Giants' poor starts reflect poorly on first-year coach

By Jeff Fogle  ( 

It’s widely understood that the New York Giants have been awful on offense. Not much publicity has been given their consistently poor starts. 

Does this team even prepare for its opponents? Sharp bettors know that the Giants are 1-7 straight up and against the spread in first halves this season. That means betting against the Giants at first half lines has hit 88% to date. This isn’t a team that hangs tough for a while before fading at the end. The Giants usually dig an early hole and stay there.  

Here’s a quick rundown of halftime scoreboards. Handicappers should focus on the poor scoring totals…

NY Giants in First Halves

Lost to Jacksonville 13-6

Lost at Dallas 10-0

Won at Houston 20-6 (only cover)

Lost to New Orleans 12-7

Lost at Carolina 20-13

Lost to Philadelphia 24-6

Lost at Atlanta 10-3

Lost to Washington 7-3

The 20 points scored in Houston seem like a minor miracle in retrospect. New York only managed 6 and 0 the two games prior, then a string of 7-13-6-3-3 afterward. Do you know how hard it is to only score THREE points in a half indoors in ATLANTA?! The Falcons’ other opponents there scored 10-16-28-13 in their first halves. 

According to, the five worst first-half offensive averages entering the week were Buffalo 4.8, Tennessee 6.1, Arizona 6.8, Cleveland 6.8, and the NY Giants 7.2. The league median was around a dozen. The five best first-half offenses were Kansas City 19.2, New Orleans 17.5, the Los Angeles Rams 17.2, the Los Angeles Chargers 17.1, and New England 16.2.

Bad first halves don’t just point to bad talent. They point to bad preparation. Teams have all week to get ready for an opponent…to look for weaknesses to attack…to map out the first few drives…to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Horrible indicator for new head coach Pat Shurmur, who was hired to run the Giants because of his offensive credentials. 

At least the G-men have maximum preparation time for Monday night’s game in San Francisco (ESPN, 8:15 p.m. ET). They have an extra day after a BYE week! If this first half is as awful as the rest, it’s safe to assume the players have thrown in the towel on the season.

San Francisco should come in well-prepared. The Niners beat Oakland a week ago Thursday 34-3 (winning yardage 405-242 on 7.5 to 4.4 in yards-per-play), seemingly rejuvenated under new quarterback Nick Mullens.

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