(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
Maybe, by some miracle, the Giants will make the playoffs.
The way the NFC East is going, the 5-7 Giants are not just still in it, but with a little luck, they can play into January.
That doesn’t mean that its evidently clear that Tom Coughlin has to go.
Five times this year, the Giants blew late fourth quarter leads. That’s five of the seven losses that Big Blue was sitting pretty late into the game only to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.
Not since the 2008 Mets has there been such bad a bullpen in this area.
But football is not baseball and you can’t blame blown leads on some poor relief pitchers. No, here, you have to blame the play calling, the clock management, and team preparedness for those terrible losses.
And that puts the cross-hairs right on the Giants venerable old coach.
Case in point today, with the Giants up 20-10 in the fourth and the ball on the 4-yard line of the Jets. Instead of taking the automatic three points, Coughlin went for it on fourth and two, which failed miserably.
The Jets then marched down for a field goal and then after a 3-and-out, tied the game with 27 second left in the game.
“Well, yeah make them score two touchdowns to beat you, but by that same token, if we scored there and fourth and two, then we push the score up to where maybe they can’t beat us with whatever,” Coughlin said. “So we’re up 17. I stand by it.”
But they were not because this team doesn’t execute well. Coughlin should know that. It comes down to preparation and clock management. Simply put, with a little better of both the Giants would be something like 10-2 or 9-3 and no one would be saying anything.
But they are not. They are 5-7 and you have to put the blame at the top.
“We’ve been in position to win games and we haven’t won. I’m taking full responsibility for that. But still, we’re there,” Coughlin said. “As I told the team, we’ve got to find a way to finish a game… to win a 60-minute game and be in position at the end of the game to win it. It seems like back and forth we do have opportunities even offensively to end the game before they get the ball on the final drive and we hadn’t been able to do that.”
Yeah, there were still there, but does it matter if the game is lost like last week or this week? A loss is a loss.
Bill Parcells once said, “You’re as good as your record says you are.” In this NFC East, having the Giants at 5-7 with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. leading the way is just unacceptable.
And if the Giants go home early once again right after New Year’s Day, Coughlin will be the one to blame.
It’s just that simple.