When Ben McAdoo took over for Tom Coughlin, the New York Giants probably figured they were playing it safe. They made a change, yes, but it wasn’t a complete overhaul, as McAdoo served as offensive coordinator in 2014-15.
“I think that was supposed to parlay (into a better team),” NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “(The Giants figured) there won’t be a learning curve. Yet, here we are (in) Week 5 with three losses in a row and you’re saying, ‘What happened to the offense? You added Sterling Shepard. You got Victor Cruz back. It should be better and it’s not.’ Defensively, they spent a lot of money and they still can’t get after the quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is making a sandwich, eating it and then cleaning up the kitchen before he throws a pass. That stuff is frustrating.”
The Giants fell to the Packers, 23-16, at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Eli Manning went 18-of-35 for 199 yards and a touchdown. The running game, meanwhile, wasn’t much better, as New York rushed 15 times for 43 yards (2.9 yards per carry).
The Giants have been held to 20 points or fewer in four of five games this season.
“Ben McAdoo is a very smart guy. I think he’s done a great job transitioning,” O’Hara said. “But what we’re seeing right now is the offense, which is one of the reasons why he was hired as a head coach, is struggling. That’s the one area (that shouldn’t be struggling). Coach Brian Billick has a saying that the things they hire you for are the things they fire you for. (McAdoo) definitely heard the creativity calls because we saw some different play calls, but I still just don’t understand why they’re constantly in shotgun, they’re constantly in 11-personnel, it’s three wides all day long – you don’t allow your offense to be physical at any point in the game.”
The Giants (2-3) trail the Cowboys (4-1) by two games in the NFC East.
Speaking of Dallas, the Cowboys won their fourth straight game Sunday, beating Cincinnati 28-14. Dak Prescott was efficient yet again, going 18-of-24 for 227 yards and two touchdowns (one pass, one rush).
It’ll be interesting to see what Dallas does once Tony Romo returns from injury. It’ll also be interesting to see how the rest of the Cowboys react to whatever decision is made.
“It’s definitely a tough dynamic because I think they love this kid, Dak Prescott,” O’Hara said. “They have the time and the respect with Tony, so I’m sure that they have the friendships and they want to see Tony back there and they want to see him healthy. But listen, this is a rhythm game. This is a momentum game. I think with what Dak Prescott has done, obviously the run game is a huge factor. They’ve got the No. 1 ranked rushing offense right now. Ezekiel Elliott is everything he advertised he would be. So I think right now if you’re an O-Lineman, you’re say, ‘Hey, we don’t care who’s playing quarterback. As long as you’re not throwing four interceptions, if we keep running the rock, we’ll be fine.’ But it’s going to be a tough situation.”
Romo (back) could return to action later this month.
“If he goes out and has a clunker, it’s an easy decision,” O’Hara said. “But with the way Dak Prescott has played, if it were me doing the coaching, I would say, ‘I’m rolling with Dak Prescott. If we’re still winning games and were in first place in the division, I’m not going to make a change, Tony’s going to understand that, and guess what? We’ve got a great opportunity if something happens to Dak to put Tony back in the game.’ I’m sure the trainers (are saying), ‘Hey, Tony, no rush here. We got to make sure this thing is totally healed.’ Because Dak is really holding it down.”
While the Cowboys have exceeded expectations, the Jets (1-4) have underwhelmed immensely, losing three straight games by an average of 16.3 points.
“I think the Jets have got to be right up there,” said O’Hara, when asked to name the biggest disappointment in the NFL. “I picked them as a playoff team. Their front seven is phenomenal, and in Week 1 they come out and they have seven sacks (against Cincinnati), but they find a way to lose the game. It’s kind of strange. Offensively, this whole offseason, (all the talk was about) Ryan Fitzpatrick and (how the Jets had to bring him back). He has not come through for them. So the talent that’s on that team, that, to me, has been a big disappointment.”