Another long day for the Giants’ defensive backs had come and gone. Antoine Bethea was asked if it’s discouraging and upsetting that the unit hasn’t seen the progress that it had hoped to achieve. He didn’t pour sugar on the answer.
“For sure,” the 35-year-old free safety said after the Giants fell to the Packers, 31-13, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. It was their eighth straight loss and dropped them to 2-10.
“I mean, you go in, week in, week out, you put the work in. You sit in the film room. You talk about what we’re supposed to do, and then we come out on game day and it doesn’t get done. So it’s very frustrating.”
Of course, there’s also a lot of youth in this secondary. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers took advantage of young and old in coverage. He was 21-for-33 passing for 243 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in tough weather conditions.
In the first quarter, he completed one pass for 43 yards to set up his first touchdown toss. Another throw was a 37-yard TD.
Bethea spoke about the recurring issue of big passing gains: “One guy is out of place, it makes the entire secondary look bad.”
The 37-yarder came when the Giants were blitzing. Allen Lazard broke outside on Bethea and got very open.
“He did a double move and, again, it was one of those things where we didn’t work in unison on the back end,” Bethea said.
There also were problems during a 75-yard drive in the second half. First-year cornerback Sam Beal got flagged for pass interference on a third-down incompletion. Second-year cornerback Grant Haley was beaten on a fourth-down completion. Rodgers hit Davante Adams for a 17-yard score when Beal had his back to the receiver and the Giants had 12 men on the field.
“Obviously, he caught us trying to sub,” Bethea said. “That’s something that we talked about: If they don’t sub, then we can’t sub.”
Strong safety Jabrill Peppers was sidelined, so Julian Love made his first NFL start. The rookie made four solo tackles, assisted on three others and forced a fumble.
“I think it went well,” Love said. “I want to do more in certain areas to come up with a win, but as long as I’m growing and getting better, that’s a success for me.”