SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ben McAdoo’s job security is fake news.
The Giants leaked last Thursday that they wouldn’t make in-season changes to their coaching or management staffs to quell the chaos created by anonymous players claiming McAdoo had lost the team and players were giving up.
But Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium changes that.
It has to.
The Niners (1-9), behind rookie coach Kyle Shanahan and rookie QB C.J. Beathard, dismantled the dysfunctional Giants (1-8), easily driving the ball down field on Steve Spagnuolo’s sieve-like defense and converting third downs (8-of-12) like they were breathing oxygen.
McAdoo on Friday called the player rips of his leadership “fake news” and, well, he was dead wrong.
“Everybody’s gotta do their jobs better or we’ll be looking for new jobs,” right tackle Justin Pugh said. “I mean, you lose to an 0-9 team. We’re 1-8, so I guess you could say we’re on the same level. But we’re different. They’re rebuilding. We’re a different team. We should have won today. So we need to take a hard look in the mirror and figure it out because in this business, games like this, seasons like this do not help your job security.”
The anonymous players are still talking, too. Hours after the game ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that a Giants source texted her, “Tried to warn you” of Sunday’s listless performance. The Giants flew home immediately after the defeat and were due to land in the early hours of Monday morning.
San Fran hadn’t led any of its previous nine games by more than three points at any time and beat the Giants by 10 (and it was an 18-point win really, at 31-13, until a meaningless late Giant TD). The Giants have lost the last two games, including a 51-17 home loss to the Rams, by a combined score of 82-38.
Compared to the Rams horror show, when MetLife Stadium emptied for a second straight loss, Levi’s Stadium on Sunday actually had some blue jerseys still in their seats in the fourth quarter — but probably only because they had nowhere else to go, across the country from the comfort of their homes.
McAdoo predictably got his back up when asked about his job “situation.”
“What situation,” the coach bristled. “We have to go correct the tape, all right, and get ready for our next ballgame. We have a chance to play probably one of the best teams in football next week (in the Kansas City Chiefs). There’s no situation.”
Wrong. There is a situation. The situation is that there is no hope of the Giants beating the Chiefs or winning any other game after losing to the previously 0-9 Niners. That’s the situation.
GM Jerry Reese then meekly declined comment as he walked out of the locker room. As always, he left it to his players to explain the mess he has assembled. He should be fired and McAdoo should be, too.
“We’re not a good team right now, and hopefully we can go ahead and turn it around to be competitive and compete,” linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. “It’s sad that I’m sitting here talking about us competing in games instead of talking about winning, but that’s the truth. We’ve got to be able to compete, hang around til the end and pull out a victory at the end. It ain’t no domination on the Giants’ side. That ain’t gonna happen.”
Spagnuolo, accused of “panicking” in games by the same players who claimed McAdoo “has lost this team,” could be canned before McAdoo as the in-season fall guy if ownership feels the defensive coordinator’s calls and his defense’s second straight game of insufficient effort warrant nothing less.
Top corner Janoris Jenkins was the picture of quit on the defense. He was as invisible playing on Sunday as he’d been in Week 9 when he was suspended for skipping a practice. Jenkins made several unacceptable non-tackle attempts, including on Niners TE Garrett Celek’s 47-yard TD catch that put the Niners back on top, 17-13, at half.
In fact, of McAdoo isn’t fired, one reason might be because Spagnuolo at this point can’t be considered a suitable replacement after his defense also gave up 83-, 47- and 33-yard touchdowns.
Still, McAdoo’s record in two seasons against rookie head coaches fell to 2-4, including 1-3 this season, beating Denver’s Vance Joseph in Week 6 but losing to the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn, the Rams’ Sean McVay and the Niners’ Shanahan by a combined score of 109-60.
“Tough ballgame for me to take,” McAdoo said. “They outplayed us today, they out-coached me today.”
Why did McAdoo say he was outcoached?
“Look at the scoreboard,” McAdoo said.
No thanks, say Giants fans.
The Daily News ran a 20-minute Twitter poll when the Giants trailed the Niners 31-13 in the fourth quarter to see if Giant fans were still watching the game. Fifty-eight percent of the 605 fans polled said they had turned the game off.
Wonder if John Mara and Steve Tisch voted from ghost Twitter accounts?
Consider this: Niners rookie QB C.J. Beathard entered the game with a 50.9 career completion percentage, two TDs, four INTs and 62.7 career QB rating in four games played. Against the Giants, Beathard completed 19-of-25 passes (76%) for 288 yards, two TDs, an interception on an excellent play by Olivier Vernon and a 123.4 QB rating.
“Yeah. It’s embarrassing,” Vernon said of getting shredded by a rookie QB.
Eli Manning, after listening to McAdoo talk all week about not turning the ball over, promptly shoveled the ball out while falling down on a red zone sack for a fumble. Kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked the opening kickoff out of bounds and kept missing field goals. Jenkins didn’t try and Niners offensive players looked like they were running wind sprints against air.
Safety Landon Collins, who played sick, didn’t appreciate a San Francisco reporter saying Beathard “had his way” with the Giant defense.
“He had his way?! Is that what you’re saying?” Collins said. “He didn’t do nothing spectacular. He played the offense. He played the offense. Nah, he wasn’t a great quarterback.”
But the truth is the Giants are a laughingstock, their defense especially.
“It seemed like two teams went out there with their backs against the wall, one team came out swinging harder than the other,” Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said.
McAdoo continued to refuse to say he was embarrassed.
“I’m not embarrassed by this team,” he said.
That’s OK. Come Monday morning, it might not be his team.