MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — What the hell was Daniel Jones supposed to do about this?
Here is another one to ponder: If Jones knew then what he knows now, would he have been so eager to re-up with a team and franchise that currently has no idea how to serve and protect its quarterback?
There are so many issues sinking the Giants nowadays that singling out the pathetic support of Jones can be seen as lifting one rotten apple out of a barrel full of them. The whole darn operation is messed up and here we are, five weeks into a season that was supposed to be filled with promise and all the Giants have to show for themselves is that a case can be made that they are among the NFL dregs.
In a league where the norm is often not normal and form can be formless, the Giants are shaping up to be one of the NFL’s most predictable outfits. They do what is expected of them and that is a rare trait in a team. They dutifully traveled to South Florida, spent time in the sun and heat at Hard Rock Stadium, gave up big play after big play to the frenzied Dolphins attack, got Jones battered and then hurt, packed up and returned home Sunday night with a 31-16 loss that might as well have been predetermined.
No surprises from this group. The Giants are 1-4, fortunate not to be 0-5 and not even coming close to coming close in these games.
“Yeah, of course, I was never expecting to be in this position,” outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux said. “I always look at us as a Super Bowl team and when you’re not showing that and not doing that there’s a lot of questions that come about.”
Forget about the Giants showing that or doing that. They are not showing or doing anything, offering no sign that there are better days ahead this season. Up next, they go to Buffalo for a meeting with the Bills who, despite getting upset in London by the Jaguars on Sunday, are darn good. You think general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, hired away from the Bills to save the Giants, are feeling confident bringing this team in to face their former team?
No one can say they did not see this coming. Jones was sacked 10 times last week by the Seahawks and six more times by the Dolphins before a hit by outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel early in the fourth quarter forced him out for good with a neck injury. On defense, the Giants for days talked about the need to deal with the Miami speed by limiting big plays. It was all talk. They gave up a 76-yard touchdown run to De’Von Achane, a 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown reception to Tyreek Hill and a 64-yard completion to Hill. When the relay race was finally finished, the Dolphins had 524 total yards.
“S–t,” Thibodeaux said when he heard that number.
Daboll was so stoic in his postgame interview session that it seemed as if he did not want to show even a trace of emotion.
“We got to do better,” Daboll said once, twice and a third time.
Jones looked glum, saying he said he felt pain in his neck as he awaits the MRI exam that will come on Monday. Josh Ezeudu, the second-year offensive lineman playing out of position at left guard in place of injured Andrew Thomas, was teary-eyed as he sat in front of his locker after a rough game and eventual benching.
Safety Xavier McKinney was combative, not appreciating inquiries about the huge plays given up on defense.
“OK, what we’re not gonna do is keep blaming the defense,” McKinney said, even though no one was blaming the defense for the entire loss. After some give-and-take, McKinney finally decided “Then don’t ask me the question.”
The Giants have lost on Sunday night and Sunday late afternoon and Thursday night and Monday night and, most recently, in an earlier Sunday kickoff. No day is their day, no time is their time. They sucked the life out of the healthy expectations that were alive mere weeks ago, replacing the enthusiasm their loyalists are supposed to have for game days filled with the dread and sarcasm that comes with the realization that nothing good is going to come out of three hours of Giants programming.
This is a team and an offense that looks broken.
“Broken is a word where it’s like something can’t be fixed,” tight end Darren Waller said, “and I don’t think it’s a perspective that any of us on offense take.”
Waller has taken it upon himself to speak with teammates on defense, admitting the offense is letting down the entire team.
“People care,” Thibodeaux said. “You can’t play this game and not care.”
Is it an angry mood in the locker room?
“I wouldn’t call it angry,” Thibodeaux said. “I’d call it passioned and strong-willed.”
And 1-4, and sinking fast.