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Giants' offense must find rhythm to right the ship


Coach Ben McAdoo breaks down the play of the offense after viewing the game tape:

The Giants have endured their share of failures in a disappointing 0-2 start to the season. They aren't fatal to their goals for the year, but if the team doesn't learn from them, they will be.

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"We've got to learn to get out of our own way," coach Ben McAdoo said Tuesday afternoon after the Giants' Monday night loss to the Lions. "That's the biggest thing that came to mind after watching the game. It's my responsibility."

Learning from them is one thing. Fixing them is another. That's why there will be changes coming, some of which could be considered "drastic."

After losses to Dallas and Detroit, the team is winless after two weeks for the fourth time in five years.

"We are not going to panic," McAdoo said. "We are not the first good team to start 0-2. When we first got together in April and talked about how we weren't going to sneak up on anybody this year. We were going to get everybody's best shot. This is New York. We had two primetime football games versus two pretty good opponents and it's no excuses, but we've got to find a way to get better and we are not going to throw the baby out with the bath water."

Part of the reason is the offense, which has scored less than 20 points in eight consecutive games, including last year's postseason loss in Green Bay.

Following an offseason that included the arrivals of six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall and tight end Evan Engram, their first-round draft pick, the Giants had high hopes for the offense to complement an elite defense. So far, it accounts for just one touchdown.

"We can't keep doing the same thing over and over again. That's insanity," McAdoo said. "It's not working. So we are going to look to make some changes this week, like we did last week. Maybe it will be a little more drastic this week … if that means me giving up play calling duties, that's something we will look at, that we'll talk about. For personnel, jobs are won in this league; they are not given away. So, somebody's got to win a job or take a job to get a job."

In the meantime, no one is going to feel sorry for them, especially fans of their upcoming opponent. The Giants look to break into the win column this Sunday in Philadelphia, where they have not won since 2013.

The improving health of Odell Beckham Jr. provides a light on the horizon. The wide receiver, who had not suited up since injuring his ankle in the second preseason game, returned to the field on Monday night against the Lions. He did not start, however, and the Giants held him on a pitch count as he finished with four receptions for 36 yards.

"He got some treatment this morning," McAdoo said. "He's still working hard to get back to his full self, but he made some progress last night getting some game snaps."
Meanwhile, the offensive line has taken much of the criticism.

The group had to shuffle midway through the first series of Monday night's game when right tackle Bobby Hart aggravated his sprained ankle. Justin Pugh slid over from left guard to right tackle, and Brett Jones came in to play left guard.

The Lions pounced.

Eli Manning was sacked five times on the night, three of which came at the hands of 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. The 14-year veteran has now been sacked eight times in two games this season after being taken down just 21 times in 2016.

"It was a completely different defensive opponent we were playing," McAdoo said. "Dallas has a quicker defensive line. They played a lot of line stunts, played aggressively there. And this week it was more of big bodied, wide nine front and they played the run on the way to the quarterback. So, it was a different approach defensively."

McAdoo added: "We need to make sure we learn and grow from this ballgame and find a way to improve and play complete team football and we have a lot of work to do and we have a short week to get it done."

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