10 Ways You Know the New York Giants Are a Terrible Team
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month-and-a-half, you're probably well aware of just how terrible the New York Giants have been in 2013. Through six games, they've yet to claim a single victory. The comparisons between this current season and the historically miserable ones of the 1970s have crept into the conversation with each passing defeat.
There are plenty of ways to illustrate just how deep this Giants team has sunk. It's often pointed out that their defense ranks last in terms of points allowed. Their ground game and pass rush have been the primary offensive and defensive shortcomings, respectively. The coaching staff has sustained its usual amount of ridicule; even quarterback Eli Manning hasn't been able to escape fans' searing criticism.
But if you're still unsure of just how bad these 0-6 Giants are, this list should clear things up for you.
David Wilson Just Can’t Get Going in Year Two
Running back David Wilson has yet to justify his first-round draft status. He fumbled in the season opener versus the Dallas Cowboys—again. This time around, he did it twice. For every step forward Wilson has taken in his young career, he has taken two steps back.
Some setbacks have simply been out of his control. Shortly after scoring an early touchdown—his first and, so far, only one of the season—versus the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5, he was nearly tackled in his own end zone. The contact caused some neck pain, which later resulted in a spinal stenosis diagnosis.
Although Wilson claims to feel no pain, the Giants are proceeding with a great deal of caution. No one feels comfortable gambling with a serious neck condition, especially one unto a first-round investment, so Wilson is being held out indefinitely. He has just 146 yards on 44 rushes in 2013 (3.3 YPC).
Rueben Randle Has Struggled to Get on the Same Page with Eli Manning
Wide receiver Rueben Randle was the talk of the offseason. With usual stars Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz absent from practice, Randle got some valuable reps as Eli Manning's top target. All reports from camp claimed the second-year receiver was making the most of the opportunity.
It's not like Randle has been a disappointment this season. He cracked 100 yards receiving in the season-opener, and he's even caught three touchdown passes in the past two weeks. His constant disconnect with Manning, however, has been just as glaring as his highlights.
Less than half of Randle's targets have resulted in completed passes, and six of Manning's 15 interceptions have been intended for the young pass-catcher (40 percent). Considering Randle's talent level and the extensive practice time spent with Manning this summer, there's no reason for these two to misfire as often as they have in 2013.
Wilson-Randle Twitter Feud Has Been the Most Entertaining Part of the Season
While we're on the topic of Wilson and Randle, let's talk about the Twitter spat these two second-year offensive weapons had on Tuesday night. Wilson (@4stillRunning) and Randle (@RuebenRandle) traded slights on the popular social media site as tens of thousands of thoroughly entertained fans followed along.
Some have speculated that there was malice behind Randle's and Wilson's respective insults, but, to me, it just looked like some good-natured fun on a rather boring Tuesday night. The insults ranged from fantasy football to playbooks to fumbles to drops. My personal favorite was from Randle to Wilson: "@4stillRunning ain't nutn wrong with yo neck. B Jacobs just punk'd u out ur spot [sic]." That one earned upwards of 550 retweets.
If this happened in the offseason, I'd have no problem with it. It didn't, though. Instead, the cyber-dialogue occurred just five days after a heart-breaking 27-21 loss to the Chicago Bears, in the midst of an awful season in which the Giants have yet to win a game. This is the kind of stuff Terrell Thomas is talking about...
Some Players Simply Don’t Care
Cornerback Terrell Thomas must be frustrated. Thomas was drafted by the Giants in 2008, joining the team one year after the Super Bowl XLII victory. He excelled in each of the '08, '09 and '10 meltdown seasons only to tear his ACL and miss the entire Super Bowl XLVI run. He then re-tore his ACL in 2012.
Now, after miraculously recovering from consecutive devastating knee injuries, Thomas has returned to the field. But this guy just can't catch a break; his team just can't win. Imagine how he must feel when he looks around the locker room and his teammates don't seem to share his frustration. That's right—Thomas thinks some players "don't care" that the team currently stands at 0-6, according to The Star-Ledger.
Thomas went on to describe how he stews over a loss until the wee hours of the morning. He also admits that everyone handles adversity differently, but it's hard not to feel for the cornerback who has successfully battled back from what should have been career-ending injuries.
Eli Manning “Struggle Face” Has Grown More Prevalent
Sorry Giants fans, but fans of the NFL's other 31 teams find New York's plight entertaining. And they really like when quarterback Eli Manning has a particularly poor outing. I mean check this out: Someone has even taken the time to create this GIF, which features the "struggle faces" Manning has worn after each of his league-leading 15 interceptions.
I guess it's kind of like teasing your little sister—you do it to get a good reaction. Manning doesn't get very animated after making a mistake, so fans are naturally going to take advantage of even his most subtle reactions to lousy plays. After all, those fans are just jealous that their team's quarterback isn't a two-time Super Bowl MVP, right? Right...?
Ugh. You win some and you lose some, Eli.
Once Washed Up Stars Have Excelled with the Giants
I found myself asking that question as I watched running back Brandon Jacobs and linebacker Jon Beason tear up the Chicago Bears on their respective sides of the ball. Jacobs, who was added after Week 1, rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. After trading for Beason a week earlier, the Giants' newest linebacker racked up a team-leading 12 tackles (11 solo).
Jacobs spent the 2011 season with the San Francisco 49ers where he played in only two games, carrying the ball five times for a total of seven yards. His play versus the Bears conjured up images of 2008, when he was easily the most intimidating back to take on. The same could be said for Beason, who was an All-Pro in '08 before ending up on the Carolina Panthers' injured reserve in each of the past two seasons.
The newly signed Peyton Hillis, who once landed on the cover of Madden, should be smiling after falling into obscurity in recent years.
Da’Rel Scott Was Tossed Around Like a Ragdoll
The Giants' management of running back Da'Rel Scott has been a microcosm of the Giants' chaotic 2013 season. After suffering a hamstring injury against the Chicago Bears that would have likely put him out through the Week 9 bye, New York waived Scott on Tuesday—for the second time this month.
The first time Scott was waived was on Oct. 1. The purpose of the move was to make room for former Philadelphia Eagles center Dallas Reynolds on the roster. Reynolds lasted a total of four days with the Giants before he was cut to make roster room for safety Will Hill, who was returning from a suspension, and cornerback Charles James, who was promoted from the practice squad (cornerback Aaron Ross was also sent to IR). Scott was re-signed two days later in light of David Wilson's neck condition.
No one really expected Scott to make the team in the first place. An injury to Andre Brown in the final preseason game opened the door for Scott to make the team, as he beat out Ryan Torain for a spot in New York's backfield. He actually ended up being a serviceable third-down back, though, with 19 pass targets out of the backfield.
The whole Scott situation is rather bizarre and truly reflective of the currently directionless Giants as a whole.
There Are Six Major Contributors on Injured Reserve
The good news is Andre Brown, who was placed on injured reserve/designated to return, was back on the practice field on Thursday. The bad news is the other five major contributors on normal injured reserve will not be seen again in 2013.
Safety Stevie Brown, who intercepted eight passes last year, was the first to land on IR, suffering a torn ACL in the preseason. Middle linebacker Dan Connor followed shortly after him with a neck injury early in the regular season. Fullback Henry Hynoski (shoulder) and right guard Chris Snee (hip) weren't far behind. Cornerback Aaron Ross, whose back had been bothering him, was the latest addition to the IR club.
The Giants have scavenged, shuffled and re-shuffled to fill these voids. There's no way to know with any certainty if New York would be experiencing more success with these players healthy, but a growing IR list is usually a sure sign of a team in decline.
Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka Have Combined for 3 Sacks
Not so long ago, the Giants fielded an absolutely dominant pass-rush. Veteran defensive end Justin Tuck remembers. In fact, on Thursday he lamented the passing of what he called "the good old days," when the New York pass-rushers blew past opposing offensive linemen almost at will (via Newsday).
According to Tuck, the times have changed. I'd say the stats back that up. Tuck has just a half of a sack this season. His counterpart Jason Pierre-Paul hasn't fared much better with just a single sack through six games. I guess Mathias Kiwanuka qualifies as the Giants' pass-rush "specialist" with a team-leading 1.5 sacks.
New York has collected only five sacks so far in 2013; former Giant Osi Umenyiora, who now resides in Atlanta full time, has four with the 1-4 Falcons.
Antrel Rolle Predicts a Blowout…Before Winning a Game
So where do the Giants go from here?
If you ask safety and defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle, the answer is to MetLife Stadium, where he plans on blowing out the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Forget the fact that the Vikings have only one win on the season and are planning on starting the newly acquired Josh Freeman at quarterback. The Giants haven't beaten anyone in 2013, therefore they have no room to talk about blowing out anybody.
It'd be nice to blow the Vikes out, maybe string a couple wins together before the bye and head into the second half of the season with a little bit of momentum...but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
First things first, 'Trel—get a win!