Those who tend to tune out any New York-centric chatter on the sports shows may be surprised to find out the Giants have lost double-digit games in six of the past seven seasons. That's really bad. Of course, allowing an aging Eli Manning to start and go out the "right way" contributed to that eyebrow-raising stat.
Dave Gettleman has done it his way with great confidence, likely marrying his personal fate to the development or lack thereof shown by Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. The former showed flashes during his rookie season and a regression in the sophomore campaign. The latter eclipsed 1,000 yards his first two seasons before missing almost 14 games last go-around. Each have been a mixed bag weighted down with high expectations after each going a bit before forecasted in the draft.
No one expecting a serious run at the conference crown but some signs of progress feels essential to continuing this process. Louis Riddick spoke to this reality on this morning's Get Up, offering a thought that has the potential to really depress Giants fans.
A really bad 2021 could lead to a re-build of the re-build.
A disastrous 5-12 showing isn't what anyone with Big Blue wants. And there would probably be some sort of major shakeup. In such a scenario, parting with Gettleman sure seems like a more reasonable half-measure than giving up on the entire process.
How bad would Jones and Barkley have to be in order to convince the Giants that they are a major part of the problem? One doesn't have to be entirely sold on Jones to think it was always going to take two or three years to get where he needed to go. Unless, you know, one took him sixth overall in a shocker. And Barkley, barring the large injury caveat, figures to be a productive and physically imposing back for several more years.
Would the Giants really unload their two primary ball-handlers, admit defeat and start over? If things seem bleak now, how bleak will they seem then? Considering all this, if there is a total rebuild re-initiated, it'll mean the New Yorkers went through complete hell and the verdict is in on Jones being a bust as a draft pick. One shouldn't wish it on their worst enemy.
Seven out of eight years losing 10 or more games is essentially NFL hell. But a .500 campaign and sniffing the playoffs, conversely, will feel like a major victory.
Jones and Barkley are going to make Gettleman look like a guy who knew what he was doing or break the experiment completely. Very high-stakes act to keep an eye on.