Talk about going to hell in a handbasket in no time flat.
I call for a do-over for the 2013 NFL season. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s early days yet. But really?! REALLY?! Too many teams that are supposed to be losing are winning, and vice versa. And my New York Giants fall into the latter category. Boy, do they ever, at 0-4!
I’m a longtime fan, dating back to 1979 when Phil Simms was drafted out of Morehead State University. My father was a New York Jets fan, so I decided to root for the Giants. Besides, they needed all the help they could get at the time. So did Simms, who shouldered more than his fair share of the very vocal criticism of Giants fans, particularly during the first several years of his career. But that’s a story waiting to be told another day.
Oh-and-four. Oh-and-four. Oh, how it pains me to say it, to repeat it, to have to watch a team I love so much self-destruct on TV week after week. It’s not even worth getting mad anymore. The past couple of weeks, I stopped watching the games at halftime. There was no need to torture myself further.
Where do I even begin to start breaking down what went wrong, who to blame and how it can be fixed? The Giants simply are a train wreck right now, but I force myself to watch them hoping the team I know and love will suddenly show up and start playing the way I’ve come to expect. Perhaps I’m just spoiled by all their success. I knew, at some point, we were due to have a tough season. Just not this bad, and all of a sudden, at that.
It galled me to see linebacker Chase Blackburn walk onto the TV screen wearing a friggin’ Carolina jersey, running back Ahmad Bradshaw in a Colts uniform and former fellow backfield mate Brandon Jacobs nowhere to be found after a short stint with the 49ers that ended with him getting the boot and then – suddenly – brought back because no one else can run the ball without something bad, or nothing at all, happening. There are others now playing for various teams, but I really must refrain from turning this into a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” lament.
To make matters worse, we have no defense, no running game, no pass protection, way too much, shall we say, inaccuracy in the air when we do throw it AND key players out with injuries. Moreover, we’re ranked 30th both in points scored (15.2) and rushing yards (57.8) per game. Our total offense per outing is a measly 325.5 yards, a paltry 23rd in the league. It’s a recipe for disaster. You can’t place all the blame on one person, either. We suck, plain and simple. Anyone who says otherwise is on crack, or simply delusional.
So what can be done to make it better? Praying to the football gods certainly hasn’t helped. Screaming at the TV has only made me hoarse. Hell, even if I were at a game, my pleas still would fall on deaf ears. And, yet, still I hope, still I cheer, still I beg, still I hurl expletives hoping I will get through to them to play the way I know they can, instead of like some Pop Warner team full of kids just learning the sport.
Eli Manning alone is responsible for 10 of the Giants’ 14 turnovers, with nine interceptions and one fumble. But he’s also been sacked 14 times already – seven in the Carolina game in Week 3, with six coming in the first half. David Wilson has been dealing with confidence issues in his first year as a starter, losing two fumbles against the Cowboys in the season opener. He seems more worried about correct hand placement on the ball rather than actually keeping it safely tucked and running with it the way we know he’s capable during those breathtaking bursts of speed of his.
The offensive line and defense as a whole are a hot mess. The Giants have been outscored 146-61 thus far and have managed to eek out a meager seven points in the past two weeks, with Manning running around the backfield like a chicken with its head cut off or staring at opposing defenders waiting to be sacked like a deer frozen in place by headlights. He’s reverting back to his old ways because he doesn’t know what else to do with the offense floundering around him. You can call for the firing of Tom Coughlin and his assistants, but in the end, did it really matter who captained the Titanic?
There really is not much else to be said. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. After all, it could be worse. It’s not like we hit an iceberg and sunk a ship vaunted by many as unsinkable. Yet.