Eric Adams, Staff Writer
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it does. Let’s go back 3 months to late August. There I was, a young Eric (OK 3 months younger but still spry) looking over the NFL landscape wondering who would meet in Minnesota come February for Super Bowl 52. The AFC choice was obvious, but the NFC choice took a little more thought. The NFC East was the most intriguing division coming into the season. I believed it to be the best in the NFL heading into September and, although it does boast the team with the best record, it is most certainly not.
I picked the New York Giants (stop laughing) to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52. The defense was stacked with one of the best defensive backfields in the league to go along with a stellar defensive line. The linebackers were iffy but I believed they could mask that with a good-to-great pass rush. The offense was adding Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram to an already promising attack. Odell Beckham JR. injured his ankle in a preseason game and then everything went downhill from there.
They lost their first 5 games of the season and couldn’t recover. Even worse was the horrific week 5 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, where Odell Beckham JR, Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard AND Dwayne Harris all got hurt. OBJ was done for the season, Marshall was done for the season before the season began and the Giants were all of a sudden asking their corners who could play receiver. Things couldn’t get any worse, right?
Wrong. Enter suspensions and now things really begin to unravel. Janoris Jenkins is suspended for violating team rules. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is suspended for violating team rules. I want to know what these team rules are because Head Coach Ben McAdoo clearly isn’t enforcing them in the best way. This is a lost team with a head coach who has lost his players. It couldn’t get any worse, right?
Wrong. Enter the most perplexing move of the entire season as McAdoo benches QB Eli Manning. What. In. The. World. I understand McAdoo is gone in the offseason. I understand that the Giants would like to evaluate other players. However, benching a quarterback who has won you 2 Super Bowls for a guy who couldn’t hack it as the Jets QB? Are you kidding me? How is that the right move? The Giants organization from top to bottom should be ashamed of what has transpired this season but they should be condemned for what they just did with the greatest QB in Giants history. They are indeed paying for it on social media with former players coming to the defense of Eli. It will look even worse if/when Geno Smith performs the way we expect Geno Smith to perform.
So here we are today, 3 months separated from me picking the Giants to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52. Instead, they are 2 meaningless victories away from picking 1st in the 2018 NFL Draft. A true lost season if there ever was one and it all falls on one man in the eyes of many, Ben McAdoo. He’ll be gone in the offseason; GM Jerry Reese will (and most definitely should) follow him on out the door.
However, Giants fans need to accept that this was a team effort. It was bad from the very beginning. It was supposed to end in Minnesota competing for a title. It will now end on December 31st at home against the Redskins in a meaningless game. The next day, a new year will begin and hopefully for the Giants, a fresh start will come with it.