Starting the season with four straight losses is definitely not how any team wants to start the season. Some were expected to be bad, but the Giants? I don’t think anyone would have believed you if you predicted they’d start the season at 0-4, looking moribund in the process.
Sure, the season opening loss to the Cowboys actually ended up close, but in spite of the final score, the game was not nearly that close. The Giants played sloppy and had way too many turnovers-a trend that has continued thus far this season. Game two saw big brother Peyton get the best of Eli, in one of the four Bronco blowouts thus far. Losing to Carolina without putting up a single point in week three is stunning. Getting waxed by Andy Reid’s resurgent Chiefs in week four was a foregone conclusion.
So, where do you go from here, if your are the New York Giants?
Well, for one, forget about the Super Bowl this year. The odds, and history, are against you there. For a fleeting moment before the regular season began, you could talk about the Giants as having a chance to play in a Super Bowl that they were also hosting. Those chances have faded.
Take comfort in the fact that you call the NFC East home this year. Because in several other divisions, you might be 4 games out of first with just 4 games played. In the NFC East? You are merely 2 games out of first, thanks to the fact that the East has decided to fight for the right to be the weakest division in football this year. The Redskins, defending division champs, finally won their first on Sunday. The Eagles, a team that should be interesting but little more this year as they are in transition, is 1-3. And the Cowboys, suddenly the class of the East, look rather uninspired. In other words, if ever there was a year to make history and come back from 0-4 to make the playoffs, this is the right division to do it with. But I don’t see it happening.
The next four weeks are tremendously important for these Giants. They face four winnable games, two against rival Philadelphia, before their week 9 bye. I’d expect them to split the Philly series at best. They face a very good Chicago Bears team, in Chicago, which is almost surely a loss waiting to happen. And they follow up the Bears game with another NFC North opponent in the Vikings, before heading to Philly. The Vikings are 1-3 themselves,but unlike the Giants, offensive production has been solid. They’ve been in most games, and could very well be 3-1 right now. So where would that leave the Giants? Unless they pull off a major 180, it’s quite possible that headed into the Week 9 bye, New York would be 1-7. The games against the Eagles are likely both winnable games, though it is a fierce rivalry and they always tend to play things tough. What should scare the Giants is that they are struggling to stop the run, and the Eagles come in with the league’s leading rusher. LeSean McCoy may have a couple field days against the weak running defense coming up. The Chip Kelly offensive juggernaut has slowed the last 2 games-against the Chiefs, tip the cap to Reid knowing most of the roster, and having a great game plan and a strong defense. The Broncos are legit Super Bowl contenders, so they could really exploit the Eagles deficiencies. But the struggling Giants, with Kelly understanding the division rivalry, could make for a rough day Sunday.
Honestly, if the Giants don’t find a way to beat the Eagles in the Meadowlands this Sunday, it’s hard to imagine them winning a game until after their bye.
However. If they can finally re-discover a running game, and begin to generate some pass rushing, and they avoid killer turnovers, they actually could turn things around. Before the season started, I would have expected the Giants to be in one if not both of the NFC North games they have in October. And I would have expected them to be no worse than 2-2 at the moment. Considering how mediocre the NFC East is this year, a Giant comeback is not impossible. Though, given how they’ve played-seemingly getting worse each week-it’s hard to imagine them turning it around and getting into the playoffs. The season isn’t officially dead yet, but it’s most assuredly on life support. What happens these next four games will dictate the fate of their season.
What would be salt in the wound for Giants fans is that, if they are going to be epically bad this year, they have company in chasing for stud defensive prospect Jadeveon Clowney-the Steelers and Bucs look pretty bad, but the Jaguars are in a class all by themselves at the moment.