COMMENTARY | Perhaps we've been wrong this whole time about the 2013 New York Giants.
Each week we've been waiting to see the old Giants, the team we think they should be. After all, they are just 20 months removed from winning the Super Bowl. There are plenty of players from that championship team on this year's roster.
But maybe it's time to come to grips with the fact that the new Giants are who they are -- a flawed team that has a lot of work to do to make this season relevant; a team at 0-4 that sits in the cellar of a mediocre NFL East.
Any hope you may have had that the Giants could turn this season around after losing their first three games was dealt a serious blow after the team turned in its second straight lackluster performance Sunday in Kansas City. Though they played better against the Chiefs than they did a week ago at Carolina, it was far from enough as the Giants fell 31-7 to the 4-0 Chiefs.
Right now, there's nothing special about this group. Quarterback Eli Manning has nine interceptions in four games (he was 18-of-37 for 217 yards on Sunday) and he hasn't been in sync with his top targets who haven't done much to help him out, either. The offensive line is as bad as it's been in a long time due to injuries, inexperience, and ineffective play. And the defense has been exposed, though yesterday's performance was an improvement from the previous week.
What was most alarming yesterday was the poor play on special teams. Here's what we got out of that unit:
In the second quarter, seconds before halftime, Josh Brown, who missed a big field goal in Carolina, missed from 44 yards out. The kick, which sailed wide left, would have tied the game at 10-10 heading into halftime.
With under two minutes to go in the third quarter, Steve Weatherford punted to the Chiefs' Dexter McCluster at the 11-yard line. McCluster ran it back 89 yards, the first score of the second half. Head coach Tom Coughlin was noticeably upset with his punter for giving the Chiefs' return man an opportunity to run back a punt.
On the Chiefs' first drive of the fourth quarter, Ryan Succop connected on a 53-yard field goal that was nullified by an illegal formation penalty on the Giants. Kansas City accepted the penalty, took the three points off the board, and later on that same drive scored a touchdown to make it a 24-7 game.
Meanwhile, on offense, the Giants had another rough day, going 1-for-14 on third down and turning the ball over three times.
Forget about your father's Giants. This isn't even last year's team, the one that lost three times in December and missed the playoffs.
Charles Costello has followed the Giants for 30 years. He was a beat reporter assigned to cover the team during the 1997 season.
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