It was like this once, back in the darkest days of John Mara’s football Giants life, when the defense would shout across to the offense, “Just hold ’em.”
Deja Blah all over again.
Eli Manning & Co., 24-7 losers to the Seahawks, have the look of an overweight hiker laboring to trudge uphill carrying a 20-pound backpack wearing 20-pound cleats.
Three yards and a cloud of bust. It is a sorry sight to behold. So much for Ben McAdoo relinquishing the play-calling.
Manning (19-for-39, 134 yards) cannot make chicken salad out of this farce, not now, maybe not ever. His receiving corps is Evan Engram (6 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD) and the Miracles. His lack of a running game (17 carries, 46 yards) reared its ugly head again and left him naked to the world again, and his defense worn to a frazzle in the second half.
He is the quarterback of the anti-Yankees. Instead of a city and a stadium all rising as one behind a magical team, here are the New York Football Giants, battered and bloodied by the football gods, no one feeling sorry for them, no one to blame but themselves anyway, all falling again.
You know who Thumbs Down Guy is for the 2017 Giants? Mara, and that’s not a good thing for anyone.
Thumbs down on McAdoo, the 1-6 head coach. Thumbs down on Jerry Reese, the 1-6 GM.
How many days until pitchers and catchers? A Game 7 that ended for the Giants exactly how Game 7 ended for the Yankees.
One difference: The Yankees overachieved. The Giants have underachieved.
All Rise? Uh, no. All Fall.
And the face of the franchise fights not to wear a frown.
“It’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be a great challenge each and every week and you’ve got to accept that and embrace it,” Manning said.
Giants fans still awake early in the fourth quarter began a chant of “Let’s go Giants” that even the ungodly number of Seahawks fans in the stadium might have heard, and Manning was promptly strip-sacked, and Russell Wilson launched a 38-yard TD bomb that Paul Richardson wouldn’t let Landon Collins wrestle away from him in the end zone.
“It was an interception,” Collins said.
The scoreboard clock showed 9:34 remaining, and in truth, Manning & Co. would have needed hours, perhaps days, to overcome this 17-7 deficit.
When Manning needed 8 yards on third down on the ensuing possession, he completed a 1-yard pass to Shane Vereen. The boo birds, who have yet to witness a win at home this season, made themselves heard.
A pair of missed opportunities kneecapped Manning & Co: a bomb down the right sideline for Tavarres King that Richard Sherman batted away.
“It was one of those with the scramble drill and I thought he just started running, but obviously I could’ve put a little more on it,” Manning said.
He has margin for error.
And no David Tyree either.
“We’ve got to keep brainstorming and finding ways where we can put our guys in the best position for them to be successful and the team to be successful,” Manning said.
King disputed the notion that replacement receivers were not getting open.
“Check the tape,” he said.
Only if forced at gunpoint, thank you.
And when Engram made what would have been a 72-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline, he stepped out of bounds on his way to the Seattle 3 — said he was pushed out — and was flagged for illegal touching.
“With the playmakers that we lost, somebody’s gotta step up, and it’s good to see him stepping up and making plays out there,” Orleans Darkwa said. “He’s a first-round draft pick for a reason. I think we all gotta step our game up and get on his level.”
Life After Odell Beckham Jr. (and Sterling Shepard, and Brandon Marshall): When Darkwa needed 2 yards on third down, he gained 1. When Wayne Gallman needed 1 yard, he didn’t get any.
“I think with the bye week coming up, we gotta look at ourselves in the mirror and figure out what we do well and figure out what we do bad, and kind of improve from there,” Darkwa said.
The shame of it is Big Blue had been gallant in the first half. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had tormented Wilson with a package that often included six defensive backs.
Third-and-goal at the 2: Snacks Harrison and Avery Moss stuffed Thomas Rawls at the 1. Fourth-and-goal at the 1: Wilson looks for tight end Jimmy Graham, isolated on Eli Apple. Graham, with Apple draped over him, bobbles it.
MetLife roars, and when Moss knifes through to force a Thomas Rawls fumble that Collins returns 31 yards, and Manning finds Engram with a 5-yard TD pass, it is Giants 7, Seahawks 0.
Finally, Wilson lobbed a 22-yard TD pass to Doug Baldwin over Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and it was Seahawks 10, Giants 7 midway through the third quarter, and no one had any right to expect Manning’s ragtag outfit to bring the Giants back.
“You can’t go out there and just say, ‘We ain’t got nothing to play for no more,’ ” Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said.
No offense, but you don’t.