Mark LoMoglio / Associated press
The New York Giants are the NFL equivalent of a cartoon character running off a cliff and suspended in midair before realizing they’re about to fall.
Right now, the Giants’ future hangs in the balance with three anvils pulling them down. General manager Dave Gettleman, head coach Joe Judge and quarterback Daniel Jones have all contributed to the team’s 9-17 record over the past two seasons.
Nothing in the organization signals progress. Nothing shows the Giants are going in the right direction. The signs followed led them out of the edge and into the ether of abysmal football. At 3-7, another season is lost. Monday’s 30-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium served as a microcosm of all the Giants’ ills.
A season ago, an apology could be made. The team has moved forward into the COVID era with a new team of coaches, new philosophies and new programs. Despite a 6-10 record, New York remained competitive in the worst division in the NFL and finished one game behind the Washington soccer team as division champion.
A lack of improvement coupled with the inability to keep pace with everyone else in the division signals the time for change. The Dallas Cowboys lead the way with a 7-3 record. The Philadelphia Eagles already have more wins this season (five) than a year ago (four). Washington is on a two-game winning streak starting with a victory over the Buccaneers, who beat New York two weeks later.
The idea of another rebuild will not be acceptable to Big Blue supporters, especially the franchise ownership group. Sometimes a fresh start is better than the alternative. Based on the Giants’ current trajectory, they’re going to be stuck in the same vacuum cycle for the past five years. The team has not come close to reaching a record of .500 since the start of the 2017 campaign.
It all starts at the top.
Gettleman has been a disaster since making the Giants roster decision ahead of the 2018 campaign. He’s a disconnected executive who made bad decision after bad decision.
New York lacks the difference-makers needed to compete with better teams. Aside from Saquon Barkley’s exceptional rookie campaign when he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, injuries have hampered the exceptional running back.–that’s exactly why many have questioned the thought process behind selecting a running back with the second overall pick.
In 2019, Gettleman didn’t want to risk losing Jones and picked him with the sixth pick overall, even though he wasn’t considered an elite prospect. The front office then used the acquired choice Odell Beckham Jr. to select Dexter Lawrence, who has been a solid to fairly good defender, but another piece to a non-premium position. Additionally, the Giants had a third selection in the first round and picked cornerback DeAndre Baker, who is no longer on the squad.
Michael Conroy / Associated press
2020 first-round left tackle Andrew Thomas and 2021 first-round wide receiver Kadarius Toney showed promise early on although they struggled at times.
To round out the rest of the roster, the Giants spent a lot in free agency on left tackle Nate Solder, wide receiver Golden Tate, cornerback James Bradberry and wide receiver Kenny Golladay. It’s pretty safe to say that three of the four were either hiccups or disappointments. Golladay caught a pass for 12 yards on Monday. Apparently, a guaranteed $ 40 million bought the Giants 20 total catches in six games.
Gettleman’s mismanagement of the list certainly doesn’t help Jones. The quarterback is constantly under pressure from opposing defenses. He gets shaken up and doesn’t have the surrounding cast to make up for the other programming shortcomings.
As a unit, the Giants haven’t scored 30 points in 21 straight outings, according to SNY Ralph vacchiano. This offensive ineptitude continues despite A) playing in an offensive-oriented league and B) having a top 10 pick behind center.
New York has a massive decision to make in the coming months.
Jones walks in for the fifth-year option on his rookie contract to be retained by the team. At this point, the choice seems obvious, although it won’t. He didn’t deserve the right to be called a franchise quarterback. His penchant for turnovers is alarming. His breathtaking shot to Buccaneers’ nose Steve McLendon essentially sums up the 24-year-old’s career to date.
He has already thrown 29 interceptions in 37 career games. In total he has 49 career turns. His game is not good enough. Apologies can be made all day long for the lack of protection, poor performance in a skill position and everything in between, but the quarterback needs to take better care of the ball.
Simply put, Jones is a revenue machine. His team cannot count on him to systematically move the attack without making mistakes. Eventually he will throw a bad ball in a crowded area or not secure the pigskin while being hit. These mistakes are part of his DNA as a football player. The idea that he’s going to change drastically by next season or two years from now is madness.
Just 167 passing yards on 38 attempts, it’s also embarrassing. The judge has no answer or at least it seems.
“We have to do a better job scoring points,” said head coach told reporters after the game.
The offense is bad enough, but Judge’s game management skills were criticized during Manning’s popular simulcast. The two old quarters interrogates The coach’s judgment when he tried to move the ball off the Giants 9-yard line with just 43 seconds left in the half.
“What do they do?”
“Either you try to miss the time limit or you try to score. For some reason Joe Judge is trying to do both.”
“I’m not sure what they are doing.”
Jason Behnken / Associated press
Situational awareness is an important part of running a football team and the judge does not show the best judgment in this particular area. At this point, reality seems to be setting in and minor changes could come before the regular season ends.
“I trust all the members of our team”, judge the judge declared when asked about possible changes in the offensive coordinator. “We will evaluate everything. “
A piecemeal reshuffle of the organizational hierarchy would be nothing more than a band-aid. Either the Giants need to embark on a full rebuild or continue to be stuck in the same cycle.
A new GM without a new head coach turns into an arranged marriage and these tend to end badly. Jones could get another coaching staff and be forced to learn another system without actually tackling his biggest problem – turnovers.
Emphasis should be placed on process, vision, alignment, cohesion and synergy until these things are actually achieved. Otherwise, the Giants will continue with their best impression of Wile E. Coyote and fail with every new brainless plan to catch up with the league leaders.
Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @brentsobleski.