All good things must come to an end. It is part of the cycle of existence. All things must conclude whether you want it to or not. It is inevitable.
That is the case with the current regime of Jerry Reese — Ben McAdoo — Eli Manning. It is high time that the NY Giants organization (and the fanbase) except the fact that they have essentially peaked and it is time to pull the plug on the Manning Era build upon the future now.
Let’s face some hard facts: the Giants are currently sitting with an 0–5 record, suffered a humiliating loss this past Sunday against one of the worst teams in the NFL in the Los Angeles Chargers, lost their entire wide receiver corp (including their best player, Odell Beckham Jr. — done for the season and on his contract year no less), the defense has woefully underperformed this season, key defensive anchors in Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins, and Jonathan Casillas are currently nursing injuries that are not healing quick enough, and the locker room is in complete disarray and players are starting to question McAdoo’s leadership. The situation is not going to get better either. They have a brutal NFL schedule ahead of them. This upcoming Sunday they go up against the Denver Broncos, who currently have one of the best run-stopping defenses in the league. They also happen to be 12 point underdogs going into that game. Any aspirations of winning the Super Bowl went out the window and the possibility of going 0–16 is frighteningly real for this organization.
It also doesn’t help that their next door neighbor, the NY Jets, currently sit with a 3–2, with no controversy haunting the organization for the first time in YEARS, and are currently in rebuilding mode but are surprisingly playing well under Todd Bowles, who — before the season started — was expected to be fired even when he never had realtalent to begin with. McAdoo, on the other hand, has the talent and has not capitalized on his successful first year run as a head coach. He’s also currently fighting with his players as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a veteran CB and one of the locker room leaders on the Giants, has just been suspended indefinitely after getting into an argument with the coach last Sunday.
Last year, the Giants exceeded expectations by having an 11–5 record and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2011 when they won the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. After being bested by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, work needed to be done during the off-season to ensure that the G-Men return to the post season and possibly win the Super Bowl, giving Eli one last run at the title. Most analysts agreed that the Giants needed to upgrade the offensive line and provide protection for the quarterback and running room for the running backs so that they do not have to constantly rely on Odell Beckham Jr. to bail them out and serve as the team’s sole playmaker. They also needed to add depth for the defense the off-chance injuries arise.
Jerry Reese did none of those things. He went for the flash instead of the fundamentals and it backfired miserably.
Sure, Giants drafted Evan Engram and Wayne Gallman (and are looking like solid draft pickups) but they never improved the line, banking on Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart to grow as players and protect Eli Manning. Flowers has a Pro Football Focus grade of 49.2 is tied for 46th .Hart has a 36.6 PFF grade, tied for 67th among tackles. That’s not good at all! Seeing opposing defenders run past them has become the norm at this point.
The Giants aren’t going anywhere and it’s time to move forward into a new direction.
If I were John Mara, I’d mend the fences with his former Super Bowl winning coach in Tom Coughlin and see if he’d be interested in a trade for Eli Manning and send him to Jacksonville while picking up some young talent and a couple picks. It’d be harsh considering that Mara loves Eli and would love him to retire a Giant and have a proper, respectable sendoff. Not to mention, contrary to what his detractors might say, he’s a future Hall of Famer and has garnered enough respect in the league to deserve better. However, Reese wasn’t when he said Manning was “on the back nine” of his career. He’s currently 36 years old and despite his amazing durability, he can’t give them the athleticism needed to take the team on a deep title run, especially since they can’t protect him to save their life. It’s best for both parties to part ways and move on to a new era.
Mara also needs to part ways from his manager of over a decade and the entire coaching staff. Yes, he has to embrace a full-on rebuild. Reese has had ample chances to put the organization back on track and despite winning two Super Bowl titles in the current regime, he still has not drafted particularly well, he’s missed the playoffs five times within over ten years, and failed to continuously upgrade the roster, constantly short-cutting the roster depth to poor results. McAdoo also seems to be in over his head as well. Losing the locker room is not a good look for a coach. It screams disorganization and despite the Giants trying to maintain a “buttoned-up” image to the public, they are starting to lose that image daily and have tarnished their good name. If he can’t get control over this sinking ship, or even have vouchers from his players, that spells doom for him and the entire coaching staff (Steve Spagnuolo in particular since he’s had a bad track record after winning the Super Bowl with Coughlin in 2007).
A rebuild is not an overnight, guaranteed success. There are crucial decisions that need to be made and an idea as to what direction the organization needs to enter. The wrong move could set the franchise back for years but there’s no question that it’s time for the Giants to move on to a new direction period. If the team has an 0–16, they will get a high draft pick and have a better selection of drafting talent to help the team moving forward. Not to mention, young players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins are starting to come into their own and are looking to build their legacy with the Giants. If not, they will their talents elsewhere and that cannot happen for the G-Men. If they want to see constant appearances in the playoffs and a chance to bring another Lombardi Trophy back to the Big Apple, they have to move forward to a new direction now. The end has come and they can’t deny it any longer.