Given that I run one of the oldest New York Giants fan sites on the internet, I think I have a pretty good feel for pulse of the fan base. My sense is that fan morale is at an all-time low, probably reaching levels not seen since the 1970’s. And it’s not that fans are angry or upset. It’s reaching the more troublesome indifference stage. I’m seeing more and more fans who have posted for years on this site, fans who live and breathe Giants football, simply say, “I’ll DVR the game and watch it if they win” or “OK, I’m turning this off. I can’t take it.”
We’re talking about a fan base that once patiently waited 30 years (1956 to 1986) to see their team win another championship, and filled waiting lists and stadiums in the interim. It’s not just that the Giants are losing (only one winning season in the last seven years), but it’s that they aren’t even competitive. In the old days, the Giants were lovable losers. They usually came up short in the W-L column, but they scratched and clawed, and you were still usually watching the game in the 4th quarter because the contest was still undecided. The Giants would break your hearts, but at least you were being entertained. Now it’s just sad and depressing with games over by halftime. Coaches and athletes making millions of dollars per year and simply going through the motions. Only a masochist would want to watch the thing they love get humiliated on a weekly basis.
Governments, institutions, organizations, and companies that are poorly run use a neat trick. They find ways to distract the masses from their incompetence. So like clockwork, in less than two months, John Mara will stand in front of the press and convince many that he understands our pain and that changes will be made. Heck, he may even fire the general manager and head coach again. Or some of the assistant coaches may be forced out. In the past, this has worked. The scapegoats made fans feel better in the short term, buying ownership a couple of years, until the cycle was repeated. Are we really going to fall for it again? Some will.
So how do the Giants turn this around? Make better personnel decisions, draft better, don’t spend like crazy in free agency, find a difference-maker at quarterback, focus on the lines of scrimmage, hire competent coaches, acquire tough players rather than soft, injury-prone ones. The Giants lose because they haven’t done these things. They don’t have a quarterback. They don’t control the lines of scrimmage. They never have cap space. There is no depth. And they are soft and always hurt.
THE INJURY REPORT:
- QB Tommy DeVito (left shoulder/knee – probable)
- RB Saquon Barkley (ankle – probable)
- RB Deon Jackson (concussion – probable)
- WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee – probable)
- WR Jalin Hyatt (concussion – probable)
- LT Andrew Thomas (knee – questionable)
- RT Evan Neal (ankle – out)
- OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (concussion – probable)
- OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle – probable)
- ILB Bobby Okereke (hip – probable)
- CB Deonte Banks (ankle – probable)
- CB Cor’Dale Flott (shoulder – probable)
- CB Adoree’ Jackson (concussion – out)
- S Xavier McKinney (rib – probable)
- S Jason Pinnock (thumb/ankle – probable)
GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
As predicted, Dallas’ 3rd-ranked defense toyed with New York’s dead-last offense. A last-second, garbage-time touchdown was the only thing preventing the Giants from being held to 10 points again. The Giants are basically dead in the water with Tommy DeVito learning on the job at quarterback. But would the offense really be that much better with a healthy Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor starting? Sadly, DeVito already has more touchdown passes than either.
On this side of the ball, the entire focus of the front office in the offseason should be acquiring a legitimate quarterback and fixing the offensive line once and for all with tough guys who don’t miss games. A game-breaking wideout would be really nice, but what difference would he make if you don’t have someone to throw him the ball or an offensive line to allow anything to function?
GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
I’ve said for years that fans should not over react to the last game, but look for trends. The defense was trending in the right direction for three games, albeit it against struggling offenses. In the past two games, the defense has played like dog shit. The defense is demoralized, the loss of Leonard Williams is having an impact, injuries are mounting, young players are hitting the wall, and the competition has improved. Regardless, it is completely unacceptable to allow seven touchdowns and over 600 yards against any opponent, let alone a division rival. I’ve been a big advocate for Wink Martindale and his style of defense, but he’s losing me at this point. The Giants may not win another game this year, but we expect competent defense moving forward. Do your job and fix it.
In the offseason, again, focus on the line of scrimmage. Find tough guys who don’t get hurt and who can rush the passer.
GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Giants special teams are just so bland and boring. In the old days, when Giants’ teams were bad, it was mainly because the offense was terrible. But the defense and special teams kept New York in games and made the contests somewhat exciting with a big hit, forced turnover, downed punt, blocked kick. Now, this is just another part of the team that loses on game day. And as has been pointed out by many, strange personnel/coaching decisions were made all year that negatively impacted the special teams product on the field.
THE FINAL WORD:
Washington is a better team than the Giants faced a month ago. New York is a worse team. This game should cement the Giants dead-last finish in the NFC East.