It certainly was no R-E-L-A-X moment, but Eli Manning gave an Aaron Rodgers-esque response when asked on Wednesday about the Giants putrid offensive output against the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener.
“First game. Guys were playing fast, got some new guys out there, some new bodies, so we’ll bounce back. We’ll be fine,” Manning said, via SNY. “We just have to slow down, everybody take a breath and just run the plays the way we’ve been running them all spring and all summer.”
Not having Odell Beckham on the field Week 1 certainly hindered the offense. But the struggles for Manning’s unit aren’t new. Big Blue has scored few than 20 points in seven straight games, including the playoffs, per NFL Research. That streak is more than three times as long as the next closest active streak (four teams tied at two games). Beckham was on the field for the previous six offensively challenged outings.
The Giants‘ offensive line gets the brunt of the criticism — deservedly so at times, and unduly at others. Manning dismissed the idea that the maligned group is the sole reason for the struggles.
“Yeah, offensive line, they’re going to do their jobs,” Manning said. “Everybody needs to step up their game a little bit. We don’t have to recreate anything. We just have to execute plays and play better football.”
While the line struggles certainly hurt, the Giants employ an unenthusiastic running back group, an aging quarterback with dwindling zip on his passes, and a starting receiver in Brandon Marshall who looked like he was on his last leg in the opener.
New York has been a Beckham-or-bust operation for more than a year. It doesn’t look like much will change in 2017.