Giants tight end Darren Waller stands on the sidelines during...

Giants tight end Darren Waller stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL preseason game against the Panthers on Aug. 18 at MetLife Stadium. Credit: AP/Bryan Woolston

On Monday night, the Giants scored three points. 

Tight end Darren Waller was targeted only once in the first half before the game got out of hand. 

His reception went for five unimpactful yards. 

Predictably, Waller wasn’t thrilled after the game, which the Giants lost, 24-3, to the Seahawks. 

The first four games of the season have hardly measured up to the Giants’ own expectations. 

Waller is the personification of that. 

“All I can do is execute the game plan they put in front of us,” Waller said in the locker room after the game. “As a playmaker, I can’t just go home and go to sleep knowing what I’ve done in the league and what I’m capable of. It’s tough.” 

There’s also this: On the 97-yard pick-six in the third quarter by Seattle rookie Devon Witherspoon that essentially ended Monday’s game, Waller was open in the end zone. 

Could that score have changed the game? 

That’s impossible to know. But it could not have hurt. 

Whatever identity the Giants seemed to be cultivating in the months leading up to the regular season is now moot. 

Right now, their identity is their record (1-3). 

If it’s not a crisis, in NFL parlance, it’s close. 

“When you’re in this position, you tell it like it is, and you have to move on to next week,” coach Brian Daboll said. “You can’t focus on stuff that happened in the past. We got to play better. We got to coach better on game day.”  

All of this is something Waller didn’t see coming. 

“I never take the field expecting to put a performance like that on display, not on any team I’ve ever been on,” he said. “I approach the field with the mindset of trying to get out there and dominate. The offense is just not good enough in all facets. I don’t even have anything to say. It’s just not good enough.” 

The question is why. 

“I really don’t know,” Waller said. “I see the talent, the guys that we got. I see the type of vision we had [starting] in the spring, the excitement we had on offense. I just don’t know. I don’t got a lot of words right now. I’m sorry. I don’t got the answers. I can’t tell anybody else how to do their job. All I can do is do what I’m asked to do and try to execute that.” 

It seems obvious that if the Giants are to turn their season around, targeting Waller will have to be part of the solution. 

“All I can do is present myself as open to the quarterback,” he said. “I’m not in control of whether the ball comes to me. All I can do is do what I’m asked to do and try to execute that.” 

While the Giants were scoring only a field goal, Waller said he wished he could have done more.  

“As a playmaker, that’s a tough pill to swallow,” he said. “One catch. All I can do is go out there and try to execute the plan they put in.”  

Waller had to spend some of his snaps trying to help a Giants offensive line that was overwhelmed at times by the Seahawks, who totaled 11 sacks. 

“Again, not the start that we had hoped for, we had worked for, but a long road ahead and a lot of improvement to be done,” Daboll said of being 1-3. “My thinking is come back ready to work and talk about the things we need to improve and go out there and improve and ultimately play better on Sunday.”


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