The first half of the New York Giants’ 2017 season is an example of the phrase “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.
They have been ravaged by injuries, including losing their top two wide receivers for the season. Their head coach’s competence has been questioned. Their quarterback’s ability and future with the team has been dissected as well.
The offense can’t seem to score. The defense can’t seem to stop anyone from scoring. Special teams has been anything and everything except special.
Players have been suspended. Anonymous players told the media the head coach has lost the team. Even the general manager hasn’t been insulated from the muck and mire of this season.
It all adds up to a 1-7 record, the first time since 1980 the Giants started a season losing seven of their first eight games.
Despite it all, the Giants still have eight games left to play. They face the winless San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium Sunday in a battle of the NFC’s two worst teams. Head coach Ben McAdoo, who has been in the center of the firestorm, still believes this season can be salvaged.
He told his team Wednesday “We have a run in us”. The statement is so outlandish, so bizarre that it wreaks of a man trying to save his job. At the same time, what else is he supposed to say? Screw it, this season is done, who cares if we another game?
McAdoo believes his team has gotten away from the mantra he spoke of the day he became the Giants’ 17th head coach: “Sound, smart, and tough. Committed to discipline and poise.”
He also talked to his team about pride, reminding them everything is fixable.
“We talked about, you know, you may think I’m a little but out there, but I believe we have a run in us,” McAdoo said Wednesday at his midweek news conference. “I believe to the core we have a run in us.”
The Giants plan to simply things going forward, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
“Yeah, that is the thing we’re doing this week,” cornerback Eli Apple said. “We’re going to go out there and stick to the basics and just play our football.”
Safety Landon Collins seems to buy into McAdoo’s message.
“Yeah. Of course,” Collins said. “Get this win underneath our belt. Doing the simple things. Playing what we do best, and get back to having fun. If we do that, yeah, we can definitely make that run.”
Offensive lineman Justin Pugh is also buying into McAdoo’s message.
“I think he’s got confidence in us,” Pugh said. “We’ve shown flashes of doing some really good things, but we’ve lost and turned the ball over at crucial times and had plays that really hurt us. We’ve got to go out there, and we’ve got to change those things. We’re going to go out there and play hard for each other and try to get this thing turned around.”