If losing back-to-back games to division rivals put the Giants’ season in life support, the blowout loss to the Colts on Monday Night Football felt like a loss that may have put the Giants’ slim playoff hopes to bed once and for all. Jerry Reese’s call for aggressive play was answered by Perry Fewell’s defense for most of the first half, but Andrew Luck eventually burnt the Giants defense for a number of big plays in yet another impressive performance for the 2012 No. 1 overall pick.
The Giants offense however was a different story. Coming out with a conservative approach, the Giants offense struggled to find a rhythm early and it set the tone for the rest of the game, once again finding little success on the ground or consistency in the passing game. Of notable disappointment was Big Blue’s receiving core that collectively had a case of the drops all night.
“We had a couple of drops. I know I had a couple of drops,” said rookie receiver Odell Beckham. “The receivers had a couple of drops and they’re just plays we have just got to make. I put that on us and we’ve got to come out next week and make those plays.”
Beckham stuck his neck out for the group, but he was hardly the biggest culprit. The one silver lining in the first half of an otherwise sad offensive display was an impressive catch and run by the LSU product that went for 59 yards. Beckham’s end-of-game stats jump off the page, eight receptions for 156 yards, but the first round pick did not become featured in the passing attack until the game got out of hand. The honor of being the main target once again went to Rueben Randle, who was again less-than-spectacular in the role of Manning’s number one receiver.
The Giants struggled to get positive chunks of yardage on first down all night, and it led to tough third down situations for the offense. Beckham highlighted the Giants’ inefficiency on third down as the biggest reason for the offense’s poor performance on Monday night.
“Any time you go three and out, it makes it hard for the defense. It puts a lot of stress on the defense and it’s just something that we need to get better at is just converting on third downs, staying on the field, keeping the defense off the field when they make a stop,” noted Beckham. “We need to be able to drive the ball down the field. Even if you’re not driving the ball down the field to score, you’re keeping your defense off the field and just putting them in bad situations. We need to do a better job at that.”
While Beckham is no doubt disappointed in how the offense performed, he looks set to be the beneficiary of being surrounding by underperformers. The Giants brass are clearly taking a measured approach with Beckham and not putting too much on his plate, but he has passed every test with flying colors so far and seems destined to become the offense’s top target sooner rather than later.