While many are calling for the heads of New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and coordinators Perry Fewell and Kevin Gilbride in what is already being labeled a failed season, the majority of the Giants roster seems to be opposed to such ideas. Despite their struggles and poor performances, could they actually be right, is it too soon to start thinking about next year?
It’s difficult to defend this Giants team (as a fan, not as an opposing team) simply because aside from the Cowboys game, they have been blown out in each other outing. However lets consider the Giants’ opponents both past and future. Although the defense allowed 31 points to an undefeated Kansas City Chiefs team, they held their own for the majority of the game. They shut down the Chiefs vaunted rush attack for the most part, did a decent job in the tackling department, and provided the offense with three key turnovers, all while holding them to only 10 points for the majority of the game. Unfortunately the offense was unable to move the ball down the field against one of the better defenses in the NFL. The endless three-and-outs by Gilbride & Co. seemed to take a toll on a Giants defense that was doing a tremendous job with their bend but don’t break play. That was until Dexter McCluster returned a punt for a touchdown and admittedly “deflated” the Giants defense. It was only after that, the Giants defense began to both bend and break. But for the majority of the game the Giants appeared to be competitive against an undefeated Chiefs team, with a top tier defense, and an offense that does not turn the ball over as they march down the field.
If one is willing to concede that the Carolina Panthers game was “maybe” an aberration, and the Denver Broncos game was exactly that, a Broncos game as they have been blowing out opponents at a record pace, then the Giants defense doesn’t look as bad. They had been close in each game until the defense’s will is diminished or fatigued by the ineptitude of the Giants offense. If the Giants’ offensive struggles continue then the season surely is lost, but it’s too soon to give up hope in a team not named the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing in the "NFC Least."
The young, reworked offensive line needs time to gel. They had their moments against the Chiefs. The line allowed three sacks this past week; two of which were a result of disguised blitzes. When the Giants did run the ball, they were somewhat successful, at least when David Wilson was getting the carries, as he totaled 55 yards on 13 carries, with an average of 4.2 yards per carry. With a young line, against a solid defense, that is a sign of hope for the Giants. It’s not as if each week they will be facing a top tier defenses, especially in the NFC East.
The Giants are only two games behind the Cowboys for the division lead, with 12 full games remaining. Assuming the Broncos roll over the Dallas Cowboys’ porous secondary and the Giants can defeat them at home later in the season, the Giants could find themselves back in the playoff hunt as they have also yet to play the rest of their NFC East rivals; all of which have a record under .500. If the Giants can win the divisional battles, which as of now looks both doable and unlikely, they can find themselves right in the thick of the playoff hunt. If the line is able to gel, anything can happen in the playoffs. It all starts with a win next week at home against the struggling Eagles.
This all could be wishful thinking, a desperate plea for optimism in a vapid team, but something says that the Giants are better than what they have shown. Changes certainly are needed, and this team certainly is not what it once was, but we at Giants 101 don’t believe they are as horrendous as they have shown. Going 0-5 at home against the woeful Eagles however could be the inevitable "nail in the Coughlin."
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