The Giants are in a world of hurt.
In Monday night’s 24-3 loss to Seattle at MetLife Stadium, they were no match for a Seahawks team that spent part of the game being led by backup quarterback Drew Lock.
Giants starter Daniel Jones fell to 1-12 as a starter in prime time. And that might be the least of their worries.
Are the Giants a team that is going to be in prime time much more this season? They have been outscored 94-15 in their three prime-time games this season.
The Giants (1-3) were sacked 11 times in the game. Ten of the sacks were of Jones. The other was of wide receiver Parris Campbell.
Jones ran 10 times for 66 yards but threw two interceptions, one a 97-yard pick-6, and his 27 completions netted only 203 yards. He also lost a fumble.
The offensive ineptitude was stunning.
The score was 14-3 at halftime.
As the third quarter neared its end, Jones lofted a short pass intended for Campbell that was intercepted by Seattle cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who ran it back 97 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-3.
Seattle (3-1) added a field goal in the fourth quarter.
The postgame locker room featured mostly players who never want to be part of a mismatch like the one they had just experienced. Especially not on their home field.
Asked what he was looking for when the Giants had the ball at the Seattle 5-yard line, coach Brian Daboll said, “Well, obviously not throw an interception.”
And this was after he said his team had “a good week” of practice.
“Defensively we did a lot of good things,” Daboll said. “Didn’t get the job done. Had too many penalties on special teams. And didn’t score on offense. Got to figure out a way to make that better.”
The players felt the same way.
“No, I didn’t see this coming,” said tight end Darren Waller, who had three catches from three targets for 21 yards. “I don’t ever take the field expecting to put a performance like that on display. I approach the field with the mindset to go out there and dominate.
“The offense just isn’t good enough. I see the talent, I see the guys that we got. I see the type of vision that we had in the spring, and I just don’t know, man. I don’t have a lot of words now. I’m sorry.”
He kept answering, even as he said, “I don’t have the answers.”
The Giants have played one good half of football this season — in a second-half comeback against the Cardinals in Arizona — but otherwise have failed to re-create the magic of their surprising 2022 campaign.
Said Waller: “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. All I can do is present myself open to the quarterback. I’m not in control of when or how the ball comes to me.”
Inexplicably, Waller was targeted only once while the game was close.
“All I can do is execute the game plan they put in front of us,” he said. “As a playmaker, I can’t just go home and go to sleep knowing what I’ve been in the league and what I’m capable of.”
In that moment, the days of Waller dominating at Giants training camp this summer felt as if they were so long ago.
Daboll said organizational changes will not be made in the wake of the loss. Clearly, however, there will be emphasis on execution, at the very least, in this week’s practices.
“Six penalties and dropped the first punt. Really, nothing was good enough. It starts with me,’’ Daboll said. “Yeah, I’d be upset if I were a fan. There’s are a lot of things we got to do better.”
True to form, Daboll said he has confidence in the “guys in the room.”
“We’re not playing well right now, not coaching well right now,” he added. “Got to do a lot better.”
Asked about the running play that was called on third-and-11 late in the first half — which prompted the fans to boo — Daboll said there was a miscommunication about the play call.
“Daniel thought he heard one thing and it was another thing,” he said. “Miscommunication. Again we haven’t played well. So we got a lot of work to do.”
The Giants will play at Miami and Buffalo in the next two weeks. The improvements might have to come quickly.
“When you’re in this position, you tell it like it is, and you have to move on to next week,” 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.”
To defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who said the defense played well for the most part, none of this sat well.
“I’m not afraid to hurt somebody’s feelings,” he said. “I want to win.”
In addition to Saquon Barkley (ankle) being sidelined again, the Giants were without left tackle Andrew Thomas. But Seattle also had injury problems on its line, and quarterback Geno Smith left the game for a while with a knee injury.
Former Jets safety Jamal Adams made his 2023 debut for the Seahawks a year after tearing a quadriceps tendon. He left in the first quarter with a concussion.
The Giants got on the board with 3:05 left in the first half on a 55-yard field goal by Graham Gano that capped a 12-play, 61-yard drive that began at the Giants’ 2-yard line.
With Neil Best