Giants might have made a mistake hiring Ben McAdoo as head coach

Shutdown Corner

When the New York Giants hired Ben McAdoo to replace Tom Coughlin as head coach, it was strange. The Giants wanted a change, but they hired one of Coughlin’s coaches.

However, it made sense on another level because McAdoo had done a fine job as New York’s offensive coordinator. The Giants wanted continuity for quarterback Eli Manning and the offense. He got the job.

So here we are, 18 regular-season games into McAdoo’s career as Giants head coach, his offense is one of the worst in football and the Giants are off to an 0-2 start this season. The offense was bad last season too, but the Giants had a great defense and won a ton of close games to make the playoffs. McAdoo officially gets credit for an 11-5 record last season, but the Giants won in spite of his poor offense.

There’s no hiding this season. The Giants are bad and it’s almost entirely because the offense is terrible. McAdoo might be in some trouble if that doesn’t turn around.

Ben McAdoo’s Giants are off to an 0-2 start this season and the offense has been mostly ineffective. (AP)
Ben McAdoo’s Giants are off to an 0-2 start this season and the offense has been mostly ineffective. (AP)

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The Giants’ offense is bland, predictable and ineffective. It has been on prime time twice in two weeks and was unwatchable both times, the latest being a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday night. Fans were booing from the first drive, when the Giants called a give-up run on third-and-13. It never got much better. The Giants have scored 13 points with just one touchdown in two games.

There are personnel issues on offense, but it shouldn’t be this bad. The offensive line is not good, mostly because Ereck Flowers is overmatched as a left tackle. But after Lions end Ezekiel Ansah had two sacks, Flowers was left on him with no help and Ansah got sack No. 3. That’s on the guy calling the plays, who happens to be McAdoo.

The coach deserved some blame too when the Giants decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal at the 2-yard line, the play came in slow and they took a delay of game. McAdoo isn’t hearing any of it, blaming the penalty on “sloppy quarterback play. Quarterback and center need to be on the same page there.”

Ouch. There’s more below:

If you think about hiring practices in the NFL, it doesn’t always make sense. The most common hire in the NFL is to go get the hottest offensive or defensive coordinator. Those men get a head coaching job and usually have to give up play-calling because it’s too much to do both jobs. So they have to give up the very thing that got them to their dream job and made them attractive in the first place.

Or new coaches try to do both. That’s not easy and it’s understandable why anyone would struggle to juggle it all. McAdoo doesn’t seem adept at handling both jobs. He’s not doing well at either this season.

McAdoo was a tremendous offensive coordinator when he came over to the Giants. Manning had two of his best seasons with McAdoo calling plays in 2014-15. Then McAdoo got promoted and the offense fell apart. Maybe that’s coincidental, and McAdoo was elevated to head coach right as the personnel eroded. But probably not.

The Giants are 0-2 and have done practically nothing on offense in two games. They are spending a ton of money on the defense, and that unit is good. The Giants probably figured that if they added to the defense, McAdoo could coach the offense to big things. That’s not happening, and you have to wonder if McAdoo’s seat will start to get hot as a result.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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