The New York Giants were unable to take advantage of a struggling Kansas City Chiefs team on Monday night that was basically trying to give the Week 8 clash away.
A litany of self-inflicted wounds derailed Big Blue’s chances of gaining a third victory of the season after committing 10 penalties on the night.
With such a lack of composure and a struggling, shorthanded side, their chances look all the more slim heading into a Week 9 meeting at home against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday (1 p.m. ET).
The Raiders are 5-2 and lead the AFC West despite dealing with a number of off-field incidents and distractions pulling attention away from football.
Head coach Jon Gruden resigned from his position on Oct. 11 after emails featuring derogatory language from a decade ago were uncovered.
On Tuesday, the team released its leading receiver in 22-year-old Henry Ruggs III after his involvement in a car crash earlier that day in Las Vegas that killed a woman. He faces felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death and reckless driving, court records show. He was released from the hospital after being treated for non-life-threatening injuries and taken to jail.
The Raiders’ offense will have to adjust without Ruggs in their ranks, but quarterback Derek Carr still has plenty of weapons to rely on in an offense that ranks ninth in total yards gained this season.
Most of Las Vegas’ offensive malice derives from a passing game ranked second in football as Carr has passed for 2,269 yards while completing 67.7 % of his passes with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
While Ruggs had racked up the most receiving yards as a big-play threat, Carr has relied on Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller more as they both have over 30 receptions this season.
The Giants will be hoping they can limit Carr and the Raiders passing game the way they did with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Monday. On 48 pass attempts, Mahomes passed for just 275 yards with one touchdown and an interception — which should have been more had Oshane Ximines not jumped offsides late in the fourth quarter to cancel out a Darnay Holmes interception.
Regardless of how well the defense performs, the Giants will need more out of their offense, which has been held to 20 points or fewer five times already this season.
Injuries continue to derail any sort of consistency amongst its ranks as Sterling Shepard is expected to miss time with a quad injury within a wide receiver corps that is already without Kenny Golladay (knee) while Kadarius Toney is dealing with an ankle and thumb injury.
Needless to say, there aren’t many reasons to feel good about the Giants heading into Week 9, but head coach Joe Judge remains steadfast that things are improving.
“I believe we are building towards a program that is going to be very successful for a duration of time,” Judge said. “There are a lot of things we are doing very well right now that are things we can continue to build on. There are a lot of things we can keep on correcting.”
At 2-6 on the season and 8-16 in his coaching career, there doesn’t seem to be any real indication of that happening yet.