The New York Giants are in the throes of their “Wilderness 2.0” period, meaning they are back to being irrelevant players in the NFL power structure, just like they were from 1964-1980.
With one winning season over the last seven, the Giants have firmly entrenched themselves in the lower echelon of NFL teams. All of the talk about winning is just window dressing these days. Anyone who follows the team regularly like we — and you — do, knows they aren’t winning anything for a while.
That brings us to the banter that this Monday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys is a “must” win.
Really? How do you figure?
A victory would be nice to see but it won’t mean much in the grand frame of things. They would go from 2-6 to 3-6 and would have to win five of the last seven games just to finish 8-8, which would likely still leave them out of the postseason picture.
That scenario is ridiculous. The Giants are 10-30 over their last 40 games going back to the beginning of the 2017 season and 7-17 under this head coach and his staff. They’ve lost five straight to the Dak Prescott/Ezekiel Elliott-led Cowboys and are expected to lose this game as well.
What needs to change? Several things. Accountability would help. Some leadership wouldn’t hurt, either. Better players would be nice, too, especially at the offensive tackle positions and a defensive playmaker would go a long way to turning this listing ship around.
The arc for turning an NFL team around is three years. If the GM and coach can’t get a fire lit under the organization over that period, they’re out. Right now, we’re halfway through the rebuild and the results haven’t changed.
The Giants have been competitive in many of their games this season. The biggest issues are — and we’re not trying to crack wise here — scoring points and allowing those “explosive” plays on defense.
How can the Giants generate more points on offense? Well, first of all, Daniel Jones has to stop turning the ball over. Secondly, they need to get Saquon Barkley going again. I know Pat Shurmur wants to manage his workload due to the ankle, but there are ways Barkley can help even with his touches limited. Lastly, they can open things up a bit, but it looks as if they aren’t trusting Jones with the family car on the highway yet, so short passes it is.
On defense, they need to plant a defensive back in centerfield and leave him there. A zone, you ask? Really? When you can’t cover man-to-man, that’s the fail-safe. Sorry, kids. We left you on your own and you set the drapes on fire. Time for a change. If I were DC James Bettcher, I would abandon whatever defense he’s trying to run and simplify things because they are getting embarrassed week in and week out.
And here comes Prescott, who has taken them to school for the past two and half years.
“Must” win? How about solving the fundamental issues first before scoreboard watching.