinal for anyone to notice how far short of acceptable his job performance actually has been over the last two years.
We don't want to leave the offense out of the fun. Eli Manning had a pass tipped and intercepted for a touchdown to remind us of last season, Kevin Gilbride came up with a game plan designed to eliminate any chance of winning the game and the offensive line failed to do anything that makes you think they are good enough to explain the roster machinations Jerry Reese used to put them in their places.
Giants fans howling about Reese's other moves got a little more fuel for the fire when Barry Cofield blew up play after play at the line of scrimmage. No one was doing the same for the Giants, as they preferred giving up big first downs and committing killer penalties to crushing the hopes of the Redskins.
There are plenty of easy excuses available to the Giants to explain away this performance, but they made it clear this week that none of them are acceptable. That should make for a pretty rough Tom Coughlin press conference and a brutal week of practice for a team that did a mighty good job of embarrassing itself Sunday afternoon.