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5 things to watch about the Giants when they take on the Browns

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017, 12:13 AM
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Ben McAdoo should get a better sense of where his team is at Monday with his starting units set to play. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

 

The Giants left for Cleveland on Sunday as they gear up for the Browns in their second preseason game, and this time all the starters are expected to play.

It’s the first time the Giants will have their full starting units on offense and defense on the field together for a game after resting several veteran starters in the preseason opener against the Steelers on Aug. 11.

“Go good to great on defense. Offense, be more productive,” said head coach Ben McAdoo on Saturday of what he expects from his team.

With the regular season three weeks away, here are five things to watch for when the Giants play the Browns on Monday night:

Eli Manning will play into 2nd quarter for Giants on Monday

1. ELI AND THE STARTERS

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Eli Manning will get a chance to work with the complete offensive unit. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Eli Manning is playing in his first game of the preseason, along with Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants quarterback is expected to play into the second quarter and will finally get the chance to see what he can do with new receiving threats Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram.

With the new weapons on offense, coupled with the disappointing 2016 campaign from the group, plenty of focus will be on how Manning and the offense look early in preseason. Manning should get to play at least two drives, so if he can take the team downfield for a touchdown on one of those drives, it would certainly help ease any lingering concerns from last season.

 

2. THE RUNNING GAME

Giants Insider: Landon Collins talks celebrations, Eli gloves up

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Paul Perkins and the Giants' running game will look to bounceback after a disappointing performance against the Steelers. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Giants running backs were probably the biggest disappointment of the preseason opener against the Steelers. Eight different rushers combined for 73 yards on the ground, an average of 3.2 yards per carry. That will need to improve against the Browns.

Paul Perkins is the established starter, but McAdoo left the door open last week for someone to take the job from him.

“I’m considering them all for the job,” he said. “Whoever plays the best is going to get the ball.”

Perkins had five yards on three carries in the opener, and that included a seven-yard gain. Orleans Darkwa is probably Perkins’ biggest threat. He had the best showing in the opener, rushing for 18 yards on three carries, including an 11-yard run.

Giants O-lineman Michael Bowie charged with domestic assault

 

3. ERECK FLOWERS

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Ereck Flowers will have a big test against Myles Garrett on Monday. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

The Giants’ left tackle is probably under the biggest microscope of any player this preseason. He fared well his first preseason game and did not allow a sack or QB pressure in 12 snaps in pass protection, according to Pro Football Focus. But Flowers faces a big test on Monday in Browns first-round pick Myles Garrett.

The third-year tackle will be matching up against highly talented pass-rushers like Garrett each week, so how he handles this matchup could be an indicator of whether or not Flowers really has made any significant improvement from last season.

 

4. BACKUP QUARTERBACK BATTLE

Geno Smith on preseason performance: ‘I could have been better'

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Geno Smith and the other backup quarterbacks are running out of time to prove who deserves the No. 2 spot. (Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports)

McAdoo appeared to light a fire under both Geno Smith and Josh Johnson on Thursday by not ruling out the possibility of Davis Webb being considered for the job. The Giants head coach ideally wants to play all four of the quarterbacks he has on Monday, and it’s time for someone not named Eli Manning to separate himself from the pack.

Smith completed more passes and threw for more yards than Johnson against the Steelers, but Smith also threw an interception and found himself in McAdoo’s doghouse by fumbling twice in one practice last week.

The fumbles led to Smith (and RB Wayne Gallman) running a lap as punishment.

Despite not being ruled out by McAdoo, Webb has not taken nearly enough reps in practice as the other two, so either Johnson or Smith will need to show why he deserves to be the backup quarterback.

Giants Insider: Spags keyed in on overall depth and health at LB

 

5. DEPTH ON DEFENSE

With the Giants banged-up a bit at a few positions on defense, it’s time to see just how good their depth is, particularly at linebacker.

Linebackers Curtis Grant and Calvin Munson have been getting a closer look in practice and it will be interesting to see what they can do in a game.

Meanwhile, Eli Apple is questionable with an ankle injury, which opens the door for guys like Donte Deayon and Michael Hunter Jr. to show what they can do in the secondary.

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Giants breathe a sigh of relief as Odell Beckham Jr. sprains his ankle, but avoids disastrous injury

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 2:05 AM

 

CLEVELAND – Odell Beckham knelt down in agony in the tunnel of FirstEnergy Stadium during Monday night’s second quarter with what looked like a potentially catastrophic leg injury.

But by the end of the Giants’ 10-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Beckham was so “relieved” he had only sprained his left ankle that he was sarcastically mocking a question of whether he’d be ready for the Week 1 opener in Dallas.

“I don’t know, man. I’m pretty concerned, but I think I’ll be all right,” Beckham joked, with a mischievous smile beneath his floppy gold hair and matching headphones. “It feels like a sprained ankle, a rolled ankle. I don’t know. You ever hurt your ankle? That’s what it feels like.”

Beckham also acknowledged he’d been put through the concussion protocol but passed with flying colors.

Browns players kneel during national anthem prior to Giants game

“They asked me a couple questions, but I know what today is, I know what happened yesterday, I know who we played last week, so I think I’ll be all right,” he said.

Afterward, Beckham tweeted out the words “Thank U” and a prayer emoji.

And in unison, every Giants coach, teammate and fan exhales, right? Well, not so fast.

The Giants did say Beckham “will undergo further examination,” presumably an MRI to also check his knee, which bent awkwardly on the low-but-legal hit by Browns defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun.

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Odell Beckham Jr. kneels in the Giants' tunnel. (ESPN)

Plus, Brandon Marshall also had X-rays on his shoulder, and though he tweeted an emoji of a flexed bicep, the Giants could not provide an update before flying home to New Jersey.

All in all, this felt a little like the Giants’ own personal solar eclipse. And Beckham probably began Monday thinking that staring into the sun from his hotel room with no glasses was his biggest worry. Suddenly he was grasping at his leg on the football field in his first action of the preseason, fearing the worst.

“Pretty scary,” Beckham admitted.

What’s most frightening, though, is that Eli Manning’s first-team offense was putrid even with Beckham on the field, just as it had been in last year’s preseason debut at Buffalo, prior to ranking 26th of 32 teams in the 2016 regular season. And if Beckham’s 2017 season is impacted negatively at all by this injury, the offense’s low ceiling could collapse and squeeze the life out of Big Blue entirely, no matter how good the defense is.

Plus, for Beckham, this is also about his career. He skipped OTAs in the spring to demonstrate that he wants a new contract to pay him compensatory to his value and to secure his future, and this is why he had every right to do so: it all could be gone in a flash.

“That is why Odell wants a new contract,” tweeted former NFL receiver Cris Carter, a Beckham advocate.

Beckham is making only $1.8 million in this fourth year of a five-year rookie contract, while Antonio Brown averages $17 million per for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Odell Beckham Jr. exited the Giants preseason game on Monday with a sprained ankle. (David Richard/AP)

“This is why I hate preseason Bulls---…,” tweeted Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry, one of Beckham’s best friends and a former teammate at LSU.

Beckham, 24, made it clear both on the field and in the locker room that he did not appreciate Boddy-Calhoun’s hit. When he first got up, he fired the ball on the grass at the Browns corner and then stared him down as he walked off the field. And after, he implied the preseason called for more discretion.

“I don’t know. It’s just football I guess. Preseason, so …” Beckham said, trailing off and shrugging his shoulders.

Presumably, Beckham now will sit out Saturday night against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, even though the starters typically play the most in the third preseason game. At least he should.

McAdoo’s answer was: “If he can play, he’ll play.” Beckham’s answer was: “It’s up to coach and the training staff. We’ll see where we go from here, but I’m going there tomorrow and we’ll get a look at it.”

But there is no use risking anything. Beckham is so important to the Giants because his game-breaking ability is all that bailed the offense last year out of its terrible running game, spotty pass protection and turnovers. And one year later, it’s looking like he might have to counter those same deficiencies in the offense again.

When Beckham is down, the Giants are down. Without him, the hype feels hollow. With No. 13 on the sideline, with no running game to speak of, the Giants’ chances would feel pretty slim.

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Why Your Team Sucks 2017: New York Giants
Drew Magary
Yesterday 2:03pmFiled to: Why your team sucks 2017


Some people are fans of the New York Giants. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New York Giants. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: New York Giants.

Your 2016 record: 11-5. I will never feel stupider than buying into the whole “The Giants always upset the Packers in the playoffs!” hype only to watch them get shredded into pulled chicken by Aaron Rodgers. God damn them for making me look like a fool, and god damn them for making BOATGHAZI an eternal thing. If they had just won that stupid game and Odell hadn’t played like shit, you never hear about this boat trip again. Instead, it is now encyclopedic. “Odell Beckham, who once let down his team by hanging out on a boat, died today…” Odell takes will render all of us braindead.

Your coach: Ben McAdoo, who will never find a combination of haircut and facial hair that will work for him. Look at this poor bastard.

He looks like a teenager trying to sneak into a nightclub for the first time. What a big boy. No wonder he likes fiddling with walkie talkies and calling the same play 50 times in a row like he’s playing Madden ‘95. Anyway, McAdoo left Beckham in for the second quarter of a preseason game against Cleveland, and Beckham nearly had his leg sheared off in the process. I have no clue what this man was thinking. Oh man, remember when he showed his team the footage of a dude punching a kangaroo to fire them up?

“We have to stay hungry. We have to be hungry, and it’s time to … it’s time to eat.”

I… I think he wants them to eat the kangaroo.

Your quarterback: Oh great, here comes slack-jawed dolt Eli Manning yet again, ready to drool all over the field for another 17 weeks. He is history’s most indestructible idiot. It really is something. He is a cyborg made from discarded sweet tea bags and old hush puppies. We’ll never be rid of him. Anyway, Eli has been here for a thousand years, so you know what you’re getting: 4,000 yards, 25 TDs, a billion turnovers, and a perfect ratio of stunning victories to stunning defeats. Lather, rinse, repeat. By the way, Eli still hasn’t gotten enough shit for trying to pass off phony game memorabilia. Odell can get a million columnists screaming for his head for taking a boat trip, but here’s Eli skating by because everyone thinks he’s too stupid to be a criminal mastermind.

Your backup quarterback is former Jets prospect and “man whose jaw is used to protect fire extinguisher cabinets” Geno Smith. This is not a team that had any urgent need for Colin Kaepernick on the roster, but I’m gonna use this space to bring up what John Mara said about the idea, because John Mara is a gutless shitbag:

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, more so than any other issue I’ve run into.”

Fuck you, buddy. Fuck you a million times over. You sons of bitches re-signed Josh Brown even when you knew about his domestic violence arrest and the police reports from it. And now you’re cowering in the face of some bullshit “I’m canceling my subscription, sir!” threats from fans who probably can’t get out of their season ticket agreements anyway? John Mara is a pathetic waste who gets to pretend he didn’t luck into an inherited fortune just because he looks like a banker from 1936. I hope he falls into a port-o-toilet.

What’s new that sucks: Well, Odell is hurt and may miss the first couple of games, so there goes every last exciting thing about this Giants outfit. These current Giants, of course, exist less as a football team and more as a weekly mood check of their star receiver and unofficial stickum spokesman. Here’s Odell getting shovey with a ref. And here’s Odell lobbying for a different officiating crew. And here’s Odell trying to put his head through a wall. And here’s Odell staring at the sun. And here’s Odell angling for a new contract, etc etc.

The NFL is a dry and humorless place, but the Giants organization is exceptional in their grim stoicism even by those standards. And so last year’s Boatghazi stuff was the perfect encapsulation of the “Mr. Mara” attitude a lot of people—fans included—around the team think it should have, as if they’re extra classy because one family of rich fucks has owned it forever. As long as I’ve been alive, the Giants have dined out on their bullshit Respectable Team Of Class vs. the Rowdy Jets branding efforts. They constantly act like the genteel aristocracy of football, which is how a rare burst of color like Beckham ends up scrutinized into dust…a man who will be driven to the edge by the takes raining down on him.

Brandon Marshall is here and hurt already. Elsewhere, burglars broke into a player’s home to write KKK and GO BACK TO AFRICA on the walls. It just goes to show you that New Jersey is ALWAYS on the cusp of hot new racialist trends before a place like Charlottesville even gets wind of them.

What has always sucked: The running game! This is the only team that has failed to average over 4.0 yards per rush in any of the past four years. Did they do a fucking thing this offseason to address the problem? Reader, they did not. No, it’s another year of failed Shane Vereen wheel routes and Paul Perkins busting out a 10-yard run once a lunar cycle. Every year, the Giants have the same problems because they are a running loop of Reverend Lovejoy saying “Constancy constancy constancy” in your brain. They haven’t had a tight end catch a pass since Mark Bavaro. Their best pass rusher is still the dude with a lobster claw. Ereck Flowers has all the blocking ability of a ghost. I know that Cleveland and Buffalo and the like are far more woeful franchises. But I just want you to know that if you isolate the single worst quarter of play from a single team in any given season, that quarter of play will usually come from the New York Giants.

Did you know? The entire New York Subway system is now offering riders the experience of what it would be like if you had to travel to the Meadowlands every day!

What might not suck: Landon Collins is good. Eli Apple has a good mom. Whatever. I still say fuck them all.

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Brandon Marshall is out of time to build chemistry with Eli Manning as Week 1 approaches

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 2:15 AM
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Brandon Marshall hasn't had the opportunity to build an on-field relationship with Eli Manning. (Julio Cortez/AP)

 

Brandon Marshall is about to go into the Giants’ Week 1 opener in Dallas without having caught a single pass from Eli Manning this entire preseason.

Unsettling, isn’t it?

Even if Ben McAdoo plays Marshall for two series in Thursday night’s preseason finale at New England, as he did with last year’s starting receivers not named Odell Beckham Jr., Manning is not expected to play.

Marshall was supposed to be the signing of the NFL offseason. The hype train for the Giants’ offense already left the station long ago. And granted, 11 NFL seasons buys a veteran receiver some benefit of the doubt.

Mini-McAdoo shows up at Giants practice to meet coach Ben

But Marshall himself even acknowledged in one of his rare interviews this preseason that McAdoo’s timing-based offense is much different than what Marshall is used to, and that chemistry between him and Manning is not going to happen overnight.

McAdoo’s answer Tuesday to what Marshall has shown him recently as far as his understanding of the offense was case in point.

“He hasn’t been out there very much in the last couple of weeks,” the coach said, after Marshall increased his Tuesday practice workload from Monday’s limited participation. “I mean, today was a good day for him to get back out there and get some routes on air and then get some of the work in the team periods.”

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Eli Manning's lack of in-game reps with his new receiver could be an issue with Week 1 quickly approaching. (Elsa/Getty Images)

So where does this leave the Giants? Well, it’s beginning to look like no one will know the answer to how long it will take Marshall to acclimate until the lights come on in Dallas on Sept. 10. He has made some impressive plays in practice, but his individual talent is not a question.

Giants dump Owa Odighizuwa following four-game PED suspension

The concerns are with his fit and comfort in the context of the offense, and with his health.

Marshall played two uneventful snaps in the Giants’ preseason opener against Pittsburgh. And in 26 snaps in Cleveland, he missed a run block on the offense’s first play from scrimmage — a Paul Perkins run for no gain — and then appeared to injure his shoulder on Manning’s lone target of him this August, before catching one Geno Smith pass for two yards.

Marshall, it seemed, made the smart business decision not to reach for Manning’s slightly overthrown deep ball down the right sideline with Browns safety Jabrill Peppers bearing down. But Peppers popped Marshall hard anyway on the left shoulder, and Marshall eventually left the game and did not return.

Marshall then stood on the sidelines for the rest of last week’s practices and did not play in last Saturday’s game against the Jets — normally the best preseason test for a team’s starters. He only returned to limited practice participation on Monday, before increasing his workload on Tuesday.

Giants’ Owa Odighizuwa suspended four games for PEDs

And yet Marshall has not spoken to the media since returning to the field. In fact, he has done only two interviews with local beat reporters since training camp opened: on July 29 and on Aug. 15. It is an unusual tactic for someone who already has dabbled in a media career with Showtime’s ‘Inside the NFL.’

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Brandon Marshall has stayed quiet, but now he needs to let his play do the talking. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

Marshall, 33, it should be noted, seems focused on keeping his head down and working. Beckham is the star, and Marshall is just trying to do his part, desperate to make his first trip to the NFL postseason, let alone win a Super Bowl.

Marshall has resisted any storylines about being a mentor to Beckham, as well. He is here to produce and win. Those seem to be the motives behind everything Marshall is doing — or not doing — at the moment.

“Brandon looked good today, it was good to have him back out there at practice, knock some rust off,” McAdoo said.

Brandon Marshall back at Giants practice, Odell Beckham still out

The problem is that the Giants need Marshall in the spotlight — not out of it — if his signing is going to be worth it. They need him healthy. They need Manning and Marshall in sync. They need to see Marshall on the field.

Very soon, the hype will die down, and it will be time for Marshall’s play to talk, even if he won’t.

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Geno Smith happy to win Giants’ backup quarterback job, but has higher expectations for himself

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, September 4, 2017, 4:18 PM
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Geno Smith still believes in his ability. (Julio Cortez/AP)

 

Geno Smith won’t short-change himself.

Asked Monday if in November of last year, Smith would have dreamed with a torn right ACL that he’d be backing up Eli Manning to open the 2017 Giants’ season, Smith replied: “If you asked me last November, I would have said I’ll be a starting quarterback somewhere.”

Smith also called Josh Johnson, who was cut on Saturday, “a great competitor.”

“That’s part of why you don’t want to get too high, because someone else is losing a job,” he said.

But then Smith cracked a smile.

“But I am happy,” he admitted. “That’s the main thing.”

 

GROUND STOP

Head coach Ben McAdoo reiterated on Monday that the Giants game plan doesn’t change whether or not Ezekiel Elliott plays.

“All backs run the same when there is nowhere to run,” he said. “Our goal is to be prepared and stop the run.”

Geno Smith has earned the right to be the Giants’ backup QB

 

RUDOLPH SIGHTING

As expected, WR Travis Rudolph was with the Giants practice squad despite not being officially named on Sunday.

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Travis Rudolph is still with the Giants despite being cut this weekend. (Julio Cortez/AP)

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for 21-year-old.

Rudolph lost his father this spring, went undrafted, signed by the Giants and became a fan favorite in the preseason only to be cut, then eventually signed back to the team with the practice squad.

“I’ve been through so much adversity this is nothing,” Rudolph said. “This is the place I’ve always wanted to be so at the end of the day, my ultimate goal is to get back on the field.”

 

 

TURNING A CORNER

CB Ross Cockrell was with the Giants on Monday for his first practice with his new team since being traded from the Steelers.

The defensive back was excited to be with a team expecting to contend for a championship but now has a week to learn on the playbook before the season opener against Dallas.

“I’m just trying to learn the basics,” he said. “I have to get all the terminology down just to make sure when I get into the game plan, that I have those basic fundamentals down.”

 

CALIFORNIA LOVE

All three undrafted rookie free agents to make the Giants’ initial 53-man roster hail from colleges and universities in California: fullback Shane Smith (San Jose State), left tackle Chad Wheeler (USC) and linebacker Calvin Munson (San Diego State). Credit goes to Giants West Coast scouts Jeremy Breit and Michael Murphy, and VP player of evaluation Marc Ross, for identifying so much talent from one area.

INJURY NOTES

CB Eli Apple (ankle), DT Jay Bromley (knee), were limited in practice… CB Michael Hunter Jr. cleared concussion protocol while LB Keenan Robinson remains in protocol but was seen running on the side during practice.

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Latest iteration of Giants-Cowboys rivalry already in midseason form as trash-talk builds leading up to exciting Week 1 matchup

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2017, 1:52 AM
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It's not even Week 1 yet and the Giants-Cowboys rivalry is in midseason form. (Elsa/Getty Images)

 

After just a few years in the Giants locker room, Justin Tuck didn’t even need to be asked his feelings about the Cowboys anymore.

“I hate them,” he said. “It’s just the persona of America’s Team.”

Then he would smile and walk away.

It’s another Cowboys week leading up to what has turned out to be the Giants annual opening game of the season Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. The hatred of the Cowboys has been passed down several Big Blue generations from Phil Simms, Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor to Michael Strahan and Jesse Armstead to Tuck and Antonio Pierce and Amani Toomer now to Landon Collins and JPP.

“It’s a known fact. Once you get here, it’s kind of imbedded in you. They hate us, we hate them,” Collins told the Daily News on Wednesday. “When it’s time to play the game, it’s a big factor. It’s a game you can’t lose, either side.”

Until last season, when the Giants and Cowboys had surprisingly strong years, they had not been Super Bowl contenders at the same time since 2007. So, as a result, the trash talking has been kept at barely a whisper for nearly a decade. Trash talking doesn’t work if one of the teams stinks.

One of the fun things about one game a week is as Sunday approaches, the momentum builds for the really big matchups and lips tend to get looser.

Dallas finished 13-3 last year, but the third loss was meaningless in the final game of the season in Philly. The other two losses came against the Giants. First the Giants beat them 20-19 in Dallas and then after the Cowboys won 11 straight, they beat them 10-7 at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants’ victories were by a total of four points, but the way football works, it gets inside a team’s head and puts doubt in their minds. The Giants have the psychological edge Sunday.

As terrific as Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott were last season, two of the Cowboys three lowest scoring games (not counting the Philly game at the end) came against the Giants. Now with Elliott possibly sitting out the next six games after the opener, it makes this game even more important to the Cowboys.

The trash talking between the Giants and Cowboys started in the offseason and picked up this week. Even Ben McAdoo provided bulletin board material when he was asked about Elliott’s availability prior to the NFL announcing he is eligible this week.

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One thing will never change — the Giants and Cowboys don't like each other. (Elsa/Getty Images)

“All backs are the same when there’s nowhere to run,” McAdoo said.

He was just pumping up his defensive line, which is the strength of the team, but at the same time was taking a shot at Elliott and the Cowboys offensive line, which is the best in the league despite some turnover. McAdoo probably didn’t mean to fire up the Cowboys – he’s one of those coaches who is afraid to confirm what day the game is being played. But if Elliott has a big game – he rushed for 51 yards in the first game against the Giants and 107 in the second – then McAdoo might regret those words.

In July, Prescott said, “We’re the Cowboys. We’re going to win the NFC East.”

A few days later, Collins fired back.

“They do not control the East. It’s over with. We’re going to have a run for it,” he said. “I mean, they’re not going to win. I can tell you that much. We’re definitely going to take over.”

When I saw Prescott in Canton after the Cowboys played the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game last month, I asked him if he was aware of Collins’ firing back.

“What else is he supposed to say? What else am I supposed to say when they ask me that question,” Prescott said. “It’s common sense.”

Does this add some juice to the Cowboys-Giants games?

“Everybody knows what is on the line any time it’s a division game,” Prescott said. “It doesn’t matter to me what someone says. I don’t care if it’s a coach or a player, it’s going to the same intensity. It’s Cowboys vs. New York. That’s enough said.”

It bothers Prescott that in his rookie season the Giants beat him twice. “Being the only team I didn’t beat, it stands out for me personally,” he said. “Giants fans are prideful. Cowboys fans are prideful.”

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Even Ben McAdoo has gotten in on the verbal jabs between the rival teams. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

This was a couple of days after Eli Manning did something that resembled dancing in the Giants locker room. Prescott is a former counselor and camper at the Manning Passing Academy. What did he think of the Eli Shuffle?

“I didn’t see it,” he said. “I don’t pay attention to New York.”

Then there’s the one-on-one matchup between Jackrabbit Jenkins and Dez Bryant. In the first meeting, Bryant had one catch for eight yards. He didn’t do any better in the rematch. He had one catch for 10 yards, but Jenkins forced a fumble on his only reception which Collins recovered with 2:13 remaining in the fourth quarter. Early in the second quarter, Prescott had a pass intended for Bryant intercepted by Jenkins.

“I played better than he played,” Jenkins said after the season.

Jenkins went on to explain how he shut down Bryant. Of course, Bryant couldn’t let Jenkins’ comment just sit there. Bryant tweeted that the Giants played zone against him but if they let Jenkins travel with him on every play, “I will embarrass him.”

Collins said it was “the best feeling” to beat Dallas on the road last year. But the Cowboys still won the division. “We’re going to be the top dog this time,” Collins said.

Tuck has handed down his hatred of the Cowboys by paying it forward to the next generation.

“I do not like the Cowboys and they don’t like me,” he once said. “And that’s how it’s supposed to be. “

Collins has learned quickly: If you’re wearing blue, you hate the team with the star on its helmet.

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Giants’ window of winning another Super Bowl is closing quickly

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1:40 AM
  • 630772842.jpg
  • If not now with these Giants, when? (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

 

Here is a real good question for the Giants, as they prepare to open against the Cowboys on Sunday night:

If they aren’t built to win now, then when, exactly?

The Giants went out and got reinforcements on defense last season, and made it back to the playoffs as a wild card, and then went to Green Bay and got waxed by the Packers. And there was a bit of football karma in that one, you know, none of it good for the Giants. The last time the Giants won a Super Bowl, they went into Green Bay against the 15-1 Packers and there was a Hail Mary, jump-ball touchdown pass right before the half, Eli to Hakeem Nicks, and the game was never the same. This time Aaron Rodgers did it to them, a touchdown pass to Randall Cobb on the last play of the first half of a game that ended 38-13 for the Packers.

Eli’s Giants have won two Super Bowls, you bet. The rest of the time, his whole career, they have either missed the playoffs or lost the first playoff game they played. It is the most remarkable postseason resume any big New York athlete has ever had.

Now the Giants start another season with Odell Beckham, Jr., a force of nature and streak of light. They bring in Brandon Marshall, the kind of big receiver that Eli has always loved — hello, Plax — and thus look as loaded at wide receiver as ever. They have developed a total star, Landon Collins, on defense, a kid who frequently looked like the Defensive Player of the Year last year. They say they are going to show more variety on offense this season, and even talk about actually having fullbacks who will be more than hood ornaments.

So they should absolutely be set up to make a run at the Cowboys in the NFC East, even though that gets harder if Ezekiel Elliott, who found a friendly Texas judge as he continues to fight his six-game suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy, gets to play the whole season.

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The Giants should win the NFC East this season.

But will the Giants, the Giants of Eli and Odell and Collins and Ben McAdoo, the Giants built by general manager Jerry Reese, make a run this season, and not just at the Cowboys?

If not now with these guys, when?

This is Eli’s 14th season. He starts his 200th straight game on Sunday night against the Cowboys. He has been a reliable, classy, accountable, durable star. You know the two Super Bowl runs and the two Super Bowl wins against the Patriots will give him amazing capital with his fans, forever, as tough as Giants fans are on their quarterbacks. When the Giants beat the 18-0 Patriots in Glendale, Ariz. John Mara called it the greatest victory in the history of the franchise. It might have been the greatest victory, considering the opponent, any New York team has ever had. Then four years later the Giants did it again.

They have made the playoffs one time since then. Lost the way they did to the Packers. So it was still Super Bowl-or-bust for them. So if they do finally put some points on the board this January, it will be the first time they have done that in six years.

Of course the team the Giants play on Sunday night, the Cowboys, hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 20 years. They thought they might be on their way back to the big game last year, and then the Packers clipped them after they clipped the Giants. Just in the time that Eli has been quarterback for the Giants, the Cowboys have made the playoffs five times. All they have to show for that are wild card wins against the Lions and Eagles.

There are no better fans here, or anywhere, than Giants fans. They don’t just think of their team as a family business for the Mara family and the Tisch family. They think of it as their own family business. Are remarkably loyal. And getting remarkably impatient waiting for their team to be a contender again, and that means a contender to make it back to the first Sunday in February.

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There has been enough time since the last Super Bowl against the Patriots to build another Super Bowl team.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Guess what? The Giants should win the NFC East this season, whether the Cowboys lose Elliott for six games or not. The Giants are supposed to do something in January, and all the way into February. They went from an old coach to a young coach. The general manager has given his fans Beckham and Collins and been allowed to spend all the money in the world on free agents.

But seriously: If he hasn’t built a team to win this year, with a 36-year-old quarterback, which year is he pointing toward?

There has been enough time since the last Super Bowl against the Patriots to build another Super Bowl team. The Giants still have Eli, they have one of the great playmakers in the sport in Odell. We hear all the time about how many other weapons they have on offense. After all the work done on the defense and all the money spent, Jerry Reese ought to have been able to build another championship defense, too.

Giants fans would never trade away those two victories over the Patriots. Are you kidding? Those two games, one in Glendale and the other in Indianapolis, made the Giants one of the elite teams of the sport again. They will eventually put Tom Coughlin and Eli into the Hall of Fame. But Giants fans stopped celebrating them a long time ago. Eli isn’t getting any younger. Giants fans want another parade. The route is supposed to start on Sunday night in Texas.

In all ways with these Giants, it’s about time.

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Eli Manning isn’t counting on Odell Beckham Jr. being healthy with receiver still questionable for Week 2
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 1:43 AM

Odell Beckham Jr. walked through the locker room with pep in his step on Wednesday, but until the Giants hit the practice field on Thursday there won’t be any sign of whether he’ll play in Monday night’s home opener against the Detroit Lions in Week 2.

Eli Manning said as much when he admitted he hadn’t expected Beckham to play in last Sunday night’s 19-3 loss in Dallas — despite Beckham’s pre-game warm up — because the receiver hadn’t practiced since spraining his left ankle on Aug. 21.

“In my mind, I didn’t think he was playing,” Manning said Wednesday. “When you see him kind of warming up and catching passes, the guy hadn’t practiced in three weeks. I never thought it was a reality of him playing and just if he would have come out there, it might have been limited in certain things … I didn’t think he was going to play in the game.”

Beckham is expected to meet the media on Thursday, when he may have to explain a report that he was allegedly part of a “dance battle” last week at a Meatpacking District spot with NBA star Russell Westbrook. But for now, the Giants just need him healthy.

“We’ll see tomorrow if he’s out there practicing some and just take it day-by-day and see what’s going on,” Manning said. “I’m not sure.”

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With or without Odell Beckham, Giants need to find offense quickly before panic sets in

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, September 18, 2017, 7:30 AM

 

It’s just the second game, and even in New York it’s way too early to panic, but if Ben McAdoo is this tight at 0-1, imagine what he will be like at 0-2.

If the Giants don’t beat the Lions on Monday night in the home opener at MetLife Stadium, and McAdoo’s offense continues to drool all over itself, the heat will officially be on him. McAdoo is the prototypical NFL coach: Secretive and paranoid.

Must-win vs Detroit?

Nah. But it’s pretty close.

The 2007 team, which will be honored at halftime, lost its first two games and gave up 80 points to the Cowboys and Packers, and went on to win Super XLII by defeating the undefeated Patriots. In fact, three of the four Giants teams that won the Super Bowl lost their first game (1986, 2007, 2011), but when you start 0-2, all the stats start coming out about the history of 0-2 teams making the playoffs.

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Ben McAdoo is finding much offense on his Giant playsheet of late and that needs to change in a hurry.

So, is this an it’s-not-a-bad-idea-to-win game? You bet.

The entire mood will change if the Giants beat the Lions because it will bring them even at 1-1 with the Cowboys, Eagles and Washington in the NFC East instead of being all alone in last place.

The Giants go to Philadelphia next week, where they have lost three in a row, and then on to Tampa, which could be a playoff team. Bill Parcells used to say when he lost the season opener that he worried himself sick with sleepless nights wondering if the first victory would ever come.

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish in the NFL, and I think that’s an important lesson,” Eli Manning said. “We can hopefully only get better from that first game. You’re going to analyze and you can’t get too sensitive after the first game.”

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Eli Manning and the Giants offense was held without a touchdown in season-opening loss.

The 19-3 loss to Dallas last week brought back all the offensive woes from last year. It was just the fourth time in 13 career opening day starts that Manning didn’t throw a TD pass. He looked gunshy in the pocket behind a leaky offensive line and didn’t throw his first pass downfield until late in the second quarter. Dumping the ball off has never been his game.

The Lions opened with a comeback victory against the Cardinals. Detroit QB Matthew Stafford recently became the highest-paid player in NFL history with a five-year, $135 million contract, which is a nice payday for a guy who has never, ever, won a playoff game. But he’s a dangerous player, especially late in games: 26 of his 52 victories have come from fourth-quarter comebacks. One QB expert I really trust compares his skills to Aaron Rodgers.

That’s an issue for the Giants defense, which held Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to just one touchdown.

The real problem, of course, continues to be the Giants offense.

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Odell Beckham is expected to be a game-time decision against the Lions on Monday night.

McAdoo needs to look down at his diner-sized laminated menu of plays and order up an appetizer, main course, dessert and beverage that has the Giants offense feeling so bloated that it explodes…and scores 20 points.

Okay, 20 points is nothing, but we’re talking about taking baby steps, especially if Odell Beckham Jr., after he tests his left ankle in a pre-game workout, is unable to play again. The Giants have failed to score 20 points in seven consecutive games, which goes back to the Dec. 4 loss in Pittsburgh last year.

The last time the offense shut down this long was 2003, Jim Fassel’s final season, when the Giants finished 4-12. They lost all seven games in that offensive-less streak. The 2016-17 Giants are 3-4 during this streak of not reaching 20 points.

McAdoo must self-scout to find out what’s changed with the way he’s run the offense as the head coach compared to his two years as offensive coordinator. When he worked for Tom Coughlin in 2014-15, the offense failed to score 20 points in just seven of 32 games. They won only 12 games, but that was on the defense.

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Eli Manning looks to turn around the struggling offense when the Lions come to MetLife.

In his 18 games as head coach, including the playoff loss to the Packers, the Giants have won 11 times but also failed to score 20 points in 11 games. Beckham played in the first 10, so last week’s offensive ineptitude can’t be solely placed on his absence.

Is McAdoo not spending enough time with the offense because he’s now got so many other things on his plate? Has he lost his nerve and is less inclined to take chances because he’s in charge of the entire team? Has he lost faith in Manning? What happened to the creative offensive genius the Giants thought they had groomed for two years to be next in line when Coughlin was fired?

Then there’s GM Jerry Reese, who brought back the same starting five without giving McAdoo any alternatives. The biggest draft day mistake Reese made was in 2016 when he was in prime position, with the 10th overall pick, to move up two spots to Cleveland’s pick to get Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin, a player the Giants coveted. Reese has never moved up or down with his first-round pick in his 11 drafts as GM and this time he got burned. The Titans moved all the way up to the Browns’ spot and grabbed Conklin and he went on to be named first-team All-Pro as a rookie. Reese took cornerback Eli Apple, who continues to struggle.

I don’t blame Reese for passing on Laremy Tunsil after that bong video surfaced less than a half hour before the draft. The Giants already had issues with Tunsil and were not about to invest a fully guaranteed $15 million in Tunsil after seeing him wearing a gas mask in a cloud of smoke. But if Reese took a chance, Tunsil, picked 13th overall by Miami, would be starting at left tackle with Ereck Flowers moved to the right side.

The outlook will be much different by midnight Monday if the Giants win, score 25 points and Beckham takes a slant and runs 70 yards for a touchdown.

If they lose, score 10 points and OBJ doesn’t play, yes, it will be time to panic.

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The Giants’ season is over before it even began after latest devastating loss drops them to 0-3

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 9:10 PM

 

PHILADELPHIA - The Giants were breathless and couldn’t have felt smaller on Sunday after watching their 2017 season sail over Odell Beckham Jr.’s head on rookie Eagles kicker Jake Elliott’s 61-yard field goal as time expired in a 27-24 shocker.

That’s right. The Giants’ season is over. They fell to 0-3, and only five teams since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger have started 0-3 and made the playoffs, per Elias Sports Bureau.

“It’s stunning,” corner Janoris Jenkins said after the last-second kick.

But it’s not just history. It’s that this Giants defense is not as advertised. It won’t be enough to bail out an offense that, while exciting in Sunday’s fourth quarter, still struggles at many basic tasks.

If you want proof, look at All-Pro Damon Harrison’s refusal to talk after his run defense gave up an astounding 193 rushing yards to the Eagles. Or listen to defensive captain Jonathan Casillas.

“Defensively, we didn’t stop them,” the veteran linebacker said. “They were trying to run the ball and that’s exactly what they did. Defensively I think we were poor today, really poor. 0-2 is a little bit of a rough start. 0-3 is not where anybody wants to be. So we’ve got to get back to the drawing board.”

Wendell Smallwood (12 carries, 71 yards) and LeGarrette Blount (12 carries, 67 yards, TD) on many occasions stuffed the ball down the Giants’ throats. It was alarming to watch.

Olivier Vernon’s absence in the late fourth quarter due to a right ankle injury was a factor, especially on Corey Clement’s 15-yard TD scamper with 5:40 to play, directly past the right end position vacated by Vernon.

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Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo stand on the sidelines during the Giants’ 27-24 loss to the Eagles. (Elsa/Getty Images)

But consider: after a late eruption from Eli Manning’s offense, in just over seven minutes the Giants’ defense surrendered two leads (at 21-14 and 24-21) and also gave up the game-winning drive with the game tied.

“All I know is we had a lead, and the game was tied, and we didn’t keep it,” said Jenkins, one of two victims on Alshon Jeffery’s 19-yard catch to set up Elliott’s field goal. “That’s all I know.”

Vernon, who said X-rays were negative on his ankle, insisted the Giants are sticking together despite the 0-3 record and bleak record.

“Nobody’s dividing anything right now or at all, that’s not ever gonna happen,” Vernon said. “Everybody sticks up for everybody in this locker room, on this football team.”

But really they’re just drowning in a mutual — and familiar — misery. In Week 15 of the 2010 season, Matt Dodge punted the ball to DeSean Jackson at MetLife Stadium, only to watch the Eagles speedster stick a dagger in Big Blue’s hearts. And on Sunday, the Birds delivered the same type of killer last-minute defeat. Just like in 2010, too, the Giants helped with plenty mistakes of their own.

Nothing was more costly than punter Brad Wing’s 28-yard shank that gave Carson Wentz and the Eagles the ball at their 38-yard line with 13 seconds left, prior to Jeffery’s catch that set up Elliott’s big boot. There were also late penalties from John Jerry and Ereck Flowers that cost the Giants field position and points.

“It was just a normal punt and I just didn’t do my job,” Wing said. “They called it to the left, so it’s supposed to be around the left numbers and I didn’t get it done. It sucks but on the other side of it we’re a pretty good team if I get my s---- together."

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Jake Elliott is picked up by teammates after his game-winning made field goal. (Elsa/Getty Images)

What made it more crushing was that Manning had directed three consecutive fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including two TD passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and a 77-yarder to Sterling Shepard, to take a 21-14 lead with 7:12 to play.

It was a remarkable offensive turnaround from Manning’s two earlier interceptions and from a scoreless first half that ended with an Eagles goal line stand. Ben McAdoo did not make the drastic offensive changes promised, either. He continued calling plays and simply switched to a no-huddle with quicker drops to compensate for his poor offensive line.

Suddenly in the second half, though, it clicked. Brandon Marshall (eight catches, 66 yards) snapped out of his early-season funk and carried the Giants’ first scoring drive. And while the Giants still couldn’t run the ball (49 net rushing yards), they ended their eight-game streak of scoring fewer than 20 points.

When safety Landon Collins forced a Zach Ertz fumble to set up Beckham’s second TD on a short field, it felt like the game had turned. Jenkins made some key third-down stops, too.

But corner Eli Apple was victimized on two pass interference calls — one of them suspect — that led directly to Eagles scores. He and Jenkins collided on Wentz’s dart to Jeffery to set up the big kick. And there were missed tackles all day, from linebacker Devon Kennard to safety Darian Thompson.

“We’re all right,” Marshall said. “We’re all right.”

But it felt like what Marshall wanted to believe, not what he knew to be true: it’s over.

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It was a remarkable offensive turnaround from Manning’s two earlier interceptions and from a scoreless first half that ended with an Eagles goal line stand. Ben McAdoo did not make the drastic offensive changes promised, either. He continued calling plays and simply switched to a no-huddle with quicker drops to compensate for his poor offensive line.

 

How many times have we said this works great yet we don't do it?

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The Giants’ season is a sinking ship and for some reason Ben McAdoo isn’t surprised

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, October 1, 2017, 10:40 PM

 

TAMPA – Ben McAdoo is not shocked the Giants are 0-4.

No kidding.

He’s not even surprised.

Huh?

I guarantee John Mara is shocked and Steve Tisch is surprised. They own a business recently valued by Forbes at $3.3 billion. These losses ultimately cost a lot of money.

So, McAdoo has a team that won 11 games last year and was considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender this year, but after losing its second straight game on a field goal on the final play to join the lowly Browns, 49ers and Chargers as the only teams to get through the first quarter of the season without a victory, he refused to admit he’s been caught off guard.

“I’m not surprised. I’m not shocked,” McAdoo said after ex-Jet Nick Folk’s 34-yard field goal gave the Bucs a 25-23 victory. “You can’t carry things over from one year to the next. We talked about that in the offseason.”

He talks about putting the fifth Super Bowl trophy in the case, but being far and away the No. 1 flop of the first month of the NFL season only has him “disappointed, irritated.” After raising expectations, he’s quickly trying to rationalize not reaching them.

Shouldn’t he be surprised and shocked at what’s happened? If he’s not, it’s inexcusable. But he would not give in despite two or three opportunities to explain himself.

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Ben McAdoo and Eli Manning look on during the fourth quarter of the Giants’ loss

“I’m irritated that we’re 0-4,” he said. “But we need to get to work. That’s how you fix it.”

It’s too late for that. At 1-3, the Giants could have bounced back. At 0-4, we’re now asking the question: Suck For Sam? Since the 1970 merger, only the 1992 Chargers have opened 0-4 and made it to the postseason.

“I would’ve never thought we would go 0-4, but it is what it is,” Odell Beckham said. “That’s what our record is. We can’t sit here and cry about it. You just have to keep trying to get better each and every day, get the first win and see what happens from there.”

McAdoo didn’t quite go into the classic Jim Mora “playoffs?” speech when he was asked after the game about the Giants’ chances, but he did bark, “We need to win a damn game.”

The lack of discipline, sloppy play and questionable game management decisions — that’s all on McAdoo. That has contributed to the losing as much as the offense that scored only 13 points through the first 165 minutes of the season — three games plus three quarters.

The shutdown defense of 2016 hasn’t shown up this year. It twice failed to hold fourth-quarter leads last week in Philly and then couldn’t come up with a stop before the Eagles rookie kicker hit a miracle 61-yard field goal at the buzzer to avoid overtime and the defense couldn’t hold onto a lead after Eli Manning put the Giants ahead with 3:16 left on Sunday with a 2-yard TD pass to tight end Rhett Ellison to give the Giants a 23-22 lead.

Of course, McAdoo went for two. Manning found Beckham along the back of the end zone for what was originally ruled a completion.

Progress: Beckham did not get down on all fours and lift up his right leg and make believe he was peeing like a dog.

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Odell Beckham Jr. reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter.

Hey, baby steps.

But not only was D.J. Fluker holding on the play, but Beckham went out of the back of the end zone and came back in, making it an illegal touch. Two points off the board that would have protected against a game-winning field goal.

Jameis Winston, on his way to being a superstar, moved the Bucs from their 25 to a third-and-1 at the Giants 39 with 1:30 left. He then found tight end Cameron Brate behind Landon Collins to get the Bucs to the 13. Winston then took two knees to set up Folk’s winner that just snuck inside the left upright.

Even if Folk, who earlier had missed an extra point and two field goals, had missed this one, he would have received a second chance because Collins was offside. Can you imagine the Giants celebrating their first victory if Folk’s kick hit the upright or went just wide left — there was a pretty famous kick against the Giants in a Super Bowl at the old stadium in Tampa a long time ago that went wide right — only to see the yellow flag on the ground? Collins would have had to walk home.

The anatomy of a season gone wrong:

Dallas: No sense of urgency.

Detroit: 88-yard punt return.

Philly: Peeing in the end zone.

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Eli Manning reacts after the Giants’ latest loss.

Tampa: Another loss on the final play.

“You just keep fighting for a win,” Manning said. “That’s all you do every week. The record doesn’t matter. You want that feeling. You want that feeling after the game. We need it. We want it. But nothing is going to be given to us. We got to go out there and get wins. We got to go out there and play good football. It is tough to lose two games in a row on field goals — on walk-off field goals.”

Not even the presence of Lawrence Taylor, the greatest Giant of all time, on the field during pregame warmups could inspire and motivate Big Blue. He gave Beckham a hug and then went upstairs and sat in a box with Warren Sapp.

This truly might be the most disappointing and underachieving Giants team of all time. For some reason, when nothing was expected of them, they won the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011. When there are great expectations, it has led to their greatest failures.

None greater than this year.

“Yeah, I mean it is surprising,” Manning said.

Not according to his coach with the diner menu of plays, who keeps ordering the wrong meal.

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Brandon Marshall hasn’t looked capable, still not in sync with Eli Manning during Giants’ loss

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, October 2, 2017, 5:07 PM
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Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall loses the football after getting hit by Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Justin Evans. (Phelan Ebenhack/AP)

 

Brandon Marshall was at a loss for words after two more dropped passes Sunday in the Giants’ fall to 0-4.

“Just not playing well right now,” Marshall said after the 25-23 defeat in Tampa Bay. “I haven’t played a solid game since I’ve been here.”

Ben McAdoo was restless not just with Marshall but with Odell Beckham’s two drops, too.

“Good question,” the coach said of all the dropped passes. “They catch the ball for a living. We need to do a better job of catching the ball.”

Marshall was hailed as a major acquisition by GM Jerry Reese this spring, but he hasn’t looked confident or capable through four weeks, not to mention he and Eli Manning remain far from in sync.

“He seems to be double-catching a little bit,” McAdoo said in Monday’s conference call. “We just need to get through a clean game with him. He’s been catching it well in practice. We just need to carry it over in the games.”

Marshall dropped passes on third down in the first quarter and on second down in the fourth quarter, killing two drives, and on an early jump ball that Manning threw to Marshall’s front shoulder off-target, Marshall was unable to wrest the ball away as the Bucs’ Vernon Hargreaves knocked it incomplete.

Marshall did make a big 10-yard catch to set up Wayne Gallman’s first career touchdown in the third quarter. But it even looked like his timing was off in the first quarter, when Marshall hopped out of his sprint as he ran a short pattern underneath Odell Beckham on an early 4th down incompletion. Manning was hit and the throw was short, but it was another strange example of Marshall’s forgettable start as a Giant.

“I think it’s a new offense, he’s doing a lot of learning, he’s still doing a lot of learning, playing with a different quarterback,” McAdoo said. “Ya know, he hasn’t caught the ball cleanly in games.”

 

WHERE WAS THE RUSH?

When the Giants’ pass rush didn’t disrupt Jameis Winston enough early, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo began bringing consistent blitzes and the Bucs’ offense had trouble adjusting. The Giants D held them scoreless in the third quarter and also on Tampa’s first fourth quarter drive.

But inexplicably on the Bucs’ game-winning drive, the Giants defense brought no more than a four-man rush on the first three plays — save for a late linebacker coming ineffectively on the third snap — and Winston was able to gain 27 yards through completions to Adam Humphries and Mike Evans and a QB scramble.

“We had some success (blitzing); he made some plays on some other ones,” McAdoo said. “That (those late coverages) is what we felt the situation dictated for us to be successful. Give him credit, he extended a play and made a nice play down on the third-and-short to get it to a chip shot for them.”

 

LOOSE ON TIGHT ENDS

The Giants have surrendered an astounding 27 catches for 302 yards and five touchdowns to opposing tight ends in their four losses, including at least one tight end TD in each defeat. And the Buccaneers’ tight end duo did the worst damage yet.

Cameron Brate and rookie O.J. Howard combined to make three of the biggest Bucs’ plays in the game to down the Giants, combining for six catches for 143 yards and two TDs. Howard was all alone on an early 58-yard TD catch, with middle linebacker B.J. Goodson the closest defender to him until he sprinted to space.

And Brate beat linebacker Jonathan Casillas for a 14-yard TD catch, while also beating strong safety Landon Collins in single coverage for the 26-yard reception that stuck a dagger in the Giants to set up Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal.

A silver lining is that, while the Bucs drafted Howard 19th overall this spring, the Giants’ 23rd overall pick Evan Engram did make a couple difficult catches on Sunday and finished with six catches for 62 yards and a drop, though that did come on 11 targets.

 

CHALLENGE CHALLENGED

Ben McAdoo’s record tossing the red flag took another hit on Sunday. The Giants coach challenged an incomplete pass to Mike Evans in the fourth quarter, claiming that the Bucs receiver caught and fumbled the ball after a Janoris Jenkins hit from behind.

The play was upheld and it cost the Giants a timeout. The defense made a fourth down stop so the Bucs didn’t score on the possession. Still, McAdoo is now just 1-for-4 as a head coach at challenging plays.

“I saw a catch and I saw a football move,” McAdoo said. “Fourth quarter. Big play. Thought it was worth the risk.”

 

THE INJURY REPORT

McAdoo said center Weston Richburg (concussion) is in the protocol, running back Paul Perkins has a rib “contusion,” and Beckham is “sore” and “fighting through a bunch of things.” Olivier Vernon, of course, also has aggravated his Week 3 ankle injury.

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Ben McAdoo and Giants look totally dysfunctional after Odell Beckham says opponents know their plays

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, October 5, 2017, 2:11 AM

 

So last week Odell Beckham Jr. protected the details of his “private discussion” with Giants co-owner John Mara when the topic was Beckham pretending to pee like a dog in public.

But on Wednesday, Beckham decided it was OK to share that after Sunday’s loss in Tampa, Buccaneers DB Vernon Hargreaves told him that “we know a lot of what (the Giants) are doing” on offense.

No surprise it was in answer to a question about Beckham’s five drops in three games. Way to throw Ben McAdoo under the bus.

And yet Beckham isn’t the only story here; such a level of predictability to McAdoo’s offense is alarming, even if it’s not new.

In Week 5 last season Victor Cruz said the Giants couldn’t beat a simple Cover-2 defensive scheme; they almost exclusively ran a three-wide receiver set. In Week 1 this season Sterling Shepard said the Cowboys had played a lot more zone than what the Giants had expected in a 19-3 season-opening loss.

The offense is McAdoo’s baby, in his fourth year at the reins including two years as offensive coordinator, and if opposing players are saying they know what the Giants are doing, that is a terrible indictment of the coach.

It is also a bad reflection on McAdoo’s grasp on the team when Beckham is stepping out on Wednesday relaying a personal conversation he had with McAdoo in which he said opposing defensive backs told him “we know you’re running a certain route.”

Beckham had a lot of excuses for dropping passes, of course. He pointed to the predictability of his routes, which led to Beckham “putting extra onto a route to try and create more space.” He blamed his “soaking wet” gloves for one drop in Tampa, and he even fingered McAdoo’s hurry-up offense for not being able to change out of the gloves for that play.

McAdoo’s hurry-up does lend itself to increased predictability even from the original scheme that defenses appear to have pegged, as evidenced by Eli Manning’s second interception in Philadelphia in Week 3.

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Ben McAdoo and Odell Beckham better figure out how to get on the same page and get offense in gear. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

It was a bad throw that Manning shouldn’t have made, with one Giants receiver to five Eagles defenders in the vicinity. But when Manning is limited to making only quick, short throws — often to receivers running slant routes — the opposing defense catches on. And you could see the Eagles jumping those routes leading up to linebacker Mychal Kendrick’s deflection of a pass intended for Beckham, into the arms of DB Patrick Robinson.

“You know I’m running a slant. Beat me on a slant. Do it. I don’t see you doing it. That’s just what it has to be. That’s the mentality you have to have,” Beckham said.

Beckham isn’t wrong; it’s just a horrible look for him to selectively speak out this way.

Now in McAdoo’s defense, the Giants’ offense has improved to score 47 points in the last five quarters after scoring 13 total in the season’s first 11. There is also a major reason that the coach had to move to a hurry-up offense starting Week 3 in Philly:

GM Jerry Reese left him with an offensive line that still can’t run or pass block effectively. McAdoo can’t let Manning drop back normally all game because his line can’t give him the time to throw consistently.

And that is one of many factors that proves Mara must hold Reese accountable, with the Giants inevitably missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons this winter.

This all seems to be snowballing into a team-wide avalanche of issues for McAdoo, though, and it’s not clear if he’s up to preventing this season from getting out of control (if Beckham’s revelations don’t indicate it already has).

McAdoo’s offense hasn’t scored in a first quarter yet and is averaging 59.3 yards rushing per game. His defense has surrendered four fourth-quarter leads the last two games and on top of that let Philly drive with the game tied for a winning drive.

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Ben McAdoo offense is way too easy for opposing defenses to figure out. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Special teams are killing them, with two costly Brad Wing punts the past two fourth quarters, a huge early coverage gaffe by Roger Lewis and a missed Aldrick Rosas field goal in Tampa.

Not to mention McAdoo has made some questionable calls to go for it on first-half fourth downs instead of kicking field goals and taking the points when the Giants desperately need more points, especially early.

And throw in there Beckham’s Wednesday comment on the state of the team, when he admitted they were pressing in Weeks 3 and 4 in Philly and Tampa, affected by the public panic over their 0-2 start.

“When the story gets written that you’re 0-3 and it’s like, ‘Oh, what are we doing,’ and you hear a lot from the outside world, that’s where a lot of press(ing) comes from,” Beckham said. “And no matter what you want to do, you hear it, you feel it. So I feel like it may have gotten to us the last two games, but it’s got to come to an end.”

McAdoo then made an alarming comment Wednesday when asked how he and his coaching staff must approach re-educating the team on the fundamentals they haven’t mastered.

“You don’t want to go back to a training camp mode, but you want to get pretty close,” he said.

Training camp? Coaches never use those two words in season. But when your season feels like it’s over after four weeks, things change.

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  • 4 weeks later...

CB Janoris Jenkins suspended indefinitely

Posted 14 minutes ago

eisen_70x70.png Michael Eisen Senior Writer/Editor @GiantsEisen Read Eisen's Mailbag

Cornerback Janoris Jenkinsicon-article-link.gif has been suspended indefinitely.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, the Giants announced today. The suspension takes effect immediately, meaning Jenkins will miss Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Rams.

“As a member of this team, there are standards and we have responsibilities and obligations,” said coach Ben McAdoo. “When we don’t fulfill those obligations, there are consequences. As I have said before, we do not like to handle our team discipline publicly. There are times when it is unavoidable, and this is one of those times.”

The Giants returned to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday following their bye week. Jenkins was not in attendance on Monday. At the time, McAdoo said he had been excused for personal reasons.

“At that point, neither myself nor any of the coaches had heard from Jackrabbit,” McAdoo said. “I did not speak with him directly until Tuesday morning.”

Jenkins was informed of the suspension on Tuesday. McAdoo said that he will review the status of the suspension at the beginning of next week.
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John Mara has no choice but to fire Jerry Reese, Ben McAdoo at end of season

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, November 6, 2017, 1:58 AM

 

John Mara’s unobstructed view from his box on the sixth floor of MetLife Stadium of the Giants being humiliated gave him a clear look at exactly what he and Steve Tisch must do at the end of the season.

Fire GM Jerry Reese.

Fire coach Ben McAdoo.

Reese has run out of chances. McAdoo has lost the team and too many games.

It’s time for a reboot and then let the new general manager and coach decide if they want to squeeze one transition year out of Eli Manning, who looked like a washed-up and broken down quarterback in the Giants’ 51-17 loss to the Rams, which unfortunately is how Manning has looked most of this season.

Even with the Giants imploding week-by-week, McAdoo is either delusional or in a state or denial, because when I asked him if he was worried about his job, he said, “Not at all.”

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John Mara saw just how empty Metlife Stadium was on Sunday. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

Mara is very much his father Wellington’s son, although John’s temper is legendary compared to his father’s calm demeanor. During lean years, Wellington used to say he could deal with the fans booing because that showed they still cared, but it’s when they didn’t show up for games that he needed to take action.

Giants Nation sent a clear message to John Mara on Sunday: They are so disgusted they have lost interest.

The Coaches Club seats, on the lower level directly behind the Giants bench, were maybe 30% filled. The mezzanine level from goal line to goal line on the Giants side of the field was virtually empty with fans scattered in small pockets. Those are the two most expensive areas of the stadium with the largest PSLs. Mara’s box is on the visitors’ side of the stadium down the hall from the press box. Of course, he saw the empty seats. They were right across from him.

This season has blindsided the Giants. They are 1-7, their worst start since 1980, when they were a bad team trying to get better in the second year of GM George Young’s regime. This year’s Giants began the season with Super Bowl aspirations but now could finish 1-15. The depressing part is it’s only half over.

Mara was seen departing his box with seven minutes remaining. Even he couldn’t watch. He was asked by nj.com if he had anything to say about the Giants performance. “No,” he said. “I think it speaks for itself, doesn’t it?”

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Ben McAdoo has lost the team and too many games. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

He then went down to the locker room but was gone before the media was allowed to enter. After the Giants finished as an 11-5 wild-card in McAdoo’s first season, the last thing Mara ever thought he was going to have to do was fire Reese and McAdoo. Now he has little choice. Reese spent $200 million in free agency last year to cover up his draft mistakes and fix perhaps the all-time worst Giants defense, but then decided to come back with the same offensive line starters this year that got Manning beat up in 2016. That was a fireable offense right there.

When I saw Reese in the locker room after the game, I attempted to get his impression of the debacle. “You know I don’t talk after games,” he said. “Win, lose or draw.”

Of course he doesn’t talk. Why should he be held accountable for the mess he put together? He has somehow worked his way into talking just once during season. His predecessors, Young and Ernie Accorsi, were available and accountable every day. Reese feels he’s above it all.

In Reese’s first season as GM in 2007, he had a strong draft that supplemented the team Accorsi built and turned it into a surprising Super Bowl champion. The Giants won again under his watch in 2011. Those two Super Bowl trophies have protected Reese better than the offensive line he assembled the last few years has protected Manning. But just as the two titles didn’t prevent Tom Coughlin from getting fired after the 2015 season, the expiration date is up for Reese, too.

I don’t believe Mara and Tisch will fire McAdoo during the season. Are they going to give the job to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, whose unit just gave up 51 points and allowed a 52-yard wide receiver screen TD on a third-and-33? Or to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, who recently took over the play-calling for an offense that has no firepower without Odell Beckham?

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Jerry Reese has run out of chances. (Seth Wenig/AP)

The last time the Giants changed coaches in the middle of the season was 1976, when John McVay took over for Bill Arnsparger. McVay’s grandson, Sean, is now the coach of the Rams.

McAdoo got off to a strong start last year and looked like he could stick around for awhile, but now has been exposed. He is overmatched. The Giants quit on McAdoo on Sunday sometime between the coin toss and the national anthem. The worst indictment of a coach losing the locker room is when a team stops playing. He’s already had to suspend DRC and Jackrabbit Jenkins.

The defense was so bad that the Rams’ first eight scoring drives took just 3:35 or less off the clock. It’s the most points the Giants have given up at home since the Browns scored 52 at Yankee Stadium in the final game of the 1964 season when Big Blue was 2-10-2, the first of 17 straight years out of the playoffs. Although the Rams are one of the best young teams, it’s still a team that was 4-12 last year and hasn’t had a winning season since 2003.

It wasn’t long before the fans starting booing Sunday, which they’ve been doing almost nonstop since the first home game the second week against Detroit. It’s the first time since 1980 the Giants have started 0-4 at home. They finished 4-12, which means to even be that bad the Giants need to be 3-5 in the second half.

The empty seats said Giants Nation doesn’t think that’s possible and doesn’t care. Maybe McAdoo didn’t see all the patches of gray. They were behind him and it was probably better he didn’t turn around and face the fans. One group even started chanting, “We Want Coughlin.”

“I’m focused on the team,” McAdoo said. “Focused on the players. Trying to put them in a position to be successful. I’m not focused on the stands.”

One man in the stadium on the sixth floor surely noticed and his vote counts.

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Giants need to fire Ben McAdoo right now after embarrassing 31-21 loss to 49ers
Pat Leonard
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, November 13, 2017, 1:03 AM


SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ben McAdoo’s job security is fake news.

The Giants leaked last Thursday that they wouldn’t make in-season changes to their coaching or management staffs to quell the chaos created by anonymous players claiming McAdoo had lost the team and players were giving up.

But Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium changes that.

It has to.

The Niners (1-9), behind rookie coach Kyle Shanahan and rookie QB C.J. Beathard, dismantled the dysfunctional Giants (1-8), easily driving the ball down field on Steve Spagnuolo’s sieve-like defense and converting third downs (8-of-12) like they were breathing oxygen.

McAdoo on Friday called the player rips of his leadership “fake news” and, well, he was dead wrong.

“Everybody’s gotta do their jobs better or we’ll be looking for new jobs,” right tackle Justin Pugh said. “I mean, you lose to an 0-9 team. We’re 1-8, so I guess you could say we’re on the same level. But we’re different. They’re rebuilding. We’re a different team. We should have won today. So we need to take a hard look in the mirror and figure it out because in this business, games like this, seasons like this do not help your job security.”


The anonymous players are still talking, too. Hours after the game ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that a Giants source texted her, “Tried to warn you” of Sunday’s listless performance. The Giants flew home immediately after the defeat and were due to land in the early hours of Monday morning.

San Fran hadn’t led any of its previous nine games by more than three points at any time and beat the Giants by 10 (and it was an 18-point win really, at 31-13, until a meaningless late Giant TD). The Giants have lost the last two games, including a 51-17 home loss to the Rams, by a combined score of 82-38.

Compared to the Rams horror show, when MetLife Stadium emptied for a second straight loss, Levi’s Stadium on Sunday actually had some blue jerseys still in their seats in the fourth quarter — but probably only because they had nowhere else to go, across the country from the comfort of their homes.

McAdoo predictably got his back up when asked about his job “situation.”

“What situation,” the coach bristled. “We have to go correct the tape, all right, and get ready for our next ballgame. We have a chance to play probably one of the best teams in football next week (in the Kansas City Chiefs). There’s no situation.”

Giants need to fire Ben McAdoo now, rather than wait until the end of the season. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Wrong. There is a situation. The situation is that there is no hope of the Giants beating the Chiefs or winning any other game after losing to the previously 0-9 Niners. That’s the situation.

GM Jerry Reese then meekly declined comment as he walked out of the locker room. As always, he left it to his players to explain the mess he has assembled. He should be fired and McAdoo should be, too.

“We’re not a good team right now, and hopefully we can go ahead and turn it around to be competitive and compete,” linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. “It’s sad that I’m sitting here talking about us competing in games instead of talking about winning, but that’s the truth. We’ve got to be able to compete, hang around til the end and pull out a victory at the end. It ain’t no domination on the Giants’ side. That ain’t gonna happen.”

Spagnuolo, accused of “panicking” in games by the same players who claimed McAdoo “has lost this team,” could be canned before McAdoo as the in-season fall guy if ownership feels the defensive coordinator’s calls and his defense’s second straight game of insufficient effort warrant nothing less.

Top corner Janoris Jenkins was the picture of quit on the defense. He was as invisible playing on Sunday as he’d been in Week 9 when he was suspended for skipping a practice. Jenkins made several unacceptable non-tackle attempts, including on Niners TE Garrett Celek’s 47-yard TD catch that put the Niners back on top, 17-13, at half.

In fact, of McAdoo isn’t fired, one reason might be because Spagnuolo at this point can’t be considered a suitable replacement after his defense also gave up 83-, 47- and 33-yard touchdowns.

Still, McAdoo’s record in two seasons against rookie head coaches fell to 2-4, including 1-3 this season, beating Denver’s Vance Joseph in Week 6 but losing to the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn, the Rams’ Sean McVay and the Niners’ Shanahan by a combined score of 109-60.

“Tough ballgame for me to take,” McAdoo said. “They outplayed us today, they out-coached me today.”

Why did McAdoo say he was outcoached?

“Look at the scoreboard,” McAdoo said.

No thanks, say Giants fans.

The Daily News ran a 20-minute Twitter poll when the Giants trailed the Niners 31-13 in the fourth quarter to see if Giant fans were still watching the game. Fifty-eight percent of the 605 fans polled said they had turned the game off.

Wonder if John Mara and Steve Tisch voted from ghost Twitter accounts?

Consider this: Niners rookie QB C.J. Beathard entered the game with a 50.9 career completion percentage, two TDs, four INTs and 62.7 career QB rating in four games played. Against the Giants, Beathard completed 19-of-25 passes (76%) for 288 yards, two TDs, an interception on an excellent play by Olivier Vernon and a 123.4 QB rating.

“Yeah. It’s embarrassing,” Vernon said of getting shredded by a rookie QB.

Eli Manning, after listening to McAdoo talk all week about not turning the ball over, promptly shoveled the ball out while falling down on a red zone sack for a fumble. Kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked the opening kickoff out of bounds and kept missing field goals. Jenkins didn’t try and Niners offensive players looked like they were running wind sprints against air.

Safety Landon Collins, who played sick, didn’t appreciate a San Francisco reporter saying Beathard “had his way” with the Giant defense.

“He had his way?! Is that what you’re saying?” Collins said. “He didn’t do nothing spectacular. He played the offense. He played the offense. Nah, he wasn’t a great quarterback.”

But the truth is the Giants are a laughingstock, their defense especially.

“It seemed like two teams went out there with their backs against the wall, one team came out swinging harder than the other,” Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said.

McAdoo continued to refuse to say he was embarrassed.

“I’m not embarrassed by this team,” he said.

That’s OK. Come Monday morning, it might not be his team.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Moving on from Eli: Here are the ramifications of the Giants trading or releasing Eli Manning

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 7:00 AM
X

ELI’S FUTURE

Eli Manning has two years remaining on his current four-year contract extension. He is due to cost the Giants team-high cap hits of $22.2 million in 2018 and $23.2 million in 2019, figures that foreshadowed a likely shift away from Manning, 36, even before Tuesday’s benching.

But now that the end officially feels near, what are the Giants’ and Manning’s options and what would be the financial ramifications? All figures are courtesy of OverTheCap.com.

RELEASING MANNING

The Giants are finished paying Manning the $36 million guaranteed on this contract after this season. Since none of the remaining $22 million in salary is guaranteed, the Giants wouldn’t be on the hook for any more cash if they cut Manning. They would be docked $12.4 million in “dead money” against their 2018 cap and $6.2 million in 2019 for cutting Manning prior to the end of his deal, but those are manageable numbers.

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Eli Manning’s time with the Giants is likely over after this season. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Remember: Manning’s final two years each carry a $5 million roster bonus, and that bonus is due on the fifth day of the 2018 league year in March, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. So the Giants will have to make a decision on Manning’s future no matter what before then.

TRADING MANNING

The market for Manning’s services is tough to gauge at the moment. NFL teams can see the Giants are moving on and will anticipate that a scorned Manning will want to play elsewhere, too, so that would take a lot of leverage out of the Giants’ hands. Then again, if the Jaguars, Broncos and Cardinals are among several suitors banging down Manning’s door, then aggressively approaching the Giants with a trade would be a GM’s way of preempting Manning’s release and courting clubs on his terms alone.

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Will Eli Manning follow in his brother Peyton’s footsteps and head to Denver? (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Manning hasn’t played well this season but several teams feel they are a quarterback away, and Manning won’t want to end his career this way. So a trade isn’t impossible, even if Manning’s contract no doubt would be restructured in some way to soften the blow on his new team’s cap.

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Eli Manning benching angers former Giants teammates

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 4:59 PM

 

The Giants' decision had Eli Manning near tears.

The decision left his former teammates in shock.

The stunning call to end Manning's consecutive start streak at 210 games and start Geno Smith on Sunday vs. the Raiders in Oakland was met with disbelief by several of Eli's former teammates.

"I'm absolutely speechless," David Diehl, who won two Super Bowls alongside Manning, wrote on Twitter. "I've watched every game & have sat through this rough @Giants season & this what you do to a man who has lead this team for 210 straight games."

Manning's streak to end, Geno Smith to start Sunday for Giants

Manning's longtime center Shaun O'Hara (2004-2010) was also fired up by the news.

"The ambrosia of emotions right now!! Didn't think the @Giants season could get any worse now THIS!!" He added three angry face emojis plus three fire emojis.

"Eli deserves much better than that," Osi Umenyiora added of the two-time Super Bowl MVP. "Much better. Class person, class player. That’s absurd."

Plenty of Big Blue alumni are questioning the way the Giants decided to bench Eli Manning. (Jared Wickerham/AP)

Plaxico Burress, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Manning in Super Bowl XLII, also took to Twitter after the news broke."Damn! Bench Eli? Man showed up every week for 14 years."

Big Blue legend Carl Banks was emotional about the news.

"I am very emotional about this Eli S--T," Banks wrote. "The guy who gave you EVERYTHING for better or worse NEVER missing a game and THIS how it ends?? Not #10! He deserves better, He gave is all when BETTER wasn't there for him.. and this is how it ends?? I hurt for him ...

"I will say it again... He deserves better, and yet he gave his all when Better wasn't available..REMEMBER THIS.. He Didn't QUIT on his TEAM a single damn Play!! let that sink in.. HE NEVER QUIT A SINGLE PLAY!!!"

Phil Simms, who led the Giants to their first Super Bowl win following the 1986 season, made it sound like he thought Manning's career in New York might be over.

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Plaxico Burress, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Manning in Super Bowl XLII, also took to Twitter after the news broke. (Rob Kim/Getty Images)

"Eli Manning can stand tall and proud and will for the rest of his life for all he has been to @Giants," Simms wrote. "Fans will never forget him #GiantsPride."

David Carr, who spent two seasons as Manning's backup in 2008 and 2009, was not kind to the Giants brass in his tweet.

"They've lost their collective minds," David Carr wrote as he re-tweeted the Giants' Tuesday afternoon announcement. It will be Carr's younger brother Derek who will be the opposing quarterback when the Giants line up Sunday without Eli Manning as their starter for the first time since 2004.

Justin Tuck, who won two Super Bowls with Manning, called the move one of the "stupidest" he has ever seen.

"I’m honestly at a lost for words. As a person that has seen Eli the QB but also Eli the Man, I’m truly pissed about what has taking place today. This decision is one of the STUPIDEST I’ve seen in my time being asap with pro sports #noloyalty #14years #bulls---," Tuck wrote.

Brandon Jacobs, who was Manning's bruising running back, defended his former quarterback in a string of tweets.

"Eli Manning you’re always gonna be my QB. 2X Super Bowl MVP you can’t make that s--- up bro," Jacobs wrote, before following up a few hours later. "Are you f---ing kidding me? Show me a guy with more heart and guts than Eli and I’ll call you a long tongue liar."

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John Mara opens door to firing Ben McAdoo before season ends

Co-owner says “no guarantees in life”

by Ed Valentine@bigblueview Nov 30, 2017, 7:59am ES

usa_today_10425242.0.jpg Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

 

Slightly more than two weeks ago, New York Giants’ owners John Mara and Steve Tisch issued a statement saying Ben McAdoo would remain head coach for the rest of the season. Wednesday, Mara walked that back a bit.

“There’s no guarantees in life,” Mara said when asked if McAdoo’s job was guaranteed for the final five games. “(We) made (our) statement on that a couple of weeks ago, but there’s no guarantees in life.”

 

Mara said the benching of Eli Manning did not mean McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese are coming back next season.

“We obviously have some decisions to make in the offseason,” he said. “You always have decisions to make, yeah. I just saw three baseball managers get fired after making the playoffs. So, you always have those decisions to make.”

Asked to assess the coach’s performance this season, Mara said:

“We’re 2-9. We’re 2-9, okay? I’m embarrassed about that. Nobody’s doing a good job.”

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Giants fire Ben McAdoo, GM Jerry Reese during tumultuous Big Blue season

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, December 4, 2017, 11:57 AM

 

A fog hung over East Rutherford on Monday morning. Around 10:30 a.m., Giants co-owner John Mara fired GM Jerry Reese. Then he fired head coach Ben McAdoo. And then the day ended with Reese packing his car in the dark at 5 p.m. under the floodlights, while McAdoo left unseen.

Dec. 4, 2017, forever will be remembered as Blue Monday — a total house-cleaning of a franchise gone wrong.

Assistant GM Kevin Abrams will take over as interim GM, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will take over as interim head coach.

“I met this morning with Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo and relieved both of them of their responsibilities,” a solemn Mara said to open a 2 p.m. press conference in the Giants’ auditorium. “(Co-owner) Steve Tisch and I met after the game (in Oakland Sunday) and agreed to talk this morning, which we did. And we agreed that wholesale changes needed to be made to this organization to get us back to the team that we expect to be. And we also agreed that it was pointless to wait any longer to make these changes.”

 

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Both Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese are canned as the Giants continue to spiral and now sit at 2-10. (Getty Images; AP)

Mara said the general manager search “starts right away,” with ex-Giants GM Ernie Accorsi serving as a consultant to the process. And he hopes to have his GM in place before the head coach in an “ideal scenario.” He admitted firing Reese and McAdoo now “is somewhat of a tactical advantage” to start looking at candidates immediately with a franchise-defining draft and likely top-three pick awaiting in April.

Reese, 54, departs with two Super Bowl wins, in 2007 and 2011, but was on his way to missing the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six years primarily due to mismanagement of the roster and draft.

Reese’s first draft in 2007 contributed meaningful players to that year’s Super Bowl run with a roster mostly assembled by Accorsi, who now will direct the Giants’ search for a new GM. Reese also hit big in the 2014 first-round on Odell Beckham Jr. and in the 2015 second-round on Landon Collins.

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Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo (right) takes over as head coach. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

But only 10 of Reese’s 43 draft picks from 2010-15 remain on the team. And his refusal this offseason going into Year 11 to upgrade the offensive line was nothing short of malpractice, while the signing of Brandon Marshall was a dud. He was spared two years ago when Tom Coughlin was shown the door but couldn’t survive a second historically bad season in three years.

 

“I don’t think there was any one final straw,” Mara said of the tipping point for Reese. “I just think that where we are as a franchise right now, you know, we’re 2-10. We’ve kind of been spiraling out of control. I just felt like we needed a complete overhaul. I don’t think there was any one event or one final act to precipitate that.”

McAdoo, 40, meanwhile, completed a dramatic fall from grace following a promising rookie season in which the Giants went 11-5 and snapped a four-year playoff drought. He was fired with two years remaining on a four-year contract.

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Giants co-owner John Mara is tasked with finding a new coach who will begin to bring respectability back to the franchise. (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

“I’ve been around long enough not to get shocked by many things, but I certainly did not see this coming,” Mara said of the startling turnaround.

McAdoo lost 11 of his last 13 games beginning with last January’s 38-13 blowout Wild Card playoff loss in Green Bay and finished with a 13-16 (.448) record as head coach, a position he took over after two seasons as Coughlin’s offensive coordinator coming from Mike McCarthy’s staff in Green Bay.

 

The deciding factor, even though Mara tried to deny it Monday, was McAdoo’s benching of Eli Manning that — while directed by Mara — sent the fan base over the edge, watching a coach with no credentials make their quarterback’s eyes well up with tears and end his consecutive start streak at 210 (second all-time to Brett Favre’s 297).

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Jerry Reese had served as the Giants GM since the 2007 season. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

McAdoo’s Manning fiasco was only the latest embarrassment in a season rife with player suspensions, effort problems on defense, injuries, poor game plans, and anonymous player quotes ripping the coach and Spagnuolo.

All of that is why the Giants fired a coach midseason for the first time since 1976, when Bill Arnsparger was let go seven games into his third season at 7-28 (.200). LeRoy Andrews in 1930 was the only other Giants coach released in season. Jim Fassel announced his own firing with two games left in 2003 but coached the last two games.

The beginning of the end for McAdoo was that wild week in January before the 25-point loss in Green Bay: Odell Beckham Jr. and the receivers took a boat trip in Miami six days before the game, and then Beckham punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau Field after the loss. McAdoo did nothing to discipline Beckham, as he also did nothing when left tackle Ereck Flowers had shoved a reporter in Green Bay earlier that season.

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The Giants' decision to bench Eli Manning in Sunday's game ignited a backlash against McAdoo and Mara. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Then this season, when Beckham lifted his leg and pretended to pee like a dog in the end zone in Philadelphia, McAdoo did nothing. Mara called Beckham’s actions unacceptable.

Mara said he spoke to several players concerned by blowout losses and poor efforts but said he did not get feedback that guys were quitting on the coach, and yet Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Raiders at the Black Hole in Oakland was the Giants’ fifth loss in their last six games.

And three of their final four games will be home against NFC East rivals in the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles the following week and Washington on New Year’s Eve, and the threat of empty seats and more over-the-top outrage was a factor, too.

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McAdoo went 2-10 with the Giants this season after helming Big Blue to an 11-5 record last year that resulted in a wild-card loss to the Packers. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

“I was certainly cognizant of what the fan reaction was likely to be over the last four weeks, but that wasn’t the final determining factor,” Mara said.

The Giants co-owner accurately did not blame injuries for the team’s horrible record and laid some of the responsibility at the feet of underperforming players.

“We still started out 0-5 with a relatively healthy roster up until that fifth game when all of our wide receivers got hurt,” Mara said.

The time for moving players out will come in the offseason. Monday, it was time for the GM and coach to go.

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Eli Apple, inactive, celebrates Cowboys RB Rod Smith’s TD run against Giants on Twitter

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, December 10, 2017, 7:22 PM

 

Eli Apple has more explaining to do.

Apple, the Giants’ corner in the doghouse who was scratched for a fourth straight game on Sunday, retweeted a Twitter account hailing Cowboys running back Rod Smith’s 81-yard touchdown against his own Giants teammates.

Apple and Smith were Ohio State teammates in 2014, but … still.

Apple, 22, approached outside the Giants’ locker room after a 30-10 loss to Dallas, said he couldn’t talk but would be available to speak today at the team’s next open locker room.

Apple, listed out with ankle and back injuries, also tweeted a cryptic “gotta smile in times adversity” message with an upside-down smiling face as his team fell to 2-11.

Apple has been disciplined throughout the season. Ex-coach Ben McAdoo benched him for three series against the Chargers in Week 5 for reportedly yelling at an assistant coach in practice. Apple said after that game that the “culture” needed to change, implying he was a scapegoat.

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Rod Smith celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Giants. (Adam Hunger/AP)

Apple then reportedly was criticized in a team meeting for a lack of effort after the San Francisco loss and reportedly threatened to leave the team.

The Giants suffered yet another injury to a crucial player — this time strong safety Landon Collins. Collins left the game in the middle of the fourth quarter with a left ankle sprain after chasing down Cole Beasley on a 50-yard catch and run.

Collins walked off the field and did not return, but said it is only a mild sprain and is not expecting it to end his season.

“I guess I turned a different way and as my body went over my foot, something tweaked I guess,” he said.

Wide receiver Darius Powe, however, had his season end when he broke his right foot on his first career catch in the first half of his NFL debut. Powe said he knew his foot was broken when the play happened but kept playing through the pain.“Until I couldn’t run no more,” Powe said.

giantsinsider11s-2-web.jpg

Eli Apple has been disciplined throughout the season.

(Seth Wenig/AP)

 

 

 

ODELL SIGHTING

Odell Beckham Jr. was back on the sidelines on Sunday, watching the Giants play while sitting on the bench.

After the Daily News criticized him for being mum on all the drama surrounding the team while consistently talking about himself, Beckham said earlier this week via Twitter that he would attend the game .

“I CANNNNT waitt to be back in Met Life Sunday. It’s time to get this train back on the right track. 10....lead the way brotha. We all support you,” he tweeted.

 

INACTIVE LIST

 

Right tackle Justin Pugh (back) remained inactive for the fourth straight game and fifth time in the last six, with a season shutdown now possible. Linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle) also was inactive for the fifth time in six games after re-injuring his last week in Oakland. Joining them on the inactive list were Apple, WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring) and healthy scratches WR Tavarres King and DT Khyri Thornton.

O-lineman Chad Wheeler dressed despite a concussion last Sunday in Oakland but Bobby Hart started at right tackle. Others who were banged up during the week but still played Sunday included RB Orleans Darkwa (illness), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger).“Until I couldn’t run no more,” Powe said.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Report: Eli Apple’s career with Giants is ‘done’


The New York Giants may still need to hire a new general manager, a new head coach and a new coaching staff, but those remaining with the team feel one thing is certain: cornerback Eli Apple will not return in 2018.

The Giants suspended Apple on Wednesday for repeated outbursts and conduct detrimental to the team, this time stemming from an altercation with cornerbacks coach Tim Walton and a crude comment made to the New York media.

"We have suspended Eli for a pattern of behavior that is conduct detrimental to the team," interim general manager Kevin Abrams said in a press release.

Because Apple was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, it opens the door for the Giants to void his guaranteed money and cut his dead cap hit in half.

And it now appears that's exactly the route the Giants intend to take.

Although he apologized for his comments after a mandatory meeting with interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo and Apple on Wednesday morning, Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins stated bluntly earlier this week that the sophomore cornerback was a locker-room "cancer."

Collins may have flown solo with his comments, but the decision to suspend Apple and prevailing theory that his career with the Giants is over lends some credence to Collins' "cancer" comments, however distasteful they may have been.

Where Apple ends up in 2018 remains to be seen, but there's no denying he's done irreparable harm to his reputation and cost himself millions upon millions of dollars.

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Everything to know about Pat Shurmur, who is expected to be next Giants head coach

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, January 15, 2018, 4:15 PM

 

The expectation is for the Giants to hire current Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur once his season comes to an end, which could be next Monday or after the Super Bowl.

Shurmur will be just the fourth Giants head coach since 1997 (excluding interim coach Steve Spagnuolo) and will be joining a team coming off a 3-13 season and holding the No. 2 pick in the draft.

So, who exactly is this guy? Here is a little bit on what you need to know about Shurmur:

vikings-bye-football.jpg
Pat Shurmur (left) is expected to be the next Giants head coach. (ANDY CLAYTON-KING/AP)

Age: 52

Birthplace: Dearborn, Michigan

College: Michigan State, was starting center for three seasons and co-captain during 1987 Rose Bowl victory over USC.

Experience: 18 years as coach in NFL, nine years as college assistant. Vikings offensive coordinator (2016-17), Eagles offensive coordinator (2013-15), Browns head coach (2011-12), Rams offensive coordinator (2009-10), Eagles quarterbacks coach (2002-08), Eagles tight ends/offensive line coach (1999-01), Stanford o-line coach (1999), Michigan State tight ends coach (1990-97).

shurmurinfo16s-ngq-web.jpg
Pat Shurmur spent a lot of time with the Eagles before landing with the Vikings in 2016. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Quarterbacks coached: Case Keenum (2017), Sam Bradford (2010, 2015-17), Mark Sanchez (2014-15), Nick Foles (2013-14), Brandon Weeden (2012), Colt McCoy (2011), Marc Bulger (2009), Jeff Garcia (2006), Donovan McNabb (2002-08)

Coaching tree: Andy Reid (1999-08), Chip Kelly (2013-15), Steve Spagnuolo (2009-10), Mike Zimmer (2016-17)

Notable offensive coaches he's worked with: Brad Childress (OC in Cleveland), Marty Mornhinweg (OC in Philadelphia), Bill Lazor (QB coach Philadelphia), Bill Musgrave (QB coach Philadelphia), Tony Sparano (O-line coach in Minnesota)

Notable defensive coaches he's worked with: Dick Jauron (DC in Cleveland), Bill Davis (DC in Philadelphia, linebackers coach Cleveland), Ken Flajole (DC in St. Louis)

Fun fact: Shurmur is the nephew of Fritz Shurmur — former defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers from 1994-98 and defensive coach in the NFL from 1975-98. His son, Kyle, is the starting quarterback at Vanderbilt.

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