Posted December 03, 2017 at 07:25 PM | Updated December 03, 2017 at 07:26 PM
By Dan Duggan | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
OAKLAND, Calif. — What happened on the field on Sunday may not have made a difference for Giants coach Ben McAdoo. But another lifeless performance by the Giants’ offense in Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders could seal McAdoo’s fate.
ESPN reported on Sunday morning that McAdoo could be fired within 24 hours. Nothing owners John Mara and Steve Tisch saw at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum should change their minds.
The loss to the Raiders came after a tumultuous week: The Giants benched two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and started Geno Smith at quarterback. It made no difference, because McAdoo’s offense continued to sputter.
Ben McAdoo,Eli Manning
Ben Margot | AP Photo
More of the same
When benching the two-time Super Bowl MVP Manning, McAdoo made a point to say that the Giants’ woeful record wasn’t solely Manning’s fault. That was obvious on Sunday.
The Giants’ offensive line was pushed around as usual. The run game gained only 55 yards, and Smith, who fumbled twice, was constantly under pressure. Smith was 21 of 34 for 212 yards and a TD pass — a 89.3 rating. He was sacked three times.
The Giants have failed to reach 30 points in McAdoo’s 29 games as head coach. They haven’t topped the 24-point mark in 18 straight games. McAdoo may not have another chance to reach either of those benchmarks.
The change at quarterback didn’t provide the jolt McAdoo desired. The Giants went three-and-out on the opening possession and the Raiders promptly answered with a 51-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch right through the middle of the defense. The Giants went three-and-out on their first three possessions — gaining a total of five yards on nine plays — before finally getting into a rhythm on an 11-play, 74-yard touchdown drive at the end of the first quarter.
On an island
McAdoo’s offensive scheme continued to leave the team’s over-matched offensive tackles on an island against premier pass-rushers. Right tackle Chad Wheeler was helpless as reigning Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack blew past him to sack Smith on second-and-goal from the 4-yard line late in the second quarter. Mack ripped the ball out of Smith’s hands for the quarterback’s second lost fumble of the half.
Smith’s first fumble came when the Raiders brought a blitz from the left side and no one picked up Bruce Irvin. The linebacker stripped Smith and teammate Navarro Bowman recovered the loose ball to end a Giants drive in Oakland territory in the second quarter.
Rolling with Geno
The one notable difference on offense was Smith’s mobility. Smith looked far smoother on roll-outs than the plodding Manning, but the increased mobility at quarterback didn’t translate to any more success in the passing game. Smith used his legs to avoid a few sacks, but he was under heavy pressure on most of his drop-backs.