We often hear about the "Giant Way". What is the Giant way? Is it winning? Is it discipline? Often times the Giants make moves that are uncontested by the public, just because they are the Giants. The perception is as if everything the Giants touch turns to gold. Well, I have news for you, it doesn't. Yes, they have won super bowls, I am not disputing the greatness that came along with those four titles. But it is time for a reality check; The Giants are headed for a 4th consecutive season on the outside of the playoffs looking in. They have drafted poorly, they have coached poorly, and more importantly, they have played poorly. This failure does not fall solely on Head Coach Tom Coughlin or General Manager Jerry Reese or on all of the players, it falls on the organization as a whole. For several years since their last title, the Giants have been playing in a putrid NFC East division. Yet, they have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons and are staring down another disappointing year. What could be the reason for this? What happened to the "Giant Way"? What happened is that the Giants made mistakes, just like every other organization. They are no different than anybody else. We are not talking about the New England Patriots here. The free pass that the Giants get every year should be revoked.
Each of the last three years, Giants fans have hoped for the same roster to magically turn it around and bounce back from an underwhelming campaign a year prior. No changes were made before each season, but everyone thought, it'll all work out because it is the Giants. Well, that ideology is finally catching up to the Giants and their fans. This year's group of players has been putrid to no end. The offensive line is awful, the defensive line is pathetic, the running game is abysmal; They are a one trick pony on offense in large part to phenom wideout Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants are a mediocre to below average team when all of the dust settles, forgetting about the tradition and the class, they are a 5-7 group that has no promise. People expected for the defense to be great just because they acquired their former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo from the 2007 super bowl team. You need personnel to be an effective coach, and personnel is something the Giants lack. People expected Tom Coughlin to be the championship coach he is, but he has been quite the opposite. He has been terrible in managing late game situations and looks like a shell of himself. People expect every draft pick that Jerry Reese makes to be great, when in actuality he has drafted some real head scratchers lately like underperforming offensive lineman Justin Pugh and cornerback Prince Amukamara. Many people refer to the fact that if a handful of the Giants games were a minute or two shorter, this team would be 10-2. Well, thats a nice thought, but NFL games are 60 minutes, and if you can't play a full 60 minutes you don't deserve to win. This is an example of the denial and free pass that goes along with the Giants. Instead of realizing where they are, they point to what ifs. They are 5-7, own it, accept it. I am not a Giant hater, but 5-7 is 5-7, not 10-2. Former Giants legend head coach Bill Parcels even stated, "you are what your record says you are." There isn't a playoff tournament for teams with the most almost wins. So to constantly point to almost winning is meaningless, because you didn't.
Instead of lamenting on their close calls, the Giants should make changes. What is wrong with firing Tom Coughlin? Many often say it wouldn't be the "Giant Way" to treat one of their own like that. Well to that I say, who cares! Tom Coughlin is a grown man and can handle it. He has millions of dollars, and if the Giants told him that they needed to move in a different direction for the team's benefit, I think he would end up ok. But instead, the Giants hang onto their assets that are making them worse by the day, and when they lose, blame is deflected to a scapegoat coordinator or that luck just wasn't on their side.
So as the Giants roll into Miami to face a pathetic Dolphins team tonight on Monday Night Football, keep in mind that while they may win, it does not mean anything. Even if they win the division with eight wins, that is nothing to be proud of. The dye has been cast, and this team, this era of Giant football is over. The longer that they put off their rebuilding, the longer it will take them to get back to respectability in the NFL. They have made their bed, and now they must lay in it. The Giants must make a decision on what they want to be, mediocre and not swallow their pride, or a good team again with new blood. Only time will tell what path the Giants take. But one thing is for certain, the status quo must change.