A Thursday night match-up with the Bears could bring the Giants to 0-6, or it can possibly start a turn-around to a more positive second half.
BGB Assistant Editor
Words cannot thoroughly describe how bad the Giants have been in the first 5 weeks of the 2013 season. The Giants have looked lost and very prone to making critical mistakes at the worst moments. There have not been any certain areas that have struggled that much more than other areas. Pretty much everyone from the front office to the coaching staff to the offense and defense are all at fault for the disaster that has occurred.
Well actually some words could describe some of the reasons why the Giants have played so poorly. Offensively, the running game has been nearly non-existent, with David Wilson coughing up fumbles and getting hurt. Brandon Jacobs' return has not been the biggest boost either because he simply is not the same player he once was.
Because of this, the Giants have had to rely heavily on the passing game. Eli Manning has made his fair share of mistakes with interceptions, while Victor Cruz has played well and Hakeem Nicks has not had as many opportunities for receptions. Reuben Randle and tight end Brandon Myers have both been serviceable, but none of them have lived up to their full potential yet, for a reason beyond their control. That reason would be the diminished offensive line that has already allowed Manning to get sacked 15 times in 5 games.
Back when the Giants won the first of their two recent Super Bowl championships, they had a veteran offensive line that consistently gave Manning great protection in the pocket. Even in their other Super Bowl season in 2011, Manning still had very good protection, but this current offensive line is a far cry from the past. Center David Baas and right guard Chris Snee have both been hurt and fellow veteran offensive lineman David Diehl has missed time with injuries as well. The replacements simply have not gotten the job done and the Giants rank 29th in the NFL in points scored as a result. Only the fellow winless Steelers, Jaguars and Buccaneers have scored fewer points.
The offense has been bad, but the defense has been just as bad, if not worse. The Giants have given up 182 total points thus far, which is the most in the NFL. The defensive line has not provided enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks and offensive lines, while the linebackers and defensive backs have all underachieved as well. The Giants rank 26th in yards allowed per game, 22nd in passing yards allowed per game, tied for 27th in rushing yards allowed per game, tied for 20th in interceptions, and 31st in sacks. These numbers are usually not going to lead to wins, more often than not. The Giants' defense has been a complete mess and regardless of what kind of injuries there may be, everyone on the Giants' defense needs to really step up and turn this team around.
I for one am not surprised that the Giants have had various issues, but I never expected things to get this bad by now. This really goes to show the work that general manger Jerry Reese will need to do in the offseason. He has not done much in years to really improve certain positions, like running back, offensive line and especially linebackers. If the Giants can get a top-five draft pick in 2014, they should use it on a game-changing running back or linebacker to really solidify such areas of concern that will not improve themselves on their own. Reese's known philosophy of drafting the "best player available" may have worked in recent years, but right now, it could be time for a change in direction.
Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin both do not deserve to get fired, being that the duo put together the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl champion teams. They should both get at least one more chance to turn the ship around and hopefully some lessons can be learned on how to put together a better team.
Speaking of Coughlin, a lot of people apparently think that because the Giants have been so bad, that means he needs to go. I couldn't disagree more. Coughlin has been a model of excellence for coaching and he will not be Hall of Fame bound for nothing. He has had some very successful teams in his ten seasons with the Giants and at this point, he should be able to coach until he is ready to retire. He has earned that kind of distinction among head coaches. It would be a travesty if he is not brought back in 2014.
All this stuff about the future will be discussed when the time is right. For now, the Giants have a big game tonight against the Bears and we will see which Giants team will show up. Will it be the same team that has underperformed for over a month? Or the team that has played brilliantly in the postseason when they won their two recent Super Bowl championships? Hopefully, we will see the latter tonight!