EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The only thing going right for the New York Giants these days might be the standings after two games.
The offense has scored 13 points total. The defense that carried the team to its first playoff berth since the 2011 season is not playing as well as last season, and the special teams has generated nothing on returns and gave up rookie Jamal Agnew’s game-breaking 88-yard punt return on Monday night in a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Winning 11 games this season would appear to be wishful thinking at this point, especially with Denver, Kansas City, Oakland and five more NFC East contests in the remaining 14 games.
If there is any reason for optimism, it’s the fact that there are only three undefeated teams in the conference — the Lions, Falcons and Panthers.
The bottom line for coach Ben McAdoo and his staff is that there is a lot to fix, and he is promising changes for Sunday’s game in Philadelphia against the Eagles (1-1).
He even said he would look at whether he will continue to call plays on offense, but don’t expect him to change that.
“We’re not going to panic,” McAdoo said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re not the first good team to start 0-2.
“When we first got together in April we talked about we weren’t going to sneak up on anybody this year. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot and we’ve had two prime-time football games against pretty good opponents. It’s not excuses. We have to find a way to get better.”
The offense has not scored 20 points in eight straight games and the group does not have much rhythm or confidence.
The line is not opening holes for the run or giving Eli Manning time to throw. The two-time Super Bowl MVP was sacked five times by Detroit and he looks as if he is rushing things in self-preservation mode.
While Odell Beckham Jr. returned to action after missing the opener against Dallas with a sprained left ankle, he was limited and finished with four catches for 36 yards. Free agent signee Brandon Marshall has been a bust and his drop of a long sideline pass came seconds before Agnew’s return.
Defensively, Steve Spagnuolo’s unit has been overtaxed with the offense doing nothing. There have been too many big plays, way too many third down conversations allowed and a not-so-stout run defense .
“I am confident in this group of men,” McAdoo said of his team. “I am confident in this group of coaches. We have a lot of work to do. We are not happy the way the game went last night. There are a lot of things we can do better, not just playing the game, but how we approach the game and we have to learn from it.”
Talking on other issues McAdoo said:
— Beckham came out of the game OK.
— Ereck Flowers will remain his left tackle. The coach said that while he made some miscues, there were breakdowns everywhere on offense.
— Middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (lower leg) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (ankle, hand) are making progress after missing Monday night’s game. However, it’s too early to say whether they will be ready for this weekend.
— He said the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against rookie tight end Evan Engram — he appeared to grab his groin — after his touchdown was something that the team can’t have. It allowed the Lions to get the ball at the New York 45 after Aldrick Rosas’ kickoff went out of bounds. The Lions got the go-ahead score on that series. “He is a high character young man and I don’t anticipate that will happen again.”