The New York Giants have been one of the most surprising teams in the NFL. They won 7 of their first 9 games on the heady coaching of Brian Daboll and the improved quarterback play of Daniel Jones, and they appear to be on their way to a spot in the postseason.

However, the Giants looked like a team that didn’t have a clue when they took the field in Week 11 at MetLife Stadium against the Detroit Lions. Instead of rolling to an easy win on their home field against a team that has regularly been a doormat in the NFC North, the Giants fell behind early and could never climb back in. They dropped a 31-18 decision.

There is a lot of blame to go around, but here are the 3 Giants who deserve most of the blame.

Daboll did not have this team prepared to compete

Giants fans had to wonder about the team that they have seen in recent weeks. Despite their excellent record, they dropped a 27-13 decision to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8, barely beat the lowly Houston Texans when they returned from their bye week in Week 10 and fell flat on their faces against the Lions.

This is a negative trend that needs to be reversed, but it may be difficult on Thanksgiving Day when they go to Dallas to face the rampaging Cowboys. Daboll needs to wake his troops and get them back to playing sharp and efficient football or the strong play of the first half of the season may become a distant memory.

Daboll has a reputation for delivering a creative offense that leaves opponents on their heels. However, in the hard-hitting and competitive NFC East, the Giants must display more toughness than they did against the Lions.

Jones has to protect the football

Daniel Jones has shown significant improvement this season as he has demonstrated his ability as a runner and a leader. His passing has also improved quite a bit this season, but he put his team in harm’s way against the Lions.

Jones completed 27 of 44 passes for 341 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. One of those interceptions was by Lions rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, who dropped into coverage and stole the ball from the unsuspecting Jones.

“I think we’re all pretty disappointed with our effort today and how we played,” Jones said, “and we’re not up to our standard to, you know, what we’re capable of doing.”

Barkley did not get the job done

Saquon Barkley is supposed to be one of the premier running backs in the NFL. He should have had a field day against the Lions, one of the lowest rated defensive teams in the league.

Instead, the Lions pounded the running back, and Barkley gained just 22 yards on 15 carries, with a long of 4 yards. That’s simply not good enough.

While the Lions are improving and have won 3 games in a row, Barkley has to be better than that. His line must do a better job of opening holes and Barkley must finish his runs.

If the Giants don’t turn things around quickly,  a downturn could be at hand.