By Adam Zaki
Published: October 25th, 2017
The New York Giants extinguished any glimmer of hope they developed in Denver by putting up another lackadaisical performance at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. In a 24-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Giants continued to defy Einstein’s theory of relatively, moving faster than the speed of light away from their preseason expectations towards a dismantled franchise with more questions than answers.
Despite a defensive slugfest in the first half, the Giants’ injury-infested offense struggled to move the ball or even resemble a constantly competitive NFL unit. With two key drops from Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, the difference in the score could have been at least seven higher without any difference in play from the Giants.
After it seemed as if some of the Giants’ offensive struggles were remedied by the transferring of play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, the team lacked playmakers, as was evident in the many stalled drives and missed opportunities against the Seahawks. Sullivan’s integration in the process was evident in the team’s first win against the Broncos, but the play-calling against the Seahawks seemed to be head coach Ben McAdoo-like in its conservative nature.
The only way for this team to win is if the defense, in which the Giants invested $200 million, forces turnovers and sets up the offense in good field position. Battling injuries themselves, the league’s third-best defense needs to consistent and flawlessly perform top-notch in order to have a chance to win.
The G-Men depended on rookie tight end Evan Engram to move the offense. Tight ends aren’t usually looked at as a major offensive force, let alone a rookie, and the entire team is already dealing with a load of statistical disadvantages because of injuries and performance in all three phases of the game. To depend on Engram is not the answer if the Giants look to develop some offensive chemistry and tempo this season.
In addition to an overwhelmed defense and an imposter of an offense, the Giants special team has been a disaster. Punter Brad Wing has been lost at some points, punting the ball only 16 yards on one play. This only gives the defense less space to try and perform magic and stop opposing offenses.
With a patchwork receiving core, two decent backups alongside a receiving specialist at running back, and an offensive line that saw its strongest link, Justin Pugh, exit Sunday’s game early, quarterback Eli Manning will be facing one of the most demanding and difficult tasks of his career. He must find a way to lead a team with absolutely no offensive weapons. Trade rumors have circulated around the sports talk crevices of the Internet and social media about the Giants dealing Manning to Tom Coughlin’s Jacksonville Jaguars, in what would be a fairytale reuniting of the two-time Super Bowl winning coach and quarterback duo.
Coughlin is the Executive Vice President of the 4-3 Jags, having the power in the organization to facilitate a major deal like this. Along with fielding one of the toughest defenses in the league, Jacksonville leads the NFL in rushing yards per game by running an offensive scheme that would be an easy and comfortable transition for Manning, if he were traded.
Manning expressed his desire to be a Giant for the remainder of his NFL career to Newsday after a loss to the San Diego Chargers, the game with the injuries that ultimately doomed their season hopes. Being extremely adamant in expressing his idea, Manning showed no interest in even entertaining the notion of being traded to Jacksonville.
To trade Manning would be a major mistake—familiar territory for General Manager Jerry Reese. Although Reese has brought in players and coaches that have lots of individual success and accolades, a notion to develop a team that plays well as a unit has been absent over recent years.
With the Oct. 31 deadline looming and blockbuster NFL trades relatively non-existent, a sudden trade of Manning to Jacksonville would be nothing but a desperate attempt for Reese to keep his job and would lead to the departure of the Giants’ culture of professionalism and dedication to players.
Although the Giants have struggled in recent seasons, Big Blue’s play has never been worse, and their it has never been more uncertain. If one thing is foreseeable in the organization’s future, however, it’s that the Giants will not trade their beloved franchise quarterback.