CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Got to give New York Giants left tackle Will Beatty points for honesty and accountability. I'm sure Giants fans would rather have given him more points for, you know, playing tackle Sunday. But after a 38-0 loss to Carolina for which he was largely responsible, the 28-year-old who signed a five-year contract last offseason to be the Giants' franchise offensive lineman wasn't shy about discussing what had gone wrong.
"The first sack took up way too much of my thought, way too much of my time," Beatty said. "I kept thinking about it. I couldn't just let it go, and you have to. Because it becomes like a snowball effect. You're out there talking to yourself. You messed up. Why did you mess up? Then you just messed up again. And it gets worse and worse."
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was sacked seven times in the game, including a stunning six times in the first 17 minutes when the score was still close. Not all of the sacks were on Beatty, of course. The offensive line problems were expansive and comprehensive for the Giants on Sunday. Carolina's front four got into the backfield routinely on run plays, too. For Beatty, the low point may have even been the holding penalty that got David Wilson's 17-yard touchdown run called back.
"That's the kind of game you never want to even think about," Beatty said. "You never want to even dream of or think about your team having a game like this. I can't allow this game to, by any means, say that's what Will Beatty is all about. That can't be me. That's not the way I play. That's not the way I like to end a game or walk into this locker room."
The rest of the offensive line felt the same way. First-round rookie Justin Pugh, who's been thrown into the fire as the starting right tackle following a preseason injury to veteran David Diehl, was beaten for at least one of the sacks as well and was upset with himself after the game.
"I expect more of myself," Pugh said. "We're only as strong as the five guys we have up front, and personally I know I need to be better."
The result of the line's bottoming-out (which of course they hope it was) was that the offense couldn't get anything going because the quarterback spent the entire first half on his back. While the Panthers were able to get their offense going as the game went along, the Giants never were.
"That's not New York Giants football," center David Baas said. "Especially not on offense. We're expecting to go out there and lead on offense. That's what we've always done. We take a lot of pride in keeping Eli clean, and that was definitely not the case today."
After throwing a league-leading seven interceptions in the season's first two gams, Manning added just one to his total Sunday. Backup Curtis Painter threw another in late-game relief work, and the Giants also lost a fumble. They have committed 13 turnovers this year and taken the ball away from their opponents a mere four times.