New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo works the sidelines in the second half of an NFL game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Cleveland.Photo Credit: AP/Ron Schwane
Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Steelers did little to dissuade Ben McAdoo from his conviction that the Giants will make the playoffs and contend for a Super Bowl in the next two months.
“Right now, we believe we have the players and the scheme to make a run at this thing,” McAdoo said on a conference call Monday.
That’s not to say everything is checking out A-OK. Certainly not on offense, where the Giants are ranked 30th in production since Week 7, trailing only the Browns and the Rams. That’s a far cry from the crew that was sixth in scoring last year.
“Like I said going into the season, you can’t switch and expect to be the same type of outfit in the past,” McAdoo said. “Each year is a new year and you have to earn it. And up to this point, me included, we haven’t earned it. We have to find a way to be more consistent moving the ball, eliminate the setbacks and the unforced errors, and take advantage of our opportunities.”
That was the key to Sunday’s loss, it seemed. The Giants got the ball to the Pittsburgh 3 and 9 on separate drives and came away with a combined zero points.
There are four games remaining in the regular season and the offense has yet to click. McAdoo insists there is no frustration, but with the Cowboys coming to MetLife Stadium on Sunday night and a postseason berth in the balance in the coming weeks, there certainly is some urgency.
“I think there’s a heightened sense of awareness that we need to get better and we need to improve and we need to keep working at it,” McAdoo said.
JPP’s return unclear
Jason Pierre-Paul left Sunday’s game with a groin injury and might not be available for Sunday’s game against the team with the best offensive line in the NFL. McAdoo said the team would know more about Pierre-Paul’s status at some point Tuesday afternoon.
As for the other two defensive linemen who left the field with injuries Sunday but returned to the game, McAdoo said DT Johnathan Hankins (bruised quad) is “sore” and indicated that DT Damon Harrison (ankle) will be OK.
RB Shane Vereen, eligible to come off injured reserve, could return to action Sunday but McAdoo said it will be a medical decision. “If it was up to me, we would have him out there rolling already,” McAdoo said . . . Despite a seventh holding penalty this season Sunday, resulting in a safety, McAdoo said “we have a lot of confidence in Ereck [Flowers]. He needs to get better with his hand placement and just fundamentals.” . . . McAdoo said depending on the team’s overall health, they might practice in pads this week. “Anytime you look at December football, it is the physical teams, the heavy-handed teams, the teams that are good at the fundamentals that have the chance to win,” he said. “We need to get back to fitting our pads in.”