Zero has changed in the last 24 hours. The same team that was 6-9 is now finished for the season at 7-9. Oh, except that Beatty broke his leg, Manning sprained his ankle, Randle sprained his ankle, and Nicks I frankly don't care because the guy is perpetually hurt.
Jerrel Jernigan had his second consecutive strong showing, grabbing 1 TD in the air and running for another. He solidified a roster spot in 2014 last week and he might have played Nicks out of another this week. Jernigan plays a different WR position (more slot/Cruz) than the X of Nicks. But the depth is what will help Reese to look away from Nicks or perhaps bring him back cheaper.
This game was every bit as painful to watch as most if not all of the games this entire season. The Giants had 3 turnovers again, turning the ball over in every single game of the season. That is hard to do. The team finished with 44 turnovers in 2013. Only 2 NFL teams have had 42+ turnovers in a season since 2006: The 2010 Giants and the 2013 Giants.
So many NY Giants players are unrestricted free agents this offseason. We will track them and discuss outcomes in the coming weeks. My top re-signing priority is Linval Joseph, followed by Tuck and Beason at properly priced and structured deals.
In the next couple of days we are going to get the Horse Manure Pt. II, aka Jerry Reese's parade of media softballs and spin. We are going to hear about how the team fought through a slow start and won 7 of the last 10 games. Our job here is to remind you of every single game they won:
1) MIN. Josh Freeman wasn't a member of the team the prior week.
2) PHI. Matt Barkley was in as the 3rd string QB.
3) OAK. Terrelle Pryor had an MCL sprain. Giants still try to lose.
4) GB. Scott Tolzien was brought in from the practice squad. Close to the end.
5) WAS. Second worst team in the NFL, 3-13 with complete dysfunction.
6) DET. Lost 6 of their last 7 games. Will Hill provided the H2 offense.
7) WAS. Another toilet bowl ugly game.
What this list proves is that the Giants were better than the bottom of the heap. That's it. I am afraid that little will change in the offseason. Zero will happen to Reese and Gilbride. Carl Banks, in the post game, put the team in perspective- paraphrased, the Eagles and Dallas are competing (barely!) in the division.. the Redskins are at the bottom, and the Giants are just slightly ahead of the Redskins. Well said. The Giants are just slightly ahead of a dysfunctional and uncompetitive 3-13 team. The 7 wins that the Giants collected are plastic. Much has to be done.
Tuck: "What you saw over the last 10 games is what this team is about." But what about those first 6 games? Let's remember who this team played against- DAL, DEN, CAR, KC, PHI, and CHI. In short, the mainstream of the NFL. Who did the Giants lose to in the last 10 games? DAL, SD and SEA. In short, the mainstream of the NFL. You cannot argue that teams like DAL twice, KC, PHI, CHI, and SD are GREAT teams. Those teams are 52-38. Against the 3 toughest teams they faced, DEN, SEA and CAR, those 3 teams are 36-10. But those 3 teams handed the Giants their worst losses, by a total of 102-23. So let's be honest about the competitiveness of this team.
Let's also be fair to the players and to Tom Coughlin. They never gave up. They played for one another and they played for Coughlin. That is commendable. We do not want to asterisk the wins to smear the players, coaches or their effort.
We want to make it clear that Reese failed to provide adequate resources to OL over the last 4 seasons, with the neglect finally collapsing the foundation this year. His grab of Beason for the last 11 games was a great get which simultaneously indicted the same negligence at that position.
We detailed the 14 reasons why Gilbride should be replaced in a post this past Wednesday. (ADDENDUM Monday AM: Found 1 msmedia scribe who gave Gilbride a 'D' and Quinn an 'F'. Maybe there is a small chance it happens. The rift he reports between Gilbride and Nicks– good, ship'em both out.)
We are not asking for Reese or Coughlin to be replaced. (LOL, how can you fire your public relations department?!) We simply want Mara and Tisch to recognize that the Giants problems are much deeper than 7-9. Carl Banks sees the issues and urges that everyone feel "uncomfortable" because of the lack of success across the board. Good luck to the entire organization in the offseason in preparing for 2014.
To all of the loyal fans of the NY Giants and this NY Giants blog, Rich, Wonder and I salute you all. It has been a very hard season. That you are here at the end of the year says a lot about your blue colors. Never let it be misconstrued- we all love the NFL, the NY Giants and professional football. We'll be talking Giants football during the offseason. Keep commenting and follow us on twitter to keep the dialogue going. We extend a Happy New Year to everyone for a great 2014. Thanks for being with us.