EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' comeback attempt was derailed by what coach Ben McAdoo called "sloppy quarterback play" by Eli Manning near the goal line in the third quarter of a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
The Giants, trailing by 10, were about to go for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal at the Lions' 2-yard line with just over five minutes left in the third. They never got the play off, instead being called for a costly delay of game that forced them to settle for a field goal.
"Sloppy quarterback play," McAdoo said. "Quarterback and center need to be on the same page there. We need to get the ball snapped."
The Giants could've called a timeout to get things in order. Manning was trying to change the play and when he finally got everything settled, the play clock was ticking down.
McAdoo left it up to his quarterback and captain to handle. The coach didn't call a timeout.
"Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football and I expect us to get the ball snapped," McAdoo explained. "Usually the clock goes from 3-2-1-0. Once it hits zero [the officials] look at the ball and look at the clock; usually it has to tick once it hits zero to get the ball snapped without it being a delay of game. I thought we had a chance to get it off."
Some Giants thought they did get the play off.
"Weston [Richburg] told me when he snapped it he thought there was still a second on the clock," offensive lineman Justin Pugh said of the Giants' center. "He's looking right at it as he's getting ready to snap it."
"I've got to call a timeout or get it snapped," Manning said. "Any time there's a delay of game, it's on the quarterback and [I] can't afford to not get it right there."
It was the Giants' second penalty after getting to a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line earlier in the drive. It epitomized their offensive struggles this season.
"I think if we score there it changes the dynamic of the game," Pugh said.
Instead it was the last time the Giants would score in the contest. They're now 0-2 and have scored a total of 13 points in two games.
Manning might not be the problem, but he's undoubtedly part of the problem. Nobody on the Giants' offense has played well enough the first two weeks of the season.
Manning finished 22-of-32 passing for 239 yards with a touchdown and an interception Monday night. The Lions sacked him five times.
"He had some good moments, and some moments that weren't what we were looking for," McAdoo said of his quarterback's play. "I didn't like the interception when we got the turnover. The defense took the ball away. You know, it happened fast for him. I thought he should've went to No. 2 or checked the ball down. He was under duress all night. I thought he did some good things in the pocket, making some plays under duress.
"But the whole offense needs work. We're not in rhythm right now."
Manning's self-assessment wasn't glowing.
"I can play better," he said. "So I've got to find ways to play better and get some completions, convert on third down. That's a quarterback's job. He's got to find ways to move the offense and move the ball and score touchdowns. So we're not doing that enough."