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Harsh Reality: New York Giants’ Victory Over Detroit Lions was Meaningless

December 24th, 2013 at 7:00 AM
By Paul Tierney

Editor's Note: This is an opinion editorial done by Paul Tierney and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of all Giants 101 contributors. Enjoy.

As I watched New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning's body tossed to the ground for a safety in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, my initial reaction was to get up and start screaming at my television. I'm sure I wasn't alone. But unlike many others, an overwhelming sense of reality stopped me from succumbing to my instinctual rage.

That's because it didn't matter.

Whether Eli had the awareness to step up in the pocket before he took the sack, or to throw the ball at the feet of the closest receiver was irrelevant. He could have scrambled for a touchdown, and the Giants would still have been doomed to a third-place finish in the NFC East this season.

For this team, Sunday's win was a demonstration of an organizational pride that fans everywhere have bought into. In football, when all else fails, players and fans alike hang their hats on pride as if having it dampens the heartache spurred on by past failures. And regardless of yesterday's game and whatever happens in the Giants' season finale, 2013 will forever be remembered as a colossal failure.

Pride doesn't change any of that. At best, it can partially blind one to the reality of a bad situation.

But in the NFL, teams are designed to fail at one time or another. Failure is what makes winning an enthralling experience for players and fans everywhere. Imagine being a Jacksonville Jaguars fan the day they win a Super Bowl? Giants fans, in particular, know what it feels like to see their team emerge from mediocrity to champions.

In this league, failure is inevitable. This year, it was the Giants' turn to fail. And while it's gut-wrenching to watch as a fan, the team might as well take advantage to the benefits the NFL offers to teams that prove inferior over 16 games.

I'm not here trying to say the Giants shouldn't have come out and tried to win Sunday's game. I'm  not saying it was acceptable for anyone who considers themselves a true Giants fan to root for the Lions.

But just like I remained emotionless when Eli was sacked in his own end-zone, I didn't jump off my couch when Will Hill picked off Mathew Stafford and ran for a touchdown. As much as I didn't want to admit it, the long-term interests of the organization would have been better served by losing. If the team wins its final two games and drafts outside the top-10, it's going to kill me to see another squad pick-up a stud offensive tackle that our fan-base has clamored for.

All said and done, Giants fans should be happy the team pulled out a victory. If nothing else, it showed the players possess an admirable work-ethic and a sense of character. But when the draft rolls around, Sunday's victory could hinder the Giants' ability to win games that actually matter. It's possible yesterday's victory alters the future of the organization for years to come. So while it's fashionable for fans to say they rooted relentlessly for the Giants to win on Sunday, others will be left asking themselves: Was it worth it?

Photo credit: MattBritt00 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Tags: Detroit Lions, Eli Manning, Football, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Super Bowl, Will Hill

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16 Responses to “Harsh Reality: New York Giants’ Victory Over Detroit Lions was Meaningless”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    I wanted to give Dirt a shout-out for his recent posts on Eli.
    We all love Eli.
    But as I’ve been posting for over half the season, his bad play, coupled with his outsized contract, cannot be ignored.
    It is not enough to scream that he’s won 2 super bowls and let it go at that.
    The guy has been flat out bad for some 24 games.
    The Detroit game was no different. He missed wide open receivers, chucked a pick that was all him, and just generally looked frightened and lost.
    The Giants and Eli have 2 seasons to figure this out. At this level of play you can’t re-sign the guy for anything above the veteran minimum.
    That means that on top of everything else, Reese has to start looking for the heir apparent.
    I may tend to give up on young players too soon (I’ve already written off Wilson and Hosely and the entire Va. tech program), but Nassib certainly did not look the part of an NFL QB this summer.
    But this creates a serious dilemma for the Giants. Absent a miracle, the Giants offense is so bad that it’s at least a 2 year fix. They literally need an upgrade at every single position except Cruz and Pugh. Putting Eli aside, that’s 8 spots. Take out Randal who we’ll live with and that’s still 7.
    Under the theory that if you significantly upgrade a couple of spots, the rest of the people will overachieve, they still need to find at least 3 vastlynbetter players 2 linemen and an RB.
    That is probably too much for 1 year. So Eli is going to be playing with substandard personnel next year at least. Another upside down TD:INT season and he’ll be heading into his last year with potentially 3 dreadful seasons as his last 3 and the giants having to decide whether to keep him and at what price versus redeploying assets elsewhere but perhaps with no better QB option on the roster.

    •  Dirt says:

      The one thing I’ll say is that he’s done it before, which means he’s capable of playing at a higher level. But, very clearly, his mechanics have gone to sh|t, his decisions have gone to sh|t and his accuracy has gone to sh|t. He, himself, needs to work on all those things, much like he did in the Spring and Summer of 2011 when he had no coaches and elevated himself to a level that was quite frankly HOF worthy.

    •  Kettles78 says:

      Resign Eli for the veterans minimum? Since the 2 Super Bowl performances don’t count does over 4000 yards count? 4th quarter comebacks? I’m not saying he should be the highest paid qb but veterans minimum seems a bit outrageous. Get him a running game, decent o-line he will be fine

  2.  rlhjr says:

    Completely especially if you consider that with it another position in draft order was lost. But that is what the vet players are fighting for; Just a chance to have a spot on the roster next season. When you job is at stake, you marshal all your resources and you give it your best shot.

    The problem is giving it your best in some of our player’s cases consists of pulling out meaningless game to round out a losing or under achieving season such as last year’s 9-7 deal. The Giants have proven that they are more than capable of defeating dumpster fire ball clubs. The troubling matter is that the Cowboys are such a team. And this crew had no answer for them.

    But no matter the outcome of this final contest, a lot of underperforming, over paid bums on this team have to go. And although I know it won’t happen, first out the door should be Snee. Followed closely by the majority…scratch that ALL on his interior line mates. I know that doesn’t leave much.
    But there wasn’t much to start with. It’s called addition by subtraction.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU g101 CHARACTERS. THAT GOES FOR OUR DETACHED POSTERS WHO NOW CHOSE TO DWELL IN THE DESTSTABLE UNDERBELLY OF FACEBOOK…..DEMO, SAM, NYMOM and JEN. Much love to you all. Come back and start posting here once again. Forming the new society of dead poets has got to be boring as hell. Standing outside the tavern wiping the fog off the window and peering inside? ‘COMON’ MAN.

    **** Ho ****……………..LOL

    And for my bud Kujo; I will always assign a name to the person I direct a comment toward. I will sometimes “fire for effect” but I talk to people not at them. My comments are for all the read and either object to or agree with. Merry Christmas to you too brother and may God Bless.

  3.  James Stoll says:

    Snee will be interesting. He’s coming off 2 hip surgeries. He hasn’t been healthy since 2008. Has not really played at a high level since then. But from 2010 on the line has generally been better without him than with.
    But he’s looking at 7M; he’s the HC’s son-in-law, and at 33 he can probably still convince himself that his body can heal. On balance he does look to be back eating up cap space as opposed to defensive tackles.
    Diehl is now playing at or about the minimum so I think he could return as well. He’ll likely be the starting LG as I think Boothe will be allowed to walk.
    Baas has too big a number to axe and there is no other legit center on the roster so he’ll be back too.
    So if I were crystal balling right now, I’d say your starting o-line heading into 2014 is Beatty, Diehl, Baas, Snee and Pugh.
    After Week 1? Who knows.
    My guess is that Coughlin and Gilbride are going to stubbornly stick to all their old philosophies and try and will this team to competitiveness next season.
    Literally everything will look the same with the exception that Nicks will be gone, Meyers may be gone, and an RB will likely be added.

    •  Krow says:

      $nee knows he’s done … right now it’s all just a con to convince the Giants to waste another chunk of cap on him. He’s leveraging his past and his family ties to basically pull off a heist. It’s despicable.

      •  James Stoll says:

        Yup
        But in fairness to Snee, it’s hard to say no to 7M, especially when you barely have to work for it!

        •  Krow says:

          First world problems eh. In Africa all they have are 19-0 Patriot shirts.

        •  Krow says:

          I’d be OK with it if he really believed he could mount a comeback … and did everything to make it a reality. But as we saw last year he’s not “all in” … which leaves me to believe he’s just scamming the team. Paying lip service to get the bucks. But knowing all along it’s not going to happen.

  4.  Krow says:

    OK… off to spend the holiday with my son and 4 grandchildren (Mia, Patrick, Olivia, and Will) in Buffalo. Long drive, but my daughter will do all of it. Best wishes to you folks. Thanks for all the fun and laughs. Merry merry … have a wonderful time.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      I was just in Buffalo myself last weekend. Have a safe trip, all my friends there are reporting snow.

  5.  Chad Eldred says:

    Great piece Paul. The only point I would make is that where you pick in the draft isn’t nearly as important as how you use the pick. Ask Matt Millen.

    •  James Stoll says:

      And that brings us to JR
      He really has mashed the draft of late
      Wilson turned out to be a terrible pick, as did Hosely
      Randal has been underwhelming after 2 seasons
      LJ was pretty good but not great, a passable second rounder
      Moore looks like a possible mis-match for our team philosophy
      Jernagan is sticking by default, although his last couple of games have been respectable
      All offensive line picks have been awful other than Pugh
      Wasted a 4th last year on Nassib, a kid who plainly looks over-matched by the NFL, and who you didn’t need right nowmbecause you were never prepared to use him or groom him (unless of course JR knows Tom will be gone after 2015 and he plans on cutting Eli and Nassib is the heir apparent regardless of what we saw last summer)

      Other than occasionally signing the once very good but now oft injured vet who shows he does have something left in the tank (Andrews, Beason) what great thing has JR really done since he got here other than slowly dismantle Ernie Accorsi’s team?

      This off season is make or break for JR in my mind.
      If he pulls another lackluster draft coupled with a non-descript FA season, I’ll believe he is more of the problem than TC

  6.  turkish says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

  7.  rlhjr says:

    How in the ****, Ho Hell do they censure Santa Claus?

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