The New York Giants appear to be a mess as the 2013 NFL season begins to mature. Off to the worst start the team has seen since 1996, the 0-3 Giants looked dreadful on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Frustrations are beginning to mount within this proud Giants organization, started by wide receiver Hakeem Nicks venting his frustrations through the media after the 38-0 blowout loss.
In a contract year, Nicks has to feel like he needs to produce in order to assure himself of the payday he feels he deserves. Against the Panthers, Giants quarterback Eli Manning targeted the tall Nicks just once without connecting for a completion.
“I can’t throw the ball to myself,” Nicks told reporters after the game.
While that may be true, it usually isn’t a good idea to criticize the man who is throwing you throwing you the football, or the coach calling the plays. Nicks needs to produce, and instead of criticizing the playcalling should focus on getting open down field.
Known throughout the league as a no-nonsense coach, Tom Coughlin addressed the comments of Nicks with the media. “I’ll talk to him,” he said Monday. “That’s not a smart thing to say. He’s on the field. The quarterback was sacked seven times, hit fifteen times. Not a very smart thing to say. I’ll talk to him about it, sure.”
As someone who does not hesitate to bench key players who find themselves in his dog house, don’t be surprised if we see less of Nicks next week. Just ask running back David Wilson what its like to lose the favor of the Giants’ coach.
Teammate and fellow Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who got a huge contract in the offseason, summed up the offensive struggles to the media when he was asked what went wrong on Sunday. “Everything” he explained. “We couldn’t get anything going. We had no rhythm. We couldn’t put no points on the board. Everything went wrong.”
For the Giants, the problems stem far deeper than just the mouth of Hakeem Nicks, offensive line play has been dreadful, giving up seven sacks against the Panthers alone. Defense also needs to improve, giving up 38 points to a middle of the road offense like the Panthers is inexcusable.
Nicks’ frustrations are justified, but the team needs to stay together if it wants a shot at bouncing back and making the playoffs this year.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express