As if watching the New York Giants get shut-out by the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday wasn’t degrading enough, fans everywhere must continue to cope with the notion that they still have to endure two more weeks of this monstrosity of a season.
On Sunday, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is still going to be calling the plays for Eli Manning, who in turn will attempt to evade the herd of Detroit Lions defensive linemen who will undoubtedly burst through the pathetic excuse of an offensive line that takes the field each week. The running game will be non-existent, receivers will botch routes (causing at least one of Eli’s multiple interceptions) and the faithful readers of Giants 101 will retreat to the comment section numb to the results of the game, because everyone saw it coming.
Two seasons ago, we were watching a team on its way to a Super Bowl championship. Now we’re just hoping for the season to end so all parties involved can be put out of their collective misery. Let that sink in.
Even the most optimistic fans have to admit, this is a bad football team. It’s not like the Giants just caught a few bad breaks along the way and their season crumbled. Regardless of injuries, 2013 was a full-on implosion from the very start. In reality, there’s nothing to gain from a win in either of the final two games. The players and coaches won’t quit, but a win does nothing but hurt the team’s draft position. And the draft is the only way this team will effectively mend the deficiencies that have kept the Giants out of the playoffs four of the last five years.
On the surface, it appears as if new leadership is badly needed. But in reality, change isn’t happening. Although it may be fun for some fans to think about who the Giants could bring in to replace Tom Coughlin, he’ll be back next season. If fans are lucky, Gilbride may be given his walking papers, but then again, maybe not.
Perhaps for the Giants to take their biggest leap forward, it may be necessary to take a few steps backward. Maybe letting Damontre Moore see more snaps in 2014 will be more productive than giving a multi-year contract to Justin Tuck. James Brewer may be a question mark, but is it worth further stunting his development so Kevin Boothe can play?
The question marks don’t stop there. Corey Webster, Chris Snee, and Hakeem Nicks are all likely gone next season. Antrel Rolle is on the books to make over $7 million in base salary, which makes him a prime candidate to be cut if cap space is needed.
Next season, we’re going to have almost the same coaching staff with a roster of players that is less talented, on paper at least, than the one that entered training camp this season.
Giants fans have enjoyed competitive, and at times, championship caliber football during the Coughlin-Manning era. But the NFL is a league based upon parity, and all teams, at one time or another, are going to need to rebuild. The Giants are far from needing to blow everything up and start over, but general manager Jerry Reese has an aging roster devoid of talent at key positions. It could be a while before it’s fixed.
So when the Giants are getting embarrassed once again on Sunday, don’t tell yourself “there’s always next year.” For this organization, next year is about developing talent so this year doesn’t happen again.
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