EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Three games into the season and less than a year after making the playoffs for the first time since 2016, it’s time for the New York Giants to hit the panic button.
Coach Brian Daboll’s team is playing poorly.
New York is now 1-2 after being outclassed 30-12 by the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night in Santa Clara, California. It was the second time that’s happened this season after Dallas embarrassed the Giants 40-0 in the season opener.
To get their only victory, the Giants had to match their greatest comeback in their 99-year history in rallying from a 21-point deficit to beat the winless Arizona Cardinals 31-28.
Now they have 1½ week to straighten things out before facing the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 2 in a Monday night game.
Things could get a lot worse, too. After the Seahawks, New York has road games against the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. A 1-5 start is a distinct possibility.
“I’d say we have a lot of improvement to do and that’s what we’re going to do. Try to improve,” Daboll said Friday after the team took a red-eye back to New Jersey, getting to the team office around 8:30 a.m.
There is much to fix on the field and in the training room.
New York is banged up. Star running back Saquon Barkley has a high sprain of his right ankle that forced him to sit out Thursday. The left side of the offensive line is hurting. Star tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring) has missed two games and left guard Ben Bredeson sustained a concussion Sunday and sat Thursday. Defensively, edge rusher Azeez Ojulari (hamsting) has missed the last two games.
The glaring problem is on the field. The offense has played one good half. Same with the defense. Luckily both came in the final 30 against the Cardinals. The Giants are not executing the basics: blocking, tackling, catching. In each of the first three games, there has been at least one play where New York had 10 players on the field.
That’s not winning football.WHAT’S WORKING
Not a lot working on either side of the ball. But special teams can take kudos. Punter Jamie Gillan averaged 52.7 yards gross and 49.0 net on six punts. Placekicker Graham Gano converted from 44 and 57 yards on his two field goal attempts and all four of his kickoffs were touchbacks. The 57-yarder matched his own team recordWHAT NEEDS HELP
Third-down play can improve on both sides of the ball. The Niners dominated the down and had the ball for 39:10. New York was 3 of 12 while held to 150 yards, their lowest total since 2013.
San Francisco converted 9 of 16 third-down chances, including 7 of 10 in the first half in taking a 17-6 lead.
On their two second-quarter TD drives, it converted three third-down chances of 12 yards or more. They finished with 441 yards. STOCK UP
Inside linebacker Micah McFadden. The second-year pro from Indiana was all over the field. He had a team-high 10 tackles, including four for losses. He would have had a pass defensed near the goal line against Chistian McCaffrey in the fourth quarter but it was nullified by a defensive holding penalty.STOCK DOWN
Cornerback Tre Hawkins: He was the one guilty of the hold on the McFadden play. Opposing teams are going to attack rookie cornerbacks and the Cowboys, Cardinals and 49ers have taken their spots at the sixth-round draft pick. What is concerning is his missed tackles. He had a couple of whiffs.INJURIES
First-round draft pick and cornerback Deonte Banks missed the second half with an arm injury. He missed the second half against Dallas with cramps. Backup defensive lineman D.J. Davidson hurt his elbow. Add Barkley, Thomas and Ojulari and it’s a lot.KEY NUMBERS
0, 6, 63: The number of touchdowns and points the Giants have scored in the first half this season. The total number of points the opposition has scored — Dallas (26), Arizona (20), San Francisco (17). NEXT STEPS
With 11 days between games, the Giants will get a few extra days to get healthy and straighten out what’s going wrong.