The ongoing unprecedented demise of the current 1-6 New York Giants is something not even the likes of Neil Reynolds, Mike Carlson or Kevin Cadle could of predicted before the NFL season started. Main man Eli Manning must now inspire the Giants to a miraculous U-turn for the remainder of the season and the very slim chances of reaching the play-offs.
The 2012 Super Bowl winners start to the regular season has been their worst since 1979, in what was known as the ‘non-strike’ season. No one could of foreseen a team with a QB with two Super Bowl rings, one more than his brother Peyton, sitting bottom of the NFC East 1-6 after what has been a capable first seven games.
The Giants average margin of defeat this season has been 18 points per game. The Giants however do have some positives so far this season, three players Victor Cruz, Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara.
At the start of the season the Giants were contenders to compete for what some say is the weakest division in the NFL, the NFC East, alongside the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. At the rate the franchise are only they will miss out on the play-offs for a second consecutive season (after winning the Superbowl only 2 short years ago; their victory over the Minnesota Vikings (23-7) on Monday Night Football made sure they didn’t achieve the unwanted and unthinkable feat of the Detroit Lions back in 2008, joining them as the only ever team to finish the regular season 0-16.
So what possible reasons are behind the current predicament in New Jersey, could it be the pressure of Eli’s brother Peyton doing so well at the Broncos (currently 6-1) be effecting Eli’s already destroyed confidence, certain marquee players not stepping up to match the performances that resulted in the Giants being crowned 2012 Super Bowl winners or season ending injures to key players especially running-back David Wilson (neck injury) and offensive lineman Chris Snee (complications with a non-surgically repaired hip.)
Eli is currently leading the league in inceptions, 15 so far, 8 in the forth quarter of games and is turning over the ball at a record-setting pace. Head coach Jerry Reese hasn’t helped by neglecting the O line and a mass of injuries hasn’t helped either. The Giant’s best offensive lineman four-time Pro Bowler Chris Snee is out for the season and even though offensive tackle Justin Pugh was signed in the draft, Eli still has reason to feel vulnerable during plays.
The Giants injury situation is a major factor why they have had such a poor start to the season. Saftey Stevie Brown tore his ACL is pre-season, line-backer Dan Connor was put on injured reserve after the season opener against the Cowboys and cornerback Corey Webster aggravated a groin problem.
Centrepiece players who instigated the Giant’s 2012 Super Bowl victory (beating the New England Patriots 23-21) have so far this season not lived up to what made them stand-out players during the 2012 Super Bowl success. Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Brandon Jacobs and Victor Cruz in particular just haven’t replicated the form that you would expect from players of their quality on the O and D respectively.
There is no substitute for blocking.
In a recent poll by NFL.com it was asked do fans think that in the next draft the Giants should draft another QB, meaning the possible benching of Eli, the results strongly disagreed with more than 80% of people voting no. Least Giant fans (yet) haven’t followed feet with Houston Texan fans who recently cheered out-of-form QB Matt Schub when he was injured during a game.
Fans of the NFC East, Jets and Patriots will be loving the fact that the Giants are in some kind of meltdown, but the rest of the NFL must be finding it painful to see the Giants the way they currently are.