What We've Learned About the Giants at the Bye Week

Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS
Patricia Traina

The sun came out a day after the Giants were embarrassed by the New York Jets, but the fact remains that this loss is probably one of the worst ones in recent memory because of the shadow it has cast on a once-proud Giants franchise.  

In thinking about it, there are several things that are very worrisome about this franchise and the path it's on. And unless the coaching staff and management has an epiphany that results in a hot tear to end the season, the fear is more Sundays like what the Giants put on display against the Jets are in store for the rest of the season.

Here are a few reflections about where this franchise stands as it enters its bye week.

Whatever "Progress" is, This Ain't It 

Remember how back at the start of the year John Mara spoke about wanting to see progress but how he kind of left a lot of wiggle room regarding how he defined what "progress" meant?

There are two ways to look at this. The first is that  Giants have some intriguing young talent that has flashed signs of future greatness. and that once everything falls into place for that young talent, it's going to be a beautiful sight to watch.

However, unless that talent is developed and properly harvested, it won't matter. 

After an entire spring slate of OTAs, six or so weeks of training camp and preseason games, and 10 regular-season games, the fact that these glaring deficiencies in players have not improved is not progress.

While credit must be given to the opponents that have beaten the Giants, in many ways, this lack of progress and the continued self-inflicted wounds behind the lack of progress is what has hurt this team the most.  

Until they go back to the drawing board and stop trying to fool themselves into thinking that each Daniel Jones turnover is different, that each blown coverage is different, and so forth, the Giants are going to be stuck int his rut for a long, long time.

The Fundamentals Are Behind the Mistakes 

Every week during conference calls and press conferences, someone asks about the mistakes made and if there is a common thread behind them.

And every week, regardless of who gets asked the questions, the answer is the same: the mistakes are different and unique to the play.

That answer never did carry much weight, mainly because of the semantics behind it. Of course, the circumstances are different, e.g., a different opponent, a different down and distance, a different angle, etc.

But it all boils down to the fundamentals--tackling, shedding blocks, making catches, separating, taking care of the ball and all the other things that, week in and week out, the Giants have not done well enough to win games.

At the end of the day, football is about beating the man in front of you. If your fundamentals are sound, then you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success.

The Giants have not played fundamentally sound football. And until they do, it might not matter who's calling plays, who's playing and who isn't and what the circumstances are. 

Whatever "Progress" is, This Ain't It

Remember how at the start of the year, team president John Mara spoke about wanting to see progress but how he kind of left a lot of wiggle room regarding how he defined what "progress" meant?

There are two ways to look at this. The first is that Giants have some intriguing young talent that has flashed signs of future greatness. and that once everything falls into place for that young talent, it's going to be a beautiful sight to watch.

However, unless that talent is developed and properly harvested, it won't matter.

After an entire spring slate of OTAs, six or so weeks of training camp and preseason games, and ten regular-season games, the fact that these glaring deficiencies in players have not improved is not "progress."

While credit must be given to the opponents, in many ways, the Giants' lack of progress and the continued self-inflicted wounds behind the lack of progress is what has hurt this team the most.

Until they go back to the drawing board and stop trying to fool themselves into thinking that each Daniel Jones turnover is different, that each blown coverage is different, and so forth, the Giants are going to be stuck int his rut for a long, long time.

Beware of Over Dependence

The Giants ship is sinking--or, depending on your perspective, has already sunk. And when that happens, people go into survival mode for their jobs, a dangerous ocean in which to find one's self.

Why? Because when one is in survival mode, one tends to lean more heavily on their best players to bail them out. Now granted, a coaching staff should do that, but when your best players are dealing with significant injuries that are potential problems, then it's fair to question the wisdom of putting all one's eggs in a single basket.

Let's look at a couple of examples. Running back Saquon Barkley is the Giants' best player, no question.

But Barkley hasn't been Barkley because of a high ankle sprain that, no matter what he or the Giants say, is still an issue.

Is it worth it to keep depending on Barkley as much as they have if the odds increase of him potentially making that ankle worse tp where he might need surgery down the line?

Or does it maybe pay to put a higher emphasis on the backups and making sure that they can do what's necessary to keep you in games so that you don't have to overload one injured man's plate?

Talk is Cheap

I don't know that I can say it any better than the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo did in his GMFB rant, but I will say I agree 100% with his take.

Every week after a loss, we keep hearing the players and coaches talking about fixing the problems, yet every week we see the same fundamental issues popping up.

So enough with the talk. Admit you screwed up and call it for what it is. And fix it already because the fans that spend thousands of dollars each year on tickets, merchandise, and other items that support the team deserve action over words.

Would This Season Have Stung Less if The Giants Had Admitted the "R" Word?

From a marketing perspective, no organization likes to use the words "rebuild" or "restructure" because it creates a pause among potential sponsors.

Still, I can't help but wonder if the Giants had more openly embraced the concept of a "new generation of Giants football" if perhaps there might have been a little more patience exercised by an angry fan base that was expecting more.

Going back to the start of general manager Dave Gettleman's tenure, it was undeniable that the Giants needed to restock the cupboard of youth left barren by all the failed drafts of the previous regime.

At some point, one had to realize there was going to be a major rebuild that had to take place. It's very similar to a gutted house undergoing a renovation--it takes time for all the components to come together before the home is inhabitable again.

That's why in the case of the Giants, it's probably fair to say that the wrong emPHASIS was placed on the wrong sylLABle.

A team's goal is to be competitive and win games--that was never the question. 

At the same time, there has to be a degree of honesty mixed in with hope regarding the expectations conveyed to the paying customers--especially after the gutting and massive reshaping of a roster that was clearly in need of an enormous infusion of youth that needs time to develop.  

Comments (6)
No. 1-4
Cowboyup
Cowboyup

Readers

We can see how " depending upon Barkley " has worked out. For two games in a row, our top rusher is the QB! Everyone seems to thrive on dishonesty and lack of candor on this team. Barkley has been dishonest with himself and with the team and fans. He was not ready to come back when he did, and that should never have been permitted. It seems as though Barkley is running the team, only because he was the prize ( and strategically incorrect ) draft pick of the GM. So players are not honest about their health; coaches are not honest about what is taking place, and the errors being repeated; and Mara is not honest about the choices he has made and the expectations he demanded. And the GM is not honest about his ability and approach to building a championship team. He says " hog mollies" but he drafts offensive specialists. We would be far better positioned if we had drafted top defensive players and offensive lineman, and let Eli be the QB, We can have the best running back and the best QB in the league but, without a defense, and without a dominating offensive line, we are always going to be 5-11 or worse. I guarantee if we are positioned in the top three of 2020 draft, we will select a QB or a wide receiver. His priorities are wrong and will lead to continued failure. And no one is being honest about that!

GmanMike
GmanMike

If this is accurate and the fundamentals are not being emphasized then that is coaching and therefore the coaches must go. It is like anything else, you focus on the small things and the big ones will take care of themselves! But it is more than that. This is a dysfunctional organization and has been for a very long time. We keep saying this “once proud” organization when, in fact, the Giants have been the worst NFC East team, in terms of year in, year out competitiveness since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger!

oswegosteve
oswegosteve

Is Jerry Reese to the Giants what Isiah Thomas was to the Knicks?
Also, Shurmer MUST give up the play calling and focus on being solely the head coach - the strategy guy..... let his coaches come up with the plans and plays to incorporate the strategy. I've never played organized football, but I still could safely predict 90% of the play calls on offense.
Is it just me, or are the Giants' coaches being out-coached every game? It appears that the opponents - EVERY GAME - make correct adjustments while the Giants either make wrong adjustments or none at all....

HoogieCoogieMan
HoogieCoogieMan

Good read, but you say in the end you have to beat the man in front of you, agree. But when the man in front of you knows what is coming & you don't beat him, why do the Giants keep running up the middle when the entire D KNOWS where you are going to run. That makes it difficult for even the best OL lines not just the Giants OL. Occasionally the Giants do need to run inside, but NOT every running play. They have to go back to the drawing board and figure ways to get the RB outside. One yard is an embarrassment. Get Barkley the ball on screens and short x-ing route. Hit him in stride & see what happens. I saw Barkley open almost every time he went out, he just wasn't thrown to.

1 Reply

Patricia Traina
Patricia Traina

Readers

Hence why I think a change in play-caller would be a good idea.


News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY