Who knows when that first win of the season will come? Jason Garrett’s offense isn’t just struggling, it’s bordering on incompetence. At least the Giants play Garrett’s former team, the Dallas Cowboys, next Sunday. Nobody is playing worse defense than the Cowboys; just like nobody is playing worse offense than the Giants.
New York remained stuck at three touchdowns this season by settling for three field goals in three red zone trips on Sunday. In four games they’ve reached the end zone the same number of times that Odell Beckham Jr. did on Sunday alone for the Cleveland Browns.
It’s not as if they’re getting a ton of chances. The Giants produced just 67 yards of total offense in the first half Sunday, when the teams combined to produce 183 yards — the lowest total in any game through two quarters this season entering Sunday night.
So much for Garrett padding his résumé for a shot at becoming a head coach again. The former Cowboys coach can’t get his unit on track and can’t produce any explosive plays in a league that is scoring points at a record pace.
The Giants (0-4) came into Sunday averaging 12.7 points per game, second worst behind the New York Jets. That now dips to 11.75 points per game, worst in the NFL through four weeks. Their last touchdown came almost nine quarters ago.
The problems are many. There are no big plays. The Giants didn’t complete a pass of 20 or more yards until Darius Slayton made a big play late in the four quarter. They have just nine pass plays of more than 20 yards this season, among the worst in the league.
They also remain a mess in the red zone, in part because of their league-worst running game. The Giants went 0-for-3 in the red zone against the Rams. They entered Sunday with the second-worst red zone efficiency at 33%, trailing only the Jets.
Garrett’s playcalling has been unimaginative. Even after a week of practicing some trick plays, they were left in the bag on Sunday.
Quarterback Daniel Jones remains stuck on his first read, missing open receivers when there actually are open receivers. It’s exactly what the Saquon Barkley-less Giants don’t want to see, because they’re struggling badly to score points.
QB Breakdown: It was mostly a struggle for Jones in Sunday’s loss. He was hit and sacked early. He couldn’t make enough plays late, including missing a wide-open Evan Engram on a much-needed third down in the third quarter and a key miss on a fourth-down pass to Golden Tate late in the fourth quarter. Then, just when you thought he’d at least get through a game for only the second time in his career without a turnover, his last pass was a costly interception near the goal line.
Jones finished 23-of-36 for 190 yards. He’s on pace for eight touchdown passes for the season. His sophomore season is not going as planned.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: Nine pressures on 17 dropbacks in the first half.
The Rams had four sacks on the Giants’ first four possessions of Sunday’s game. That was just the start. They pressured Jones on more than half of his dropbacks in the first half. It continued a troubling trend for the Giants’ offensive line.
He had been pressured on 58 dropbacks the first three weeks of the season, the most of any quarterback in the NFL. While the Giants did a better job in the second half on Sunday — and did a commendable job limiting Aaron Donald throughout — it’s a tough way for Jones to live.
Silver lining: The defense continues to be surprisingly competent. The unit kept the Giants in the game in the first half, even producing a turnover that accounted for three of the team’s six points.
The Giants came into this week a respectable 12th in total defense — after finishing 25th last season.
The Rams scored on their opening drive of the contest and didn’t find the end zone again until midway through the fourth quarter. They managed just 58 yards rushing in the contest.
The Giants might have even found a solution at their No. 2 cornerback spot. Ryan Lewis stepped in and had a strong second half, when Los Angeles completed only one of three passes in his direction.