Game Preview: Green Bay Packers at New York Giants, December 1, 2019
During the dark times, it is easy to forget that the New York Giants have been one of the NFL’s most successful franchises, winning eight NFL championships and playing in 19 NFL championship games. It’s not just the quantity of success, but the quality, with the 1990, 2007, and 2011 playoff runs being some of the most memorable in pro football history. The latter two playoff runs included never-to-forgotten upsets against the Green Bay Packers on their home field. While it may seem like ancient history, it’s not. Both of those games were played within the last 12 years.
Which brings us to 2019. In the team’s long and storied history, there have been the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There was the 1964-1980 playoff drought that included 2-10-2 (1964), 1-12-1 (1966), 2-11-1 (1973), 2-12 (1974), 3-11 (1976), and 4-12 (1980) seasons. During this 17-year time frame, the Giants averaged FIVE wins per season. It was a dreadful time to be a New York Giants fan.
But the 2019 New York Giants earned a disgrace that even those pathetic teams of the 1960s and 1970s never achieved: it went winless during both months of October and November. Two months ago, the Giants were 2-2. They now enter December 2-9. Almost unbelievably, they are out of the playoff hunt in a division where the front runner has a .500 record.
The New York Giants have won 10 games in three seasons. They are currently averaging THREE wins per season during that time span. They will finish the year either in 3rd or 4th place in the NFC East with losing records for the sixth time in seven years.
Something is wrong. Everyone has a theory as to why, but we all know something is wrong. We all feel it. Even with a rookie quarterback who is showing signs of being the real deal and a second-year running back who flashed greatness as a rookie, there is little hope among the fan base. The Giants are not getting better. And the games are not fun to watch. It’s become a chore. This is as depressed as I’ve seen Giants fans since I began covering the team in 1995.
Wellington Mara and Robert Tisch passed away in 2005. Their sons, as newbie owners, were in charge of the team when it won NFL titles in 2007 and 2011. John Mara and Steve Tisch got cocky. They let their guard down. The franchise rapidly deteriorated into a laughingstock in the blink of an eye. And one gets the sense that they pretended it wasn’t happening, that the downturn was a temporary anomaly. It wasn’t. And with each passing day, fan ire now turns on them as they have hand-picked the staff who were supposed to turn this around.
Wellington once famously said, “It’s nice to see arrogance humbled” when talking about the Dallas Cowboys in 1996. Those words are now haunting his son, even if he chooses not to recognize it. John is now going through the same growing pains that his dad did as an owner many decades ago. Whether he can learn from his mistakes and make the right adjustments will determine how long the Giants remain a joke. Hopefully, it won’t be another 17-year stretch.
THE INJURY REPORT
- WR Golden Tate (concussion – out)
- TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
- TE Rhett Ellison (concussion – out)
- S Jabrill Peppers (back – out)
- LS Zak DeOssie (knee/wrist – out)
THE FINAL WORD
The Giants are going to lose their eighth game in a row on Sunday. And there is a good chance that this game gets ugly in front of a half-empty stadium.
The Giants will then finish a 4-game stretch that includes two annual beat-downs by the Philadelphia Eagles, including one game in prime time.
It’s going to get much worse my friends.