Somehow, before Sunday, I had a good feeling about the Giants’ game with the Rams. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham had a public tirade about the poor play of his defense, and I could see the Giants responding.
Heck, they were honoring the 2011 team, and it loomed as a picture-perfect day at MetLife. Daniel Jones was even scheduled to play after being in concussion protocol.
The talent was there, or is still there.
After the Ram’s 38-11 thrashing, it’s time to face the grim reality of it all. This isn’t a good football team. Since 2011, they have an overall record of 58-92 and, more specifically, 19-51 over the last four-plus seasons.
What we were led to believe after last year’s 6-2 fantastic finish as a key to a fruitful season ahead can be now seen as a mirage.
Yes, the Giants do have injuries and everyone quickly will point to Saquon Barkley, who seems like he will never quite regain the form of his rookie year. That will be an interesting, upcoming contract negotiation.
Yet, the Giants did assemble on paper a team that looked like an NFC East contender this fall. Jones finally was anointed as the next franchise quarterback, and GM Dave Gettleman gave him the weapons he needed. Gettleman also padded the defense and apparently supplemented through the draft.
After six games, the Giants are now in the same position as last year. And last year was without Jones for a chunk of the time. It still looks like they could win some games down the final stretch with Miami, LA Chargers, Chicago, and Washington left.
They have Sam Darnold and the now inconsistent Panthers coming to MetLife Sunday.
But the Giants should have realized they can’t win games on paper. They have to execute. Their play is unexceptable.
Those were the two key buzzwords from head coach Joe Judge and a band of his players after the game Sunday. That’s the difference between a good and bad team.
Leonard Williams, who had 1.5 sacks Sunday, rambled on about how fans shouldn’t have a bad performance. Williams should take a look in the mirror, and he looks more like his Jets’ playing days this year.
Judge keeps the positive spin on how his team hasn’t split, and they will keep the faith. He has a 7-15 mark in two seasons, not too far off from predecessors and flops Pat Shurmur (9-23) and Ben McAdoo (13-15), who both had a two-year leash.
Judge has to find the potion or wave the wand to help bring this team back to respectability as does Gettleman over the next 11 weeks. The hidden weaknesses at offensive line, and running back (without Barkley) along with the ineffectiveness of the defensive line and secondary are now glaring again.
“Something happens when we’re on that submarine,” reflected Judge using an analogy. “It’s gonna be someone on the ship to step up and save that thing, right? You spring a leak, someone’s gonna plug that thing for ya.”
Judge surely understands the problem, but he needs to find a solution. Until then, Giants’ fans only have memories.