There are many questions Giants fans are pondering after the team's troubling 0-2 start. There is much to distill and boil down from the setbacks to the Jaguars and Cowboys, and much to assess before what appears to be a potential do-or-die game against the stumbling Texans this weekend.

But I would perhaps distill all of the consternation and naval-gazing about New York's slow start and the direction of the franchise and the decision to pass on four first-round quarterbacks in place of a running back with the second-overall pick down to a few specific factors to be assessed over the years to come. I would focus on a few questions that will be answered over time as the prism by which to view this suspect start to the 2018 season.

Do Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley ever play a postseason game together?

Does Barkley become a generational talent, or at least, far and away, the best running back of his draft class?

Did the Giants pass on multiple franchise quarterbacks, and/or long-time NFL starters?

Does 2018 fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta ever contribute in a meaningful way, or do they find a solution at quarterback in the next two drafts (2019 looks particularly bereft of options)?

That's what will eventually tell the tale of the gamble to pass on the top of this quarterback class and take Barkley. They opted to go big on a running back who enters his career among the higher-paid players at his position at $7.8M, rather than pay that money to a young passer, which is less than many back-ups and journeymen make at THAT position.

And no matter how this pans out, let's put the credit or blame right where it belongs – with ownership. Because that's who charted this path, from the benching of Manning last year to the ham-handed way in which that was handled and the botched messaging around it, to the decision to start Geno Smith, to the decision to never even play Davis Webb, to the decision to never even truly entertain selecting a quarterback with the second-overall pick.

It's all on them.

Manning's streak doesn't get snapped last season unless that's how the Mara family wanted it, and Eli isn't re-installed if that's not what they want, and all of the organizations resources aren't poured back into trying to prop-up Manning like he is still an adequate NFL quarterback unless that's exactly what ownership wants, either. No way a lame-duck, dead-man walking coach in Ben McAdoo was making those calls in a vacuum and, by reaching back to Dave Gettleman to return to the organization, this time as the GM, it was clear there was always an implicit – at the very least – mandate to try to salvage what's left of Eli, to try to win now despite this team screaming out for a tear-down and re-start with a young QB (who could do worse than throw 15 times a game to Odell Beckham while he tries to adapt to the pro game).

Ownership wasn't willing to concede a reboot, wasn't willing to admit that benching Eli a year ago actually was the right move (only not just one game; and one game for Geno Smith at that) and wasn't willing to fret over what that might mean in the stands and for the team's bottom line in the interim. It's awful similar to the folly of the 2017 Arizona Cardinals making another run with a cooked Carson Palmer, rather than be proactive and start the new cycle then. Better a year early, or at least on time, rather than a year late.

So far, so bad. The offensive line is a mess again; you can pay Nate Solder more money than any tackle on the planet, and he may have been the best available option, but it doesn't mean he is a transformational talent. Eli has looked frazzled and as errant as ever and there is no tempo or cohesion to the passing game. They are making every effort to run the offense through Barkley – his 45 touches are second most of any NFL player through two weeks and his 118 scrimmage yards/game ranks in the top 10 – but except for one explosive run against the Jags in Week 1 it's been all dink-and-dunk and chuck-and-duck and grind-and-plod.

All those questions I reference are far from being answered … except the ones related to Eli, because this organization may well be right back in the same spot having another top 10 pick and needing to make a decision about the QB, again, mere months from now. The fact that Sam Darnold is playing his home games at the same stadium as the Giants may only serve to make matters worse, as I, for one, don't see the state of the Giants getting immediately better.

Time to play Josh Rosen

Baffled as to why the Cardinals didn't finally start to embrace their inevitable future of Josh Rosen already – he was the most pro-ready of the 2018 QB draft class – but it won't be long until Sam Bradford makes over $1M a week to hold a clipboard. Yeah, as rookie coach Steve Wilks said this week, in hemming and hawing about his quarterback conundrum, "it's not just Sam," where trying to quantify the vast array of issues with his offense, but that's a great place to start.

The Cardinals had to fight like mad just to finally cross midfield against the stout Rams defense, and in Week 1 they couldn't move the ball against the middling-at-best Skins until garbage time of a blowout loss. Through two weeks Bradford has somehow managed to average an unthinkable 3.98 yards per attempt. That's almost impossible. He has mustered all of 10 first downs – also by far worst in the NFL – and is also dead-last with a 55.6 rating. If Josh Allen is about to make his second start with nothing around him in Buffalo, it's mind-boggling Rosen hasn't already been anointed to take over in Arizona.

Reminds me a bit of the Bears situation in 2017, when they vastly overpaid Mike Glennon in free agency (as Arizona did with Bradford) and then prolonged the eventual switch for first-round pick, Mitch Trubisky, longer than they needed to despite it being clear he could not move their offense.

News and notes

Margus Hunt might be the most improved player in the NFL through two weeks. And, yeah, that includes Fitzmagic. Hunt looked like a total bust in Cincy and was a non-factor in Indy until two weeks ago, when he started wrecking opposing offensive lines. He has been a steady and present factor for a Colts defense that has performed at an infinitely higher level thus far than I believed was possible. Good for him. … All Patrick Mahomes has done is throw touchdown passes to seven different teammates among his 10 total scores, and three KC players are also averaging 13 yards per catch or more. The scary thing is, the running backs have yet to really be folded into the passing game (all three have one catch apiece) and we know how Andy Reid can get the screen game going. In Week 2, TE Travis Kelce was activated after a bit part in Week 2. Should the 49ers start worrying about Kareem Hunt on Monday night? … Antonio Brown's discontent with the Steelers has long been simmering, sources said, and dates back to early in training camp. Things have been icy between him and coach Mike Tomlin and there are already some serious concerns about rookie offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. And still nothing close to a sign that Le'Veon Bell is coming back anytime soon. Better get things turned around against the Bucs Monday night. This team tends to do that under turmoil. … Trubisky in the first quarter of games, when he can operate off a script that's been prepared all week is 15-for-18, averaging 8.78 yards per attempt, with a TD, no picks and a rating of 121.8. That rating drops to 25.8 n the second quarter and, overall, outside the first quarter, Trubisky is 33-for-51 for 213 yards (4.18 yards per attempt) with 1 TD and 2 INTS for a rating of 63.6. Lot of work to be done there.