We’re entering Week 2 of the NFL season and already Giants fans are ready to push the panic button. Photos began surfacing of fans burning Eli Manning jerseys and social media across the country blowing up following Big Blue’s embarrassing 35-14 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.
It’s clear that the Giants need to get things turned around fast, but who is to blame for last year’s disastrous 0-6 start and New York’s season opening debacle in the Motor City?
General Manager Jerry Reese.
Big Blue’s head honcho had his hand in building a championship squad in 2007 and 2011 and since has been a far cry from the personnel wizard that he proved to be in his first few years on the job. The Giants’ talents have dwindled and deteriorated to a point of no return. Star players like Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Ahmad Bradshaw all fled during free agency over the years while glue guys like Chris Snee and David Diehl have been forced into early retirement from nagging injuries, leaving behind locker room leadership.
Reese needs to shoulder the blame for failing to replenish the talent the Giants lost due to free agency, retirement and injury, but fans and the media are quick to point the finger at quarterback Manning. With his supporting cast literally falling apart around him, how is No. 10 supposed to be a championship caliber player with marginal talent along the offensive line and an injury plagued receiving corps?
Factor into that equation the addition of a new offensive coordinator teaching a brand new offensive system after ten years learning under Kevin Gilbride, things could get much worse, before they get better. The fact of the matter is the Giants have quickly transformed from one of the most talented and well-rounded teams just three short seasons ago to a shell of their former selves. Now Big Blue is grasping at straws to regain the swagger and chemistry that catapulted them to the pinnacle of the sport.
The front office received adulation for assembling a championship roster, but now needs to take the fall for what has the makings of a third straight playoff-less season.
The Giants’ problems go beyond the careless play of Manning or growing pains of learning a new offense; it starts at the top and lands squarely on the shoulders of their once-beloved general manager. So instead of burning the jersey of a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, fans should look further up the hierarchy and into the Giants’ front office as therein lies the root of the team’s struggles and where the finger should be pointed at this season.