Moeller: Where did the Giants Go Wrong?

Giants’ owner John Mara spelled it out between the lines with his following statement he made about the team Monday afternoon:

“Ben McAdoo is our head coach and has our support. We are in the midst of an extremely disappointing season. Our performance this year, particularly the past two weeks, is inexcusable and frustrating. While we appreciate that our fans are unhappy with what has occurred, nobody is more upset than we are.

“Our plan is to do what we have always done, which is to not offer a running commentary on the season. It is our responsibility to determine the reasons for our poor performance and at the end of the year, we will evaluate the 2017 season in its entirety and make a determination on how we move forward.”

Like everyone knew all along, Mara won’t pull the trigger on McAdoo or GM Jerry Reese during the season. However, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out McAdoo –and probably Reese – will be gone by Jan. 1.

The words “inexcusable, extremely disappointing, and frustrating” send a clear message.

But where did this team go wrong?

During the summer, the Giants appeared to be a close knit group without any rumblings of dissension. Their hopes were sky high and all of the pieces seemed to be in the right places.

At the start of the preseason, their offensive woes of scoring more than 20 points a game dating back to the previous November began to plague the. They opened the preseason with a 20-12 loss to Pittsburgh and followed with a 10-6 loss at Cleveland.

Now, imagine if they would lose to Cleveland now.

Then came a comeback, 32-31 win over the rival Jets in which they appeared to be in gear, and ended the year with a 40-38 shootout win over New England.

Yes, Odell Beckham Jr. was lost in the process and sat in a good defensive, but lousy offensive effort in the opener against Dallas.

Beckham came back against Detroit, and it again was the offense as the problem in a 24-10 defeat. Five sacks put the onus on the offensive line.

The Giants were right there against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, losing on field goals in the final seconds. Remember, Philadelphia’s was a 61-yarder. Against Tampa, Beckham made a catch at the end of the end zone that was waved off. It also was Beckham’s infamous dog-peeing celebration. However, the defense still looked like a cohesive unit. 

Then the Giants went from contender to pretender.

The Giants couldn’t put away the winless Chargers and lost Beckham, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard in the process.

Yet, they still looked alive. A bye week brought their most impressive win of the year against Denver in which the defense flexed its muscles. Now that win looks like fake news.

Did Beckham’s loss really change the dynamic of this team? Apparently, it did in some way.

There are still some missing pieces here, but the suspensions to Rogers-Cromartie and Jenkins made the disconnect clearer.

Joe McDonald, my editor, has repeatedly called for McAdoo’s immediate ouster. I tend to agree with him, yet I still what to know what happened.

It appears that the Giants’ weaknesses – offensive line and running game – were exposed when the receivers went down. Nevertheless, what happened to the defense? They lost some linebackers, but the core of the unit was intact.

McAdoo said Sunday the players “need to motivate themselves.” On any level, the head coach is responsible for that. I never heard Tom Coughlin or Bill Belichick utter that line.

Instead, McAdoo and some of his players need to be the leaders John Mara thought they would be. Where is the next visible vocal leader such as Harry Carson, Michael Strahan or Antrel Rolle? Is it Landon Collins?

Over the next seven weeks, they will be more soul searching from the players and fans alike. Someday in January, we will finally find out why all of the summer rays of hope were swallowed by the ominous gray skies.






About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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