The New York Giants’ fall from grace has been as precipitous as it gets in the NFL. Just two seasons ago, the club hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after winning their fourth Super Bowl, and Eli Manning was suddenly in the Hall of Fame conversation as one of the most clutch quarterbacks of all time. Fast-forward to today, and the Giants find themselves with a record of 0-6, which demonstrates their abysmal performance this year. Manning has thrown 15 interceptions in just six games. He is on pace to throw 40 picks, just two short of the all-time record.
It is easy to harp on how bad the Giants have been this year, especially for a fan of the team such as myself. But the important question is, how did the organization let it reach this point? Is it due to factors that are out of their control? As one might expect, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Every team in the league has to overcome injuries. After all, football is a violent game that takes a severe physical toll on one’s body. However, the Giants have faced an inordinate amount of injuries to key players. Safety Stevie Brown, who led the Giants in interceptions last season with eight, tore his ACL in a preseason game against the New York Jets. The recovery time for such an injury is usually about a year, thus Brown’s season was abruptly cut short. Also in the preseason, running back Andre Brown, who was projected to play a large role in the Giants offense, broke his fibula and was out for the first eight to nine weeks of the season. With these injuries alone — one on offense and one on defense — the team has faced some direct consequences.
After six weeks, the Giants are 28th in the league in total rushing offense (407) and 27th in the league in yards allowed (2,348). The Giants have also given up the most points out of any team in the league (209).
The team has also suffered from poor returns from their drafts of college football players. Players such as cornerback Prince Amukamara, running back David Wilson and defensive lineman Linval Joseph, all of whom were expected to be top players after being drafted, have disappointed over the past few seasons.
General manager Jerry Reese has also failed to fill key holes on the team through the draft or free agency, especially on the offensive line, which allowed Eli Manning to be sacked 16 times.
The Giants’ failures have been a combination of bad luck and poor planning. Can they turn it around and return to respectability? Fans certainly hope so.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 17 print edition. Chris Marcotrigiano is a deputy sports editor. Email him at email@example.com.