Giants head coach Ben McAdoo started his Sunday by hearing rumors he could be fired this coming week. No matter to him. He was worried about trying to get a win for the Giants, and most importantly, himself instead of being caught up with recent noise. This is a head coach who has been in survival mode for weeks now.
After the Giants’ 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, he is not in that mode any longer. Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch put him out of his misery by firing him along with Giants general manager Jerry Reese on Monday morning.
The question Giants fans have to ask is this: Why didn’t ownership fire McAdoo after the 2-10 Giants gave the 49ers their first win few weeks ago? That was the time to fire him when the players have given up on him. The Giants ownership group asked for trouble by keeping him for so long. They are paying the price now after McAdoo pulled an unforgivable gaffe of benching two-time Super Bowl winner for a guy who was 12-18 as a starter prior to Sunday’s game in Geno Smith.
Smith did okay, but he wasn’t spectacular by any means. No one thought the Giants had a shot of winning this game since he could not make a big play when he had to. His downfield passes were short for the most part outside of that 47-yard pass to Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter that set the stage for the Giants’ to cut their deficit to 17-14 over the Raiders. He struggled to convert on third downs by going 5-of-14. The bottom line was he played like a game-managing quarterback like he always does.
His day ended by finishing 21-of-34 for 212 yards with a touchdown and two turnovers.
For whatever reason, Smith congratulated himself for his performance and he proceeded to trash his old coach Rex Ryan in his postgame presser. Talk about a guy who has priorities straight.
Here’s hoping Smith enjoyed his start. Only way he starts this coming Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium is if McAdoo coached next week. It’s hard to believe Mara and Tisch want to see Giants fans being hostile towards McAdoo and the Giants while Cowboys fans fill that stadium, which is why they pulled the trigger.
McAdoo put a brave front on publicly, but he is not a fool. He knew what’s going on. There was no way he could recover from his horrible public relations disaster. When Mara said there was no guarantees in life in response to being asked about his coach’s job security, it was the end of the line for him. It was too toxic for him to stay.
The Giants hoped he could have finished the season with dignity before they fire him. He couldn’t even do that. He botched this up with the quarterback transition. Look, it’s not a crime to change quarterbacks, but he could have at least let Manning played his last home game of the season for a final sendoff before he made the quarterback change. This showed right there he had zero awareness about the whole situation. He was so anxious to take Manning out that he forgot the repercussions that came with putting Smith to start.
It couldn’t have been surprising that McAdoo has been savaged by Giants fans, local media and NFL players for doing this. It couldn’t be surprising the Giants played like they did not want to play for the head coach ever again. Shoot, they have made their message clear in the 49ers game they would not play hard for him ever again.
Normally, Mara is smart enough to perceive what’s going on. He managed this badly. He wanted to do this Giants way nonsense of firing a head coach when he is ready to, not when the players and the fans want to. He may be the only person that did not know McAdoo would make this even worse than he ever imagined. That showed right there he was inept in handling his coach’s situation, and he should be getting criticized for that.
Only McAdoo was the only one that thought Smith would make such a difference despite evidence to the contrary. Only he knows why he thought that way considering what we saw from the Giants quarterback is what he has been in his career, which is playing like a backup quarterback. He was so delusional.
Manning should have played on Sunday, and he definitely has to play next week now that Steve Spagnuolo is the interim head coach. Smith does absolutely nothing for the Giants, and he showed once again why his ceiling is being a backup quarterback with his pedestrian play against the Raiders.
As for McAdoo, it’s over now. It should have been over for him after the 49ers game.
This weekend convinced Mara to do something.
Better late than never I suppose.