Ironically on the week Aaron Rodgers wins the AP Athlete of the Year, he loses a football game for the first time in a calendar year. If you picked that to happen on the same week the Colts win their first game, then hats off to you. I still don’t believe you, but hats off. The National Football League has now owned the third Male Athlete of the Year in the last five years (Drew Brees – 2010; Tom Brady -2007).
But if you picked the forgotten NFC East team to manhandle the Gotham Giants, then I believe you. The Giants have had problems with playing down to their opponent’s level all season. In week 5, they lost to the then 1-3 Seattle Seahawks. In Week 13, they nearly handed the Packers their first loss of the season. The following week, they beat their division rival Dallas Cowboys on their own last second field goal.
As logic follows, they then get slaughtered by the now 5-9 Washington Redskins, at home, in a must-win situation. Since it’s against my morals to root for a Philadelphia based team, the Giants must beat the Jets and the Cowboys to make the playoffs.
Against my better judgement, I believe the Giants will do so. Mark Sanchez can’t throw the ball, which fits perfectly into the Giants’ “Everything but Secondary” defensive strategy. Eli Manning is the most underrated quarterback in the league, and the offense will be fine assuming his wide receivers can catch the ball.
Looking at passer rating alone, Mark Sanchez is 36th out of the 42 active quarterbacks listed on pro-footballrefernce.com. I still have no clue what passer rating is, but it’s omni-presently used in today’s stats-driven sports world, enough for me to safely assume it’s an accurate statistic.
The Giants defense will show up, and with that boost of confidence beat the Jets on Saturday. The Giants usually play well against the Cowboys, and will win a close one in the Meadowlands next week.
But…even if they make the playoffs, they’re not going anywhere. The Giants’ secondary has so many holes, they have zero running game, and assuming Eli Manning can’t put up 49 points, the Giants will get romped in the first round of the playoffs if they’re lucky enough to get there – which brings me to my central argument.
Tom Coughlin will not be the Giants’ coach next season. Remember, Coughlin was on the Hot Seat four years ago when his team started 0-2. Granted, they went on to win the Super Bowl, but it was because he changed his coaching style. Players complained Coughlin was too tough. For example, if you weren’t wearing the right socks on the team plane, you were reprimanded. Coughlin softened up, and it was just what the doctor ordered.
Skip forward to today, and he’s lost his team. It’s the same story every year – start strong, end lethargic. Under Coughlin, the Giants are 47-17 in the first half of the year, then boast a ghastly 25-37 record in the latter half. He’s also tied for the fifth longest tenured coach in the NFL. It’s been a nice run, but it’s time.
The Giants are so used to flunking late in the year it’s ingrained in their heads. “Okay, were down again…same story different week. This sucks.” They set themselves up for failure. They need a new attitude, new mindset, and with that will come a new head coach.
I turn 22 on January 31st. Preparing for the Super Bowl would be the ideal present, but a new face to my favorite football franchise will be a nice consolation prize.