The Giants are 2-10 and won’t be playing in January. The head coach and general manager have been fired and more changes can be expected during the offseason. Now for the good news. There is plenty for the Giants to play for over the remaining four games of the season … if they want to.
They may not. The Giants might decide this is a lost season and go through the motions over the final month and tank it like a bowling ball in the middle of a lake. They can then wait for the highest draft pick possible.
That might please a few fans who figure the franchise will at least get something out of this miserable year. But if the Giants care at all about how they finish, if they care at all about lifting some of the gloom and doom that has made its residence in East Rutherford, there is plenty the Giants can accomplish before saying, “Wait Until Next Year.”
Here’s a few that should be on the bulletin board of interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo:
Re-establish Eli Manning
The veteran quarterback took the biggest hit of his career when he opted not to start last week’s game at Oakland after being informed he would be pulled sometime during the game so Geno Smith could get reps. Manning wanted none of that and decided to end his streak of 210 straight starts. That organizational decision cost Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese their jobs as head coach and general manager. Manning will get his job back Sunday when he starts against the Cowboys (6-6). It’s a chance to begin erasing what has been a dismal season for the 14-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl champion. He has said he wants to continue to be the Giants quarterback into next season. He can solidify that with solid performances over the next month.
Restore some pride and confidence
The Giants have lost much of both this season, losing their first five games and five of their last six. What can go wrong has gone wrong on the field, while suspensions and discontent with McAdoo fractured the team. Now they have a chance to prove pride means something to them. It does to safety Landon Collins: “[It’s about having] pride within yourself and just being a great player and fighting for the organization,” he said. “I think that would be big.”
It’s also a chance to restore a belief in the system and each other
McAdoo had a disconnect with the players, and after a series of terrible offensive showings over the last two years, this is a chance to prove the Giants can put together a practice plan and game plan that will produce points and wins. “We have to come up with a course of action that we think is going to help us go out there and beat the Cowboys,” said offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.
Instill some discipline and leadership
Lord knows the Giants don’t need to have another player suspended or sitting out because of missing meetings or practice. There has been enough of that already. Someone needs to step forward and rally this team. Are you listening Jason Pierre-Paul?
Hurt Cowboys’ chances of making the playoffs and perhaps win three division games
“That would be icing on the cake,” Olivier Vernon said of the prospect of beating Dallas.
Silence the grumpy old men
Former Giants have been publicly critical of the team’s handling of Manning’s benching. It’s not good when former Super Bowl champions question the heart of those currently on the team. This is their chance to send them back to retirement.
Identify where changes need to be made
That’s if the Giants haven’t decided already who needs to stay and who needs to go in preparation for 2018.
This is the Giants’ chance to make something out of this season. Four games might not seem like a lot of time. But it’s enough for the Giants to salvage something from this season of misery.
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