Simply Put: Embarrassing

I had written a few weeks ago that it was up to Tom Coughlin to not let this team slide off the edge the way Jim Fassel had done on at least two separate occasions at the end of seasons. The Washington game appeared to give credence that Coughlin had succeeded. Then game Carolina and Minnesota.

Last week was the first time in three years I hadn’t posted after a game. Simply, the Giants embarrassed themselves, the organization, and their fans with a pathetic performance versus Carolina. With still a glimmer of playoff hope and a chance to close Giants Stadium in style, this team let an average football team walk all over them. And didn’t fight back.

After public apologies from Coughlin and Eli Manning, this team followed up that showing with an equally porous effort in the finale versus Minnesota. Actually porous isn’t even the right word. I might want to call it comical, but I wasn’t exactly laughing. The Giants looked helpless in trying to stop the Vikings. The offense, disinterested.

Bill Sheridan will be fired. The Giants can not allow him to return after his defense gave up more points than the 1980 Giants. That was my first year as a fan. I know how bad they were. This defense is worse. I’m not sure the players ever bought into what his system was, and yes, there were injuries but there is no excuse for giving up 40-plus points in five separate games. The fan base would be outraged, and the last thing the Giants need is chants of “Bill must go” in a new stadium next year. He’s gone.

Not immune to all is Tom Coughlin. Coughlin is an offensive coach but he is the head coach of this football team, and must take responsibility himself for the complete collapse in these last two games. I’m not advocating replacing TC by any means. But he’ll be in the third year of a four year contract next year. This team will have to rebound and play well the entire season. We know how the Giants treat coaches with one year left on their contract. They either extend them or get rid of them. 2007 aside, his teams have had a penchant for falling flat in the second half of seasons (2005, 2006, 2008). Some of that is injuries (see ’05 and ’06) and bad luck (Plax in ’08). And if you throw in this year after a 5-0 start you see the trend. Next year is big for TC.

Sometimes an organization needs a good ass kicking to re-evaluate itself and refocus. Things have been pretty good around here since 2007. The first order of business will be to get things sorted out with the coaches on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, the team scored over 400 points and needs a little tweak on the OL and possibly another running back, IMO. From there, free agency and the draft need to focus getting a physical middle linebacker and a dynamic player to add to the mix on the DL, which has lost some of its luster. With the 15th pick in the draft, we’ll have a shot a premium player who can hopefully contribute instantly.

2010. New stadium. New commitment. This team will have something to prove next year.

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