Photo: Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports
Give Giants fans this: No matter how bad the Giants are year in and year out, they bounce back by saying this is the year they will make the playoffs. It’s the annual rite of passage that takes place in the fall.
I often find it amusing when I hear this is the year by this gullible fanbase. Never mind questions persist about the offensive line, quarterback, head coach and general manager. Hope springs eternal.
In a sense, Giants fans have become Cubs fans where they believe anything can happen in a given year.
Giants fans lauded second-year Giants head coach Joe Judge for “building a foundation” despite a 6-10 season. This is a team that couldn’t even win the NFC East, which featured a losing team winning the division at 7-9 in the Washington Football Team.
I saw a team that often was undisciplined last season. Too many stupid penalties at the wrong time. Too much disorganization in the fourth quarter. Finding ways to lose in the fourth quarter.
If we are being honest, last year’s team was no different under Judge than it was under Ben McAdoo or Pat Shurmur.
Why should it be different now since we are moving into the new year?
Here’s the problem with the Giants: They don’t have a quarterback, and their offensive line leaves so much to be desired.
Third-year quarterback Daniel Jones enters the pivotal year of his career. Teams get an answer out of their quarterback by their third season. Either he takes the next step or he is who he is after two uninspiring seasons.
Giants fans like to say Jones is an elite quarterback, but stats and his play say otherwise. He is coming off a 10 interception season. This after he threw 12 interceptions in his first season. In 27 games he played, he had 51 turnovers with 22 interceptions and 29 fumbles.
Most importantly, the Giants haven’t won much with him. They are 10-20 with him under center. A win-loss stat may not matter with starting pitchers, but it certainly matters with quarterbacks. A quarterback plays a role in wins and losses, especially in a league now that requires an elite quarterback to win games than a game-manager.
For anyone to compare Eli Manning’s struggles to Daniel Jones’ struggles early on, that’s apples and oranges. One has nothing to do with another. Manning was supposed to be a sure thing, and he comes from a strong family of quarterbacks. No one can say the same about Jones. He was a project at best.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman drafted Jones to show he was the smartest man in the room. So far, he looks like a guy that should be wearing a dunce hat. Now, the Giants quarterback can still change the narrative, but I have to see it to believe it.
The Giants spent money this offseason to give Jones receivers to throw to. They signed Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million deal this offseason. They also signed Kyle Rudolph and John Ross.
With the return of Saquon Barkley after he missed the season with an ACL injury in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears and the selection of Kadarius Toney as the Giants No. 20 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, this gives Jones a chance to succeed.
But it all depends on the offensive line, and from what the Giants demonstrated this preseason, it left a lot to be desired. Too many blown assignments. Guys getting killed in the trenches. Don’t forget the false starts and penalties.
It’s why I am not optimistic about the Giants. I don’t think the offensive line will be any better with the same cast of characters from the last few years. Jones is not an NFL quarterback material from what I saw.
The eye test tells me nothing about the Giants. Yet Giants fans are cocky. They cite the weak NFC East. They believe in Judge, even though I have yet to see him coach a good game or coach a team to a victory. They love their team’s defense, even though in big moments down the stretch, they folded.
I always wonder what color is the sky in the Giants fan’s world? Apparently, it’s True Blue.
Giants fans are great for laughs. I have to give them this much. No matter how much their team stinks, they ask for more every year.
Maybe the Giants give them something this year for a change.
Heaven knows they deserve this much for their blind faith.
But then again, I could use more yucks from Giants fans and Giants media apologists in town since it never gets old.
Also, who wouldn’t want to see Giants PR guy Pat Hanlon squirm?