Written by: Glenn Warciski
On Christmas Eve, the New York Giants did show up to play the Arizona Cardinals; however, they showed no signs of life. A listless 23-0 loss to a mediocre Cardinals team plunged the Giants into further chaos. With this latest loss, the Giants overall record stands at 2-13 ( 13 losses a franchise record), 0-11 in the NFC Conference and with the spirit of zeroes, the Giants are 0-5 in the NFC East. But, it gets worse. Throwing in this scoreless effort by the Giants, going back to 2012, the Giants have been shut out FIVE times. This is the fifth time they have been shut out in the last six years. Another ignominious statistic in the team’s 93-year storied history.
As the Giants continue to fall into this deep and disgusting rabbit hole, the current team implosion can be traced back to the 2012 season. Coming off a Super Bowl win, the Giants were 8-5 possible playoff team. They were headed down to Atlanta to play the Falcons. In the 2011 playoff run, the Giants clipped the Falcons wings, defeating them 24-2. A year later, to the chagrin of the Giants and their fans, the Falcons embarrassed them 34 to zero. As I mentioned, this deflating loss was the first of the five shutouts in the last six years. The following week, the Giants got smothered by the Ravens 33-14, which ended their playoff hopes and a repeat Super Bowl opportunity. Although they defeated the Eagles in the last game of the 2012 season to finish up with a winning record of 9-7, the Giants began the downward trend that has culminated into the current nightmare.
If we mark down December 16th, 2012, as the starting point of the Giants’ spiral, they have compiled a record of 33-50, which amounts to 37 percent wins. I am including the 2016 playoff loss to the Packers. Think about it. A 33-50 record from late 2012 to the present. As we have chronicled here on the NYGunderground.com, the Giants have been a bad team for quite some time. When this miserable season finally concludes next week against the Redskins, there is only hope things will get better. Let us hope Mara gets the Giants going in the right direction.
Lumps of Coal:
Eli Manning. I have been a fervent supporter of Eli Manning over the years. It was evident against the Cardinals, Eli’s best days are behind him. Unfortunately, Manning does not have “it” anymore. Well, some Giants fans argue that if he had a good offensive line and all of his wide receivers, he would be a better quarterback. This is specious thinking. As a veteran quarterback, Eli should know better and not turn the ball over THREE times. And when I refer to “it,” I mean he cannot elevate his team and get them wins.
Some fans scoff at this thinking, but look at what is happening in San Francisco. Remember the 49ers? This team had zero wins when they played the Giants. Yes. Zero wins. Since they defeated the Giants, two weeks later, they inserted their quarterback of the future, Jimmy Garoppolo. Remarkably, with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, the 49ers have won FIVE games in a row. So, in a league where a quality quarterback is needed for a team to win games, the Giants lack one right now. This is one of the main reason why the Giants are not getting wins. They need to replace Eli.
This brings us to the decision not to play rookie third round pick Davis Webb. What are the Giants thinking? I have thought about this, and I believe after Ben McAdoo’s public relations fiasco around the benching of Eli, owner John Mara’s hand was forced. Facing an outpouring of support for Eli and pent-up rage from Giants fans, Mara quickly fired McAdoo and the architect of this mess, Jerry Reese. In addition, I think Mara got ticked off by public perception about the Giants perhaps tanking the rest of their games for draft position. So, it is a combination of public relations, keeping Eli in the lineup so remaining loyal fans will attend the remaining home games as well as not being perceived as giving up on the season.
The plan of playing Webb sooner did not come to fruition because of expediency. As of the writing of this post, Eli Manning is slated to start the last game of the season against the Redskins. At this point, there are plenty of bad actors within the Giants’ organization. Two of them have been dispatched. Not playing Davis Webb points us all the way to the top: John Mara. There is no logical reason to defend the Giants’ decision to keep him inactive at this stage of the season. Hypothetically, if Webb gets a chance to play versus the Redskins and looks impressive, it will definitely cast a dark shadow on John Mara. As our editor, Jaiden Everett, pointed out in our post on the firings of McAdoo and Reese, Mara was being disingenuous about the firings not being about public relations but about the team’s record.
More Lumps of Coal:
When training camp begins next year, the Giants must bring in competition for the placekicker and punter positions. Placekicker Aldrick Rosas has been too inconsistent this season. He missed another field goal versus the Cardinals. Overall this season, he has made 16 field goals on 23 attempts. This puts him in the bottom half of the NFL.
As for punter Brad Wing, he too has been inconsistent. Compared to last season, he has regressed.
Abbott and Costello: aka Vernon and JPP. Both underachieving defensive ends recorded a sack. Vernon has 5.5 sacks and JPP has 7.5 sacks on the year. In this game and for the entire year, both of these guys did not have a sack in a big spot. Both touchdowns Stanton threw against the Giants, Vernon and JPP did not make a play. The other interesting point about Abbott and Costello, they both played injured. Instead of the Giants subbing them out with Avery Moss and Romeo Okwara, the Giants decided to play the overpriced guys. Another misguided decision made by the Giants.
Giants rookie TE Evan Engram left the game with an injury, and so did WR Sterling Shepard. With one game left in the season, it would be wise for the Giants to sit both guys out. The hope is the injuries these guys sustained will not keep them out for a prolonged period of time.