By Joe Leo
Published: November 7th, 2018
New York is a city that doesn’t accept mediocrity. This decade however, New York sports have been exactly that. The only championship that the city of New York has seen is the 2012 New York Giants 21-17 Super Bowl victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Let me ask you this though, doesn’t 2012 seem like an eternity? When the Lombardi Trophy was handed to Eli Manning, the top song on the Billboard charts was Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain,” the average price of gas was $3.43, and Barack Obama just started his second term in office. Those NY Football Giants were spelling “elite” with E-L-I, and talking about a possible dynasty. Oh, how the times have changed.
Currently sitting at 1-7 this season and coming off a bye against an injury laden 49’ers team, the Giants look to continue the rebuild they have committed to. Following their 23-20 loss on Monday Night Football in Atlanta, the Giants front office got busy. Eli Apple and Damon Harrison were traded, as everyone in the Giants organization had the realization that this team is not a Super Bowl contending team—but rather a team that is competing for the first overall pick this coming April.
As those memories of success drift farther and farther into the past, many Giant fans must now wonder if those Super Bowl’s doomed the Giants for the rest of the decade. With the front office people looking at the overwhelming glow of two Super Bowl victories, they failed to acknowledge the looming Quarterback problem they have now. Consider the New Orleans Saints; they traded for Teddy Bridgewater earlier this year with Drew Brees still under center. New Orleans straightened out the quarterback position when they didn’t have too. The Saints took care of Brees’ successor before Brees, 39, has showed signs of declining. The Saints did what the Giants should have done following the 2012 Super Bowl. If that happened, said new Giants quarterback would be in his sixth season this year and the Giants would only owe him a five-year rookie contract and his rookie option for six. Instead, Dave Gettleman is sitting in his office trying to figure out how to patch up this squad and rebuild for the next possible dynasty.
The first step in doing that is may not be agreed upon by Odell Beckham Jr, but the Giants must lose. The more losing means the better the draft pick in April 2019 will be. That draft pick will be Gettleman’s first test in determining if he is the man to do the rebuilding. If the Giants continue to lose the better their chances are at getting the opportunity to pick the quarterback that will secede Eli Manning. With that, whoever the quarterback will be, will have a year plus of tutelage from one of the best to ever play quarterback. You can now let Manning give every last drop he has as the next quarterback waits in the wing being ready at the end of a year or two. Second, draft offensive line help. Over the past two years, the Giant offensive line has been mocked in every way—the just haven’t been good. Not having an offensive line has aided Eli Manning’s regression, but not having an offensive line for a rookie quarterback is worse.
Next, rehabilitate the defense. Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, and B.W. Webb are all free agents, and with an already suspect pass rush, the G-Men will have to retool with young free agents on defense and allowing both Beckham Jr and Saquon Barkley to continue to grow. Finally, allow Pat Shurmur to gain the trust of the locker room. This year has not been the ideal first season for a first-time head coach, but it is only a year. That is not long enough to evaluate the system that Shurmur is trying to put in place. Give Shurmur some slack to work with and develop a system to see if he is indeed the head coach that can lead a team to a long playoff run and a Super Bowl. This process will not take a year, it will go well into the next decade; so give all your patience to Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur so they can go to work and earn a Super Bowl win.
Until then, endure the rough times because they will hopefully lead to a time where the Lombardi Trophy is back in title town and satisfying the success hunger New York sports fans.