Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants reacts against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 7, 2018, at Bank of America Stadium on Oct. 7, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Keidel: Giants Have New Coach, But Same Old Problems

Like McAdoo, Shurmur Must Now Try To Tame Beckham

Jason Keidel
October 08, 2018 - 11:25 am
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Ben McAdoo was canned as head coach last year because the Giants were morons on the gridiron and mutinous in the locker room. They lost games on the field then doubled down by acting like clowns everywhere else. Clearly, the head coach had lost his grip on his guys. 

Fast forward to this year and, other than the addition of Saquon Barkley, a couple offensive linemen and a linebacker, little has changed. We spent all last week inhaling and interpreting the gaseous monologues from the Giants' best player, Odell Beckham Jr., who hurled his entire team under the bus. After signing a deal that made him the highest-paid wideout in the history of pro football, we were seeing a laconic side from the iconic Giant. Which lasted maybe a month. He questioned the heart of the team before the game, then boasted about his leadership qualities after yet another loss. 

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Last year, the G-Men staggered out of the gate 1-5. This year, they're 1-4. Their first game of October 2017, they lost by two points to an NFC South team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their first game this October, they lost to another NFC South team by two points, though you must dig deep into the archives to find a more soul-snatching loss than the one Big Blue suffered Sunday. 

You need not be a frothing Giants fan to be sick to see Graham Gano's 63-yard dagger sail through the uprights and through the hearts of the Giants franchise. But Big Blue did more than enough to lose that game before the biblical boot from the Panthers' kicker, which won the game, 33-31.  

We can start with Beckham, who had his breakout game of the 2018 season, tossing a 57-yard touchdown pass to Barkley -- the Giants' longest passing play of the season -- and also catching another TD pass. Yet the electric, eccentric wide receiver also let a punt that he was supposed to field bounce off the back of his leg, dribbling into the end zone and pounced on by the Panthers, giving the home team a 14-3 lead in the first half. 

We can look at Eli Manning (22-of-36, 326 yards, two TDs), who had his typically conflicted effort. After tossing 150 passes sans an interception, Manning threw two brutal picks in the fourth quarter. But he also churned back the clock and led the Giants on a pristine late-game drive. With 2:16 left in the fourth quarter, Manning hit four straight passes, including a flip-and-run to Barkley that gave the Giants a 31-30 lead with 1:08 left.  

LISTEN: Boomer & Gio React To OBJ Drama

After reaching midfield, Carolina's offense sputtered, leaving it on Gano to make up for the lack of field position and to somehow kick a ball over acres of sunlit grass. While Cam Newton is the one who mimics Superman after he crosses the goal line, it was Gano with the golden leg, going Tom Dempsey on the Giants, slamming a ball with his foot from his own 47-yard line. And it wasn't like the ball squeaked by the goal posts or scraped the crossbar. As WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" noted Monday morning, Gano's blast reached the net that protects the fans. 

After the game, a livid Pat Shurmur grunted at the media and vowed not to be tricked into chatting about non-football matters, not to give us a "pound of flesh" -- whatever that means. It seems Shurmur shows his emotion at curious times, venting at the press, not his players, always at his most guarded against those who are not his enemy. If Shurmur wants to take out his frustration, take it out on the Panthers. 

It's not the New York Post's fault the Giants play with an alarming lack of intelligence. It's not the Daily News' fault their star player questions the will of his teammates. It's not WFAN's fault the Giants under Shurmur look eerily like the Giants under McAdoo. 

Now the Giants have three days to prepare for the Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champions, who should be hungry and angry after losing to the Vikings on Sunday. Not that the Eagles ever need an excuse to beat, or embarrass, the Giants. With one more loss, the Giants will be 1-5, their exact mark at the same time last season. The only difference will be the head coach, even if you can't tell the difference. 

Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel​.