Source: The Independent

Giants Season Over

by Pete Mundo

October 09, 2013

I was tempted to use this headline last week. But, I was foolish enough to buy into the scenario developing around the NFC East. After the Giants finished another embarrassing performance in a 31-7 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, they were still only two games back in the division.

The Cowboys were leading the NFC East at 2-2, and were now facing a home match up with AFC-best Denver Broncos. A theoretical Cowboys loss, combined with a Giants win, and New York would be one game back in the division. But, after Sundayís debacle at home against the Eagles, itís finally time to bury the Giants in 2013.

Forget the standings and the mediocrity from the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles in the NFC East. The Giants have played historically bad. Their defense has allowed 182 points through five games, the most of any NFL team since the 1961 Oakland Raiders allowed 187. Not convinced? Small Blue has given up at least 31 points in each of their first five games, which tied an NFL record set by the Chicago Cardinals in 1954. That is beyond pathetic.

The Eagles lost quarterback Michael Vick late in the second quarter to a hamstring injury. Typically, a team losing their starting quarterback is a good sign for the opponent. But, that wouldnít be the case for the Giants who gave up nearly 200 yards passing and two touchdowns in just over two quarters to back up Nick Foles.

In recent years, the pride of the Giants has been their defensive line. But this season, New York has a total of five sacks in five games, second worst in the NFL. Jason Pierre-Paul looked explosive for the first time all season against the Eagles.

But, for the most part, the line hasnít created much pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Meantime, the secondary is hurting. Management is signing players off the practice squad to play significant minutes, and the linebacking core is an indistinguishable bunch.

Offensively, Eli Manning threw three more interceptions Sunday, and as of Monday, led the NFL with twelve picks. But, Manning shouldnít be bearing the brunt of the offensive woes.

The offense had its best performance in nearly a month on Sunday, with Hakeem Nicks and Ruben Randle combining for over 230 receiving yards. But, a banged up and ageing offensive line has caused a lot of the teamís struggles.

Also, after the injury to Andre Brown, the running game was far too reliant on an unproven talent, David Wilson.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but the majority of blame should be put on general manager Jerry Reese. For the past few years, Reese should have had the offensive line as a much higher priority in the draft.

By the time Reese took Justin Pugh in the first round this past spring, he was fighting an uphill battle. Also, the organization that used to pride itself on producing linebackers, hasnít had a stable group in years. Tom Coughlin didnít forget how to coach over the summer. I believe his message would still get through to a better group of players.

The good news for the Giants is that there is no reason to go into a full-blown rebuild. For at least the next five years, they have the most important position filled. The league is so reliant on the quarterback position, and the Giants still have Eli Manning in his prime. But, no doubt, Jerry Reeseís seat should be getting warm. He is often credited with the Giantsí success in the 2007 draft which included selecting Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, and Ahmad Bradshaw, to name a few.

Heíll need next spring to be just as productive to prove heís the man to turn this team around. I still find it hard to believe that on Sunday October 6, 2013, Giants fans would already be anxiously counting down towards May 8, 2014: NFL Draft Night.

Pete is a lifelong Montauk resident and former sports talk host at 88.7FM WEER. Heís currently a Sports Anchor at WCBS 880 and WFAN radio in NYC. He can be reached via email at peterfmundo@gmail.com.