Even after a loss in each of the first four weeks of the 2013 season, the New York Giants were still floating on a life preserver graciously and undeservedly tossed out to them by the NFC East. With a win and a Dallas Cowboys loss in Week 5, the Giants could have been miraculously just one game out of first place. The Cowboys did their part, but falling into place with the theme of their disaster of a season, New York squandered the golden opportunity that had been presented to them.
Now, about a third of the way through the season and no wins to their name, the Giants are still merely two games out of first place. On paper, their season has a pulse. On the field, they’re buried six feet under. The only life the Giants have has been conjured up by fans suffering from distorted illusions. With the help of ESPN’s Stats & Info Department, allow me to lay out the facts that can only be described as horror-movie disturbing.
The Giants are 0-5 for the first time in a non-strike year since 1979. They’ve been outscored by 100 points in those five games. The Giants are just the third team in history to allow 30 or more points in each of their first five games. The 182 points they’ve surrendered is the fifth-most in NFL history through the first five games. Eli Manning has thrown 12 interceptions compared to just eight touchdowns. As a team, the Giants have turned the ball over 20 times, which means they are on pace for 64 total turnovers by season’s end. The NFL record for turnovers in a single season is 63 by the 1978 San Francisco 49ers.
To quote Kevin Bacon’s opening argument in A Few Good Men: “These are the facts of the case and they are undisputed.”
There is not one person to blame for the team’s failures. Responsibility should be dished out to everyone from general manager Jerry Reese to the coaching staff to the players. This team has been a complete and utter embarrassment from top to bottom. The most sleep-depriving notion about this season’s nose-dive is that the Giants are just two years removed from a Super Bowl victory. There are countless players and coaches on this year’s roster who also played an integral role in winning a championship (if not two).
A season that continues along this road can only mean one thing: change. The process of dissecting and dismantling the coaching staff will probably not come until the end of the season, but we could be watching the final year for offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and who knows, maybe even Tom Coughlin, whose job was thought to be untouchable just a few months ago.
The Giants are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. However, with the way they have played to this point, it’s hard to imagine the Giants beating anyone. If the Denver Broncos are the NFL’s Mona Lisa, that would make the Giants a crayon-crafted drawing barely suitable for a refrigerator.