The New York Giants have been blown out in two of their three regular-season games and are off to a difficult start.
SportsGrid looks at the Giants after three games.
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1. Giants’ Offense Can’t Fool Anyone Without Barkely
When it was announced that Giants running back Saquon Barkley would miss time with a high ankle sprain, there were definite question marks about how this group would adjust their offense. Barkley is the key cog to this offense, and without him out there, the Giants run game was non-existent. You can’t expect teams to take your run game seriously when you have Matt Breida lining up in the backfield, and that’s not even a slight to Breida. The injuries on the Giants’ offensive line made it hard to run the football and protect Daniel Jones. Much of the credit deserves to go toward the 49ers for their defensive performance on Thursday night, but let’s reiterate that that doesn’t change the notion this Giants offense doesn’t scare anyone without Barkley. Even with him on the field, this Giants offense isn’t putting fear in the eyes of opposing defensive coordinators.
2. Defense Remains a Major Issue
It’s no secret that the Giants had some injuries leading up to their Week 3 matchup on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. Still, that doesn’t excuse players on their squad from messing up the basics, and that’s precisely what they did against the 49ers. The 49ers have a ton of skill on offense and can’t break tackles with that skill, but the amount of missed tackles the Giants had on Thursday night was astonishing. When you can’t match up with the opposition on talent alone, you at least have to be competent at doing the fundamentals. The Giants have lacked that against each of their first three opponents, which doesn’t inspire confidence in where they will end up with their record at the end of 2023. Some young pieces on defense need to be better. Kayvon Thibodeaux comes to mind. The talent is there for him to be an explosive presence on defense, but the inconsistencies have overshadowed that potential early on.
3. Will Any Pass Catcher Step Up?
Many people thought the Giants’ offense would be able to take another step in 2023 after they acquired Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders. Waller has explosive tendencies, but injuries have hampered him from breaking out. In the preseason, the talk of the town revolved around how good Waller looked, but he hasn’t lived up to that hype through three games. We’re not solely laying all the offensive concerns with the Giants on Waller. However, we might be having a different conversation if he demonstrated an ability to separate and routinely make contested catches. It’s not too late for him to turn things around, but we’re worried about lingering injuries and his ability to be what they need in this offense. Nobody jumps off the page if you look at the rest of their receiver’s core. There’s talent, but we haven’t seen anyone emerge as a top-receiving threat. We’re bullish on Wan’Dale Robinson and willing to be patient with him as he slowly gets more snaps after returning from a severe injury.