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The New York Giants lost to the Detroit Lions at home on Monday night, leaving them with an 0-2 record to start the season and a rough road ahead if they hope to make the playoffs.
After the game, head coach Ben McAdoo had harsh words for two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning for mishandling a crucial play in the third quarter.
Down ten and driving, the Giants faced fourth-and-goal from the two yard line, and initially opted to go for it rather than take the field goal.
At the line, Manning apparently saw something in the defense and tried to change the play, but failed to get the snap off in time, leading to a delay of game and a field goal from Aldrick Rosas. The Giants would not score again in the game, and would lose by a final score of 24-10.
Asked about the sequence after the game, McAdoo placed the blame squarely on Manning. “Sloppy quarterback play,” McAdoo said. “Quarterback and center need to be on the same page there. We need to get the ball snapped.”
For his part, Manning didn’t try to pass the buck, acknowledging that it was his job to get the play off. “I’ve got to call a timeout or get it snapped,” Manning said. “Any time there’s a delay of game, it’s on the quarterback and can’t afford to not get it right there.”
While the drive was by no means the end of the game – the Giants left with three points and within a touchdown of the Lions – it was a deflating moment for the New York offense that they would not recover from.
At 0-2, the Giants path forward looks pretty bleak. Since 2007 there have been 83 teams to start their season 0-2, and just nine of them have turned their season around to make the postseason. The Giants next few games offer no easy wins, with two games on the road against the Eagles and Buccaneers the next two weeks, followed by games against the Chargers, Broncos, and Seahawks. New York will likely be underdogs in at least four, if not all five of those games.
But there is a bit of potential silver lining in the Giants rough start to the season. Of those nine teams that started 0-2 and went on to make the playoffs over the past decade, just one has continued their run all the way to a Super Bowl win – the 2007 New York Giants.