The New York Giants are stuck in mediocrity and have been for a few years. They’re a proud franchise with a proud coach in Tom Coughlin that would never bottom out, but at this point, what’s the point in hovering around 8-8 like the Dallas Cowboys?
Especially last year after the 0-6 start, it would have been more beneficial to finish 4-12 than 7-9 and get a higher pick. The Giants could have traded down and flipped that pick into two first rounders and still ended up with Odell Beckham Jr. and another player who’d help the cause immediately.
Watching the New York Giants this year, it’s painfully obvious they need an injection of talent. No Alex Rodriguez, not your kind of an injection of talent.
They’ve got a decent start with Beckham Jr., the LSU product looks like the real deal. Andre Williams has filled in decently for the injured Rashad Jennings, but there’s only so much you can do when you’re hit in the backfield on 80% of your carries.
Eli Manning is the indisputable franchise player and with him under center you always have the chance to win, though he hasn’t brought it every game. The elite debate will rage on with him, but he’s at the very least an above average, dependable quarterback.
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A lot of Eli’s struggles haven’t been his fault. The offensive line has been horrendous. Against Philadelphia in particular, Manning could hardly take a three step drop before pressure would be in his grill. All season it’s been consistently dreadful. Justin Pugh has seemed over matched against essentially every pass rusher he’s lined up against, which is highly disappointing from the 2013 first round pick. You win championships in the trenches and the Giants O-Line wouldn’t push back a high school D-Line.
Since Victor Cruz went down, and he wasn’t exactly lighting the league on fire prior to his injury, Eli is finding it especially difficult to link with a reliable pass catcher. Preston Parker dropped just about everything in his vicinity last Monday against the Colts. While Rueban Randle has been given every opportunity to be Eli’s guy this year and it hasn’t amounted in anything. The aforementioned Beckham Jr is still young and raw, but he’s all Eli has got.
On the defensive side of the ball, their additions had looked good, but poor injury luck has ruined that. Prince Amukamara had taken strides into the player the Giants thought they drafted, but now he’s on the shelf for the year with a torn bicep.
Next to him on injured reserve is linebacker Jon Beason who’s the heart and soul of that defense. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been in and out of the lineup with injuries too.
The New York Giants would have at least been in the conversation for a wildcard spot and once you get to the playoffs anything can happen. But, injuries have halted that train and the optimism again lies in next year. In the meantime, the Giants can hope that Eli gets more of a grip on this offense, Beckham Jr. continues to improve and they potentially nab an impact player in the draft.
But in terms of on-field relevance for the big picture, the Giants are done.