EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ben McAdoo’s honeymoon with the New York Giants is over.
After getting off to a 2-0 start, the rookie coach has seen his team lose three straight games and fall into last place in the NFC East.
The offense is having trouble scoring. Eli Manning seems a little off. The line has been inconsistent and the dynamic receiving trio of Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard are not producing as expected.
That’s only half the problem.
The Giants invested a ton of money in the defense in the offseason and the returns are not matching the investment after five games.
While Steve Spagnuolo’s unit produced its first two turnovers in Sunday’s night’s 23-16 loss to the Packers in Green Bay, the highly touted defensive line has not applied pressure to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Injuries took a toll on the secondary in road games at Minnesota and Green Bay, and there have been plenty of missed tackles.
“I think when you face two tough road games like we’ve had, two tough opponents, I think we need to regroup, we need surrender our ego, stay together and work to win this week,” McAdoo said Monday.
When the penalties, turnovers and mistakes on both sides of the ball are added, it makes for a losing record and some disgruntled followers, who entered the season believing that McAdoo had the talent to end New York’s four-year playoff drought.
However, the Giants’ problems go beyond football.
The first five weeks also been dominated by Beckham’s tantrums on the field and the sideline. He was on his best behavior in Green Bay.
Left tackle Ereck Flowers, however, was not. The 2015 first-round draft pick put his hands on ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan in the locker room after the game.
Flowers was talking to two reporters and Raanan walked over to interview him. Flowers did not want to speak to him and told him a couple of times to leave. Raanan replied a couple of times that he was just doing his job and wanted to stay.
Flowers eventually either shoved or pushed the reporter.
McAdoo, general manager Jerry Reese and the team’s public relations department all met with Flowers on Monday. Flowers also apologized to Raanan, McAdoo said.
“He understands that he cannot behave that way,” McAdoo said. “It’s unacceptable, and it’s important for us to all have a professional relationship with the media, players and coaches.”
Raanan did not return a telephone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment.
McAdoo refused to say whether Flowers would be disciplined, noting that would be handled in house. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to the AP that the team was handling the incident.
The Giants will return home this weekend to play the Baltimore Ravens (3-2).
“When you face two tough road games like we’ve had, against tough opponents, I think we need to regroup, we need to surrender our egos together and work to win this week,” McAdoo said.
The Giants have a lot to fix. Manning has thrown five touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He has had two games without a TD pass. He missed a certain scoring pass late in the first half Sunday night when he overthrew wide-open tight end Will Tye with New York trailing 14-6.
When asked if Manning was hurt, McAdoo said that he knew of no injury.
The running game has suffered with Rashad Jennings missing the last three games with a hand injury and Shane Vereen out for the year with a torn triceps. Orleans Darkwa has started the last two and he was held to 11 yards on seven carries by the Packers.
The receivers also struggled. Beckham had five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. Cruz did not catch either of the two passes thrown his way, and Shepard had season-low totals of two receptions for 14 yards.
It’s not good, at least compared to last year.
After five games in 2015, New York was 3-2, had scored 132 points and given up 109 in Tom Coughlin’s final season. This year, New York is 2-3, has 89 points and surrendered 108.
NOTES: McAdoo said CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) and Eli Apple (groin) would either not practice or be limited early this week. … WR/Returner Dwayne Harris sprained a big toe against the Packers. … When asked if veteran T Will Beatty would be given a shot at playing with fellow tackles Flowers and Bobby Hart having problems, McAdoo said every lineman gets a chance to push for a job every week.