Moeller: Giant Realities Loom Ahead

The aftermath from the Giants’ 34-13 loss to Eagles continues to sizzle.

Unless we see an about-face, their season at 1-5  is essentially over in mid-October.

The Eagles’ game was a microcosm of what has gone wrong and right.

This isn’t the way things were supposed to go.

Or was it?

With a lifetime NFL office man in Dave Gettleman, an offensive guru with prior head coaching experience in Pat Shurmur, a veteran quarterback with new-found life in Eli Manning, and a bevy of deals and signings, the Giants apparently were headed back on track after a train wreck.

However, the grim reality of it all has hit them like a smack in the face.

Gettleman hasn’t pieced the offensive line together with the drafting of Wil Hernandez and the singings of Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh, and his signing of running back Jonathan Stewart proved to be a bust. Hernandez has had some flashes and can have a bright future.  Solder is a reminder that Bill Belichick doesn’t make mistakes.

Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher haven’t found any consistency on either side of the ball.

With little protection, Manning has looked all of his 37 years. When he has had protection – the Houston victory and comeback in Carolina – he has shown that he can be effective.

He hasn’t been sharp, yet Manning should take the brunt of the blame.

Olivier Vernon returned against Philadelphia and recorded a sack and several hurries, but the Giants’ overall defensive unit looked disinterested.

The secondary, which looked re-energized during the summer and preseason, has fizzled. Surprisingly, they ranked in to top half of the league, 13th overall.

Then there is Odell Beckham Jr.

After being the good soldier during the summer, Beckham again has proved that it is all about him.

His antics of banging his head on the sidelines against Philadelphia is what you expect to see from a high school freshman or sophomore trying to “get fired up,” not a $95 million playmaker.

Beckham couldn’t wait another play and leave with his team before halftime? A few days later, Beckham didn’t see any reason why he should apologize for his ESPN comments.

If the situation becomes worse, you can see where this will not be pretty.

The lone very bright spot has been Saquon Barkley, who already has managed to record enough jaw-dropping plays to nearly fill a highlight reel. It is all second-effort and raw talent for Barkley, who has endured his share of his behind the line of scrimmage in six games.

Could you imagine if Barkley suffers and injury or if his hamstring flares up again? This is an offense that is ranked 24th overall with him.

This looks like another three or maybe four or five-win team.

They will have a top pick in next year’s draft and their pick will be an obvious one – quarterback –even though they will have more holes to patch.

 If they do falter badly over the next month, trading Manning to a contender as a backup wouldn’t be a bad idea. Yes, we all know Jacksonville is the favorite choice to mention.

On another positive note, the Giants have 10 days to prepare for a defensive injury riddled Atlanta team on a Monday night showcase. They then return home to Met Life for Washington.

Do you see a 3-5 team with still a glimmer of sunlight from the abyss?  Actually, somehow you can see it happening.

Still, you can run from reality, but you can never hide.

Despite staying positive, the Giants will have to deal with it.

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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